The ALL NEW Farm Fresh To You: A Fruit and Vegetable Subscription Box Service #FarmFreshToYou #Review and #Recipe

Farm Fresh

Farm Fresh To You, is not my usual subscription box that is filled with beauty related products but in some ways this one is too. Think of this Organic box as a Veggie and Fruit delight filled with food that will definitely aid in not only wellness, health, but beautifying you from the inside out. Let’s not even overlook that I absolutely love vegetables and fruit. I get excited and I’m one of those people that says, “look at that ___________, it’s gorgeous and I then start filling a produce bag like it’s going to sell out that second. ¬†I try to purchase Organic when possible, as long as the produce looks good, is not overly priced and easy accessible. I hunt everywhere and most times lose track of how big the fridge is when I’m stuffing Lacinato Kale bundles in the dairy case. I’m not a juicer and truly just love how vegetables and fruit taste like. I will purchase the unknown produce item, google it in the car, and then have plans for what I’m going to make by the time I get home. I’m a believer of not, “knocking it until you try it”, and this is when I was so fortunate in being able to try Organic produce delivered to my home by Farm Fresh To You.

This is how the Service Works:

You have boxes that fit your cooking, eating to family size to choose from. Don’t like a vegetable or fruit offering? You simply can exchange the product for another by using the allotment (amount you are spending on the box of your choice) to replace that selection. Simple! Some items are harvested in limited numbers, so I did find a few items I could not add more of but sharing is something I do well and I like that customization is available and user friendly when ordering.

You can order from the Boxes below and this is with delivery included pricing:

  • Mixed Fruit & Veggie Boxes– that range from $26 for the Small (1-2 people) to the Monster Box (6+ people) for $58.00
  • Traditional CSA Boxes– is for produce that only comes from their own farm and neighboring partner farms. You can pick a Regular Box (2-4 people) for $33 or the More Box (4-6 people) for $46.00
  • No Cooking Boxes– Options that fit the busy person and have items that are easily made or quick to grab and eat while on the go. A Small Box (1-2 people) is $26 and you have Regular Box (2-4 people) for $33 and the More Box for (4-6 people) for $46.00
  • Fruit Only– 100% fruit and you have a Small for $26, Regular for $33 and More for $46.00
  • Veggie Only Boxes– If you are Pro-Veggies 100%, you can opt for this selection. This one has two choices, the Regular Box (2-4 people) and the More (4-6 people) for $46.00
  • Organic Snack Pack– Like I said, no excuses and this service gives you the option for healthier and better tasting packs that range from $35 for the Mini and serves 5 office people, to the Large for $110 and serves 30 people.

Each area has a delivery day, so it depends which zone you fall in on what day of the week they deliver. Mine was Friday but the best part, they deliver between the hours of 8PM on Thursday and 8AM on Friday. Yup, you wake up to surprises and what a great way to end a week. You can even prep meals on the weekend to eat better and tastier next week. You can also add other items like fresh eggs, local honeys to nuts and other treats.

What did I Order:
Okay, I have to start by saying that it’s just my Husband and I (and a dog) and we eat fresh as much as possible. I rarely open a can in this house and it’s usually to do a shortcut meal when using beans or roasted tomatoes. I love to cook and I love to change my weekly meals, so eating fresh fits us nicely and it’s just hard to get off it once you eat everything with texture and flavors intact. With that said, I went for the Monster Box from the Mixed and Veggie selection. I then again have one of those moments where the pictures get the best of me and I added more to my box. I ended up with a total of $59.35 and the box retails for $58, but I got what I wanted. I did change my selection like lowering the count of Gala apples from 10 to zero and adding Honeycrisp, plus changing items so I could add Purple Bell Peppers and so on.

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When it Arrived:
I am not ashamed but I pretended I was catching up on my DVR when I was really just stalking my door. Farm Fresh To You delivered at 1:16 AM and not even a dog barked. The delivery person kindly placed two brown colored boxes by our gate and they were cold to the touch. The employees wear a bright colored vest and even the white truck’s engine was in “shhhhh mode”. If it was not for my “ninja at midnight” ways, I would have heard zilch.

My box was outside for 3 minutes. Hey, I had to first announce, “it’s here….it’s here, I’m not waiting for you (to my half asleep Husband) and I’m getting them”. It took energy and one minute longer to find my sandals because I was not stepping outside in my slipper socks ūüôā

  • Box #1- Bartlett Pears, Ruby Crescent Potatoes, Honeycrisp Apples, Nantes Carrots, Broccoli, Assorted Lettuce, Red Pomegranate, Gypsy Peppers, Black Grapes, and Hass Avocado

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  • Box #2- Valencia Oranges, D’ Anjou Pears, Baby Bok Choy, ¬†Celery, Lacinato Kale, Asian Pear, Mixed Medley of Cherry Tomatoes, Purple Bell Peppers, and Zucchini

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The four items I was eager to use from the boxes were the Medley of Cherry  tomatoes, the Purple Bell Peppers, the Gypsy Peppers and those adorable Ruby Crescent potatoes.

  • Rustic Sausage, Potatoes and Vegetables

Rustic cooking for us is cooking with what we have at hand and what comes to mind. ¬†Simplicity at its best and you measure ingredients by your mood and cravings, no rules and let the flavors shine! It’s about enjoying each ingredient and not drowning it out.

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I decided to make a nice rustic dish of peppers, onions, tomatoes and sausages.  I used an Organic Chicken based sausage that was made with Sweet Basil and Roasted Garlic.  The sausage is pre-cooked but frozen.  I cut the larger potatoes in half and left the smaller ones as-is.  Added roughly chopped Green and Red Bell peppers, white onion, Italian Cubanelle Pepper and few garlic cloves.  I tossed everything with Olive Oil, salted, added dry tarragon, blacked cracked pepper, and dry lavender.  I cooked covered on the roasting setting (425 degrees) for 20 minutes.  This is to allow the potatoes to get a head start cooking and my frozen sausage to defrost.

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After 20 minutes have lapsed, simply add the softer and more delicate peppers, like the Gypsy and Purple ones, plus the tomatoes and toss with melted butter and parsley.  Remove the defrosted sausages.  The butter and veggie mix gets added and mixed to the previous semi-cooked contents.  You toss and cook uncovered for 5 minutes.  Then add the sausages back.  I left the 2 chicken based ones whole and then sliced a (pre-cooked) pork Italian one to give the dish that added flavor.  Cook another 25 to 30 minutes uncovered, or until potatoes are tender. Two minutes before taking the dish out, I tossed the fresh Rosemary t0 give the dish a slight hint of flavor and aroma from the herb.

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I then served the dish with a little cheese on top and a nice crusty loaf of bread.

This code gives you $15 off your first box!

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

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MomsMeet: Organic Nutiva Hazelnut Spreads and Buttery Coconut Oil #Review #Nutiva

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Hazelnut spreads are my weakness and when I saw that Nutiva actually makes both a classic chocolate blend and a dark chocolate……I knew what I would be baking up storm with this season (and the next). Nutiva, took the (my) hazelnut spread addiction a step further, by providing us with an organic option. This is a game changer as finding just natural products is difficult with these spreads and most contain artificial ingredients to even nasty ones that take the enjoyment of indulging away. This is why I stopped eating what I enjoyed so much as a kid. Hazelnuts are my favorite and you combine chocolate with them, well it’s a perfect marriage. I always wished they made a dark chocolate variety but in the end, I just kept wishing they added less sugar and sweet syrups to the spreads! My hazelnut spread was slowly lost as time went by and when the company was sold to another food company, I lost any hazelnut or even chocolate flavors that remained. I started just calling it the brown spread. Sort of sounded gross but it summed up how I felt about what I had lost.

 

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Nutiva comes in and saves the day…..heck, my childhood memories. My mind is running with ideas from truffles to cakes made with their spread. I was worried that I was building up the idea and would open up the jar to just find sadness. Nutiva was very generous with the kit they sent and I received:

 

Verdict:

 

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When it comes time to purchase coconut oils, I always resort to Nutiva as my go-to brand. The brand has never failed me when it comes to quality ingredients and they are constantly innovating the brand with the new products they added. Everything is always a must buy after I have tried it once. You can’t say that about many brands out there. Nutiva’s selection may not be as grand as others but knowing that what you are buying is not only made with premium and clean ingredients, you also know that it will taste good. I am all about eating well and organic when possible, but the taste and texture has to be there for me. I don’t like the idea of “eating good” but not being happy about what I am eating in the first place. Nutiva has made me a fan of coconut oil to now being able to add their Organic Buttery one to the mix. I was already at times mixing unsalted butter with my coconut oil in the first place but now I won’t have to. The best part, you taste butter but it’s not there. Nutiva managed to use sunflower to create this genius concoction. I assumed the butter was there when I cooked and ate a pasta dish I made but while eating, I started reading the bottle and noticed this is a “butter alternative”, not actual dairy. It’s even Vegan friendly! Pure genius and I will definitely be purchasing this mix again.

 

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Next comes the Hazelnut spreads. Um, they are back and can I even admit to being better than before? I taste hazelnut again. That was gone after my third jar of trying and I bought the third bottle from another brand by telling myself maybe the other 2 jars were bad batches. You know, made on a Friday at the factory and everyone wanted to leave early kind of batch. Cocoa is the second ingredient followed by Palm and then the nut! No skimping here and I feel the spread is smoother not only in taste but texture. No grainy or oily feel when consumed. The quality of the chocolate is present and no rancid weird taste of what I call “fillers” when not only hazelnuts are used. There is a reason the hazelnut and chocolate combination has been a hit for generations. It works and Nutiva did not mess with that. I finally can have my spread and they listened to me even though I never said anything directly to them, but like some magic Nutiva lowered the sugar. Yup, by 40% less than the leading brand. This is why the power of the chocolate and hazelnut is what you get at every bite……finally, less freaking sugar. I am not anti-sugar but like salt, just a touch so you can still taste the actual ingredients you want. There is also many advantages buying Nutiva’s spread where you get Omega-3 (450 mg), Fair Trade Palm oil, to Organic and a Gluten Free product. Anyone can eat this because the goal was to make the best hazelnut spread with the best ingredients and this is why (and others) agree that so far Nutiva has beat the competition by a huge margin!

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

 

Luv Michael: Locally Sourced Organic Granola that Gives Back #Review #LuvMichael #LuvMichaelCo

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Being a yogurt lover sort of makes me a granola junkie. I love that crunch combined with nuts and fruits that tends to take the bore out of my geek yogurt. In other words, granola is what adds happiness to any cup of plain yogurt. As granola became more and more popular, many companies sort of got off the beaten path of just oats and sweeteners. Many add other ingredients like Chia seeds to Hemp and antioxidant rich berries like Acai to Cocoa nibs, plus your typical nut blends. Even the sweeteners have changed. Honey is no longer the only thing that bonds the clusters. I have seen from agave to rice derived sugars that really anymore we really have so many choices. Like with everything, being able to siphon out the fakers as I call them is really the only thing to watch out for.

 

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In comes Luv Michael granola, which took the approach of not only making a “cleaner” product but also took the challenge of making changes happen with the products they produce. They contribute back and not just to your taste buds. Luv Michael is a company that invests in people with Autism, just like it’s founder Michael Kessaris. They produce a gluten free product with natural derived ingredients. Foods that benefit many with autistic symptoms. Luv Michael then again took a step further and when the company started with aid from his parents, they employ from the community people with same challenges. Talk about giving back in every way possible and this is why I took interest in such a company. Many companies give back but very few really take their mission to heart like Luv Michael has. The company and it’s members went full circle in every way possible to create not only a welcoming environment for autistic adults but one where they can help contribute and distribute a product for everyone.

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Verdict:

Like I stated being a a self proclaimed granola junkie means I have tasted many combinations and overly elaborate mixes. Many have been great and others just stop being granola and more like trail mixes when you really look at the combos. Finding an original one or what I call plain variety is what is really hard to find. So many even add chocolates to their mixes that a snack turns into a dessert at one point or even an ice cream topper. My hunt for a good plain granola was starting to look murky until I found the company Luv Michael. First of all, finally a resealable package! Air is great for humans but very mean to granola. Some goes stale while other gets sticky when exposed to air for any amount of time. Mostly because of all the sugars and other non-granola ingredients making a simple thing not so simple. The granola from Luv Michael has even a cute name, Originola. Each packet is 2 ounces and masterfully done by not just chefs but Granologists. They use natural and organic ingredients and the end result is a not super sweet but plenty crunchy granola. The oat clusters are decent in size and not just what I call granola dust, when a product has been over processed or worse, those tooth breaking granola boulders. Each package contains perfectly sized chunks that you can enjoy as-is or pair it up with yogurt if you so desire. There is care in how everything is made at Luv Michael and that really is seen in the appearance of the product but more importantly, in the taste! Not super sugary but enough to add some brightness to a breakfast mix or snack. I really liked the oats used because they did not taste like they had been packaged on a shelf for months. There is freshness here and care. Luv Michael has captured what was lost and that is making one awesome plain granola mix that is rare to find anymore. A throwback to what use to be easily found before and from a girl that missed the plain original……she is very glad to count on Luv Michael to fill that knitch for her.

 

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Luv Michael Company. 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.

Social Nature: Organic Guru Energy Drink #Review #GuruEnergy

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When I think of energy drinks, the last thing I associate with them is real ingredients. So many are filled with ingredients and proprietary blends, which not only stimulate a burst of energy, but you come down crashing as fast as the energy lasted. I began just avoiding them five years ago but there are days where I was dragging and even the red colored bull was an item I went after when coffee failed me. I started now looking for better drinks that increase endurance with a slash of energy, just to make Mondays a little easier to deal with when I just can’t seem to start the week off right. Some of the drinks I pick now have ingredients like teas to even chia seeds.

In comes Guru drinks, they offer an organic alternative rather than a science experiment in a can. Guru also is only 115 calories for a 12 ounce can with 30 grams of sugar. I was also able to locate the cans easily at my local Sprout’s Farmers Market but I noticed you can purchase directly from the company or even via Amazon. Guru is not only certified Organic but GMO free, gluten free and even a Vegan friendly drink. But does it deliver the energy you need and desire like it’s other rivals?

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Ingredients: sparkling water, organic cane sugar, organic white grape juice, citric acid, apple acid, natural flavors, organic green tea leaf extract, organic guarana seed extract, organic echinacea flower extract, organic panax ginseng root extract.

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Verdict:
I put the can in the fridge overnight to have it cool and ready for the next day. I start hitting that wall at around 2:00 in the afternoon and decide to give Guru a try. I open the can and the sniff test is okay and not unpleasant. I decide to give it a try and this not only where the drink failed me. It tastes like cough syrup and not really good, even though I at least enjoy that the drink is cold on a very hot day. I continue to drink Guru and it has a bad aftertaste, that lingers and also thickens your saliva. That medicinal taste just intensifies the more I drink it and I try to not even hold the drink in my mouth because it even makes my gums taste weird. Not great when it came to flavor but if it gives me energy, I tend to be one of those people that can overlook taste a bit if the product works. I wait 30 minutes, nothing. Another hour passes and the taste is at least starting to go away or maybe I am getting use to it. Oh, Guru is an energy drink……and I have none. Twelve ounces of phlegm giving drink that goes against the mindset that if the taste is like medicine, it should do the opposite of thickening it. After some coughing, clearing of throat and so forth, the energy never hit me or even knocked on the door. I would have taken even one hour of reward after drinking 12 ounces of Guru but the Guru isn’t the giving kind. At $2.50 a can and it was on sale at Sprout’s, I can’t see buying it when other drinks with less volume provide at least some energy, even if you crash after. You add the poor taste and I have felt more refreshed after drinking cold water on a hot day and that never thickens my saliva.

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

Valentia : True Glow Eye Cream #Review #ValentiaBeauty

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Next on the Valentia beauty line, comes the True Glow Eye Cream for review. I use eye creams and serums on a daily basis and twice a day because I find this area tends to reflect signs of aging sooner than the rest of my face. My goal is to always keep this area hydrated and moisturized at all times because of this!

Valentia’s True Glow Eye Cream comes in a glass bottle with a pump action top. The product advertises as being an Intense Corrective Eye treatment, which not only works as a preventing regimen but also aids with current issues. The eye cream helps with:

  • Reducing Fine lines and Wrinkles
  • Restoring Radiance by helping repair and nourish the delicate skin around our eyes
  • Hydration from oils to Anti-inflammatory ingredients to reduce puffiness that may further diminish the appearance of aging skin.
  • Tightening the area around the eye by aiding with elasticity and targeting dark circles. which can make a person look tired and cause an irregular skin tone/color effect to the area.

Ingredients (as listed on the package):

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Retail Price Point: $25.00 via Amazon for a 1.18 ounce glass bottle with a pump action top.

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Verdict:
I always give myself about 3 to 4 weeks when it comes to trying any beauty creams and serums. I need to know if the effects I experience belong to the product I am testing or they are just the remaining benefits from the one prior. I can then also get an idea how well a product performs! The first week of trying the eye cream from Valentia, I noticed the product tends to linger longer on the skin than my former eye cream. As much as I love quick absorbing products, my prior eye cream left no residue but also no hydrating protective layer. It would just vanish within four hours and if the day was even breezy in nature, I could feel that tight feeling your skin gets when it’s drying out too much. The True Glow Eye Cream from Valentia left a protective layer that kept my skin looking smoother longer through out the day. I used the product twice a day and experienced zero irritations from use. The thin layer allowed for make-up application after and no odd little rolled up residue balls formed hours later, or worse, when your make-up separates making it look like you forgot to blend. None of that happened! I did not notice fine line repair by week three, but I can state that the product is phenomenal went it comes to working as a prevention aid. I looked more awake because the skin in that area was smooth and naturally plump, not swollen from my seasonal allergies! My eyes water at night and when I sleep, creating what I call “teary eyes”. I get red streaks from the irritation if I forget to apply eye cream or applied a poorly formulated one. I can state the Valentia’s True Glow Eye cream prevented any red marks from setting in, so I woke up looking fresh and not like I have been weeping! This is an eye cream I would continue to use but also along with the Ultra Plumping Hydrating Mask from Valentia. These two products help each other out and I get a balanced appearance that is noticeable with this duo.

 

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

Valentia: Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask #Review #ValentiaBeauty

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When it comes to masks, I always have a plethora of what one would call dehydrating masks. Mud masks, clay masks, peeling masks, exfoliating masks, and so forth. I tend to rely on on what I apply after as my hydration and I must admit that does not always cut it. The sensitive areas around my face, like the outer edges of my forehead and around my nose, they sometimes will exhibit the stress from over cleaning my pores. Stressed skin I can recover from in a few days, but I dislike babying it while doing it, so I have been searching for a in-between system to add to me beauty regimen.

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In comes Valentia, I am familiar with the line as I tried one of their products in the past. Valentia has expanded their beauty line and added other items like the Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask and the True Glow Eye Cream, which I will be reviewing after. The Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask is what I call a “feeder mask”, it feeds your skin versus just drawing out impurities and many times that includes oils that nourish our skin. The Valentia Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask has the following key ingredients in it’s formula:

  • Aloe Vera
  • Algae Extract
  • Green Tea Leaf Extract
  • Sea Buckthorn Oil
  • Rosehip Seed Oil
  • CoQ10
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Acai Berry (used as a fragrance, so no odd perfumes to irritate the skin)
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Vitamin B5
  • Silk Amino Acid Blend
  • Frakincense Oil (active and not used for fragrance)
  • Vitamin E
  • Gotu Kola
  • and other emulsifiers and thickeners that are friendly to your skin

You read the key ingredients and they sound more like an overnight cream versus just a mask and this is where this Valentia product differs from the common OTC masks you find with mass merchandisers. This mask provides within 15 to 30 minutes a power punch of moisture, along with anti-aging properties but because the intense hydration is limited in time, people like myself that are prone to acne blemishes (aka: skin that rebels against moisture even when it needs it) need not to worry. I know, I know, you probably heard that before and then used a moisturizer that made your skin feel and look good but by day three, the bumps and blemishes win out any positive outcome you received from the moisturizing effect. This is different. Remember this is a beauty treatment, so you have to see it as a “power nap” where the exposure is limited in time but just those few minutes make a world of difference and allows your skin to get what it has been missing. I like the idea, so I was eager to see what Valentia’s new Ultra Plumping Hydration Mask could do for me.

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Verdict:
I tried the mask and because I have been using a microdermabrasion system at home once a week, I need a good amount of feed afterwards to give my “new skin” a huge welcome. I started by using the mask once a week after my treatments and figured if it made my new skin have a fit, my older skin was going to have a tantrum like no other. Nothing happened when it came to pimples, red bumps, blemishes, clogged pores, black heads, or let us just call them bumps from hell that sometimes do not even surface all the way to just be more difficult. My new skin acted like everything has always been hunky dory. Okay, so my new skin is literally a new beginning! I up my treatment to two times a week by week 3. I notice that my skin gets what I describe as a tickle when I first apply the mask but nothing like my pores are being pulled from their core like a mud or clay mask can do. I see softer skin and my pores are looking smaller, which I like because as much as I like clean pores, empty ones can look more pronounced because even the good oils have been pulled out. ¬†My skin just seems more relaxed after I use the Ultra Plumping Hydration mask from Valemtia. The Green Tea’s anti-inflammation properties really calm my skin while the hydrating key ingredients feed my skin, producing a smoother and younger appearance. I don’t go to bed with a sticky face that ends up feeding my pillow more than anything and because I can control how long I do the treatment, I can limit or prolong my hydration to fit my needs. Not something you can do with many ant-aging creams out there and I literally put on the mask, watch a show and then wash my face. Painless, and my skin looks better while I do nothing extravagant. By week 4, the biggest difference and improvement has been around my eye and cheek area. Fine lines are diminished and you know how you look fresh and smooth in the morning after washing your face (i.e. less wrinkly)? Well, that effect lasts longer thru-out the day. I look less spent and so will your pocket book because this mask just costs $25 for a 4 ounce jar! It’s a win-win for a girl that wants moisturized skin without suffering the pumps later on!

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

 

Elba Naturals: N.2 Anti-Acne/Blemish Gel Treatment #Review #ElbaNaturals

When I was in High School, I rarely had any breakouts, so I thought if I got through this stage acne free, I would be safe for life. Wrong! Around my mid 20’s, I started to get breakouts and some pretty bad ones. I changed my diet, drank more water and nothing seemed to do the trick. I then changed my make-up, washed my face more often and even changed my skin care routine and the pimples were just laughing at me. I noticed my acne breakouts fluctuated with stress and some were even connected to medications I was taking. I seized taking certain prescriptions and that help alleviate some of the worse almost cystic-like acne, but I still got breakouts here and there, so I started looking for acne treatments that could help. That ended up being a trip down the longest rabbit hole I have ever encountered! Some spot treatments actually caused more pore blockage while others were so harsh, that I would peel around any healthy skin and the pimple itself would sometimes bleed, so I graduated from having a bump to now having a bump with a scab. Scabby face is not my idea of winning especially when you get one that likes to ooze. Here I was in my mid 20s and had a face of a 13 year old. Not my idea of fun, so I started really reading ingredients and found that 25% of the OTC products work, while 75% my pimples got the last laugh.

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Remarkably, the natural route was the one I never planned on taking but when you are desperate, you will try not only homemade concoctions in addition to anything that resembles them. I found that many of the more natural products that depend on tree oils to extracts derived from plants, tended to work as a prevention measure. I could apply the product and nip most breakouts before they happened.

Elba Naturals is a company that offers a small array of skin care products that is focused on targeting problem areas from aging skin, acne treatment, to eye creams and micro-abrasion. Elba Naturals main goal is finding natural and organic ingredients that are kinder and more gentle to the skin but remain effective. Like the N.2 Anti-acne and blemish solution, which is made up of just 13 ingredients!

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Ingredients (as listed on the website):
(98% Naturally Derived/72% Organic) Ingredients: Deionized Aqua (Water), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel), Carbomer, Arginine, Wildcrafted Salix Lucida (Salicylic Acid/Willow Bark), Colloidal Silver, Eugenia Caryophyllata (Clove Essential Oil), Ethylhexyl Glycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Organic Aloe Barbardensis Leaf (Aloe Vera Extract), Organic Centella Asiatica (Gotu Kola Extract), Organic Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail Plant Extract), Organic Pelagonium Gravoleons (Geranium Extract), Organic Taraxacum Officinale (Dandelion Extract).

Retail Price Point: Currently sold-out on Amazon, but when in stock one 1 ounce bottle retails for $35.00.

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Verdict:

The directions state to apply the product twice a day for best results, so I substituted the Elba Naturals N.2 Acne product as my spot and prevention treatment. I used nothing else to fight my acne, like no washes with salicylic acid or anything else that would sway the results. When I used the product in the day time, I also tested to see how it works under make-up because this is where I usually find I am more vulnerable when it comes to breaking out. Sunscreens tend to be that friend that comes with a temperament because as much as it is needed to protect my skin, it tends to be the offender when it comes to causing my skin to get clogged pores. I won’t go out without sunscreen, so I have to deal with the results. I applied my skin care products and the Elba Naturals Acne gel treatment to areas I am prone to breakouts, the chin, side of my face and above my eyebrows. I then applied all my skin care products and cosmetics like usual. No issues with application were experienced and my foundation applied without any beading up problems¬†or anything. Through out the day, everything stayed as it did and I was happy that the Elba Natural N.2 acne product was easy to incorporate into my beauty routine. I experienced zero breakouts in my problem areas days after and I continued to use it. I found the Elba Naturals Acne gel treatment to work as well (and even nicer) than my chemical filled counterparts. What I found to be a welcoming sight, was zero peeling of the skin, both from any pimple to the healthy skin around it. It just did not dehydrate my skin like some of the spot treatments on the market tend to do so. The product may be higher in price, as mine is around $10 for a spot treatment but the gel applies smoothly and a very thin film is all that is needed, meaning this product will last longer than a tube of equal size. The gel comes in a brown tinted bottle to help keep the key ingredients effective and because it’s a gel that dries clear, I am not highlighting my acne blemishes with a white cream that even though says dries transparent on the tube…..it never really does. So, Elba Naturals not only was kinder and effective, but it actually works really well at preventing and I prefer avoiding a pimple than trying to just find a solution at treating every bump. I’m all about having the bumps not happen in the first place!

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

Horizon Dairy: Super Squeeze Snacks made with Organic Milk and Fruit in Mixed Berry Burst, Strawberry Bash and Orange Blast #Review

 

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I’m always looking for snack alternatives and being that we are big on fruit and yogurt like drinks, the Super Squeeze Snack pouches were a perfect combination. Each pouch has only 100 calories and 5 grams of protein, plus 20% of your daily required calcium. A box comes with 4 pouches and each provides 99 grams (3.5 ounces) per serving. I was sent from Horizon Dairy the following flavors:

These are shelf stable snacks that have many uses from being a creamy base for fruit to even slightly freezing them. I took fresh strawberries and blueberries, mixed them with any of the Super Squeeze flavors, and slightly froze the fruit mix for 20 to 30 minutes. Just enough time for the treat to set and have a soft serve texture. Everyone loved it and with the 100 degree days we have been experiencing, this is a low calorie and protein delivering snack that will energize anyone from adults to children on a day like today! The base also makes great “mug cakes” that can be made in the microwave if you are short on time and/or energy.

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Super Squeeze in Mixed Berry Burst- Every pouch is made with real milk and fruit to create a creamy blend. Naturally flavored and this version contains Organic Skim Milk, Strawberry Puree, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin, Organic Blueberry Puree, and Citrus Acid. Simple but delicious and the product is free from artificial colors or preservatives. You get pure ingredients and by far this was our favorite. We even skipped on milk some days and added our granola based cereal to create the perfect morning fruit parfait. Best way to start the day.

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Strawberry Bash Super Squeeze- This was our second favorite flavor. This Super Squeeze contains Organic Skim Milk, Strawberry Puree, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin and Citric Acids. Natural flavors that create a perfect snack. There is no funny red or pink hue to this treat, just pure strawberries always ready on-the-go. The part that makes this a no-excuses snack, is that the squeeze needs zero refrigeration if left unopened. You literally grab it and it’s ready around your schedule. Cravings for adults (and even kids) can be curbed and you just can’t beat having a healthy snack that is just at hand’s reach with no spoon needed.

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Super Squeeze in Orange Blast¬†Think of this as a “dreamscile-like” treat. We enjoyed it and would purchase this variety even though it was not our favorite because it was still delicious. I expected a fake and unpleasant orange taste but I found myself happily disappointed because we actually enjoy real orange based products in our home. This Super Squeeze starts with the same Organic Skim Milk, Orange Puree, Organic Cane Sugar, Pectin, Citric Acid and Natural Flavors. As with all Super Squeeze products, you will notice they start with milk and right after comes the real fruit and no fillers!

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In our home, we have always been fans of Horizon and Happy the cow! ¬†Horizon makes tasty treats that can be enjoyed as much by kids and adults alike. ¬†They just make great foods with ingredients that are real! ¬†The crackers taste cheesy, peanut butter sandwich crackers are buttery and creamy, and the macaroni and cheese (especially the white cheddar) is the very best I have tasted from a box. ¬†Yeah, I thought all Mac & Cheese from a box had no love ‚̧ when it came to flavor and ingredients but Happy the Cow always delivers!

Snoopy and our favorite cow Happy have teamed up:

The Peanuts movie has united with Horizon Dairy where you could win a trip for you and your family for a “Red Carpet Experience” The movie premiere will be in Los Angeles, CA, plus there are other prizes you may be able to win. Go to: http://HorizonDairy.com/Peanuts to enter and Good Luck!

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I received the above product(s) free of charge from Horizon and MomsMeet.  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.

 

 

 

Pure Natural Miracles’ 100% Organic Raw Cacao Nibs

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I’m a fan of cacao, and have been for some time. I’ve cooked and baked with it and never had a bad thing to say about it. But until recently I never got to try raw cacao nibs, straight up. And now that I have, I’m a fan, in a big way. Pure Natural Miracles sent me a bag to try and review, and I’m delighted they did and opened my world to something new and delightful. Their marketing tactics and high-pressure approach to reviewers I’m not as big a fan of, but I won’t let that stop me from enjoying the product.

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Cacao nibs are like a mild espresso bean, full of tangy, almost bitter notes. Like a baking chocolate, it’s bereft of sugar in any form, but crunchy like a grain, or granola. You get a full, rich chocolate flavor, but no sugar, or processing, or roasting, basically anything that strips away the flavors and health benefits, like antioxidants and trace minerals that are essential to any healthy diet, plus their high in dietary fiber. These Pure Natural Miracle nibs are made from 100% pure Organic Peruvian Criollo cacao and are raw (not fermented or roasted), organic, vegan, and naturally gluten free, so they can be easily worked into any diet or diet plan. They went great with my morning “scatter”, usually some cereal and nuts, along with chia seeds, flax meal, goji berries and Greek yogurt. And while I noticed nothing out of the ordinary as far as energy, or alertness, I also saw no ill effects from consuming them daily for weeks. It was like a morning cup of coffee with my breakfast, but no caffeine dump later. They also went great sprinkled over some vanilla bean ice cream, or just a small handful on their own.

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What I’m less a fan of is, as a reviewer, I make certain promises to the companies I choose to work with. And I expect them to understand that I have many, many companies I work with every day, some regularly for years. Things get reviewed as they come in, in the order received, unless we’ve made special arrangements beforehand for an accelerated or delayed time frame. And I never, ever, let a company put words in my mouth. For good or for ill, my opinions are my own and I will not use a companies “suggested” dialog for my reviews. Whether it was Larviks Investment Group as a proxy or Pure Natural Miracles, I got the hard sell almost from jump. I didn’t appreciate the way they went about this promotion with me, and while I like the product immensely, I can only hope that they’re not the same way with regular customers.

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So in the end it’s a great product that I recommend highly and hope that give them a try. If you like coffee, or chocolate, or chocolate coffee (*drools*), then these are right up your alley.

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

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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.

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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).

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Verdict:
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!

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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.

 

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