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Monday, August 25, 2014

Sharing Turkey Hill Ice Cream...and Giveaway! (CLOSED) #TRKAmbassador

I love getting to share good things with others, and Turkey Hill was cool enough to give me exactly that as a task: An outdoor event to share the goodness that is Turkey Hill All Natural Recipe Ice Cream.

I chose a fun assortment of flavors:

My first roadblock: Ice cream melts. This may seem obvious, but it's a big concern when setting up an outdoor event. Luckily, I have a large chest freezer in my garage.

Next issue: How to get several flavors of ice cream into a format that makes it easy to hand out to an interested crowd. So I came up with this:

Using a small scoop, I made up sample-sized cups ahead of time. To keep them from melting as I filled them, I put the pans in the freezer beforehand so they'd be nice and cold. I then labeled them, going by the order they were listed on my "menu". Then they could stay in the freezer, and I could fill orders without any going to waste.

Graphic courtesy of

It actually didn't take that long to prep, and they stayed very fresh. I think this would be a great idea for a kid's party, or any get-together where you wanted easy delivery or portion control.

I set up in my driveway, so as to be close to the frozen goodies. My tree became my signboard:

Yep, I upcycled the lids from my ice cream to make a garland. Just needed a hole punch and a long piece of ribbon. You do need to wash them really good first, though.

Since the ice cream was being kept safe in the freezer, I just needed a small table to hold the fabulous door prizes provided by Turkey Hill.

We set up a bubble machine, and set out sidewalk chalk to keep kids entertained while the parents filled out the tickets for door prizes and enjoyed their own samples. I upcycled another empty ice cream container to hold the tickets.

There were also several free ice cream coupons included, which I gave out randomly, like to my first customers, these two adorable little girls (posted with parental permission):

A good time was had by all. People loved the extra goodies: coupons and magnets.

Even my little helpers had a great time!

But those of you who couldn't make it down, don't despair. I kept five free item coupons just for my readers and followers, and you can enter below to win. Five winners will each get one coupon to experience the sweet joy that is Turkey Hill All-Natural Recipe for free! Only five days to enter, so go go go!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received products from Turkey Hill for sharing and review purposes. My opinions are my own. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

First Aid Shot Therapy: FAST Relief in an Innovative Format! #FASTRelief #contest

Influenster was kind enough to include me in the lucky throng who received the Surf's Up VoxBox. Included was a rather interesting method of delivering pain relief: First Aid Shot Therapy.

It's about the length of a tube of lipstick, and contains 500 mg of painkiller (NSAID) and 65 mg of caffeine in a Berry flavor.   No need to carry water, it's all right there. 

Straight up, the taste is a bit funky. It's similar to energy shots, but you do get used to it. But it's worth it for the effect.

Let me tell you a story of pain.

The plum tree in my front yard had a dead limb, and I thought, it's one limb, how bad can it be, and cut it down.

Well, it was much bigger than I thought. I had to saw it all up using a handsaw so it could go into disposal. I am no lumberjack, so by the time I was done, I was one aching person. It got worse after I had sat for a while. I figured this was an ideal time to try the FAST.

It kicks in super quick, and really does the job. I was not only able to get off the couch, but it gave me the second wind I needed to get dinner made. I liked how I could just chug it and go, without the wait of pills.

I'm going to keep it on my desk for those long computer sessions that always end with a true pain in the neck and headache. I think it would be good for the car and purse, too.

I received products from Influenster for testing and review purposes. My opinions are my own.

My Adventures With Truvia in #TruFanStand Land!

Crowdtap is always surprising me. My latest opportunity not only thrilled me, but was the highlight of the week for my son: to run a lemonade stand using Truvia stevia products, like spoonable sweetener and Baking Blend.

I so love a challenge, and this one had several. First step, make a cool sign. I wasn't sure how to go about it, but then my son suggested a flag. A template downloaded from Google, snip snip, and VOILA.

Then I moved on to the next challenge: baking some noms using the Truvia Baking Blend. If you haven't tried it before, it's a blend of Truvia and sugar, but has 75% less calories than straight up sugar. You use 1/2 a cup of Baking Blend as a substitute for a cup of sugar. Truvia is a blend of Erythritol, Stevia Leaf Extract, and Natural Flavors.

I decided to really go for it and make Sugar Cookies and of course, Vanilla Buttercream Frosting to go on top. Yes, frosting. For real.

I gathered the ingredients for the cookies together. Since I needed a bunch, I used my teeny biscuit cutter.

The recipe called for greasing the cookie sheets, but I saved a few calories and used parchment paper instead.

I had an eager quality control expert who tried them out fresh from the oven. He was very pleased.

Next, the frosting. That's a bit more tricky, because you need to grind the Truvia and some cornstarch to a fine powder. My food processor did the job splendidly, though. End result:

I thought a nice yellow would go well with the theme, so I tinted it.

Finished treats ready to go!

Next, the star of the show, the lemonade. If I'm doing a lemonade stand, that means REAL lemons. And a lot of work. Luckily, I had a great helper.

I do add one extra step whenever I juice a lot of citrus: I gather the zest for later use. A lot of lemons later, I had a nice container ready to go into the freezer.

I also had enough juice to put together the wonderful nectar that is Truvia Lemonade.

People were instructed to tweet #TruFanStand to earn their lemonade, and went for it! My first customer here also got her own pair of Truvia Sunglasses.

My son took his role as stand assistant very seriously. He actually was a great salesman, flagging people when they tried to walk by and being very polite.

But even the hardest worker needs a break for refreshment.

 I included copies of all the recipes on the table, and an informational sign about stevia using images from the Truvia site.

By the end of the day, we had quite a few converts who said they had to try both types of Truvia products. The treats were a big hit with kids and adults, who couldn't believe they weren't pure sugar.  I myself plan to try out a few more recipes.

I received products from Crowdtap for testing and review purposes. My opinions are my own.

Friday, August 8, 2014

NeoCell: Beauty and HEALTH...Review and Giveaway! (Closed)

My latest foray into beauty products takes me into the health arena as well. I got to try products from NeoCell's premium quality collagen-based supplement line!

Beauty Bursts Gourmet Collagen Soft Chews in Fruit Punch flavor, Liposomes Collagen Replenishing Beauty Gelle, Alpha Cell Exfoliator, and Refreshing Herbal Mist.

A bit about Neocell from their website:

Neocell was started in 1998 by founder and fearless leader Al Quadri after an extraordinary personal experience. Following a heart attack, Al endured triple- bypass surgery and a recovery that was slow and difficult. His muscles atrophied, and his usual energy disappeared. To recover Al understood that his future health depended on re-engaging his body’s own potential for healing and rejuvenation. It was during his investigation of holistic therapies that he happened upon the unlikely remedy of collagen. Al learned of the integral role collagen plays in strengthening and rebuilding lost muscle mass and connective tissue. Within a few weeks, Al began to rapidly recover and regain his lost vitality.

Once fully recovered, a reinvigorated Al set out to understand the means by which collagen had stimulated his own regenerative systems, thus enabling his rapid recovery. For Al, this wasn’t just a miracle. It was his life’s calling- to make the same health and vitality Al experienced in his recovery accessible to everyone.
His goal was to create products that allowed people to live younger, longer lives with abundant energy and wellbeing. And so Neocell was born, as a family-owned, research oriented business committed to introducing the world to a premium quality collagen-based supplement line.

Here's me before embarking on my beauty journey. Note the blotches, pimples, and redness.

The Beauty Bursts intrigued me. I'm a big fan of supplements, and I only recently found out that you can get beauty on the inside, too.

As you see, they're a fruity take two a day. They're not bad flavor-wise, but there is a bit of a vitamin taste. They go down quite easily, though.  The claim is that they strengthen hair, nails, and skin.

The most noticeable effect for me was my skin. I first noted that it felt firmer. Then I noticed an interesting side effect. I'm a magnet for mosquitoes. They love me. Hence, I always have a couple of bites somewhere, and they often get scratched open. I had noted that they took a long time to heal. 

After I had taken the Beauty Bursts for three days, I noted that the bites were almost healed. They weren't scarring like they used to, either. Even new marks were going away. I also could see that my skin texture all over was smoother and softer, even without lotion, and the redness was fading.

As far as hair and nails, my hair did seem to break less, but I didn't notice any real effect on my nails. That may take a bit longer use.

I used the Liposomes Collagen Replenishing Beauty Gelle and Alpha Cell Exfoliator as part of my daily skin regimen.  I normally use a liquid exfoliator and oil-free facial moisturizer, so they fit right in.

 The Alpha Cell Exfoliator is applied with a cotton ball, like an astringent. I felt a bit of stinging on the dry areas of my combination skin, but there was no irritation. My skin felt smoother right away. I let it dry on my skin, then applied the Replenishing Beauty Gelle.

It goes on very smooth and light, and again, a bit of stinging on the dry parts of my face, but no irritation. The most immediate effect I saw was that my skin appeared tighter, even with the very first use.

Here's me again, after a week of using these products:

I did not retouch this photo. Acne gone, redness smoothed, skin texture improved. Even the dry patches on my cheekbones were softened. My skin felt stronger and tighter, and healthier.

But what of the Refreshing Herbal Mist? I didn't forget it, never fear. I wasn't sure exactly what it was at first. In case you're also confused...

Description: Collagen Herbal Mist is a refreshing cool mist that leaves a layer of moisturizing collagen, essential vitamins, balancing herbs, free radical scavengers, and soothing aloe vera on skin and hair to keep them hydrated and revitalized.

Something new for me, and guess what...I love it. It's the perfect size to slip into my purse, and it really perks you up on those humid days that make you wonder why you bothered to shower, adding just the right amount of moisturization. It's also great for taming flyaway hair without making it greasy or heavy. It's oil free, lanolin free, and has no artificial fragrance, but smells AWESOME. Herbal with a bit of floral, but not musky or heavy. It would work well with a lot of scents.

Jealous? Well, you don't have to be. NeoCell is cool enough to offer one of my lucky readers a $50 credit to buy these cool items, or anything else on their site that their heart desires. So what are you waiting for?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received products from NeoCell for testing and review purposes. My opinions and results are my own. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Food Should Taste Good...and it Feels Good, Too!

Food Should Taste Good was cool enough to send me some of their great flavors to try out and review, and being a fan of their products, I was thrilled. View the bounty:

A bit of background from the website: Food Should Taste Good® chips have been recognized with over 40 awards and are created with real ingredients, zero trans fats, and no cholesterol. Beyond their award-winning taste, these chips are certified gluten free and Kosher. There are Tortilla, Kettle Cooked Sweet Potato, Pita Puffs and Brown Rice Cracker varieties, with interesting flavors ranging  from basic flavors like Blue and Yellow Corn to more exotic tastes like Pesto and Kimchi. Sounds great, right?

It tastes even better.

First I went for the Guacamole flavor.

 The flavor is very reminiscent of a good homemade guacamole. You get the bite of the cilantro and just the right amount of heat, but a touch of sweetness as well. They're great on their own, but with It's a great balance of flavor, especially if it's a fresh, chunky salsa. They're nice and sturdy, perfect for dipping.

Next up: Olive. I was a bit wary of this one, as I'm not a big olive fan.

Never fear, though. The olives give it a fresh, rich  flavor that blends nicely with the garlic and sea salt flavors. They went great with a mild greek yogurt dip I make with powdered Italian dressing mix, as the flavors are very mild, but add just enough interest to stand out.

Then there is Jalapeño with Cheddar. I had to have this bag pulled forcibly from my hands. It's that good.

The site says that it's white cheddar, and it really makes a difference. You get a nice, creamy cheese taste, and a real jalapeño flavor and bite. No dip needed, though it was good with queso. It's not too hot, though, even if you eat quite a few. Which I did. Don't judge. At 140 calories per 11 chips, I can be a bit naughty.

Last, but in no way least, there is the Multigrain flavor. This was actually the first Food Should Taste Good product I ever tried.

One of my favorite things about this flavor - and the others, actually - is the heartiness of the chip. They're filling and comforting, and really make you feel happy about eating these snacks. Scope the goodness:

Multigrain has a classic corn taste, but with a nuttiness. I get a sort of popcorn feel to the flavor as well. The surprise ingredient, for me, was quinoa. I love the idea of things like that hiding in my snacks. They're great for anything you want to dip them in, but I'll tell you...they make the best loaded nachos in the world. Trust me. My personal fave is black bean, shredded beef, cheese, jalapeños, and fresh tomatoes, with sour cream and salsa on the side. It's seriously awesome, and these chips hold it all without falling. Do it. For real.

This  is just a small portion of the fabulous flavors available, so get on your FSTG journey! You won't be disappointed. They're on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest for social media good times, and if you really want to be on the inside track for recipes, sweeps and other coolness, sign up for their newsletter. Don't be afraid, they won't bury you in an email deluge.

I received products from Food Should Taste Good for testing and review purposes. My opinions are my own.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Peppa Pig Giveaway, Hosted By Sassy Mom, 2 Spoiled Bratz and Entertainment One! Ends 8/21

Sassy Mom, 2 Spoiled Bratz and Entertainment One are teaming up to bring you this awesome giveaway for Peppa Pig The Balloon Ride DVD & Peppa Pig Class Trip Book! 
    My kids are nuts over Peppa Pig. If you want a moment's peace and you have young children, this is the prize for you.

     This giveaway is in no way endorsed, associated or affiliated with Facebook, Twitter
    or any other Social Media Networking sites. This giveaway is valid in the Continental
    United States and entrant must be 18+ years of age to enter. 
    The bloggers promoting and hosting this giveaway is not responsible for prize fulfillment. G.H. Creators will be in charge of that.  

    Tuesday, August 5, 2014

    Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash: Ultra Fresh Hydration Review and Giveaway!

    I was given the chance to try out new Dial Coconut Water Refreshing Mango Body Wash for free, and being the addict I am for fruity skin care, I was very happy. If you're jealous, just might be able to join me in the mango/coconut goodness of this moisturizing body wash.

    Pretty, yes? It's a VERY big bottle, too. It may just be me, but I appreciate the easy flip open cap. I hate it when my hands are wet and I can't get the top open. It looked right at home in my shower, too.

    So I used the recommended quarter-size amount, with a tiny bit more, because, well, I have a tiny bit more area to wash than average. Even after a good scrub, I still had a lovely amount of suds left. See? Don't worry, I'll spare you the "naked" truth. I keep my posts clean, this case, both I AND the post are clean! The bathroom, well...I have kids.

    My review? First, it's a gel-type, not the creamy type, but it was still a quality hydrating body wash. Coconut water is apparently very good for hydrating the outside as well as the inside. I'm not used to getting that effect from a gel type. The scent was very nice...I really got the fresh mango, but it wasn't overly sweet or too strong. I didn't have any tightness or irritation from it. I would feel confident in making this our family body wash, as it's very gentle. It felt nourishing, like it was not only leaving my natural protectants in, but making my skin feel healthier. I think I've found a new shower buddy.

    No, I didn't forget my promise. You too can try this fruity fresh body wash, if fortune smiles upon you...or at least my giveaway. Enter here! If you're wondering what other great body washes are available, you can click here.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    I received free product for testing and review purposes. My opinions are my own. Seriously. My husband can attest to that.