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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I'm a Turkey Hill Ambassador, and Proud to Bring You...All Natural Recipe! #TRKAmbassador

My name is Stephanie, and I am a Turkey Hill Ambassador, or Fan-bassador, as we like to be called. We are the elite granted to honor of passing on the fabulousness that is Turkey Hill All Natural Recipe Ice Cream, and we will get our just reward. Our first mission: to bring forth into this new world a tasting event that would amaze the masses...or at least, show them how delicious this ice cream is. And it very much is.

Since the cold weather had finally released us from its clutches, a barbecue seemed like the ideal backdrop for ice cream. Plus, my husband was dying to try out his new smoker/ charcoal grill.

So I made up invite fliers and posted them around my neighborhood:



I also created a fun welcome sign using wallpaper images from the Turkey Hill website:



Hours of smoking and slow cooking and a LOT of prep later, we had a nice spread:



But to showcase the star of the show, we had a full sundae bar that included homemade brownies and chocolate chip cookie bars, several sauces, whipped cream, sprinkles and fresh strawberries! The flavors I chose were Cherry Vanilla, Chocolate/ Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Mint Chocolate Chip, and Butter Almond and Chocolate.



In addition, I had the perfect assistant to help me.


So on to the tasting! We started out with a bowl with a tiny scoop of each flavor, so everyone got the full selection.



Then, it was time for the sundae contest! People had a lot of fun with that.


We got some very creative entries....







And the winner, who received a coupon for free Turkey Hill Ice Cream, chosen by a judge who didn't participate...was...


The results of the tasting was actually very similar. The Salted Caramel was a HUGE hit. Practically everyone liked that one. People were trying to hide the container so that they could sneak it home with them.

The least popular was the Butter Almond and Chocolate. The consensus was that the butter flavor was too obtrusive, and they would have preferred either more almond or more vanilla flavor. It was still good, though, particularly with some hot fudge and caramel poured over top.

Not everyone is a fan of Mint Chocolate Chip...it's one of those things that you either like or you don't. Those who like it said, seriously, that it was the best mint chocolate chip ice cream they'd ever had. Several folks who said they didn't like mint chocolate chip gave it a try, and became converts. A lot of folks mentioned that mint chocolate chip tends to have a toothpaste flavor, or it's too sweet. This was refreshing and more like a mint candy than toothpaste.

The Black Cherry was well-received, but another acquired taste. It was marveled that it tasted like fresh cherries.

The basic Vanilla/ Chocolate combo was a major contender, and the primary start for the sundae making and the root beer floats. Simple flavors are usually the most scrutinized, and both of them got raves.

As people traveled through, I handed out coupons, and people made notes of their faves. I also let them know where I got them locally, so they could go right to the source. People were thrilled with the coupons, and wanted to know when my next event would be. I gave them my email so I could start an invite list.

I look forward to the next challenge!

I received free products from Turkey Hill Dairy for the purposes of sharing and promotion as a Turkey Hill Ambassador. And you can too! Watch for a new call.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid - Gentle, Simple, and IT WORKS!

Because BzzAgent is awesome, I was given my latest beauty opportunity: a truly exciting new product.

 

So what the heck is it? Here's the skinny from the Paula's Choice website:

 Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant rapidly exfoliates both the skin's surface and inside the pore, reshaping the pore lining, unclogging pores and improving skin cell turnover rate. The result is a dramatic improvement in the skin's appearance, feel, and function which leads to healthier skin. There is a great deal of research indicating that BHA (beta hydroxy acid) increases collagen production and drastically smooths the surface of skin. Additionally, BHA has antibacterial properties that attack blemish-causing bacteria. The lightweight, non-occlusive formula allows for a faster and deeper exfoliation rate than our gel or lotion BHA products, so it's an ideal choice for stubborn clogged pores or blackheads.

I know what you're thinking. If a liquid exfoliates, it must be incredibly harsh, since exfoliating products are usually the beauty equivalent of sandpaper. I'm pleased to say that you're wrong. But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

First, I would like to introduce you to the Permazit. That is a small red spot on my cheek that no amount of cleansing or treatment would ever get rid of. I've seriously had it for years. You can see it in this "before" picture.


Not a huge deformity, no, but annoying in its persistence. So following the directions on the bottle, I cleansed my skin, then applied  Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid using a cotton pad, similar to a toner process. The first use, check out what happened:



The Permazit faded! It's barely there. After only two more uses, it was pretty much gone. Here's a closeup of the area.


All that remained of the Permazit is a tiny pit, which diminishes every day. This is not Photoshop. This is for real.

That got me the most excited, but there are numerous other benefits I've noticed. The pictures above reveal a lot of them. Background: I have combination skin. In addition to the Permazit, I had tiny bumps of dry skin along my cheekbones and jawline and around my mouth that lingered, even though I moisturize every day. The 2% BHA Liquid took them away. I have a small scar in the middle of my forehead, and fine lines were always across it. The scar looks less noticeable, and the lines are gone. Ditto the ones around my eyes. My skin felt firmer and tighter, especially around my jaw. The redness around my chin and forehead diminished as well. The pores in my nose were enormous, and they smoothed out beautifully.

To give you some perspective, I'm 41 years old, and that's my bare face you're seeing. You tell me.

I was always told to never neglect your neck when doing a beauty regimen and the product is listed as also being excellent for calluses and suchlike, so I decided to give it a try. It worked brilliantly on that area as well. I was starting to get some wrinkling there, and the skin felt dry and loosened. All of that went away. Photo proof. By the way, it's harder to take a selfie of your neck than you would think.


 If it does all that, and so quickly, it must be harsh, right? Yes, we're back to that. No. No, it isn't.  It feels like light oil going on, and absorbs quickly and fully. I didn't feel any burning, stinging, or even tingling, just a feeling like my skin was tightening up, but in a good way. The directions caution to avoid the eye area, but even if I wandered there, it didn't sting like a lot of moisturizers have in the past. I did follow with a moisturizer as suits my normal regimen, but the product didn't seem in my case to be overly drying...on the contrary, it appeared to add some moisture to the dryer areas of my face.

It's 100% fragrance- and colorant-free, with no added dyes or irritants, and it's never tested on animals. Ah, but the ingredients list must be a mile long? Nope again.

Product Ingredients:

Water, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol (slip agents/penetration enhancers), Salicylic Acid (beta hydroxy acid/exfoliant), Camellia Oleifera (Green Tea) Leaf Extract (anti-irritant/antioxidant), Polysorbate-20 (solubolizing agent), Sodium Hydroxide (pH balancer), Disodium EDTA (chelating agent). That's it. If any of those confuse you, go here and all will be explained.

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid is a distinctive and very different product...I've never seen or heard about anything like it. It works even better than it claims to, and it's a great value...you only need a small amount for each use. I say go for it...it's awesome. It retails for $23 and is available online at PaulasChoice.com, Dermstore.com, SkinStore.com, Beauty.com and Birchbox.com, as well as at select Pharmacy stores.

If you want to spread the happiness around, check out their referral program. They get $10 discount on their order, you get $10 credit!

I received a free product from BzzAgent in exchange for my review. My opinions are my own.





Monday, April 28, 2014

Zevia - Zero Calorie Soda You Can Be Happy About, Body and Mind...And Giveaway! (CLOSED)

 Straight up, I don't normally do diet soda. I don't like the funny aftertaste, and the thought of all those chemicals make me cringe. But this is Zevia, and in my opinion, in a category by itself.

Courtesy of zevia.com

Zevia was born in 2007 in Seattle. The goal: to make soda a friend instead of an enemy. The first flavors, Cola, Lemon Lime Twist and Orange, were well-received, and they relocated to Los Angeles, but never forgot their roots...or the mission.

They've doubled their staff and quintupled their flavors list, but the mission remained on target: healthy, tasty soda. I know, I know, what makes them so different?

To give you an idea, it's movie time. Check this out:

       
Courtesy of zevia.com

 Zevia is all-natural, using stevia as a sweetener. Groundbreaking, In my opinion. As if that wasn't fabulous enough, the current formula now uses monkfruit as an additional sweetener as well. Don't let the pics of cans fool you...they're also available in glass bottles as well.

History lesson over...now time for my verdict.

First, this is not a overly sweet soda, nor are the flavors gaudy and overpowering, like the artificial ones full of dyes. It actually reminds me of a flavored seltzer with a kick of extra taste. If you're used to full-sugar soda, it may take a bit of a transition.

These are the flavors I tried: Cherry Cola, Black Cherry, Strawberry, Lemon Lime Twist, Ginger Root Beer, and Cream Soda.


Cherry Cola: A bit medicinal, but once you get used to it, it's pretty good. Reminiscent of a fountain Cherry Cola.

Black Cherry: My favorite of the group. A fresh cherry taste, not the sugary candy flavor you usually get with this kind of soda, and subtly sweet.

Strawberry: I usually do NOT like strawberry soda, due to the aforementioned sugary candy flavor. This tasted like fresh squeezed strawberries, very light and refreshing. I enjoyed it immensely.

Lemon Lime Twist: I was not a big fan of it straight up, as the sweetness was a bit too muted for my liking. That said, it is the best product I've found of its kind for mixing and recipes.

My daughter loves Shirley Temples, but the sugar in those is staggering. Using Lemon Lime Twist Zevia as a base made it a much more reasonable offering, and she never knew the difference. It's great for other mixed drinks as well.

I have several recipes that call for lemon-lime soda, and using Lemon Lime Twist gave it a lighter flavor and a fresh addition that really melded well with the ingredients.   This is an example, a crock pot Sweet Garlic Chicken recipe:


Ginger Root Beer: It's got a true ginger flavor, but mellowed to get that Root Beer feel. It reminded me of a birch beer, almost...flashback to my childhood in Pennsylvania.

Cream Soda: Again, like the others, you won't get a heavy, overly sweet rush, but a delicate vanilla flavor. More like a seltzer, but still a creamy sweetness that lingers on the tongue pleasantly.

Above the flavor enjoyment, you can really feel the goodness. Unlike other sodas, I didn't get heartburn, and I didn't feel overly thirsty and have the urge to drink a lot more. I felt refreshed and like I'd done some good for my body, and that's always a plus for me. I love the concept that instead of damning soda, they made a better one available. It's especially great for my kids, as they got very little soda otherwise.

Now that I've got you all curious, now comes the fun part. The generous Zevia crew is letting me give away FIVE coupons to get your hands on a sixer of your very own Zevia for free! So jump up on my Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was given the opportunity to try Zevia Zero Calorie Soda in exchange for my review. My opinions are my own.

Charles Worthington London Volume & Bounce Conditioner - Find It At Target!

Thanks to Influenster, I had the fabulous experience of trying out a brand that was new to me: Charles Worthington London. As one that is cursed with very fine hair, Volume & Bounce doesn't come standard for me, so I was thrilled to give it a whirl.



The scent is subtle, but fresh. It went well with my other showering products without being obtrusive, and I found it very pleasant.

The texture is smooth and rich, but not heavy. It really felt like I was getting a good, solid conditioner, but it wouldn't leave my hair weighted down. In fact, it rinsed so clean, I thought it couldn't possibly have worked. I was so very wrong.

My hair was left sleek and shiny, and my comb worked through it easily, which is not the norm, as my hair is very long. Check it. Even my flyaway ends were controlled.


So if you suffer from the frizzies but don't want sad, limp hair, consider Charles Worthington London Volume & Bounce Conditioner. It's fabulous, and you can find it at Target!

I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. My opinions are my own.