Kikkoman House Party, Sponsored by Ripplestreet!

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

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

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

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

Connect with Kikkoman via:
I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kikkoman courtesy of Ripplestreet. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

Wild Planet Foods: Albacore Wild Tuna, Chicken and Wild Sardines #Review #Sponsored by #MomsMeet

 

​​I received the above product(s) free of charge from Wild Planet Foods and MomsMeet. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Taste Matters: 

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

 

You can Connect with Wild Planet Foods at:

#WildPlanetFoods #MomsMeet

 

MomsMeet: Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal Cups #Review #BobsRedMill

 

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As the days grow colder, like everyone, I tend to seek out warmer meals and this includes at breakfast time. I consume oatmeal through out the year and my way to change my selection, is by adding seasonal fruit to the cup. This way my cups change and I get to enjoy what the seasons have to offer. What can I say? Oatmeal can get boring as much as my granola does and let’s be honest, this is why I view granola as cold oatmeal! Adding dried fruits, nuts, seeds to even a dollop of yogurt can brighten up a cup on any day.

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I have been a fan of Bob’s Red Mill for years. They just never fail me. I started first by buying their flour decades ago and then as they released more and including meals (i.e. nut flours), I was happy to see them reach the west coast. It’s kind of nice not having to order online all the time and when places like Target started supported the brand….heck, I am thrilled.

 

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I was recently part of the Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal Cups campaign from MomsMeet. They were kind and generous to send out samples to try and share and like the signature that runs so true to Bob’s Red Mill, they included additional products to share. Love them! Such a giving company and please take a moment to read about the company on their website, you will fall in love with how they treat their employees. There is true pride and respect for the products they make for us. The other part that I have enjoyed being a Bob’s Red Mill fanatic, is they eat like I do. This adding chia seeds to flax seeds to enhance not only your taste buds but your nutrition is something I learned from them. Yes, they taught me to care more about what I eat and always made it easy for me from offering flax seed both whole and in milled form. No excuses in being able to eat better!

 

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The Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Oatmeal Cups kit included:

 

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Verdict:
The Oatmeal cups are phenomenal. You can use the microwave direction or the add hot water to the cup one. I have been using a mix of nut milks and water to enhance the flavor and not that the cups lack taste, but I sometimes seek a richer background on those colder mornings. All the ingredients are real and clean, no fillers and even making sure to use gluten free oats. The Nutritional Boosters that you can also add are the protein powders to create a morning power meal. You can even go with the unflavored blend they offer online or why not start your morning with some chocolate. It’s is like having a hot cocoa and oatmeal in one cup and it is actually good for you. I make the “Choco-Monkey” blend with the classic oatmeal cup, a spoonful of Chocolate Protein powder, almond milk with water as the fluid, then after heating I add chopped bananas and walnuts with a spoonful of peanut butter in the center. It’s almost like a molten lava cake with that gooey peanut butter center and I feel sinful eating it because oatmeal never tasted this good. My guilt vanishes when I start adding up the protein and it turns out to be a cup filled with healthy nutrition. Eating well goes beyond opening a mealy tasting bar and going out the door in the mornings. The Bob’s Red Mill cups come with tops, so if you have time to pick up a latte, you have time (3 minutes) to give yourself a few microwave seconds to eat the cups as they come or enhance them to your liking. You are worth it and your family will join in because things that taste good don’t get questioned. They just make smiles 🙂

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Connect with the wonderful crew at Bob’s Red Mill at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Bob’s Red Mill and MomsMeet. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

HydroPeptide: On the Go Glow Anti-wrinkle Travel Set #Review #HydroPeptide

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In the beauty world there is one thing that has really triumphed when it comes to brand awareness……sample sizes. Whether you call them deluxe size, trial size, travel or just plain samples, being able to try and not invest the full dollar amount towards a product has really yielded dividends both for the consumer and brand-names. I see beauty items like medications, in where you have one popular product that works with many but not all. I have used foundations that get out of the world ratings and then I use it and have a what are they talking about moment. This is why I love being able to try without getting the full sting and not feel bad if a product is not for me.

HydroPeptide believes in the same. A company that is brave enough and confident about what they make, that they decided why not make travel size products for consumers to try and see if they like them. If you become a fan, you can then later buy the full size and also the travel size for those weekend getaways.

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I was sent the Anti-wrinkle travel set called, “On the Go Glow“. The set comes with:

  1. Exfoliating Cleanser
  2. Pre-Treatment Toner
  3. Purfiying Mask
  4. Eye Authority
  5. Face Lift
  6. Everything you need and even a beautiful and useful size pouch to carry the HydroPeptide products along with any mini shampoo and conditioners to complete your travel to-go bag.

 

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Verdict:

The regimen is simple. I welcome that not only when travelling but when trying a brand. I always follow the directions to see if the products yield the claims made. This kit left nothing untreated and except for adding my spot acne cream when needed, I just used the HydroPeptide set exclusively. The solutions are light when applied and like the eye cream and face lift, my skin was left feeling fresh after about day 4 of use. By this I mean that I had a natural and healthy sheen without any ill effects of transitioning over to using HydroPeptide exclusively. The mask is out of this world when it comes to clarifying and not over drying. The mask really needs a light application that is thin and even and I am not kidding, your skin’s surface changes after removal. I mean serious positive changes that also helped any acne/blemishes I was suffering from pre to post breakout. The entire set played well with my skin and even though I am not a fan and believer of toners, I can say the refreshing and balanced pH was something that changed my mind about my opinion of toners. This toner is also a “pre-treatment”, so it’s a way to prep your skin for absorption of the coming products after you have exfoliated and washed your face. I get it! It makes sense with this system and I did not view it as an add-on that was wasted. The eye cream is thick but because you use the dab method and a 1/2 a pea size, just with the warmth of my skin, the product quickly was absorbed.  I was left with just a thin layer that I call “good left-overs” because it’s there to protect and continue nourishing my skin as needed. This system by HydroPeptide is an AM and PM kit. Many anti aging systems are geared towards only night use because of the ingredients maybe being to harsh for morning and day time use. Some acids tend to activate worse in sunlight but that is what sunscreen is for and I don’t ever skip on treatments of this kind because just one safeguard means you can get double the benefits, so don’t skip on SPF and you will be fine. I noticed the eye area was my biggest improvement and while I would love to boast that just get the eye cream and go, I have to realize I used everything as directed and that unison of products is very likely the cause for the positive effects. Using 1/2 a pea size on the eye cream and just a pea size for the face cream, I could see the deal with the kit.  Just look at the ingredients on the site and these are serious products when it comes to results and free from sulphates to artificial fragrances and anything that is added as fillers with most beauty brands designed towards anti aging formulas.  I never understood why companies add ingredients that cause aging and/or irritations and still advertise the items as anti wrinkle care.  It’s nice when a company like HydroPeptide comes along and removes the fillers and just works on what you want, your skin and getting the most of the results for the money you invested.  The “On the Go Glow” kit is just that and a great starter at just $78!  I have spent more on nail polishes in one visit and walked away less satisfied.

 

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Give HydroPeptide a Go at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from HydroPeptide. I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion. I received no other compensation in exchange for my review. My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

 

 

 

Pampers: New Easy Ups Review, Coupon and Gift Card #Giveaway #PampersEasyUps #Sponsored

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As a parent, you don’t want to follow the easy way, that is not always the best when it comes to what your child needs. You need products that work because your child is in constant transitioning and learning. Like adults, you do your best when you are not limited by the products you selected. Pampers offers both protection with ease of use, for parents and their toddlers . Call it a 2-in-1!

Pampers Easy Ups make the period of change from diapers to underwear simple, so you need a product you and your child can depend on. Having a product that already offers the comfort of underwear but also the protection for those “oops moments”. Training pants need to be able to put up with a child on the move! No discomfort while your toddler is walking, running and exploring to even those unplanned adventures, a parent needs to be able to know their kids can have a positive potty training experience. It’s what makes potty training not seem like a mountain you need to trek with an impossible peak you can’t even see.

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Easy Ups by Pampers has thought of it all to make it a welcoming experience for the parent and their child:

  • Parents can depend on the 360 degree of stretchy waistband that easily can be pulled up or down by your toddler.
  • The inside is soft and just like normal underwear but with Pampers patent “Extra Absorbing Channels”, which provide protection against leaks when your kid is on the move. The Dual Leak Guard Barriers keeps the legs dry and leak free.
  • Parents also can easily remove Easy Ups when needed because Pampers thought of everything, so Easy Ups tear at the sides for easy removal.
  • You have 24/7 protection while they sleep comfortably because potty training should not be a battle, it should be just another adventure. You want your toddler to be able to get a goodnight’s rest and not be kept up by discomfort even when their dry and accident free.
  • Pampers Easy Ups come in several sizes from 2T-3T, 3T-4T, and 4T-5T.
  • Your toddler can also choose from popular character from Thomas the Engine to Dora the Explorer. You also have the brand-new Hello Kitty prints!

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What’s best is you can save by printing the coupon below from Coupons.com, to easily save $2.00 off one pack of Pampers Easy Ups in any print. Simply visit:

If you don’t have an account already, it is simple to open one up and start printing and saving.

Pampers also offers a Pampers Reward Program where you can get the latest information on current and upcoming products, savings and more. Let Pampers Easy Ups make the most of everyday for you and your child.  Make sure to connect with Pampers below via all the social links provided.  *Hint this will also get you ready and set for the giveaway!

 

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Pampers Easy Ups work and I can depend on knowing they are soft and comfortable for your toddler but at the same time when accidents happen, I can quickly remedy the situation and get back to potty training.  It’s from the elastic to the absorbing pads that make you and your toddler not be discouraged by an oops and a child can easily take control of their potty training by being able to easily pull down and up the training pants.  There is the reason why certain brands like Pampers becomes the go-to brand for many parents.

 

 

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Training Tips by Dr. Tanya Altman, a 14 year Pediatrics doctor with a busy practice in Calabasas, California:

Remember to make it fun to remain it being a positive experience.  Encouragement can come in many ways from placing the Pampers Easy Ups in their own drawer, as you would do with normal underwear.  This gets your toddler excited on the changes taking place.  Patience is key and that means for both the parent and the child.  Rushing potty training when the experience is still new and unfamiliar, is not best. Not all kids are ready at the same age but usually you start training between the age of 2 and 3.  Some kids may even show signs they are ready to begin, which is always a plus!  This can come in wanting to go potty like the bigger kids to how parents do.  This is where having a training pants like Easy Ups from Pampers helps.  A toddler can easily pull off and on Easy Ups, just like real underwear.  This helps in also alerting an adult a child needs to use the restroom. Being able to communicate is key and that means each child will have a way to inform a parent they need to go, so see what signs your kid gives.  Teaching them how to use the potty themselves is again another milestone they can achieve as they train.  Reward systems help, from a sticker, a song to a dance.  This lets your child know they are doing well and remember accidents happen.  You begin again and it is not something you discipline over because again potty training should be kept positive!

 

 

*****Giveaway Details*****:

Giveaway for a #PampersEasyUps prize package, which will include:

  • $50 AMEX Card
  • Pampers Easy Ups
  • Ilana Wile’s book, “The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting”

All you have to do to enter is-

  1. Please comment on this Blog post and share this blog post via Twitter (retweet)
  2. Follow Pampers via Facebook and Twitter.  
  3. That is all!

 

I even make it easy and you can use the Twitter button below that automatically completes the tweet, just add @Pampers.

Or copy and paste this- @Pampers : New Easy Ups Review, Coupon and Gift Card #Giveaway #PampersEasyUps #Sponsored http://wp.me/p2B5Rd-2k7

Giveaway ends on October 4th and winner will be notified that same day.  I will need the winner’s contact information by October 6th to provide to the sponsors.  Winner’s full name, address (no PO Boxes), Pampers Easy Ups size/gender, and a phone number for shipping purposes will be needed. Only one unique giveaway winner per giveaway allowed.  Thank you and good luck!!

 

Connect with Pampers at:

 

This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Pampers Easy Ups. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.  #Sponsored

 

Valentia: New Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask #Review #ValentiaBeauty

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Valentia skin care is a brand I have shared before and one of the aspects that I appreciate about the brand, is they innovate. The skin care line has zero opportunity of growing stale, boring, or not offer the user the latest and newest. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want good skin care formulas changed if they work, but I also want a company like Valentia to keep searching and offering us ingredients that perform better. This keeps my skin looking better and better every year!

Valentia, has introduced a new clay based mask. I love clay and mud based masks but some tend to dehydrate my skin a little too much. This mask differs from the usual 15 minute packets you pick up at the drug store. You have properties that detoxify congested pores but do not over dry them, which tends to make the pores then over produce sebum….the yuck stuff you started to want to get rid of in the first place. Valentia then took it another step further by adding ant-aging ingredients like CoQ10 and even Spirulina (that green stuff I eat), which helps not only with hydration but with regeneration. Talk about feeding your face (but in a good way)!

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Ingredients:
Deionized Aqua (Water), Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera), Kaolin clay, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), GlobulariaCordifolia Callus Culture Extract (plant stem cells), PalmitoylOligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetapeptide-7, UndariaPinnatifida Cell Culture Extract, Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Hibiscus Fibers, Cranberry Fibers, Sodium Magnesium Silicate, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Cellulose Gum, Purified Smectite Clay, Cranberry Fragrance, HaematococcusPluvialis extract (Astaxanthin), Organic Rosa Canina (Rosehip Seed Oil), WildcraftedPanax Ginseng, Wildcrafted Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea), ArctostaphylosUvaUrsi (Bearberry), Organic VacciniumMacrocarpon (Cranberry extract), Organic Viola Tricolor (Violet), WildcraftedPrunusVirginiana (Wild Cherry), PunicaGranatum (Pomegranate), VacciniumAngustifolium (Blueberry), Citrus Limon (Lemon Essential Oil), Organic Rheum Palmatum (Rhubarb), Phenoxyethanol, Ethyl Hexyl Glycerin, Spirulina Maxima (Spirulina), MacrocystisPyrifera (Kelp), VitisVinifera (Grape Seed Oil), Organic CentellaAsiatica (Gotu Kola), Wildcrafted Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), WildcraftedTaraxacumOfficinale (Dandelion), Wildcrafted Geranium Maculatum (Wild Geranium), Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Polysorbate 20, Sucrose Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Lecithin, Tocopherol.

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Retail Price Point: $25.00 via Amazon or on Valentia’s site.  On Valentia’s site, the product would be 35% cheaper if you use the promo code provided below.

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Verdict:
I expected another clay mask that just would help keep my skin clear and bright. I used the mask twice a week and found it not only gentler to my face than like kind masks on the market, I explored further and started treating other areas, like my chest and back. Not only is Summer here even though it’s been cloudy in Southern California. I see this as an opportunity to get “beach ready” (well, more like pool ready) skin a little sooner than needed. My chest tends get over dry from the chlorine water and the sunscreen does not hydrate my skin, more like suffocates it. There is a huge difference with something smothering your skin with oils and protection needed to not burn, but this does not equate moisture. I need something to get me back to square one…..sort of a reboot for my skin. I have doing outside projects and two places have been getting the brunt of the sun, my back and my waist, you know that area where your shirt lifts a little and I get my yearly tanned colored stripe that tends to be darker than the rest of me! My back began to have little clogged pores by day two of applying sunscreen and doing “the good girl” thing of reapplying every 2 hours. My back had it, so when I put the Valentia detoxifying clay mask on my face, I went ahead and put what was left on my hands, on my shoulders. Waited 20 minutes and rinsed. The first thing I noticed, no itch. My skin gets itchy when I take clay masks off, heck it gets itchy some times before and I the only way of fighting that annoyance, is by rinsing early. It’s a reaction to over dryness. Yes, I then quickly try to nourish my face but the next day my t-zone, which is on the oilier side tends to look dryer and even peel at times. I experienced none of those side effects with Valentia. My skin and especially the problem areas, matched the rest of the “normal skin”. The red bumps on my shoulders also never bloomed to fully clogged pores from the sunscreen. The mask does what it says, it detoxifies and replenishes! Also, Valentia was kind enough to provide a tub of the mask versus fighting with those 1 to 2 time use packets from the drug store that no matter how small I cut the opening, I always get a crazy squiggle I can never catch in time and lands straight into the sink! No waste, it works, and no funny packages. Thank you Valentia!

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Promo Alert:
From May 16th until June 1st, visit Valentia’s site (valentia.com) you can save 35% off on their products by using Reader’s Coupon Code: REFRESH35.  Code not valid on Amazon.

Connect with Valentia at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Valentia Beauty. 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 360: NEW Emergen-Zzzz™ Vitamin Drink Mix Nighttime Sleep Aidᶧ #Review #EmergenZzzz

 

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I have been taking Emergen-C for many years and my family and I have always been happy with how well the product performs. Emergen-C keeps things fresh by always adding new flavors and new benefits.

Nothing has changed from the Energen-C product but the company has introduced a new one, their Emergen-Zzzz Vitamin Drink Mix that has the added benefit of a nighttime sleep aid. The product helps you fall asleep, plus is a supplement. I’ve gone from Emergen-C giving me benefits in the daytime to now also the nighttime as well.

I was eager to try the new product but since it arrived mid-afternoon, I had to wait until nighttime!

I tried the product and it’s the same idea as the original when it comes to preparing. You simply open the packet, mix with water and then enjoy. Each packet is only about 25 calories, so midnight caloric intake won’t be an issue. The new Emergen-Zzzz vitamin drink with sleep aid comes in two flavors to choose from:

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  • Berry PM

Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Manganese, Sodium, Potassium and Melatonin

Other Ingredients: Fructose, Citric Acid, Maltodextrin. Contains <2% of: Acacia, Fruit & Vegetable Juice Concentrates (Cherry, Raspberry, Beet) (color and flavor), Malic Acid, Natural Flavors, Silicon Dioxide, Sucrose, Tartaric Acid, Tocopherols (to preserve freshness).

 

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  • Peach PM

Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc, Manganese, Sodium, Potassium and Melatonin.

Other Ingredients: Fructose, Citric Acid, Maltodextrin, Peach Juice Concentrate (color and flavor). Contains <2% of: Acacia, Beta-Carotene (color), Corn Syrup Solids, Malic Acid, Natural Flavors, Silicon Dioxide, Stevia Leaf Extract, Sucrose, Tartaric Acid, Tocopherols (to preserve freshness).

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Retail Price Point: $9.99 for a 24-count box and I have attached a coupon below to sweeten the deal.  You can also get a free sample here.

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Verdict:

The flavors are both a hit but the one thing I disliked, is that the peach has corn syrup solids.  Not something I expected or desire to intake and especially in a sleep-aid.  I do however enjoy the flavor and like with all other Emergen-C products, if the Emergen-Zzzz is too strong, you just add more water for a lighter tasting drink.  The product did help in getting me to sleep, which resulted in my own experience waking up more rested and relaxed.  I sort of forgot what it was to rest and this sleep aid did help me in that department.  I also was awake and experienced zero drowsiness when I had to start my day.  No one wants to drag in the mornings!  It worked for me and it’s mild, so I can see taking this on occasion to get to sleep.

Connect with Emergen-Zzzz at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Emergen-C/Emergen-Zzzz and Smiley 360 .  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 360: TAZO® Iced Tea Concentrates #Review #TazoTea

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I have featured Tazo Teas on here several times and every time a new product is released, it never disappoints. It’s one of those products I will always venture and give them a try without waiting for feedback because I have become able to trust the Tazo Tea brand.

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Tazo’s newest release is the Iced Tea concentrates that come in tea bag form and also in their liquid state (large carton). The Iced Teas come in several varieties to choose from:

  • Iced Peachy Green
  • Iced Sangria Black
  • Iced Passion
  • Iced Blushberry Black
  • Iced Citrus Bliss
  • Iced True Black
  • Iced Lemongrass Green

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  • The Iced Peachy Green has a nice green tea flavor, which is more towards the mellow side with the fruity notes being the focus. You have a touch of spearmint and a zing from the ginger with almost a sweet Georgia peach finish. I loved it from the first sniff because just how the blend smells will pull you in. I have tried this tea both in cold and warm because a girl sometimes can’t wait. I also love the relaxing feeling the ginger provides and the accent ingredients like the spearmint are just there to compliment and not overpower the peachy green tea party!

 

  • Iced Passion is my all time favorite. I love hibiscus based teas and this little red ruby beauty not only delivers in vibrant color but also in taste. This tea I found more powerful, which is a good thing because a little goes a long way. You have a tropical fruit flair going on, so think of pineapple and oranges. Perfect for summer weather and because it’s an herbal blend, I can even enjoy a perfect cup in the hot late summer nights. You also get a nice flowery scent from the rose hips that just make the perfect bouquet with the Hibiscus!

 

  • The Iced Sangria Black tea sings to my Spanish heart. Finally, a Sangria tea that has those real flavors I associate with the drink. You have the citrus flavors that go so well with the black tea’s base. Just a touch of spice from the cinnamon and again a little sweetness from an apple this time. Sweet and simple is how I describe this blend and also perfect!

 

  • The Iced Blushberry Black tea is my second favorite. It’s a berry blast and you have a dark raspberry that compliments the black tea notes nicely. It’s almost like a dry wine in how it feels when you drink this blend. You then have huckleberry and strawberry. This is not your usual boring berry blend, this one has life and is so refreshing. You smell the sweetness of the fruit when it begins to brew and when cooled, you get a nice snap from the berry mix. I love it because like I mentioned it’s not the typical berries being used, and I love black teas! This one also has hibiscus but not as powerful in flavor as it is the Iced Passion blend.

 

Retail Price Point: $2.99 for the box and this item comes with 6 filter bags, where each bag provides a pitcher worth of tea. You can also opt for the concentrate and skip the brewing. I also found the Keurig Tazo cups for $11.99 and that box yields 16 k-cups. Keep note like the Sangria Black version only comes in the concentrate carton and not made in the boxed tea bags one.  I also attached a coupon link to sweeten the already great deal.

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Verdict:
The Tazo teas are too good for the price point (shhhhh, don’t tell Tazo). I saw $2.99 and thought what the heck am I getting here and I just have started to hoard these teas. I drink them both hot and cold. I have a one cup brewing system and I just measure out between 1/2 a teaspoon or more if desired and it makes the perfect cup. There are days I want a lighter tea and I can dilute the amount I brew and I am set. Being able to drink these teas how I wish makes it work for me. I get bored drinking the same blends but these are so unique and a flavor all their own, that I must start and end my day the Tazo way. For the price your pocket book will be happy and your taste buds will not be disappointed. If you don’t find your flavor, blame me because I love these teas so much that the fear of them not being made (like in forever) sets in. I think once I have 50 boxes of the flavors I love, I will then leave you some 🙂

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Tazo Teas and Smiley360.  I am not obligated to provide a positive or favorable review, just my honest opinion.  My review is based on my experience with the product and/or brand, which may differ from yours.

BzzAgent: Silk Cashew Milk #Review #SilkCashew

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Non-Dairy milks are not foreign to me and especially enjoy the nut based versus the soy ones. My favorite has been a toasted Coconut and Almond blend I have been enjoying, however when BzzAgent offered the new Silk Cashew milk, I was eager to give it a try.

Silk’s Cashew Milk comes in a carton and is located in the refrigerated section. You see a huge cashew nut, which gets you thinking you will taste the cashew when you try it. I would say that is not what I got when I tasted the milk on it’s own. It’s more closely to soy milk versus any nut milk I have tried. I know cashews have buttery notes and that was not present. I even bit into an unsalted cashew to make sure I had not momentarily forgotten what the nut tasted like. The milk is also thicker in consistency and this is not a natural effect, but more from the emulsifiers and thickeners added. As the product ages, I also found that it tasted less enjoyable. It sort of just tastes like if you took tapioca and blended it finely. I like tapioca and I like cashews, but unsure the Silk Cashew milk delivered what I expected. I tried the product with cereals, granola, fruit to even chocolate and the latter sort of added at least some more flavor and helped disguise the texture, so it’s more a product that I would consider as an add-on. Add it to chocolate to have a healthier chocolate blend. Would be great with whey protein shakes and the such because it’s also not as nutritious as you would want on it’s own. Not high on protein at all…..like less than 1 gram per serving. Yes, it’s only 25 calories for 1 cup but if it were not for the added vitamins and minerals that were added after, it’s not that high. You get 160 mg of sodium and 45% of your daily calcium, which is sourced from the calcium carbonate added. If you buy the unsweetened version, you get 0 grams of sugar but if you purchase the “original”, you get 7 grams. The product is advertised as creamy and I associate the texture more as thick but from the Locust bean, not the nut itself. I think it falls in being a middle of the road product where you could find better nut milks that offer a higher nutrition value and flavor, but if you want a little bit of change, you can try the Cashew milk by Silk.

Ingredients: (Unsweetened version) Cashewmilk (Filtered Water, Cashews), Sea Salt, Locust Bean Gum, Almond Butter, Sunflower Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Gellan Gum, Ascorbic Acid

VITAMINS & MINERALS: Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Gluconate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Riboflavin (B2), Vitamin B12, and Vitamin D2.

Retail Price Point: $2.32 at Target for a 64 ounce carton was the lowest price-point I could find. You can also use a coupon here.

I did find a place for Silk’s Cashew milk and that is in baking.  The product has a good amount of thickeners and because it’s better tasting than water, you at least can replace some of the product with Silk’s Cashew milk where water is called for.  I baked my usual non-dairy chocolate cake with it and added Cocoa powder and coffee, which I steeped in hot cashew milk.  The recipe called for 1 cup of water or left-over coffee, so why not go with something more flavorful.  The other positive that is hard to pass up, the price point.  Super cheap at Target where a large carton can be found and if you add a coupon, the cashew milk price makes the product taste sweeter!  The only limitations at Target is that you can usually find the original and unsweetened version.  My two Targets did not stock the chocolate or vanilla so far.  Now, I love Silk Chocolate milk, so I’m curious about that version!

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Connect with Silk Cashew Milk at:

I received the above product(s) free of charge from BzzAgent and Silk.  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.

 

 

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