Friday, July 20, 2012

Dry Idea Advanced Dry Review & Giveaway

I had the opportunity recently to try out the new Dry Idea Anvanced Dry unscented hypo-allergenic antiperspirant and deodorant roll-on. Well, since I want to uphold the fact that my reviews are honest and I want my opinions to be trust-worthy, I have to tell you I did not really like this deodorant. I was rather disappointed to feel this way as I like Dry Idea in general, but there were a few things that made me feel this way. One, you have to shake the bottle before you can apply (something I forget often as I do not usually have to shake my deodorant) so sometimes it ends up applying funny. Two, this is a roll-on so obviously it will be liquidy, but it was a little bit too liquidy for me and left my underarms feeling wet and sticky for some time. When I first applied it, I found it dripping down my arm. Perhaps I put too much, but I didn't feel that I did. I've been trying to do a very quick swipe lately and that has seemed to work a little bit. Three, I usually prefer things that are unscented due to my allergies, but my deodorant is one thing I prefer to be slightly scented to mask the smell of perspiration. Now, Dry Idea Advanced Dry is also an antiperspirant, but I didn't find that it worked for me. We do live in the South as of recently and I am not used to so much heat so I guess I was sweating more than usual, so maybe that's why it isn't seemed to work for me. I could see this being a great seasonal deodorant for Fall to Winter seasons. One last thing I didn't really like is that this deodorant contains aluminum--something found in a lot of antiperspirants, but it is not the greatest for you.
Of course, there are some things that I do like about Dry Idea Advanced Dry roll-on. I like the ease of application and how you just roll it on and it is nice and smooth. I also like that this is hypo-allergenic. As I mentioned previously, I have some terrible allergies and try to purchase things that are hypo-allergenic so as not to bother my allergies. Dry Idea Advanced Dry also has Vitamin E which is very soothing (though I did notice if I applied just after shaving it did sting a bit, but then I could feel the Vitamin E kick in but my skin was most likely a little broken due to the shaving irritation and the warnings DO say to not use on broken skin.) I also did like how the bottle is shaped; it is not top-heavy and is very well balanced (unlike several of my husband's deodorants that are thin and fall over a lot) and it is easy to grip. Because it is a roll-on, you can move it any which way and not just up and down. I also like that it is a liquid so you don't have to worry about breaking it to pieces.
Overall, would I recommend Dry Idea Advanced Dry? Probably not. However, I have heard of a lot of people liking this product so I'm not going to tell you don't even give it a shot. Try it for yourself and you just MAY like it! Bodies are different and what may not soak into my skin and feel sticky may work perfectly for you.

Disclaimer: I am a Purex Insider and I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Brew Over Ice Review

I am a huge fan of anything coffee and tea related and have always wanted to own my own coffee shop so I have most any coffee or tea equipment you could imagine and last Christmas my mother-in-law added a Keurig to my collection! The Keurig makes single-serve hot and cold coffee shop-quality drinks without the mess! It is so simle to use and I just love it! The Keurig is my go-to coffee maker. Well, Green Mountain Coffee gave me the opportunity to try their Brew Over Ice variety! I have used the Keurig for all sorts of hot drinks, but this was my first time actually brewing over ice. I have to say, I LOVED it!
Brewing over ice was so simple and it really did feel like I was at a coffee shop and the taste was great! I tried three different flavors from them: the new Sweet and Creamy Nutty Hazelnut, Half and Half (half tea and half lemonade) and Southern Sweet Tea! Now, since I have recently moved to the south, I'm sort of going crazy on the sweet tea and Brew Over Ice Southern Sweet Tea tastes just like homemade Southern sweet tea! It is SO good! Now I can brew my sweet tea in a matter of minutes rather than having to take a pitcher full of water and sugar and loads of teabags and let it sit for hours and hope it comes out alright.
Now, when it came to the Half and Half K-cups, they were not my favorite, but then, I have never really been much of a fan of tea mixed with lemonade. My husband, on the other hand, really enjoyed it. The only down-fall to me is the price, but if you watch for deals in stores you can find some good bargains. There are also several companies that periodically give our free K-cup samples so watch my Facebook page for these updates!
I was truly surprised that NO ONE at my BBQ (besides myself) wanted to try the Brew Over Ice K-cups, but then, we did also have a SodaStream and most decided that they wanted soda instead of tea. Crazy since we're in the south! I did, however, share some with others who own a Keurig and had them try out the Brew Over Ice K-cups and they loved them. It is so easy to make great-quality coffee and tea and I love that the Brew Over Ice was made a bit stronger so that the ice didn't water it down. Mmm it was so good!
Green Mountain Coffee is a great company; they are close to their farmers, they support local communities, protect the invironment by brewing green, demand sustainable products, partner with non-profit groups and treat their employees well, helping them to reach their goals. They make sure they choose the best coffees and are Fair Trade Certified. Green Mountain Coffee also has the largest selection of K-cups including coffees, teas, hot chocolates and now even vitamin drinks! Brew Over Ice K-cups retail around $12 in stores for a small pack or $17 online for a larger pack and can be purchased online or in most any retailer (Target/Kohls/grocery stores/Sams Club.) Go here to find a retailer near you. A lot of times the best deal you will find is at Kohls when you have a percent off to use in stores. Be sure to check out the Brew Over Ice Facebook and Twitter pages and become a part of Tumbler Nation and watch for coupons!

I have a how-to video to upload but it won't work right now so when I get to somewhere with faster internet I will add that.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

Rudi's Flatz Bread Review

We were able to try some Rudi's Flatz bread and we loved it! Rudi's Organic Bakery is a company that provides fresh, organic, gluten-free bread to its customers. Their products are also free of harmful additives such as artificial ingredients, trans-fat, high fructose corn syrup, GMOs and preservatives! This means Rudi's Organic bread is healthier than most! Rudi's also has a lot of flavor and it doesn't taste "healthy"! Rudi's Flatz are just what you'd think--flat bread for sandwiches and bagels! Flatz are 110 calories or less and have plenty of fiber and whole grains! They fit perfectly in his little hands too and were fun to eat! Surprisingly to me, I really enjoyed the Rudi's Flatz sandwiches myself! I thought it would be more something for kids, but we made some great-tasting hamburgers and a delicious turkey sandwich on them (check out the Wholly Guacamole post for the recipe)! Even my husband loved them! Flatz bagels are great too and I love that you can fill them with fun ingredients and they stay pretty clean! Try them with cheese, eggs and bacon! I also love to fill them with berry-flavored cream cheese. Yum!
Rudi's Flatz are a great product for on the go and with kids! Because they are flat, they do a pretty good job of keeping the contents inside, they are easier to hold and the liquidy ingredients you may use don't leak through!  My son loved to eat peanut butter Flatz sandwiches and I loved feeding them to him too because they gave him a lot of much-needed nutrition and he didn't make a peanut-buttery mess like most sandwich breads! The ONLY thing I did not like is that they expire very quickly and I found mold on a couple pieces the day that they were supposed to expire. I guess I will be sure to refrigerate them from now on or eat them more quickly!
Rudi's doesn't just have Flatz though, so be sure to check out their site to find out more about their other products! Sign up to get coupons and check out Rudi's on Facebook! Not sure where to buy Rudi's bread? Find a retailer near you at this link.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

Wholly Guacamole/Salsa Review

Wholly Guacamole sent me a bunch of guacamole and salsa to review and I have to say, it is sooo good! I never used to like guacamole, but something recently made me love it and I've been wanting it on everything and Wholly Guacamole is my all-time favorite guacamole brand! For those of you who may not know, guacamole is sort of like a salsa made with avocados rather than tomatoes! It can be spicy or mild and it tastes good on most everything! Wholly Guacamole salsa is better than other brand in that it is kosher, gluten free, fat free, all natural with no preservatives or additives) and you can freeze it for up to three months!! That is, if you can manage to not eat it for that long! Wholly Guacamole also has a line of salsa called Wholly Salsa and it is pretty good! They have a lot of flavors to choose from and they also are just as healthy as the guacamole! Wholly Guacamole, however, says do not freeze the salsa, just the guacamole.
Wholly Guacamole comes in several varieties: Regular and Spicy Guacamole in containers and snack packs, and Avocado Verde, Classic Mild, Guacamole and Spicy Pico, Roasted Tomato, Classic Medium, Classic Hot, Red Pepper Mango, and Pineapple Salsa.
The Avocado Verde went over by far the best at our BBQ and there was almost nothing left! Classic Mild Salsa also went over well, but I would have preferred the Medium or Hot because the Mild was not spicy at all to me. I did notice that the salsa seemed a bit liquidy, but that was probably because it was sitting out on the table. The Wholly Guacamole Avocado Verde and the guacamole were perfectly textured though. They were smooth but chunky and had great flavor.
I tried my guacamole on a sandwich! You can see my recipe below. The guacamole and salsa also went great with the Food Should Taste Good chips! Since we just recently moved, I haven't been able to mess around with more recipes with this salsa and guacamole, but there is so much that you could make with them and their flavor and texture is great for almost any dish you could think of! Personally, I'm tempted to try to come up with a dessert using the guacamole. Yum! If I come up with anything tasty I will let you know!
Here are some of the reviews from the guests at our grill-out:
-"Perfect spiciness; great product"
-"Avocado Verde, changed my LIFE! Where can I get a Big Box? I love it. I couldn't stop eating it"
-"The salsa is almost as good as my mom's!"
-"[Salsa] was very flavorful and healthy"

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
Check out Wholly Guacamole on Facebook and Twitter and be sure to look for the coupons!

Tasty Turkey Sandwich

Rudi's Whole Wheat Flatz
Deli turkey
Provolone cheese
Slice of tomato
Spinach
Lots of Wholly Guacamole guac
Drizzle of olive oil
Dash of black pepper



Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

Food Should Taste Good Review


Have you heard of Food Should Taste Good chips? I had seen them before but I had not tried them and really knew nothing about them until I did this review! Food Should Taste Good is a brand that produces natural, healthy chips free of GMOs, cholesterol, preservatives and trans fat. They are made with wholesome ingredients, the kinds you can pronounce. Food Should Taste Good chips are also gluten-free, kosher, and a great source of fiber! Many of these chips are multigrain chips which means they are very healthy. In fact, many companies are now pushing the importance of getting wholesome grains and Food Should Taste Good does a great job at keeping their chips healthy AND tasting good!
Food Should Taste Good offers many different flavor varieties. Below is a list of the flavors offered:
-Multigrain     -Sweet Potato     -Olive     -Jalapeno     -Lime     -Cantina     -The Works!
-Chocolate    -Blue Corn     -Cheddar    -White Cheddar     -Toasted Sesame     -Hemp
-Jalapeno with Cheddar     -Kettlecorn     -Original Sweet Potato
-Barbeque Sweet Potato     -Salt & Pepper Sweet Potato     -Salt & Vinegar Sweet Potato

Food Should Taste Good chips were a great addition to our grill out! The Blue Corn chips paired perfectly with the Wholly Guacamole Salsa, they Multigrain Chips were great with the Wholly Guacamole guac and the Barbeque Sweet Potato chips were great all by themselves! My personal favorite is the Blue Corn because I have always loved blue corn chips; they are tasty by themselves and you can pair the with almost anything, plus they look pretty! I didn't mind the Barbeque Sweet Potato chips, much to my surprise, as I am not the biggest fan of sweet potatoes that aren't drowned in butter, cinnamon and sugar. They weren't the greatest, but I would still eat them. My son couldn't get enough! Sweet Potato is one of those flavors you either love or hate. If you hate sweet potatoes to start with, you probably won't like this kind. I was not, honestly, a fan of the Cheddar variety, however. I cannot put my finger on why, but they had a sort of funny after taste to me but everyone else loved them. I loved that all the chips were very crunchy and even a little bit stale they still tasted pretty good! Some did say, though, that the Sweet Potato line had a funny texture (Sweet Potato ends up much chewier than regular potato chips.) I love that they are healthy for me and have a unique flavor compared to other chips and the seasoning was just right. These are definitely a chip that I would purchase for my family. I am excited to try out more of the flavors! We tried a few more than mentioned, but the ones that I described were the ones that went over the best at our party. I really want to try the Chocolate and had some but they are in a different state right now so once I try those I will let you know what I think! Since some of my chips did end up in a different state (and Food Should Taste Good was so generous as to resend them to my new address) I let my mom bring them to a family get-together in exchange for more opinions! Here are some of the things my party guests and my family said about Food Should Taste Good chips:

-"Personally not a fan of multigrain"
-"BBQ wasn't the greatest. Blue Corn and Cheddar were delicious"
-"Very healthy. BBQ weren't the greatest"
-"Creative. Nothing like Lays. Much more original"
-"Jalapeno were pretty good" (one said this kind tasted like cardboard)
-"I even liked the Kettle ones and I can't stand kettle corn"
-"Kettle and Blue Corn were enjoyed by all"
-"Sweet Potato was take it or leave it, nothing impressive"
-"BBQ Sweet Potato no one really cared for"
-"Sweet Potato Salt & Vinegar-not bad but a little sweet"
-"Sweet Potato Original most didn't care for but those who did loved them"
-"Multigrain Cheddar-loved, loved, loved!"

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
You can purchase Food Should Taste Good chips online or in stores. Go here to find a store near you. Check out Food Should Taste Good on Facebook then go onto their website, join the club, and get a $1 off coupon!

Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

SodaStream Review

I had the wonderful opportunity of trying out the SodaStream, a machine to make your own soda at home! I personally try not to drink too much soda, but my husband drinks quite a bit so this was fun for him to try out! The SodaStream is a stand-alone soda maker meaning you don't have any plugs to plug in and it doesn't use electricity or batteries which saves you money! This product's goal is to eliminate plastic waste for a cleaner earth while providing its customers with several different beverage flavors! You have the Sparkling Naturals line which is a healthier alternative to your average soda syrups, your diet and regular varieties which have flavors like Orange Mango, Cola, Cream Soda and Grapefruit, and your MyWater drops which are basically a flavor essence that you would put into soda water for a hint of lemon lime, orange, etc.

A SodaStream consists of four different items: the actual SodaStream device, the CO2 carbonator, the carbonator bottles, and the flavor syrups/essence. SodaStream offers a few different soda maker styles for different looks to fit your home and different uses/levels. These machines include the Fountain Jet (pictured here,) Genesis, Dynamo Deluxe, Pure, Fizz, Crystal and Penguin. These generally run from $79.99 and up and can be purchased at retailers such as Walmart, Target, Bed, Bath & Beyond and online on the SodaStream website and many more locations. See here for a location near you. You can also find the flavor syrups at these locations. I love their huge selection of syrups because they really try to cater to everyone. They have energy drinks, Country Time lemonade, tea, diet everyday and unique soda flavors and the same in the regular mixes and of course the Naturals and Essence! You can see a full list of flavors on their website. These retail around $6.99 and up. If you choose to purchase your syrups online, you will get a free bottle after every 9 you purchase! The bottles are specific to screw into the machine and get that signature soda fizz. They come in 1 Liter and 1/2 Liter sizes in stores and retail from $14.99 for two small bottles. These are not dishwasher safe or heat safe and care should be taken towards this end. If you choose to order online, however, they do sell bottles that are dishwasher safe as well as glass bottles!
You may be thinking, this sounds pretty expensive. In all honesty, it is, but if you find yourself purchasing soda a lot this will actually save you a ton of money and help to keep the earth clean. The SodaStream saves on packaging and waste, you don't have to purchase a whole entire pack of one flavor (if you're like me, you like different flavors depending on your mood) and many of the drink mixes are healthier than the average soda! My father-in-law drinks a lot of soda and has a soda stream and it is saving him quite a bit. He loves it! Personally, I will only purchase the syrups if they are on sale, though you have to think about the fact that those $6.99 bottles make several bottles of soda worth, soda which usually would cost you around $1.69 per container (that means you can only get about 4 bottles of soda for the price of one bottle of syrup which makes several more than 4 bottles.) I prefer to use the SodaStream machine and shoot in a few squirts of MiO Water instead of the syrups. It is healthier and tastes great!
Check out SodaStream on Facebook and Twitter!

Here are some of the reviews my party guests left:
-"Lime water was ok but lack flavor or sweetness"
-"Very expensive for the flavor"
-"Too expensive in my view. It was okay"
-"Cool idea; sort of time consuming; hight up front costs"

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

I will post a how-to video once I get somewhere with faster internet; mine won't let me upload videos right now.

Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.




Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Newman's Own Organics Review

I had the privilege of trying out several different Newman's Own Organics products. Newman's Own Organics provide tons of different organic-certified products and you can find them all over! Go here for a full product list and here to find out where you can purchase Newman's Own Organics. Plus, part of all Newman's Own Organics sales is donated to various charities!
Below are some of my favorite Newman's Own Organics products:

Newman O's:
Newman O's are a lot like those very popular chocolate cookies with a cream filling only they taste much better and are much better for you because they are organic! We loved our Newman O's and my son couldn't get enough of them. They are perfectly sweet and perfectly crunchy and of course the cream in the middle is the best part! Mmm. I felt a lot better serving my family Newman O's than the 'other' brand because they are a lot healthier. These delightful cookies were also a hit at our BBQ! Now, I don't dip my cookies in milk, but my husband thinks these are great dunked! Personally, I love them crushed up and sprinkled into ice cream!

Family Recipe Cookies:
Newman's Own Organics offers several kinds of family recipe cookies--flavors like your grandma would make like Oatmeal Chocolate Chip and Gingersnap but my very favorite was the Orange Chocolate Chip. I absolutely LOVE when orange flavor is incorporated into anything that has chocolate and I have not had it incorporated into a chocolate chip cookie before! They were so good! The cookies were bite-size, which I really like because they were the perfect size for my son and the perfect size for me to just pop in my mouth, and they were crunchy! You could definitely taste the orange flavor and it complimented the chocolate chips so well. Even the chocolate chips were amazing! They seemed a lot richer than just regular chocolate chips and I love the fact that when I eat this food I know what I'm eating because it doesn't have all the fillers and preservatives that I can't even pronounce like other cookies and you can definitely taste the fresh difference!

Dried Fruit:
I have always loved dried fruit because it is an easy way to get your daily fruit intake, it's very tasty and goes great in a lot of recipes! This is why I love the Newman's Own Organics dried fruit! It is just as flavorful as any other brand, but is more plump, very sweet, very fresh and organic! I love the tangy flavor of the dried fruits and the unique blend in the berry mixture. Newman's Own Organics dried fruit is a great addition to trail mix, cookies, breads or just alone as a snack! Even my picky son loved it!


Hermits:
Now, the name totally threw me off and my husband was wondering what these were too, but Hermits are a cookie that is soft and tastes basically like a gingersnap cookie with raisins in it! They have some large sugar crystals on the outside and a slight spice with the sweet raisins and were very good! We tried the cinnamon flavor which was great. My son again enjoyed them and so did I. Personally, I think gingersnap cookies taste the best when they are still soft and chewy and that's what these reminded me of, plus the raisins added an extra ounce of yummy. Newman's Own Organics Hermits also come in Original and Ginger varieties. Mmm. I think I'm going to go sneak one before dinner.

Licorice:
Licorice has always been something that I have liked, even black licorice (I know, most people find it gross) but Newman's Own Organics offers more varieties of licorice than I knew about! They have a new 'Sour' line that was not at all what I was expecting but I loved them! When I opened up the pack for the sour licorice, each was coated with sugar like a very popular sour candy. Well, they tasted even better! I know the package has several servings, but the Newman's Own Organics licorice was so addicting that I could not help but eat the whole pack myself haha. I think my husband should hide them and only give me a couple for special occasions! These are so healthy compared to most licorice, though, that I really don't feel so bad eating so many. They are natural and organic and made with real fruit flavors without the artificial fruit flavors. They have perfect sweetness, perfect tang, and a perfectly chewy licorice texture (not too tough or too mushy like some other popular brands.)

Signature Series Chocolate Bars:
I love chocolate. That's all there is to it. BUT, once in a while you come across that chocolate that just tastes better than the rest; well, Newman's Own Organics Signature Series Chocolate is one of those, and I'm not kidding! I will eat any chocolate, but I can get rather picky when trying to find one that I am in love with and I usually end up picking the organic ones. I love that Newman's Own Organics offers each of their flavors in dark and milk chocolate as I love flavored dark chocolates a lot and I love to have that choice. The Mocha Milk Chocolate bars are exquisite. The chocolate had perfect amounts of flavoring and was super rich and creamy. It melted in my mouth! My husband loved it too and keeps sneaking pieces of what's left over. This is definitely a chocolate I am happy to serve to my family. What makes the Newman's Own Organics Signature Series Chocolate even better is that it is not just certified USDA organic chocolate, but it is also certified by the Rainforest Alliance! This means they have truly organic chocolate that is grown on good farms and the workers are treated well. This is something that does not happen as often as it should.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Be sure to check out Newman's Own Organics on Facebook and read this article to learn more about the company and their organic products! You can also print some coupons on their website, up to 2 per household!

Kale-Berry Salad

1 bunch fresh kale
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 lemons, fresh
2 teaspoons honey
Pinch of kosher salt
Dash of black pepper
1/2 cup of Newman's Own Organics dried cranberries (more or less as desired)
1/2 cup of sesame sticks (more or less as desired)

Rinse your kale and remove it from the stems. An easy way to do this is to grab both sides of the leaves at the base near the stem and pull down until the whole leaf comes off. Pile up your kale leaves and slice them into strands to make the salad. Fresh kale by itself is rather bitter, so you will want to sort of massage it until it gets softer. To do so, put a little olive oil and the juice of the 1/2 lemon in to get the kale wet and toss in just a pinch of salt. Once the kale is soft, you can start on the dressing.

Dressing:
In a bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil, honey, the rest of the lemon juice and pepper. When well-blended, your salad is ready! All you have to do now is put the dressing on the salad, toss, and serve topped with the dried cranberries and sesame sticks!
~Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

Mt. Olive Pickles Review

Mmm pickles! Personally, I am a HUGE fan of pickles and could eat them all the time and Mt. Olive Pickles are my favorite! I used to eat their spicy pickles all the time but now I got to calm it down and eat some of their regular pickles and hamburger pickles and they have such a great, pickle taste! Some pickles have a funny after-taste or tang that sticks to your tongue after, but Mt. Olive Pickles don't have that. They are 100% delicious and add such a great taste to your burgers, hotdogs, and other pickle recipes! We had ours on our Rudi's and King's Hawaiian burgers at our Grill Mates BBQ! Mt. Olive pickles are perfectly-sized for any occasion and are very fresh and delightfully crunchy. My BBQ guests said the following about Mt. Olive pickles:

-"Always delicious"
-"Refreshing"
-"Pickles were fresh and crunchy. Tastes great"

Mt. Olive Pickle Company, Inc is based out of Mt. Olive, NC (right by me!) but they distribute everywhere in the United States. Mt. Olive produces a couple different types of pickles: processed and fresh pack. Processed pickles include those like relish and salad cubes. Fresh pack pickles are those that are whole pickles that come completely whole, sliced, or made into hamburger chips. Mt. Olive pickles come in flavor varieties such as sweet, sour, dill, kosher dill and bread & butter. Yes, if you need to eat foods that are kosher, you can eat Mt. Olive Kosher Dills! 
For some fun recipes and history for pickles, check out their website! You will also be able to sign up to win freebies, print neat coloring sheets with their mascot, Ollie, and submit a pickle recipe for a chance to win a free t-shirt! Be sure to check out Mt. Olive Pickle Company, Inc on Facebook and you can even send a friend request to Ollie!
You can also visit Mt. Olive Pickle Company, Inc for a video tour and to check out their gift shop (I'm hoping to find a pickle ornament for our Christmas tree--we like to hide the pickle and whoever finds it gets an extra gift!) and visit them at the annual Pickle Festival in North Carolina each April (I will be there!!) or for the annual New Year's Eve Pickle Drop at the Mt. Olive location at the corner of Cucumber & Vine at 7 pm on New Year's Eve! How fun would that be to go to?!

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!

Check out this recipe from Couponing 4 You:

Southern Fried Pickles

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 11 ounce jar Mt. Olive hamburger dill pickle slices
2 cups buttermilk
Instructions
Preheat 8 cups of vegetable oil to 350 degrees in a large pot. Drain dill pickles in a colander and then place into a medium sized bowl with the 2 cups of buttermilk. Place all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Take about a handful of the pickles out of the buttermilk and dredge into the seasoned flour. Shake off excess flour, and place battered pickles into hot grease. Be careful not to place too many pickles into the hot grease or the pickles won't fry up crisp. Fry pickle slices until golden brown. Continue cooking pickles until all are done. 

Thanks Couponing 4 You!

Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

Telestrations Review

Since our grill out was a BBQ and Board Games party, Telestrations sent us a party pack of their AWESOME game Telestrations. When you were in grade school you probably played the telephone game, you know, the one where you whispered a silly sentence to someone and they to someone else and by the time you got to the end it changed entirely. Well, basically that is what this is, but with drawing! Everyone gets a drawing pad (which is dry-erase so you can use and reuse without wasting a bunch of paper!) and a secret word which they draw.
 Each round you pass the pad with the drawing and the next person guesses then you pass again and the next person draws the guess! At our party, we had some crazy secret word changes! One example is when "toll booth" changed to "robbing!" Ha. A few stayed the same the whole time and some didn't have one correct guess. Telestrations was a great ice breaker for our party and we shared a lot of laughs! So really, Telestrations not only is a great ice breaker and fun game, but it's healthy too because laughing is good for you!
You can pick up Telestrations at Target, Barnes & Noble, Go! Games and online at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, calendars.com, and chapters.indigo.ca. The game you can purchase are 4-8 players that are 12+ and this game retails around $30. Check out Telestrations on Facebook and Twitter!

Telestrations was hugely popular at our grill-out and here are some of the reviews our guests left:

-"Fun game; will buy"
-"Very funny, exciting game! I can't draw, had a blast!"
-"Very fun and interactive"
-"I had a lot of fun playing it. Lots of laughs"

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!
Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

Mario Olives Review

Mario Olives provided some snack packs of olives and some party favor goodies for our BBQ. As soon as they arrived, I couldn't help but try each of them and my 1 year old couldn't help but steal some from me (and he loved them!!) We received the Garlic, Chili and Kalamata with Thyme varieties. They were all amazing! I enjoyed eating them in recipes and by themselves! The Mario Olives snack packs are "packed loose without the juice" as their packages say.They have a distinct green olive bite to them which I love and the flavoring they are given is great! The Chili variety has a bit of a spicy kick but my son still ate them! The Kalamata olives are a both sweet and spicy and would be simply perfect on a Greek salad with some feta cheese!
I loved that the snack packs are great for carrying around or sticking in your purse if you will need a quick snack (sure your breath will stink after, but that's what mints are for. Some foods are so good they are worth the smelly breath haha.) The snack packs are only 100 calories too, which is great if you are on a diet and they leave you feeling more full than most 100 calorie packs (trust me, this morning I had a Mario Olives snack pack and a white fudge pretzel snack pack and I felt more full with the olives than the pretzels even though my son stole a few of my calories.) The Mario Olives are great any time of day and will put a smile on your face. I really loved them and they were a hit in my Party Celery at our BBQ too! One said they weren't the most flavorful, but I did only put them in the celery and sent some packs home with them. Once they try the olives by themselves, they will tell you otherwise! These little olives pack a lot of flavor. Many of the comments I got on the olives were they make great snacks and made healthy food tasty and fun! Plus, each guest left with a couple drink cozies, a mouse pad, coupons and several snack packs! Check out Mario Olives on Facebook and Twitter and check out a full list of products and product information on their website!

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You can find the recipe for our Party Celery below.

Party Celery

2-8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
1 snack pack of Mario Olives (I used the garlic variety, but you could also try the Chili flavor to spice it up)
1 Tablespoon pimentos (you can find this somewhere near the olives and condiments at the grocery store)
1/4 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
As much celery as you need for your party!

Chop up the olives, pimentos and pecans into little bits. Fold the bits into the softened cream cheese, spread into your celery stalks (make sure they are dry so the party filling sticks,) cut into pieces and enjoy! If you would like these to not look as messy, you can cut the celery to smaller pieces first and then fill; that is what I did, but it will take a little bit longer if you are making a large amount.

~Enjoy!

Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

Bella Cosa Designs Review

Bella Cosa Designs is a new company that will create custom party invites. She specializes in wedding invites, but she also designed the invites to our BBQ! They looked amazing!
You can order from her on her Facebook page and she will be sure to cater to your needs and design tastes and if you want her to change this or that she is very helpful and understanding and the end result is a pile of invites to be proud to hand out! She is flexible in that she can print them and have them mailed at an extra cost if you would like OR she will send you the file and you can print them and send them yourself! This is what we did so that we could have them in time to hand out and we just took the file to Staples and had them printed on nice paper then used the free paper cutter at Staples to cut them out in nice, straight lines. Everyone loved the invitations. Head over to Bella Cosa Designs' Facebook page now to see her growing design collection and to get a quote!

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Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

King's Hawaiian Bread Review


You may have seen King's Hawaiian bread at the grocery store last time you went in, but have you ever tried it? Well, we were able to try some for our grill out and it was a huge hit! My son HAD to eat some right away and he really loved it! The King's Hawaiian bread has a very neat, sweet undertone that adds a great Hawaiian flavor to your meal. King's Hawaiian has Original Hawaiian Sweet, Honey Wheat and Savory Butter varieties in rolls, buns and round bread.
We tried the Original Hawaiian Sweet rolls, buns and round bread variety. Personally, I didn't like the buns so much with my burger, but it was probably because the sweet Hawaiian taste didn't seem to go with the Grill Mates Molassas Bacon burger flavor. However, I LOVED the buns with the hotdogs and regular old hotdog buns will just never taste near as good to me anymore.
I love how the buns are cut too; they are cut along the top. It was fun watching some of the guest try to figure out how to open them haha. They opened a lot more cleanly though, unlike 'regular' hotdog buns and held the dog in better while the sweet Hawaiian flavor complimented the hotdog flavor perfectly! I want to go eat another for breakfast because it tastes that good! They were very fluffy and moist compared to most brands of bread and had a distinct flavor that can't be beat. Normally I don't like plain bread so I either have to butter it or have something on it like a sandwich, but the King's Hawaiian bread was so good I didn't think it needed any of that.

Here are some of the comments that the bread received at our grill-out:

-"Tasted very good. I would buy them for my family."
-"Sweet and soft."
-"Sweet bread, really good. A little big for average burgers." (yes, my husband made REALLY small burgers haha.)
-"Very soft, moist, and tasty :) added to my burger experience."
-"I liked the freshness of the buns. They had good flavor and were fluffy."

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Find King's Hawaiian bread near you and visit them on Facebook and Twitter and join the club for special offers and recipes!

Sweet and Fruity Bread Pudding

4 cups of cubed day-old King's Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Round Bread
1/2 cup of Pure Almond milk
1-1/2 cups of milk (use 2 cups if you don't plan on using the Almond Milk)
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup confectioner's sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1/2 Tablespoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup of Newman's Own Organics Berry Blend dried fruit

Cut the King's Hawaiian round bread into slices then cubes and let sit out for a day before preparing this recipe. If you don't have a day, a quick way to dry out the bread as though it's a day-old is to stick it in a pan in the oven at 250 degrees for a bit (keep an eye on it and be careful not to let it cook, just let it dry out some.)
Grease a pan and dump in the bread (I used a casserole dish personally.) In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, white sugar, salt and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture and the Berry Blend dried fruit over the bread in the pan. Let this soak for a few minutes. Mix together the melted butter and brown sugar and pour this over top of the bread. Make sure all the bread is soaking and poke down bread that is not wet (and the same with the dried fruit.) Let this sit for a few more minutes to soak up some of the liquid mixture. Stick the pan in the oven, uncovered, and cook for 65 minutes or until the bread pudding is set and lightly golden. 
~Serve warm or cold and enjoy! I would love to hear your feedback on my recipe too!

Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Uncle Phil's Mustard Review

For our big BBQ, Uncle Phil's mustard sent us several mustard varieties to try out. Now, normally I don't like any mustard but yellow mustard, but I thought I would try something new and provide this for my guests who like different mustard varieties.
 
Uncle Phil's Mustard comes in six different varieties: Polish, Chipotle, Honey, Spicy Brown, Sweet & Sassy and Dijon Mustard. What makes Uncle Phil's Mustard especially great to me is that they are based out of my home state, Wisconsin!! That means they KNOW just how to make the perfect mustard for tailgates. How could this get any better? Well it just did! A case of SIX bottles of mustard in the flavor of your choice starts at only $6.50! You must purchase Uncle Phil's online or look for them in stores in the Midwest, mainly Wisconsin. Plus, if you're in Wisconsin for a Saturday Badger football game, Uncle Phil's has a tailgate party and if you stop by you can try out some of their mustard and take home some free product!!
As I mentioned previously, I hardly stray from plain old yellow mustard, but I didn't mind the honey mustard variety. In fact, I would say the Honey Mustard was my favorite flavor of all of them. I put some of my Uncle Phil's Honey Mustard on my ham sandwich with some swiss cheese and King's Hawaiian bread and it tasted great! I did try some of the Dijon on my finger and it sure tasted like Dijon mustard, but since I am not a huge fan of Dijon I personally didn't like it. I will tell you though, that a lot of my family members would love it and I am sure it would taste amazing in a recipe! For those that tried the different mustards at our BBQ, they said they were very flavorful and would go great on brats or chicken!

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Check out Uncle Phil's Mustard on Facebook!

Here is a recipe from Savvy Saving Couple:

Summertime Potato Salad
5 regular sized potatoes
1/2 cup mayo
1 Tablespoon Uncle Phil's Dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped Mt. Olive Pickles
1 celery stalk
1 chopped onion-use as much as you wish
 Ground pepper
1 boiled egg

Boil the chopped potatoes. When coole,d add all the ingredients above. Chill in fridge
~enjoy~
Thanks Savvy Saving Couple!


Here is another recipe from Couponing With Boys:

Ketchup and Mustard Meatloaf

1 lb ground beef
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup oats
3 Tablespoons onion flakes or 1 small onion, chopped

Mix all ingredients and form a loaf

Topping:
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Uncle Phil's Honey Mustard (or try Spicy Brown Mustard)

Mix all 3 ingredients together and pour over meatloaf

Bake meatloaf at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Recipe doubles or triples easily, depending on your needs. For 6 people, I usually use 2-3lbs of meat.

Thanks Couponing With Boys!

Disclaimer: I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Giveaway Promote's Anniversary Giveaway: $1,375+ worth of prizes, 23 winners!


How cool is this?! Be sure to enter and let me know if you're a winner!

Welcome to Giveaway Promote's Anniversary Giveaway!

We've joined Giveaway Promote in celebrating their first anniversary.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Grill Mates Seasoning and Marinade Review

As a member of Crowdtap, I was recently chosen to host a Grill Mates-sponsored grill out to try out some of their new and old meat seasonings and marinades! First we grilled out steaks for Independence Day and used the traditional Montreal Steak seasoning and it was GREAT as usual! I grew up with Montreal Steak seasoning, so to me, steak just isn't good steak withouth Montreal Steak haha. Yes, I did think the steak looked like the great United States so I cut off some pieces to make it look better just for July 4th!
Next we tried some deeelicious Molasses Bacon seasoning in our burgers and I have to say, it tasted great! Usually I don't like things with bacon on burgers, but I could taste it and Grill Mates did an awesome job with their seasoning! For ourselves, we put our burgers on Rudi's Flatz bread which for our burgers I actually preferred to regular burger buns, but for our party we tried it on King's Hawaiian burger buns which was pretty good too!
For our BBQ on base we used the Molasses Bacon on our burgers like I mentioned previously and it was a huge hit! Grill Mates gave our meat that extra kick it needed and I felt like a great cook without having to do much!! Our party guests raved that the seasoning added great flavor to the meat and was very tasty and perfect! I agree! One even said it made his "lips juicy!" Haha. That's JUST what you want in a good burger!
Today we tried some grilled chicken that marinated for a day in Grill Mates Spiced Brandy and Herb marinade and it was soooo good! I have to admit, it was some of the best chicken I had ever had. My husband went crazy over it and wouldn't even use the barbecue sauce because it wasn't even needed with the marinade. The marinated chicken came out so tender and perfectly seasoned even I was surprised! I highly recommend this product! I did use the Brown Sugar Bourbon barbecue sauce just to try it and it was pretty tasty! I would say use either the marinade or the sauce but both were great! I really enjoyed tonight's meal!

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Disclaimer: I am a member of Crowdtap and I received a free product to test for my review! These views are my own and were not at all influenced by the party who gave me this opportunity. If you would like to sound up for Crowdtap, go here.