Social Nature: Kim’s Simple Meals, Organic and Gluten-Free Homestyle Burger #Review

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I celebrate Meatless Mondays, so I am always seeking out meat alternatives being that I do enjoy meat on other days. My goal is always to get 3 days out of the week where my protein source comes from anything else but an animal. This means I have had many hits and sadly many misses. My Husband is a carnivore and there is no bringing him to the lighter side of meatless meals, so I need something that is easy to prepare while I am making two different dinners in one evening. I am all for working and cooking, if the product delivers in texture and taste,

I had seen Kim’s Simple Meals at my local Sprout’s Farmers Market, but it seems the stock never moved. The boxes even began to gather dust, so when I received the invite to try the first of two, of the Kim’s Simple Meals…..I must admit my feelings were mixed. I looked at reviews and Amazon had a 50/50 ratio when it came to positive versus negative reviews. It took a while to get the coupon for the free product, and in that time Amazon dropped all the products and just carried the Breakfast Sausage from Kim’s Simple Meals. Sprout’s continued to support the brand and when the coupon arrived, finding it was a cinch.

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Kim’s Simple Meals differs from other products like it. So many use soy protein heavily and artificial boosters to gather a protein number worthy of advertising. Kim’s Simple Meals are Gluten-Free and Vegan Friendly, so no animal anything in this. Ingredients are also Organic, Kosher and Non-GMO friendly. Then there is other factors like these burgers being Dairy-Free. Lot’s of “free from” products and I worried if this meant free from flavor or even texture. The box states burger, so I expect a burger-like product.

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Ingredients: Oats*, garbanzo bean flour*, flax seed*, yeast flakes* (yeast autolysate* with rice flour* and sea salt), sea salt, tamari powder* [(soybeans*, salt), maltodextrin*, and salt], garlic powder*, spices*, onion powder*, dutched cocoa powder*, tomato powder*, natural smoked torula yeast, natural hickory smoke flavor [potato maltodextrin, natural hickory smoke flavoring, hydrated silicon dioxide (anti-caking agent). *Organic  .  Soy ingredients is listed and I noticed it comes from the Tamari Powder.

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Verdict:
As you can see, this is not a soy filled product that can sometimes cause bloat and discomfort. Yes, you fill full but also uncomfortable. You have oats and a bean as a source of protein listed first. Next, comes other ingredients to even cocoa powder! Everything is familiar and real when it comes to the ingredients I recognize. The idea is just to hydrate the product and then make your burgers. Pretty simple. I notice water was listed and you can add ingredients to both add flavor and texture to the product. The biggest complaints I saw when it came to other reviews, was the lack of flavor and to the product being high in oats. Upon opening the box, I do agree the oats visible is higher than I desire. The video on Kim’s Simple Meals website, shows burgers being made with mushrooms, plus onions and other ingredients. You can even add walnuts it states. Barbecue sauce was another addition I saw too. So, I began to look at Kim’s Simple Meals as “starter meals”. I am not new to this method and think of quick bread boxes to even “starter sauces” you pick-up at the store. Same idea. I added red and green bell peppers, red and yellow onion, plus a medley of mushrooms. I even grated some carrots, added Edamame and I went more with an Asian style base versus an American style Burger. For me, the mix was already very far away from a Veggie Burger you get at the store or are familiar with, so why push the product into something it does not even resemble? I added a soy sauce and miso mix to create a hydrating base (water) that would not only plump the ingredients, but also add flavor. Everything was sauteed first and I then lastly added the Home-style Burger base from Kim’s Simple Meals. Okay, it smelled pleasant. I opted for small meatballs in the oven that I basted with Soy Vay, a marinade/stir fry sauce mixed with sesame oil. The house quickly filled with these smell of these Asian style meatballs and it smelled good. I basted a total of 3 times and this made the meatball move around, so it created a nice round shape versus a one-sided flat meatball. The oil allowed for a crisp exterior to build up when it was baking, and using the convection mode and baking on parchment paper, made the cooking process an easy clean up. The taste test? Well, they tasted very good and have a meaty/oatsy texture. I could not imagine using the box’s contents as-is. Like no way! It’s workable but I have to be frank, this was a boxed meal that I fixed up and these are ingredients I always have in hand, so it’s a great way to use up perishables but I am unsure if I would seek Kim’s Simple Meals burger box again. I found myself not craving it and I consider that a test when it comes liking a product. Yes, I made it work but should a product be worked up so much that it no longer resembles it’s beginning….because in the first place you read it never would? Probably not. It’s a start like I said and it’s a meal from a box that is better ingredient wise than others, but not exactly a yummy Home-style burger like it says on the box.

Connect with Kim’s Simple Meals at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from Kim’s Simple Meals and Social Nature. 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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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.

Trilane: Retinol + Vitamin C Anti-Aging Moisturizer #Review #Trilane

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Trilane is part of Healthy Directions LLC., which has an extensive line of serums, moisturizers to battle all your anti-aging needs.

I was sent a bottle of their 100% Natural Retinol and Vitamin C moisturizer. The Trilane line reflects several acting agents and the ones that stood the most, was Olive Squalane and Jojoba Esters. The rest of the ingredients are familiar from Pomegranate, Cucumber, Licorice and so forth.

  • Olive Squalane-
    Upon researching what makes this ingredient different and more powerful, I discovered that it is really just an emollient. It is also a Vegan friendly alternative as Shark Squalane is derived from their liver. I’m not a vegetarian, but the latter is not exactly something I want to purchase and much less apply to my skin…..no matter the claims. Olive Squalane provides a lightly formulated oil like substance that is rich in lipids. Much like olive oil when it comes to the beneficial properties, but you have some differences that can be felt in how the final product feels and applies. It’s thinner and provides a rich barrier, something you want to seek out because you want a moisturizer that applies thin and absorbs quickly, but leaves no oily slick behind. I tried seeing if Squalane as an individual source differed greatly when it came to nutritional properties, like is it more potent (percentage wise) but could not allocate any clinical information stating so. After pages and pages, I could only find that it penetrates (absorbs) into the skin quickly at a rate of 2MM per second when the agent is used singularly (by itself). So, it gives you an idea on why it was added to this moisturizer!

 

  • Jojoba Esters-
    Jojoba is always identified as an oil and it’s really technically a wax, but still an emollient. You have a wax that has been boiled down to produce a purer and more intensified solution. Jojoba is rich in fatty acids, so you not only get improvement in how a product applies but a richer and more nutritional formula. Due to Jojoba being close to the properties found in human sebum, you can see why it’s so “skin friendly”.

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Retail Price Point: $42.53 via Amazon, but make sure to scroll down and use the code to get a discount!  The product retails for $44.99 (with Auto-ship) via the website.

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Verdict:
The Trilane Retinol + Vitamin C anti-aging moisturizer, is simple when it comes to the properties that make-it up, so I was looking forward in trying a product that can cause less interactions, but still provide results. I tried the product for a period of 2 weeks and stopped using any alternate Vitamin C and Retinol product. I figure this was a 2-in-1 product, so let us see how it does on it’s own. While I was very happy with the moisturizer and how well it applied, distributed and absorbed, I did find I was not satisfied with the Retinol level. I have been using OTC products with 2.5% and none was declared on the package from Healthy Directions, but I did feel I needed to amp it up and decided to incorporate back my serum (containing Retinol) back by the 2.5 week point. Then I did get what I felt a better edge on keeping any fine lines at bay and I can say the Trilane line does deliver a lot of moisture and I say this again, because it put up with the weather swings we have been experiencing in Southern California. It’s been cloudy and in the 60’s to then the 80’s three days later! Trilane kept my skin’s temperaments at bay because it likes to misbehave when the weather swings like this.

Connect with Trilane and their products at:

 

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

 

 

Petunia Skincare: Derma Roller, 540 needles 1.5mm #Review #PetuniaSkincare

 

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I have come to the conclusion that not everything for skincare today comes out of a jar. Yes, you get results but not the maximum you can achieve from an at-home beauty regimen. Something is always missing and because I’m a D-I-Y gal, I try to find options that fit with my schedule and no appointments required.  So, if I have time at midnight to take care of my skin……so be it!

Petunia Skincare provides several beauty products that fit anyone’s needs from cosmetic brushes, serums, to the Derma roller they sent me. I have used at-home laser treatments that really helped to facial skin simulators, which helped me clear up my nasal passages from the vibrations more than it ever did anything for my skin, so it was great for my seasonal allergies! I never actually have used needles (except to annihilate a pimple that declared war and that is a needle) on my face. Petunia’s Skincare Derma roller is 540 needles that are ultra thin at just 1.5 mm!

 

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What do Derma Rollers Deliver:

The idea is to stimulate the skin with multiple micro-sized needles. The stimulation is deeper than a product you would just apply to the surface, so you wake-up (i.e. amp up) your production of collagen. Collagen is what we lose with time when it comes to the amount we produce, so the effect of aging accelerates. No one wants that! You won’t get rid of deep wrinkles but you can soften their appearance with time and start working at producing a skin surface that is smoother and softer. Works wonders on fine lines that are not so deep!  The stimulation also aids with circulation, which again aids with the rejuvenation process. It’s about making that clock for once speed up on how we shed old skin to produce new skin that is better looking than what we had. I’m game!

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How you Use it Matters:

It’s needles and common sense applies. You don’t roll it around like it’s a pie crust here! Think more of pasta dough and you need to follow a pattern, so you are not over rolling in certain areas and neglecting others. The Derma roller can be used on your face and body, however you avoid sensitive skin like under your eyes, lids, and so forth. After using the Derma roller, it is recommended to “feed your skin”, so this is when you use serums, creams and anything that provides a good dose of nourishment to the areas you treated. It’s easy when it comes to the regimen aspect because you only use the roller once every 3 to 4 weeks for the face and 2 to 3 weeks on the body. Petunia Skincare provides a nice illustration and detailed directions when it comes to patterns and use, so you are not going into it blind when you purchase a Derma Roller from them. If you have open skin from acne or other causes, avoid treating that area or if you develop a negative reaction. Redness will occur and I compare the redness I got to what I get from retinol, so it fades away overnight.

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Retail Price Point: $18.77 via Petunia Skincare’s website or via Amazon.  The product also comes with a Satisfaction Guarantee.

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Cleaning keeps the skin Healthy:

Like our skin, the Derma roller should be kept clean and sterile to avoid any issues. Petunia Skincare recommends a hot water rinse before every use and an alcohol/bleach disinfection after 3 to 4 sessions of use. I opted to keep things ultra-clean by using alcohol every time. Takes so little time and my skin is worth it! I did use the (diluted) bleach method after using the roller twice and when you look at the schedule for treatments, it broke down to once every 2 months for the bleach method and that was already ahead of the 3 to 4 sessions recommended by the manufacture. Be careful to not damage the needles by bending or pressing on them when cleaning the Derma roller.

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Results:

I’m 2 sessions in when using the roller and have noticed a quicker turnaround. The product’s box states the roller aids with cellulite reduction, however I have just used the product on my face and can’t report if it helps with this skin problem. I figure I start using it on my problem areas (on my body) this month. Being able to accelerate the “turn-over process” has drastically reduced my punishment regarding acne scarring, which has always gone away with me but what took maybe 2 months to diminish, now takes 3 to 4 weeks and the last week is really just a shadow (pigment color difference) that you can barely notice. So far 2015 has been kind to me when it comes to my breakouts, so unsure if that is due to the roller or my skin just decided to be nice (nah, it’s out of character) to me. You will notice firmer texture after 2 sessions if this was not a huge issue. Start early when it comes to beauty treatments has always been my motto and this is coming from a girl that never has seen a dermatologist for anti-aging anything. It pays off because I don’t mind needles but I am sort of wary of filled needles because of the adverse effects fillers and botox may have. Plus, I save money and my wallet and myself sort of prefer walking around looking a little younger minus less money!

Connect with Petunia Skincare and their beauty products at:

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.

 

 

The Japanese Konjac Sponge: Green Tea Puff Review #KonjacSponge

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I’m still on my Konjac sponge binge because they really perform so well. My skin has improved dramatically and I attribute it to being able to achieve gentle exfoliation on a daily basis, with zero irritations or adverse effects. Not all natural items agree with us, however the Konjac root really is so gentle and kind to the surface of my skin, that I can report less blemishes and just overall a better glowing complexion.

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I learned this past week that not all sponges are created equal and a few days back had to unfortunately give negative remarks to a charcoal one that did not seem it was derived from what was noted. Not this time! I can easily report that I think I found the company to stick with. You know! The company that actually uses and makes a great product that is still 100% natural……that company is, The Japanese Konjac Sponge.

First, you will see just by how the product is made, stored and shipped to the consumer that this puff is on a whole other level. The Konjac sponge is nicely crafted and larger in circumference from the other brands I have tried. I have also learned through observation on how the “milling/grinding” of the vegetable root is done really makes the difference. Those air bubbles on this sponge are small and tight, just like I want the pores on my face to be! The Japanese Konjac Sponge company also has a huge array of sponges that are infused again with 100% natural ingredients to fit your needs:

  • Bamboo Charcoal
  • Cherry Blossom
  • Green Tea
  • Pure White
  • Wild Mint
  • Citrus Fruits
  • All the above selections are also available in larger sizes for the Body.

I wish I found this company before because I was so happy with my first Konjac sponge, which I tried several months ago and that “Konjac High” started to fade when I noticed that respecting what you produce and make is not something everyone takes seriously. I started to feel the sponge was being treated as a fad and not really what it is, a product that works without gimmicks. You may see infusions to optimize performance but the base product has to be solid and The Japanese Konjac Sponge company produces one solid and great quality product that as of today, has outperformed all other brands I have tried.

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Retail Price Point: $11.65 for facial sponges and just $13.90 for the Body puffs via their website.  Visit Amazon and score this awesome sponge for $11.00!

Results:

I was kindly given the green tea version that is suitable for oily and combination skin types. My T-Zone has been acting up as the days warm up and my routinely normal skin areas have actually been more towards the dry side. On my first use, my skin is immediately evened out. The sponge feels solid in weight and balances nicely in my hand because of how well the vegetable root is packed and shaped. It’s soft on my skin and when I rinse my face, I notice I have an even skin tone and the green tea balanced my skin beautifully. I pat dry with a towel and 5 minutes later, my skin air drys and does not feel ultra-dry and stretched out, but just normal. Still soft to the touch and a nice glow but I can’t get pass the even complexion it left. I’m not blotchy and I remain like this for hours because I went with zero moisturizers to see if the green tea would dry me out. It did not!

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Ingredients: 100% Konjac Glucomannan, Japanese Green Tea Extract, and Green Clay. The product is also handmade in Japan.

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Final Verdict:

All these sponges orbit the $10 price point and some fluctuate up towards $12, with $18 being the highest I have seen. As most are $10, let me tell you that your face and safety of what you are using is worth the extra $1.65 here! The Japanese Konjac Sponge company takes care in production, they have a website that is full of information that is well written and easy for the consumer to learn how and what Konjac sponge will fit their needs. They have a web presence and coming from the girl that has tested all these 100% natural products, they are truly not all 100% equal so go with the best I have found so far, The Japanese Konjac Sponge Company.

Find the Konjac Sponge that fits your needs at:

 

I received the above product(s) free of charge from The Japanese Konjac Company.  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.

Milagrous Beauty: Natural Exfoliating Facial Massage Konjac Sponge #Review #Milagrous

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I have been very eager to try new Konjac sponges from several different companies because trying is really the only way to know what’s the difference with all the infused additions like charcoal, green tea and so forth. I also get to learn what to look for in quality because you see some sponges ranging from $10 to $18. They all claim to do the same and let’s be honest, they look the same via the computer screen.

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Konjac Charcoal sponges are usually formulated for oily complexions, acne prone to combination skin. The sponge is still like the original versions, made from the Konjac root, which is a vegetable. The vegetable’s fibers are perfect for gentle exfoliation and detoxifying the skin. The addition of charcoal helps clean out impurities that cause your typical skin problems like blackheads, clogged pores, blemishes to even controlling the oil (sebum) your skin may be susceptible to producing. Due to the product being natural and gentle to the skin’s surface, if you suffer from sensitive skin, this form of washing and exfoliating will not cause further irritation but actually calm your skin. You should see improvements in as little as 2 weeks with daily use.

I have tried the original/plain Konjac sponges, Charcoal and also a Green Tea versions prior to using the Charcoal sponge from Milagrous Beauty. I first noticed this is the first sponge that arrived in a bag versus a box like most others. The sponge is also not pre-wrapped in a plastic wrap….just sort of dancing in the bag. I notice this sponge feels lighter in weight and density (in dry form) from my other Charcoal based Konjac sponges from different manufactures. I wet the sponge and begin gently exfoliating, using a circular motion and applying light pressure. I notice that the sponge has at the center a more dense portion that feels almost like a knot but 75% of the remainder of the sponge, is not very dense at all. The bathroom’s light reflects through much easily than with other charcoal sponges I have used and this one is more a gray in color as it furthers away from that middle knot I referred to before.

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Results:
My skin does not feel too clean, so I tried a second use and notice the sponge is leaving an almost jelly like residue. I understand the charcoal and root leave a residue but I have never experienced a jelly/sticky film. I have to be super delicate in how I hold the sponge because like any wet product, it becomes softer but this one dimples and collapses badly that I am afraid to poke a nail through and shorten the life span of the sponge.

Retail Price Point: $10.00 via Amazon

The product states a shelf life of 3 years on the packaging, which lists Qingdao Fujiale Cosmetic Products Co., Ltd as the manufacture and states to refer to the “sealing” for the date it was made. None was listed or written anywhere on the packaging. Like with all my Konjac sponges, they need to dry and air out to stay clean and reduce any bacteria from producing, so most manufactures include hooks. None was included. Bacteria is bad enough for anyone’s skin and can be worse if you suffer from acne, where you may have open skin caused by pimples…….so maybe using such packaging is not the safest for the product or even user. You add that no hook is supplied and I’m willing to even make the leap that this is a refill as I use the hook I already was supplied by another company.  I was just not too satisfied seeing sponge dust at the bottom of the bag, the sponge is not well shaped/formed, and you have dead links when it comes to the companies Facebook, Twitter to the Website page they supplied as contact information.  The product did not perform like any other Konjac sponge I have used prior to this one and that is even trying to ignore the jelly like residue left on my skin.  You then take into account the price point that is identical to other manufactures where the sponges outperformed this one, so I can’t even say you pay 1/2 and get 1/2 the performance.  You still pay $10 and end up with what I call a sponge.  I just can’t recommend a product that is not consistent to what I have seen and used on the market.  Milagrous Beauty does offer a 100% Money-Back Guarantee, so this may be something to consider if you wish to try their products.

 

Connect with Milagrous Beauty when they are up and running at:

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

 

Pure Sol: The Original Konjac Facial Sponge #Review #konjacsponge

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In a beauty world that is consumed with chemicals, it is nice to find a company that takes the natural approach and especially when it comes to cleaning the very thing you are trying to keep looking it’s best, your skin!

What exactly is a Konjac Sponge-

The Konjac Sponge is made from 100 percent preservative-free konjac root. This is a root-based vegetable, which in Asia has been cultivated for it’s fibers. The root’s fibers are a perfect detoxifying and purifying agent. The fibers calm and exfoliate, creating a sponge that is delicate to sensitive skin. The Konjac root material is natural in alkaline and balances the acidity of your skin by removing impurities and oils, such as build-up from congested pores. Blackheads and acne issues are easily corrected and managed because the fiber of the root provides gentle exfoliation. No chemicals here to encourage redness, irritations, or more skin problems!

The root is naturally enriched with many minerals and vitamins but remains gentle enough for the sensitive skin suffers. The Konjac sponge provides deep-cleansing, leaving you with a natural PH balanced surface.

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Pure Sol offers a large array of Konjac sponges, with each variety addressing different needs. I was able to review the Original sponge from their product line. Their Original Konjac sponge provides the following benefits:

  • Deep Cleaning
  • Detoxifying
  • Hydrating
  • Naturally PH balances your skin and it’s safe to use on your face, neck and most sensitive areas
  • Exfoliation
  • Natural glow and softening to the skin
  • Free of Parabens, Sulfates and any chemicals

Ingredients: 100% Pure Konjac Root Fiber and the product is handmade in China.

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Retail Price Point: $10.00 for 1 sponge and 1 hook that features a suction cup

Longevity: The Original Konjac sponge provides 2 to 3 months of use and is compost friendly after use.  Pure Sol also offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee with their products.

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Directions- You simply wet the sponge until it becomes soft and gently massage in a circular motion and keeping in mind you want to apply light pressure to the skin’s surface. You want to clean and gently exfoliate your skin. You can opt to use a facial cleanser or use the sponge as-is. After use, you simply rinse and gently press the water out, then hang on the hook supplied. Make sure your sponge has proper ventilation to dry properly.

Results- I have had issues lately with make-up removers in wipe form causing irritation, so this was been getting in the way of being able to use masks or even exfoliate properly. It seems the chemicals left behind by the wipes do not play nice with this cold Winter weather, which is causing redness and even peeling around the sensitive skin near my eyes . I have been washing my face now to remove the make-up and then using the Original Konjac sponge after and once my face is cosmetic free. No issues so far and I am at the 1 1/2 month period of using this product. It’s easy to use and I love not having an excuse to not wash my face as I should, especially those days I am staying in and doing chores. I can get tunnel vision and brush my teeth but not wash my face and just splashing water doesn’t cut it! Using the sponge in this method allows me to use my masks as I need to and be worry-free if any chemicals are going to give me lizard eyes. I also found the next cheapest Konjac sponge out there for $15, so using the Pure Sol products saves me $5 without missing out on a facial sponge.

Connect with Pure Sol and their sponges at:

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

Swaggable: Immune Perfect Continuous Active Hydration/Antioxidant Moisturizer #Review #Frownies

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Oh, Frownies…….this is company that has been around for ages and has a line of products that is suppose to turn back the clock. I recall the “stickers” they would sell and you were suppose to apply them at night to achieve what they called “smoother” results because the appliques prevented you from moving your face while moisturizing. Unsure how much I move my facial muscles at night but I would think super moisturizing problem areas is a way to go minus all the sticker mess. I can see why the beauty line has changed and evolved with the times. That being said, “new and improved”, is not always the answer and especially when I feel the early versions over touted the results.

I received a small sample packet from Immune Perfect, which contained the product Continuous Active Hydration but seems now they changed the name to Antioxidant Moisturizer (so I have a former version labeled packet?). The Ultimate creation to combat wrinkles and cellular damage is then listed below the title. So does this prevent, correct, or alter my skin cells? Unsure how a facial cream could achieve such a thing and especially after breaking down the ingredient list.

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Ingredients (as listed on packet but the site listed Avena Sativa Kernel oil): Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis) (and Water Polymer Complex), Natural Vitamin E, Amino Acids, Phenols Phospholipid Complex, Cyclomethicone, Phenyltrimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Water, Soluble Melanin

1. We know Aloe and it’s moisture properties, so that one I am skipping and so far Frownies scores for not selling me mostly water even though Water Polymer Complex follows..

2. Avena Sativa Kernel oil (Whole Wheat oil) The Avena portion of the name sounds closely to the name Aveeno, and their main ingredient is delivering the power of the oats so that is why the name resembles. The oil is extracted from whole wheat oats and is rich in phospholipids and glycolipids. These membrane lipids deliver fatty acids but the good ones, not the trans fat ones. High in antioxidants, amino acids and also Vitamin E. Oat oil is very shelf stable and this is why it’s used in many beauty products. Low in cost but does hold moisture well, so a product you would be happy to find in a body lotion and/or facial cream. The ingredient will not create magic but because of it’s simple and nourishing structure, you will find that areas that may be red and/or inflamed will calm after application and hydrate. A great way to get moisture to dry and irritated skin.

3. Cyclomethicone- Is a silicone and base ingredient. Think of the base that keeps the product whipped and this is what this compound does. It keeps the beauty product blended without the need of shaking and perfect for a product that is placed in a jar versus a bottle or pump. The product never enters pass the upper living cells, so it stays suspended above and cannot enter the cell’s membrane. The molecules are too large, so the product stays on the top layer of the epidermis.

4. Propylene Glycol- Is mineral oil, an alcohol produced by fermentation of yeast and carbohydrate and considered a synthetic. It is pretty much the white bread slice in a soup, the ingredient’s job is to absorb water. Keep the product rich and at a desired consistency…..so keeps your cream, well creamy 🙂

5. Phenyl trimethicone- another silicone and this one works as a way to slow down evaporation. Think of pouring water in a bucket and how quick you would hit the bottom. Now, think if the bucket had sand! The water would take longer to reach the bottom and take longer to fade. This silicone makes sure that soft and moist feeling stays on top of your skin.

6. Phenoxyethanol a simple preservative. It kills bacteria and stabilizes the formula it is in. Frownies comes in a jar and we know how jars attract bacteria, so this is a form of antibacterial. It also helps extend the shelf life. This is also an ingredient associated with irritations……oh, and labeled as a formaldehyde-releasing preservative and also found to have neurotoxin potential.

7. Water-Soluable Melanin- As per the patent filed (1991) by John M. Pawelek and Seth J. Orlow, the melanin is also useful for providing a sun-screen to mammalian skin and hair, to treat post-inflammatory hypo- and hyperpigmentation, to tint glass and plastic, to protect industrial materials against ultraviolet damage, and as a coloring agent in foodstuffs such as coffee, tea, soda, whiskey and liquors. So this could be what colors the cream brown in frownies (as stated by them- carmel color because of the natural ingredient, water soluable melanan, that brings out your skins natural color and beauty). It may also be what may helps protect materials (your skin) from UV damage (aka- sunscreen) but who knows the SPF that is really there if any.

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Verdict:

In conclusion, the power remains in the oat oil and it has power but I don’t feel (in my opinion) it supports the entire claims made by Frownies. Yes, it moisturizes and has several silicone properties and oils that help keep the potion floating and stable.  The preservative kills it for me as do many of the other ingredients.  My sample size at 4 ml did not help deliver any results due to the limit when it comes to number of applications, but then again I’m a science girl (even though I won’t botox myself).  I expect results! I’m all for science but the friendly kind that keeps me looking my best minus the neurotoxin potential. I think I’ll stick with Aveeno on the legs (cheaper and it works) and oats with my breakfast, plus some antioxidant rich fruit that will help me from within to feel and look better 🙂

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If you want to learn more about Frownies/Immune Perfect, please visit:

  • On-line– http://www.frownies.com/products.php
  • Twitter- https://twitter.com/TheFrownies
  • Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/thefrownies

 

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

 

Oloves Olives: Veggie & Bean Delight Quinoa Salad #Recipe

 

 

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  • Veggie & Bean Delight Quinoa Salad

You have a great salad that is packed with protein and fiber that is perfect for a “Meatless Monday”. You can also make this in the evening and it holds well for up to 3 days in the fridge. No dressing needed and you can eat it over a bed of lettuce, fill two tomato halves, or stuff an avocado. I opted for a little bed of lettuce to go with my avocado and it made two beautiful and very filling cups.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 /2 cup of Tri-Color Qunioa (cooked, drained and cooled)
  • 1/2 cup of White Kidney Beans
  • 1/2 cup of Garbanzo Beans
  • 1/4 cup of raw Carrots (diced)
  • 1/4 cup of raw Celery (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of raw Zucchini (diced)
  • 1/8 of a cup of raw Red Onion (diced)
  • 1 pack of Oloves in Lemon & Rosemary
  • 1 pack of Oloves in Basil and Garlic
  • Optional- Feta crumbled Cheese (add this before serving as a topper)

 

Begin by cooking your Tri-color Qunioa, draining and allowing it to cool.  I always cook mine with a touch of smoked salt and this is why I did not any more to the salad.  The flavor comes all from Oloves olives!

Then chop up all your veggies and add to a large bowl that is big enough to mix and toss.

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Drain and rinse both cans of beans and take 1/2 cup out from each type of bean.

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Add to veggies and toss.  Then open an avocado in half, so you are left with two equal sized halves.  I always brush mine with a little lemon or lime juice to preventing browning and add a little flavor.

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Then simply open 1 bag each of the Oloves pouches in Lemon & Rosemary and the Basil and Garlic varieties.  Add to salad and toss to combine.  Taste and if you want to add a little salt or freshly cracked pepper…….go right ahead but I found the flavors were perfectly balanced by just using what Oloves provided.

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Then simply lay out some lettuce (even Kale) so the avocados don’t feel lonely, top with the salad and you can add some Feta cheese if you desire.  You can store the remainder in a glass container for up to 3 days.  I never store with the cheese because for no reason it sounds “icky” to me, so I top just before serving.  Enjoy!

 

 

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Get your Oloves and you can make the above recipe and more at:

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

 

Oloves Olives: Perfect Olives in every pack #Review

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I really enjoyed the Oloves pack I received with a subscription box and served as my introduction to the brand. You have perfectly shaped green olives that are infused with flavors, not even a pit to get in the way of your munching. Perfect brine paired with a nice “meaty” olive, both the quality of the olives and the ingredients make for one spectacular combination. The company was kind enough to share their selections with me and every Oloves pouch leaves you with a very happy and satisfied taste!

You have several flavor variations to choose from, so the Oloves party never gets dull:

  • Basil & Garlic
  • Chili & Oregano
  • Lemon & Rosemary
  • Chili & Garlic

All products are made with simple ingredients that are Vegan, Kosher, Gluten Free, and all natural. Low in saturated fats and each pouch is a friendly 50 calories.

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Basil & 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.

 

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Chili & Oregano:

An olive with a little attitude! I love this one and the pouch made a delicious muffuleta spread that went wonderfully paired with a Rosemary Ham sandwich. The chili adds a little heat and zest but because the olives are plump and “meaty”, this olive can handle the heat! I will be making a brushetta next time and topping each bread slice with half of an olive in this variation. It changes up the flavors and the Oregano compliments the topping nicely.

 

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Chili & Garlic:

I love garlic but I shy away from it when it comes to packed goods and mostly because manufactures do not respect the clove. You want garlic in it’s full real flavor, not some powdered stuff that looks and tastes like saw dust. Oloves not only got the harissa spice right but the real garlic notes are so there. This is a black olive that slaps back when it comes to heat and flavor but I polished 2 baggies off because I was going to win this battle!

 

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Lemon & Rosemary:

I never knew lemon went so well with that nice acid and brine flavors you get with olives. It just awakens your taste buds with the freshness and the rosemary even made me add a pack (chopped up) into the daily bread I bake. It went so well with the rustic loaf that I will be repeating that concoction again. I also made a salad that has zero dressing because like I mentioned, these are not boring olives. They are the spice of the party!  I will be posting the recipe next!

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Get your Oloves kick at:

 

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