Thursday, August 11, 2016

#BehindTheBlogger -- Let it Go

#BehindTheBlogger -- Let it Go

This is another prompt that I've been debating what direction to take this.

And while I got this prompt pretty late in the game, the decision came pretty quickly once I thought about it.

I am a bigger girl. Last time I weighed myself, I weighed 173.6 lbs. I'm 5' 2.5". I wear an 18-20 in jeans and an 1X/XL in stretch/elastic waist pants. I'm 'short and stocky.'

However, I don't let my weight bother me... for the most part. I come from a family where HONESTLY, my sister Margaret, my cousin Adrienne and I are the thinnest in the family. I accept myself as a BBW.

And most people accept me as I am. I get more looks from society for the way I walk than my weight. My friends accept me at my current weight. I don't feel judged...

Except by one person; Mama Melissa's father.

He is of the 'Thin is In' theory. He constantly runs me down for my weight, along with my disability. I'm called a 'fat*ss' and a 'ret*rd' on a daily basis. No matter how much I (or Mama Melissa) explain to him that Yes, I have brain damage, but the damage is on the PHYSICAL lobes of my brain; it has NOTHING to do with my intelligence or mental clarity, he still refers to me as a 'cripple' and/or a 'ret*rd.'

And it used to bother me for a long time.

But then, I started thinking... Why am I letting him get to me? Why do I really care what he thinks of me? He has no say over me. I'm not related to him by blood, and he takes every opportunity to remind me that Mama Melissa is NOT my mom... which he technically is right on that.

However, Mama Melissa CANNOT have children; I am the closest she has to a child. To her, she IS my mom.

But that doesn't change the fact that I was letting someone that has no real say over me control me.

And that's when I started taking a page from Elsa's book and began to let it go. Stop worrying about what others think of me and concentrate on my happiness.



#BehindTheBlogger Sidebar Button
Thank you for reading a story from #BehindTheBlogger Hop. Every 2 weeks a group of bloggers is given a writing prompt. These prompts are very open ended, so our bloggers can write about whatever they desire. The main rule is that their blog post directly relates to the topic of that week. The point of this hop is for our readers to get to know us on a personal level.
Please hop along and read all of the blog posts in this weeks hop. Just click the links below. If you want real and raw emotion, then you will find it here. After you read each post, please comment and share. We want to get to know you too!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Love with Food July 2016 GF box

Love with Food
July 2016 box

What is Love With Food?
Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Our subscription membership starts as low as $10/month. Every month, Love With Food members will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks which varies based on seasonal themes.

For every box sold, we donate a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength - No Kid Hungry. Join us to help end child hunger one meal at a time!

Say goodbye to boring grocery selections and start discovering your Love With Food experience!
I got a notification in my FedEx app that the August box is on it's way to me, so I figured, 'Well, I don't want a repeat of last month... better get on the ball!'

July’s theme is ‘Love is Adventure.’ It’s the height of summer, which means that everyone is raring to get outside and enjoy all the sun, warm weather and freedom that this season has to offer. What pairs better with adventures than scrumptious snacks? Nothing, we say. That’s why we packed this month’s box full of bright, bold flavors that will be right alongside you as you hit the open road.


^^excuse the wire -- my phone was nearly dead that day^^

BARNEY BUTTER SNACK PACK
Telling you what to eat this stuff with would be a disservice, because it’s good on everything. Fruit, crackers, toast --  there’s no wrong choice.

I got the crunchy Almond Butter packet and while it was delicious, it was very hard to ‘mix’ in the packet and actually squeeze out and spread onto my toast in the morning. I think if it had came in a single-serving cup, I would have had better luck. I did like the taste of it and the almonds were diced just small enough that it didn’t hurt my teeth.
TASTE: 9/10 on taste alone, 3/10 for the packaging.
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Dairy-free, Non-GMO

PURE GROWTH ORGANIC POPCORN
There’s popcorn and then there’s this organic, addictive, gluten-free stuff. Try it and tell us you can’t taste a difference.

FROM THE BAG:
The GOOD stuff
~organic
~gluten free
~kosher
NONE of the BAD stuff
~NO artificial colors
~NO artificial flavors
~NO cholesterol
~0g trans fat (per serving)
~NO MSG

I am usually not one for popcorn, but this? OMG. I’m not kidding when I say this is the BEST popcorn I’ve ever ate, even better than commercially available popcorn. This tasted exactly like unbuttered movie theater popcorn. This bag was pretty much INHALED.
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Organic, Gluten free

LUNA PROTEIN BERRY GREEK YOGURT BAR
The power of protein keeps you full and feeling good, so go ahead -- indulge in the nougaty goodness of LUNA protein for under 200 gluten-free calories.

Finally, a bar that didn’t have the sour yogurt taste like the Nineteen bars did. A little chewy, but not grainy, like some protein bars. I really didn’t taste the berries in this.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

BEANITOS BAKED WHITE BEAN MAC N’ CHEESE CRUNCH
Why put in all the effort of cooking mac and cheese when you can get it in a crunchy snack? You’ll wonder where these have been all your life.

FROM THE BAG: Beans make a better chip.
100% Baked
4g Complete protein
Nothing artificial ever
Good source of fiber
0g Trans fat

Cheetos made from beans, with the powdered cheese from boxed mac & cheese. This is EXACTLY what these were. Still yummy though.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Gluten free

LATE JULY JALAPENO LIME CLASICO TORTILLA CHIPS
This might just be the chip of the season. Crispy, spicy, citrusy, and perfectly pair-able with your favorite dip. Now all you need is a party.

Had a hint of sweetness to them. The Jalapeno and lime flavors balanced one another nicely. Easy on the teeth… almost seemed to dissolve in my mouth. One of my favorites of the box.
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Non-GMO

GRATIFY GLUTEN-FREE PRETZELS
Planning a road trip? Make sure these crunchy, salty snacks are number one on your list of essentials.

FROM THE BAG: Try on the great taste of Gratify.
Gratify Pretzels taste so delicious you won’t believe they’re gluten free. Baked to crisp perfection, they are just right for snacking at home or on the go. So get ready to be surprised.
Just like your favorite pair of jeans, you’ll find the great taste of our certified gluten free pretzels the perfect fit.
Enjoy the taste that’s designed to fit your lifestyle.

We received the ‘Everything Thins’ flavor. I personally wouldn’t call these ‘pretzels.’ They had the texture more of crackers than pretzels. I loved the flavors of these. Another favorite of the box.
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

LUNDBERG FAMILY FARMS ORGANIC RED RICE & QUINOA THIN STACKERS
Three ingredients, zero gluten, all delicious. We dare you to resist eating the whole package in one sitting.

Tasted just like an ordinary rice cake to me. I like rice cakes anyway, so this was a nice little treat.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Organic, Non-GMO

PUR MINTS PEPPERMINTS
These are not your average overly sweet peppermints. This is big, bold minty flavor that really lasts. Try one and see.

Mama Melissa took these for herself, since she is having blood sugar level issues and couldn’t have many of the snacks this month. The one I did get for tasting purposes tasted like a ramped up candy cane. Yum!
You can take $10 off your first order from thepurcompany.com by using LOVE10 at checkout.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Non-GMO

COOKSIMPLE CHIPOTLE SORGHUM PILAF
You’re just a few minutes away from a simple but flavor-packed dish made with ancient grains and just enough spice to keep it interesting.

Okay, I’m going to be straight-up honest. This sounds disgusting. According to the box, There are apples, sweet potatoes, and cranberries in this. I’m not 100% sure I’m going to even make this, but if I do, I’ll be picking those ingredients out.
TASTE: ?/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

EMMY’S ORGANICS LEMON GINGER MACAROONS
The ideal summertime cookie; Sweet but not too sweet, with a touch of spice and citrus. Your only regret will be when you get to the last one.

FROM THE PACKAGE: Have it all.
Simply classic, crowd-pleasing Lemon Ginger Macaroons. Smooth lemon flavor with a piquant, lingering bite of freshly ground ginger. Sweet & delicately spiced, these healthy treats are the perfect flavor combination. Yum!
This package embodies why we started emmy’s --  to provide delicious, healthy, energy-enhancing foods, made with love & care.

I normally like macaroons, but these were nasty. I didn’t like the way the flavors blended together. The lemon and the coconut did not jive well at all.
TASTE: 2/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free, Non-GMO

I really don't see disabled people having a problem eating these snacks, barring any chewing/swallowing issues. The hardest thing I see would be opening the box and the individual packages.

The Love With Food Gluten-Free box has merged with Taste Guru. Please visit this link for more info.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Still loving the variety in this month's box. I like how I got snacks, sweets, AND part of a meal in the same box.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

GIVEAWAY - Back to School with One Step Ahead

Back To School With One Step Ahead Giveaway

Welcome to the Back To School With One Step Ahead Giveaway!

Check out everything in the Back To School Gift Guide!

Hosted by:

Michigan Saving and More

Co Hosted by:

IMHO Views, Reviews and Giveaways

Sponsor:  One Step Ahead

8 Winners
8/2 – 8/31

~~~~~~~~

One Step Ahead

1st Prize
Zevro-Indispensable-Dispenser Back To School With One Step Ahead Giveaway Ends 8/31

Zevro Original Indispensable Dispenser

$59.95 rv
See review HERE.

~~~~~~~~

2nd Prize
Daily Planner Back To School With One Step Ahead

Daily Planner

$39.95 rv
See review HERE.

~~~~~~~~

3rd Prize
Personalized My First School Backpack Back To School With One Step Ahead

Personalized My First School Backpack

$29.95 rv
See review HERE.

~~~~~~~~

4th Prize
Organizing For Back To School Made Easy Back To School With One Step Ahead

Days of the Week Closet Organizer

$29.95 rv
See review HERE.

~~~~~~~~

5th Prize
time tracker Back To School With One Step Ahead

Time Tracker ® Mini

$22.95 rv
See review HERE.

~~~~~~~~

6th Prize
Dress Themselves Back To School With One Step Ahead

Kids' Myself Belt

$19.95 rv
See review HERE.

~~~~~~~~

7th Prize
Learn Left From Right Back To School With One Step Ahead

Left Right Shoe Labels 8-Pack

$14.95 rv
See review HERE.

~~~~~~~~

8th Prize
One Step Ahead Personalized Soft Insulated Lunch Container Back To School With One Step Ahead

Personalized Soft Insulated Lunch Pail

$14.95 rv
See review HERE.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. You are not eligible if you have won a prize from the sponsor in the last 12 month. This Giveaway is valid in the United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 8/31/16. The winners will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The sponsors are responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contest are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com or contact the owner of the blog you are entering on!

We “LOVE” it if you like us!

Monday, August 1, 2016

GIVEAWAY -- Back To School In Style

This post contains affiliate links -- if clicked on, the host may receive a small commission to support her blog.

Back To School In Style Grand Prize Giveaway Ends 8/31
 

Welcome to the Back To School In Style Grand Prize Giveaway!

 It comes every year and parents are happy and sad!  Happy they will not be hearing "I'm bored" for a while, and sad because they have to spend money for Back to School!  We want to help with the last part as much as possible and send the kids Back To School In Style!

Check out the Back To School Gift Guide!

4 Winners will win almost $900 rv of prizes!

Hosted by:
Co Hosted by:

I want to thank all the wonderful bloggers that help promote these contests!  Please visit and follow them so we all can have great contests for our followers!

Summer To Remember

WE ALSO WANT TO THANK OUR AWESOME SPONSORS – PLEASE SHOW THEM SOME LOVE!

Remember:  You are not eligible if you have won from any sponsor in the last 12 months, this includes contests on other websites.
IntelliARMOR – Smarter iPhone Case –  See review HERE.
Get 20% off with Coupon Code: MSVQR7A2
Get 20% off with Coupon Code: Y43T2DTG
JClaw Tek – Flash LED Headlamp – See review HERE.
15% off Flash coupon code: TR8EDO88
JClaw Tek – Fire Talon Multitool – See review HERE.
15% off Fire Talon coupon code: 2XCQLAG3
JClaw Tek Kodiak Survival Knife – See review HERE.
15% off Fire Talon coupon code: 69YCX7CM
15% off this flashlight with coupon code: YYOH4R4R
Sign up for email and receive a $10 discount HERE.
Code SUMMER15 gives you 15% off of any Glasstic Product
I SEE ME! – Personalized Lunchbox – See review HERE.
Newman’s Own Organics – Snack Package – See Review HERE.
GoodbynBynto and Hero - See Review HERE.
NeocellDerma Matrix - See Review HERE.
Brooklyn Bean Roastery – Cocomocha  – See Review HERE.
Brooklyn Bean Roastery – Big Kahuna – See review HERE.

THE GIVEAWAY

back to school 1st prize back to school 2nd prize
back to school 3rd prize back to school 4th place
This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated, or associated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. You are not eligible if you have won a prize from any of the sponsors in the last 12 month. This Giveaway is valid in the Continental United States Only and Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway event will end at 11:59 PM (EST) 8/31/16. The winners will have 48 hours to email their information back to las93063 at gmail dot com or a new winner will be drawn, you may want to put this email address as safe as it could go to spam. The sponsors are each responsible for shipping of the above prizes. No blog associated with this contests are responsible for prize fulfillment. If you would like to be a sponsor in a giveaway like this please email Laura Smith at las930 (at)gmail (dot) com.

Also we all “love it if you like us” on Facebook! If you like our blogs on social media it helps us bring you only the best giveaways and more of them!

Good Luck and Come Back Daily For More Entries!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kemosabe Flavored coffees

Kemosabe Flavored coffees

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Based in Tucson, Arizona, it is the mission of Southwest Beverages to become the world’s premier dry mixed beverage company. We will accomplish this mission by offering our customers better quality hot cocoa mix and gourmet flavored coffee products at fairer prices, which will build brands that are sustainable in the marketplace.

Southwest Beverages was founded by Bob Jenkins, his wife, Susan and their entrepreneur minded son, Kevin. Bob, a 40-year veteran of the soft drink industry, has applied every aspect of the executive management experience he gained from working for Canada Dry, Dr Pepper, Cadbury Beverages and Snapple, to the development of Southwest Beverages. The company tag line, “It’s a DRY mix®”, is reflective of the company’s dry mix beverages and a “play” off of the most popular phrase associated with the climate of Arizona, “It’s a DRY heat”. The company logo depicts the Catalina mountains of Tucson as it back ground with its mascot cowboy, “Durango”.

All Southwest Beverages products have been carefully designed and uniquely blended into a ready-to-serve dry mix that contains all the creamer, sugar, flavoring and cocoa and/or coffee ingredients necessary for the consumer to simply add eight ounces of hot water to enjoy the ultimate hot beverage experience. All of our ingredients are premium quality selected from the best American suppliers. All of our products are passionately blended and hand packaged at our Tucson, Arizona manufacturing facility and shipped to the consumer with pride and care. All products are 100 % gluten free and 99.9 % caffeine free and are easily microwavable. To enjoy, simply empty one envelope into a mug with 8 ounces of hot water, stir, cradle the mug in your hands, then sip, savor and enjoy.

Kemosabe premium quality, instant, ready-to serve, gourmet flavored coffee single serve envelopes are available in chocolate cinnamon, chocolate hazelnut, creme butterscotch, chocolate Irish cream, mocha and french vanilla.

For diet lovers our low calorie, diet Kemosabe Lite gourmet flavors are available in the same flavors as our sugar based Kemosabe flavors. Each flavor offers the same great taste but with less than 1 gram of sugar per serving.

Each Kemosabe and Kemosabe Lite envelope contains all the ingredients necessary for you to make 1-8 ounce serving. Simply add water. Easy microwavable. 100 % gluten free and 99.9 % caffeine free.

Available in Six Flavors:

Mocha
Chocolate Cinnamon
Chocolate Hazelnut
Crème Butterscotch
Chocolate Irish Cream
French Vanilla
I love coffee, especially flavored coffees. I try to limit myself to 2 or 3 cups a day, because it tends to give me some AWFULLY bad heartburn. But it seems to only be perk coffee. I don’t get it as much with instant varieties, but it’s hard to find flavored instant coffee.

Which is why I was super excited to get some Kemosabe brand coffees from Southwest Beverages for review.

I received a box of the Chocolate Cinnamon variety, a box of the Chocolate Hazelnut variety, a Sampler box, containing 5 of the 6 varieties, and 2 packets of the Crème Butterscotch variety.


^^The boxes I received^^
NOT SHOWN: 2 Crème Butterscotch packets

Mocha
Our signature flavor coffee blend is infused with just a hint of cocoa to form a rich aroma and great tasting flavor.

I’m usually not one for Mocha coffees; they always seem too rich for me. But this was just the right balance of richness and creaminess, without being overly sweet. If all Mocha coffees and creamers were like this, I’d have no problem drinking them.
TASTE: 9/10

Chocolate Cinnamon
This ever popular flavor marries the sweet and spicy qualities of cinnamon with our flavorful mocha blend to create a coffee lovers delight.

This was one of my favorite flavors, just because it had cinnamon in it. The chocolate wasn’t overly done, and the cinnamon gave it a nice contrasting flavor; a lot of sweet with a bit of a spicy kick. Very delicious.
TASTE: 10/10

Chocolate Hazelnut
This nutty coffee flavor is the perfect combination of our creamy mocha blend and toasty hazelnuts. Wow!

While I usually like the hazelnut flavor, something about commercial hazelnut coffee creamer just doesn’t cut it for me. The creamer companies seem to put TOO much hazelnut flavor and it overpowers the natural cream flavor.
However, with this flavor, the chocolate muted the hazelnut flavor just enough to where it was a nice equal flavor.
TASTE: 9/10

Crème Butterscotch
This blend of rich, creamy butterscotch coffee will warm your heart and bring back your childhood memories of Grandma’s candy dish.

I think this was the least of my favorites, but I am not a huge fan of butterscotch to begin with. The only Butterscotch thing I like is butterscotch pudding.
I will say it was a very creamy flavor, very reminiscent of butterscotch pudding, but the flavor of the coffee with the butterscotch ruined it for me.
TASTE: 7/10

Chocolate Irish Cream
A descendent of its spirit-based Irish cream cousin, this classic winter treat blends two of our most popular flavors together to form a rich and indulgent delight.

My ex-boyfriend got me hooked on Irish Cream/Creme creamer, so this was a treat. I liked the way the creaminess of the Irish Cream blended with the creaminess of the chocolate for a rich, decadent flavor. Neither flavor overpowered the other.
TASTE: 9/10

French Vanilla
The burst of vanilla flavor delightfully blended with our rich creamy coffee creates an aroma and taste you’ll find yourself continuously craving.

This was my other favorite of the flavors I was sent. Just like with the hazelnut flavor, commercial French Vanilla creamers taste like the companies lost the bottle of vanilla extract in them and seem to be WAY too sweet for me. They also seem to give me some unpleasant ‘bathroom issues.’
But this coffee mix let me enjoy the French Vanilla flavor without all those issues. I really liked this mix.
TASTE: 9.5/10

My favorite thing about these mixes is I don’t need to add sugar to my coffee when drinking them. When I don’t have flavored creamers, I usually add 2 spoons of sugar to my cup. These mixes have the sugar added right in, so all I need to do is add the water, stir and drink (once the coffee cools to a drinkable temperature… I’ve burned my tongue MANY times on coffee)

Speaking of how simple it is to make these mixes, They are going to be a CINCH for disabled people to make and enjoy. The mixes come in resealable bags, so they are simple to open. The hardest thing for a disabled person may be actually pouring the hot water into the cup.

Another reason I like Southwest Beverages is their fundraising work. Southwest Beverages has an AMAZING fundraising program, too!  For churches, sports teams, schools, and any other organization that wants to raise money, Sippity® hot cocoa mix and Kemosabe® gourmet flavored coffee are high quality products people LOVE.  The unique fundraising program generates 35 % profit margins and requires no up-front costs. To learn more about their Fundraising fund raising program please visit:  http://southwestbeverages.3dcartstores.com/Program-Features_ep_132.html

To learn more about Southwest Beverages, in general, and to shop for your favorite Kemosabe gourmet coffee flavor please visit their website by visiting that link.

BUT WAIT!!! The founders of Southwest Beverages, Bob and Susan, want to give one of my lucky readers the SAME package I reviewed!



Kemosabe Coffee giveaway

FINAL THOUGHTS
Delicious coffee that's easy to make.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Love with Food June 2016 box

Love with Food
June 2016 box

What is Love With Food?
Love With Food helps you discover new organic or all-natural snacks delivered to your door every month. Our subscription membership starts as low as $10/month. Every month, Love With Food members will receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty snacks which varies based on seasonal themes.

For every box sold, we donate a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength - No Kid Hungry. Join us to help end child hunger one meal at a time!

Say goodbye to boring grocery selections and start discovering your Love With Food experience!
So, I'm actually looking at July's box right now, which means I am once again behind! So, Let's get on with the review of June's box.

June’s theme is ‘Love is Celebration.’ It’s finally summertime which, come on, is a reason to celebrate all on its own, right? This is the season for great parties and get togethers, and what makes a great party more than great food? This month, share these scrumptious all-natural with someone you love and celebrate all the flavors of summer yet to come!


SINFULLY THIN BLUE CORN POPCORN
Ever made popcorn for a “light snack” and eaten WAY too much? Hey, we’ve all been there. But with this all-natural stuff, there’s no need for guilt!

FROM THE BAG: HUGE TASTE. small consequence.
No junk in our popcorn. No junk in your trunk.
Being goon never taste so great. Behold the savior of snacking, Sinfully Thin. No longer will you be trapped in popcorn purgatory when you unleash the naughty nibbler within.
Why so blue?
Blue corn is just better. It is slightly sweeter and more tender than regular popcorn. Its brilliant blue color contains anthocyanins, the same stuff that makes blueberries blue. Give back to your body and be more blue.

Not sure what ‘blue corn’ should taste like, but This tastes just like salted popcorn. Soft on the teeth as well.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

SOY VAY THAI STYLE PEANUT POPPED RICE CLUSTERS
These bring a whole new meaning to rice snacks. Crunchy, spicy and addictively bite-sized, you’ll be hooked right away.

Nice, spicy flavor to it, but a bit hard on my teeth. I’m not sure why they called these ‘bite-size,’ because they weren’t. One cluster took me 2 or 3 bites to eat. These were a bit too spicy for me. I still have half a bag to eat.
TASTE: 6/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Non-GMO, Dairy-free

SNAPZ ORIGINAL CRUNCHY PREMIUM APPLE CRISPS
You can’t get more all-natural than these crispy fruit bites made with real organic apples. Go ahead, have the whole bag.

FROM THE BAG: Our apples are picked fresh from the orchard, washed, sliced, and then using our unique method, are gently dried so we can produce fantastically crunchy, natural crisps that keep in all the taste.
BETTER, TASTIER, HEALTHIER, CRUNCHIER!
*Nut Free
*Gluten Free
*Not fried
*No added sugar or salt
*No artificial additives or preservatives
*70 calories

Dried out apple slices. That’s EXACTLY what these were. While I usually love dried/dehydrated apples, I did NOT like these. The dried apples I like are chewy and soft, almost rubbery. They also taste like apples. These tasted like… nothing.
TASTE: 2/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Non-GMO, Dairy-free

KETTLE BRAND SEA SALT POTATO CHIPS
One crunch of these and you’ll be thinking of all the great summer memories ahead, like barbecues and days on the beach.

FROM THE WEBSITE: Only three ingredients in this classic chip: potatoes, oil and sea salt. Why mess with simplicity? The pureness of a whole potato, thinly sliced, cooked to golden perfection, and seasoned with fresh sea salt delivers undeniable flavor and crunch.

Tasted just like plain potato chips. Not too heavy on the salt either. If I was blindfolded, I’d be HARD-PRESSED to tell these from other kettle-cooked varieties of chips.
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten free

WILD GARDEN SUNDRIED TOMATO HUMMUS DIP
This stuff is so good, you’ll be tempted to eat it straight from the package. Not that we’d blame you.

This was my first time eating hummus… and it probably will be my last. I’m not saying this wasn’t yummy, because it was. It sort of reminded me of salsa. But it just had a very odd flavor that just wasn’t really for me. I’m not sure if it was the chick peas, the tahini or the olive oil that ruined it for me.
If you like salsa and regular hummus, you’ll enjoy this. But I think I’d pass on this myself.
TASTE: 6/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free, Vegan, Dairy-free

SNACK FACTORY GLUTEN FREE ORIGINAL PRETZEL CRISPS
Now everyone can get in on the pretzel party with these crunchy bites that are packed with salty goodness and are 100% gluten-free.

I already reviewed these here: http://www.thecpchick.com/2016/07/snack-factory-pretzel-crisps.html
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten free

BRAMI SEA SALT LUPINI BEANS
Never had a Lupini bean? Here’s a preview: Protein-packed, fresh, perfectly salty, with absolutely no GMOs. We thought you might be interested.

Take a butter bean, dry it out for about a day, salt it, then eat it. You basically have these beans.
While I like butter beans now and then as a side dish, these were actually disgusting and hard to chew. They almost seemed like they were raw.
Take 10% off your order at bramibeans.com with the code 'LOVEWITH10'
TASTE: 4/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten free

JUVO ORGANIC RAW MEAL
Try a different way of eating raw with this fruit and veggie-packed meal replacement.
Tip: it goes great in your favorite juice!

FROM THE PACKET: JUVO was founded by a world renowned oncologist, Dr. James Hwang. He studied the benefits of raw food diets and formulated JUVO as a means of alternative treatment to optimize your overall nutrition.

Nope. Not happening. Last time I drank something with raw veggies in it, I nearly puked. I refused to even try this.
TASTE: 0/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten free, Organic

THE COOKIE DEPARTMENT CHERRY BOMB COOKIE
One bite of this chewy, probiotic-packed, gluten-free masterpiece and you’ll remember what makes cherry and chocolate such a classic combo.

I actually wasn’t crazy over this. I expected a chocolate covered cherry taste. It tasted more like a brownie with cherries baked in.
TASTE: 6/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten free

BANZA CHICKPEA PASTA
Protein and fiber-packed with a taste unlike anything else. Once you go chickpea, you never go back.

FROM THE BOX: Chickpeas make delicious pasta.
That’s why we used them to create Banza. We took a household favorite and made it even better, turning the pasta you love into the pasta that loves you back.
With 2x the protein, 4x the fiber and nearly half the net carbs, you can make every night pasta night.

Once again, I couldn’t tell the difference between these and normal pasta noodles. I made my Poor Man’s Tuna Noodle Casserole with them and LOVED it.
What I like about Banza Pasta is how good they are for you…
BANZA PASTA
25G Protein
13G Fiber
43G Net Carbs
Vs
AVERAGE PASTA
13G Protein
3G Fiber
71G Net Carbs

That’s a HUGE difference. And they are so yummy too!
You can take 25% off your order at eatbanza.com by using the code 'LOVEWITHBANZA'
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten free

ZOUQ CURRY CRUNCH
Exotically spiced, perfectly crunchy, with the ideal balance of sweet and sour. You’re not going to want to share this stuff.

FROM THE PACKAGE: A potpourri of sweet and sour taste harmoniously blended with rice flakes, chickpea flour, peanuts and turmeric powder. What Fun!
Zouq takes you on a romantic, mysterious, and magical journey to the world of exotic flavors. Zouq is where you share your love for food and adventure, connect to all who love exploring new food experiences, and where you cherish food memories from other cultures. Share your story and discover the world of flavors at www.zouq.com

My favorite thing in the box this month. Delightfully spicy with a hint of sweetness. Had a strong taste of cooked eggs, which was fine by me. I actually might buy this, if I can find the money.
What I REALLY liked about this was that it has turmeric powder in it. Turmeric powder is said to have benefits for people with CP, and the night I ate this, my legs actually felt NORMAL. I haven’t felt normal in so long, I actually forgot what it felt like!!
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Organic, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten free

SOLA BAR
Packed with nuts, seeds, delicious spices and zero GMOs, this snack is a perfect pick-me-up anytime.

I’m going to be honest, I forgot what this tasted like. I believe we got the Chipotle flavor, which I don’t think was all that spicy. If I recall correctly, it reminded me a lot of the Keen One Quinoa packet I had in the March 2015 Taste Guru box.
Get 20% off and FREE shipping on your first order from solasnacks.com by using the code 'SOLALOVEFOOD'
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Non-GMO, Vegan, Dairy-free, Gluten free

I really don't see disabled people having a problem eating these snacks, barring any chewing/swallowing issues. The hardest thing I see would be opening the box and the individual packages.

The Love With Food Gluten-Free box has merged with Taste Guru. Please visit this link for more info.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Still loving the variety in this month's box. I like how I got snacks, sweets, AND part of a meal in the same box.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

#BehindTheBlogger -- Where do I belong?

#BehindTheBlogger -- Where do I belong?

I've been debating ever since I got this prompt, what direction to take this.

There are MANY ways to take it. I could keep it to the blog and explain my niche. I could make a personal revelation about myself, that could either break what readership I have or bring in a slew of readers. I could go religious and explain why I strayed from the church I was born into... which I may still do a post about, away from this blog hop.

However, I'm not going to do any of them... at least not right now.

So, Where do I belong?

Well, to tell you the truth, I don't know.

I don't feel like I fit in with my peers. Back in school, I tried SO hard to fit in with the crowd. I mean, Don't get me wrong; I had my own thoughts, my own opinions, my own feelings. But, I never really went 'against the grain.' I did the same things 85% of my school mates did: My music tastes ran from Nelson, Def Leppard and Guns'N'Roses to Paula Abdul, Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson, with some Boyz II Men, Oasis, and the 90's 'Boy Bands' mixed in for good measure. I dressed the same as they did. I watched the same 'Teenage Drama' TV shows they did (#TeamBrandonWalshForever). I went to the same school events they did. I knew being disabled was working against me as it was, so I tried to be as normal as possible.

But as I aged, I started drifting from the peers. When most kids were listening to Hanson and The Bloodhound Gang and collecting Pokemon, I was listening to country and getting interested in technology. I didn't like The O.C. or Felicity... I was watching Daria and Scrubs. I went from trying to copy the fashion of the year to the style of 'Whatever fit me.'

Now that I'm in my mid-heading-to-late 30s, I'm not into ANYTHING that the people in my age bracket are into. I still wear whatever fits me. I listen to the music I grew up with (Matter of fact, as I type this up, I'm listening to 'Shoop' by Salt & Pepa). I have never seen an episode of Game Of Thrones, and the only Walking Dead I'm interested in has Clementine, not Daryl Dixon.

That's not to say I don't like some modern stuff too. I play the Candy sagas. I like 'Rude' by Magic!, Meghan Trainor, and I believe in Gay Marriage.

So, Where do I belong?

Right where I am... and I'm perfectly happy with that.

#BehindTheBlogger Sidebar Button
Thank you for reading a story from #BehindTheBlogger Hop. Every 2 weeks a group of bloggers is given a writing prompt. These prompts are very open ended, so our bloggers can write about whatever they desire. The main rule is that their blog post directly relates to the topic of that week. The point of this hop is for our readers to get to know us on a personal level.  Please hop along and read all of the blog posts in this weeks hop. Just click the links below. If you want real and raw emotion, then you will find it here. After you read each post, please comment and share. We want to get to know you too!

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps

Pretzel Crisps

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
We Reinvented the Pretzel to Create a Wholesome, Healthy and Versatile Alternative to Snacking
Since 2004, Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps® have been a modern twist on an old favorite. They combine the best part of the pretzel – all the flavor and crunch – but lighter, crispier and more versatile than ever before.

Made to Dip, Top, Pair and Share!

The exceptionally thin, flat-baked pretzel crackers have multiple uses in snacking. Whether eaten straight out of the bag, paired with other foods like meat, cheese, fruit and veggies or “skinny” dipped in your favorite low fat dip or spread, Pretzel Crisps® are the perfect snack to share with family and friends.

Recommended by Dietitians

A perfect snack for those with special medical needs like diabetes and/or high cholesterol.

"Pretzel Crisps® does not contain trans or saturated fats and have only 21-23 grams of carbohydrate per serving (1 ½ carbohydrate exchanges). People with diabetes can easily fit Pretzel Crisps® in carbohydrate meal plan as a snack or with a meal and not raise blood glucose levels dramatically."

- Emily Mitchell, MS, RD, CSSD, CDE, Registered Dietitian, Certified Sports Specialist Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator
Growing up, pretzels were one of my favorite snacks. I'd honestly rather have a bag of pretzels than a bag of candy. I preferred the mini variety, since they were easier for my little hands to hold.

As I grew, I found I liked dipping my pretzels into something. My 'go-to' choices were either a can of cheese dip or when it was the end of the month and money was tight, ketchup and yellow mustard mixed (or just plain yellow mustard).

When Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps agreed to send me some bags for review, I was excited. Pretzels and chips together? What could be better?

Let's take a look at the flavor I received!


Original
Perfectly salted Original Pretzel Crisps® give you that satisfying, hearty crunch in a versatile shape that's dippable, spreadable, and deliciously snackable. With great gourmet taste from wholesome ingredients, it's the perfect snack anytime!

Just take a regular pretzel, flatten it, salt it and then bake it. I found these a little too salty for me. They seemed to be saltier than normal pretzels. I'd say more like a pretzel rod.
TASTE: 7.5/10

Original Minis
Inspired by consumer demand for wholesome, bite-sized snacking options that all members of the family can enjoy. Minis Original Pretzel Crisps® are sure to be a hit with consumers on-the-go.

Just like the Original crisps, in a miniature form. Everything else was the same, including the level of saltiness. However, these were easier for me to handle.
TASTE: 8.5/10

Gluten Free Original Minis
New Gluten Free Original Minis offer the wholesome goodness and simple ingredient list that Pretzel Crisps®  fans love while providing gluten sensitive snackers with a delicious and guilt free snack to nosh, top and share.

Just like the Original crisps and the Original Minis, just without the gluten some people can’t have. Also seemed to have less salt. I really didn’t taste a difference between these and the normal Originals, minus the less salt.
TASTE: 9.5/10

Honey Mustard & Onion
Complementing other bold flavors available in the popular Deli Style line-up, Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Crisps® marries tangy mustard and onion with the irresistible sweetness of honey.

I personally didn’t care for this one, which is odd, because I usually like Honey Mustard. But I really didn’t taste much onion on here; the Honey Mustard overpowered the onion. Mama Melissa took the rest of this bag.
TASTE: 6/10

Sriracha & Lime
The bold and spicy Sriracha & Lime Pretzel Crisps® combine the zesty flavor of sriracha with the cool, refreshing taste of lime. It’s a wholesome snack that’s packed with crunch and kick.

Talk about FIRE! I usually love Sriracha-flavored foods, using Sriracha Mayonnaise when I make my chicken salad. But these were just TOO hot for me, and it was light on the lime flavor. Not saying they were awful, but they just were too hot for me!
TASTE: 6.5/10

Garlic Parmesan
Deli-Style Garlic Parmesan Pretzel Crisps® are a zingy twist on an old favorite, with great gourmet taste from wholesome ingredients. The best part of the pretzel - that satisfying flavor and crunch - is crispy thin and baked with a light, savory garlic flavor for big flavor in a light, crispy snack.

Nice garlic taste, but would have like more of the Parmesan flavor to shine through. It almost seems like the company just used extremely fine powder for the Parmesan cheese. I would have rather they actually used grated cheese.
TASTE: 7/10

Salted Caramel Gluten Free Minis
New Gluten Free Salted Caramel Minis combine the hearty crunch of Pretzel Crisps® with the delectable flavor of creamy caramel. Each bite is a guilt and gluten free treat packed with an irresistible sweet and salty flavor.

Take the Gluten Free minis and dust them with a little bit of salt and caramel powder. Just the right amount of salt and sweetness. Neither flavor outweighed the other. Very delicious.
TASTE: 8/10

Cheddar Minis
Inspired by consumer demand for wholesome, bite-sized snacking options that all members of the family can enjoy. Minis Cheddar Pretzel Crisps® are sure to be a hit with consumers on-the-go.

Tasted like a Cheez-it cracker, but with more salt. I would have liked more cheese flavor and less salt though. I think the salt overpowered the cheese taste.
TASTE: 7/10

Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper
Giving consumers a distinctive base for creating layers of flavor in each bite, the new Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Pretzel Crisps® perfectly balances the exuberant zing of fresh cracked pepper with the classic tang of sea salt.

Didn’t taste too different from the Original variety for me… Best way to describe these is if you took the salt off the Originals and replaced it with pepper. I liked these, but I think eating a lot of these at once might cause your stomach to burn from the pepper (if pepper bothers your stomach).
TASTE: 9/10

Buffalo Wing
Our Buffalo Wing Pretzel Crisps® flavor is a crowd pleaser! Everyone loves the spicy flavor sprinkled right on top of each crisp.

Take just the sauce of a hot chicken wing and dip your pretzels into it. This wasn’t as hot as the Sriracha and Lime flavor crisps, but they are on the spicy side. I think if you dipped these in either Ranch or Blue Cheese dip, it would taste JUST like a hot chicken wing.
TASTE: 8/10

Sesame
Our Sesame Pretzel Crisps® flavor is lightly toasted to bring out the sesame seed's essential oils, adding a healthy kick to Pretzel Crisps®' delicious crunch. Sesame seeds are rich in iron, magnesium, manganese, copper, calcium, vitamin B1, E and a good source of lignans (phytoestrogens with antioxidant and anti-cancer properties). Health qualities aside, one bite, and you’ll be saying "Open Sesame," again and again!

One of my favorite of what we received. I love Sesame-flavored foods, and this did not disappoint. Very heavy on the sesame flavor and the actual sesame seeds were a delightful bonus.
TASTE: 9/10

Everything
Our Everything Pretzel Crisps® flavor, sprinkled generously with poppy seeds, sesame seeds, onions and garlic with just a pinch of salt, more than lives up to its name. Packed with flavor, baked, not fried.

Everything Pretzel Crisps® deliver great taste without the guilt.

This is supposed to be like an Everything Bagel, but all I could taste was garlic and sesame seeds. I liked them, but I would have liked more different flavors on this. These actually weren’t very salty either, which was a plus.
TASTE: 8.5/10

The main problem I foresee disabled people having with these (minus any chewing issues) are opening and resealing the zipper bags. If the zippers aren't lined up correctly, the bag will not close and the crisps will go stale.

Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps® are available from most supermarkets and major retailers nationwide. Please visit the Where To Buy page for locations near you or shop their Amazon page.

FINAL THOUGHTS
A very delicious snack food that pretzel lovers will enjoy immensely!
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes

**As per FTC guidelines, I received this product in exchange for an honest review. Only compensation I received is the product(s) mentioned above. All opinions are my own and your usage/results may vary.**

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Mountain Dew Dewshine

Mountain Dew Dewshine

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
Dewshine is a citrus flavored soda, and is clear in color. It is made of real sugar, similar to that of Throwback. Similar to another flavor, Johnson City Gold, Dewshine is non-alcoholic, despite the name being a portmanteau of the highly-alcoholic beverage "moonshine" and Mountain Dew.

Originally Dewshine was only in the 12 oz. bottles made out of glass but has now been made available in limited edition Dewshine 25 oz. jugs. A selection of 4 different jars of Dewshine have been seen at Circle K stores which are also advertised as limited edition.

When Mountain Dew was first created and was intended to be a whisky mix, it was described as having a flavor similar to that of 7-Up.
On my monthly errands run in July, I saw this in our local Dollar General store. It intrigued me, because Mountain Dew is my favorite soda. I have tried MANY Mountain Dew flavors in my day, my favorite flavor being the Code Red flavor. (My LEAST favorite is Game Fuel)

When I initially saw it, the bottle said it’s made with ‘real cane sugar.’ Based on this, I thought it would have a taste similar to Mountain Dew Throwback, just in a clear formula, similar to the upcoming re-release of Crystal Pepsi.

I essentially thought it was Crystal Mountain Dew.


ITEM HERE

It’s not… FAR from it.

This seriously tastes NOTHING like Mountain Dew, Not even slightly.

For lack of a better description, it tastes non-alcoholic vodka mixed with a cough syrup. There is not even a smidgen of Mountain Dew taste in this.

I think disabled people will have the most trouble OPENING the bottle. The bottle I bought had a ‘twist-off’ beer bottle type cap. I had to have Mama Melissa open it for me. The larger bottles have a twist top similar to a Karo Syrup top. This is also a glass bottle, so extra care is needed when handling.

Mountain Dew Dewshine comes in 12 oz and 25 oz. glass bottles. It is available from most stores and from Amazon.com.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Quite possibly the WORST flavor of Mountain Dew I have ever tried. I’d rather drink Game Fuel over this!
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: No