Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

#BehindTheBlogger -- End of The Road

#BehindTheBlogger -- End of The Road

So, it's that time of year again...another year winding down, a new one about to begin.

And what can we say about 2016?

In a few short words: IT SUCKED.

IT SUCKED SO HARD.

So many greats have left us this year...
~Abe Vigoda - One of my faves on Barney Miller. I never really watched Fish, but I watched a LOT of Barney Miller reruns. You couldn't help but love the the old curmudgeon.
~Alan Rickman - Most people will know Mr. Rickman as Severus Snape from the Harry Potter franchise, but he will ALWAYS be the Sheriff of Nottingham from Robin Hood: Prince of Theives in my mind.
~David Bowie - Most people know Mr. Bowie from Labyrinth (which is how I initially knew of him) or from Ziggy Stardust, but I know him best from his single Let's Dance or his cover duet of Dancin' in the Street with Mick Jagger. My sister was OBSESSED with him.
~Mother Mary Angelica - Founder of EWTN. Even though I'm not really religious, I watched some of her shows while doing my Confirmation studies. She was about the ONLY one on EWTN I liked. She seemed sweet, but stern in her convictions
~Garry Shandling - I loved It's Garry Shandling's Show in the 1980s, although their plotlines were probably too advanced for a child to be watching. I never watched The Larry Sanders Show; Never really appealed to me.
~Nancy Reagan - I am not a Republican by any means, but she was one of my favorite First Ladies. Her 'Just Say No' campaign was a huge boost for the war on drugs. She had style and grace that hadn't been seen since Jackie Kennedy-Onassis. I give her the utmost respect at how she handled 'Ronnie's' Alzheimer's/Dementia and death.
~Prince - One of my favorite musical artists as a child and teenager. A lot of my favorite songs from the late 1980s and early 1990s are by Prince. I think it was at this point that I knew 2016 was going to be a suckfest.
~Chyna - My favorite WWE 'Diva' from the Attitude Era. Along with Lita and Trish Stratus, Chyna was a true trailblazer for women in wrestling/Sports Entertainment, whatever you want to call it. It was a shame she got tangled up with the people she did, and it's sad that she passed when she did, because it seemed like she was FINALLY turning her life around. The way she was treated by the WWE after her death (and the company's REFUSAL to induct her into the Hall of Fame) is one of the MAJOR reasons I started distancing myself from watching.
~Merle Haggard - I honestly thought Mr. Haggard had died in the 1990s. Turns out he didn't, and he was still making music up until his death. My favorite song by him is If We Make it Through December.
~Alan Young - Wilbur on Mister Ed. I loved watching reruns of this on Nick at Nite/TV Land.
~Muhammad Ali - Kind of expected this one, actually, considering his 30+ year battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was one of the true greats.
~Gene Wilder - And this is where I was convinced 2016 was just one big ball of suckitude. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory was one of my favorite childhood movies, but he was also HILARIOUS in Blazing Saddles.
~Leonard Cohen - Talented poet, singer and songwriter. His song Hallelujah is how I know him and I love it.
~John Glenn - A HUGE piece of US History left us. He influenced NASA so much with his missions.
~Alan Thicke - Regardless of what he may or may not have done to Tracey Gold on set, he was still a great actor and will be remembered as 'Papa Seaver' to many of us.
~Zsa Zsa Gabor - I spent a long time looking at her Wikipedia page, trying to recall what she was famous for. Turns out, the only thing I personally remember her for was her slapping an LAPD officer. She's been in a lot of films, but I don't recall seeing any of them besides Beverly Hillbillies, and that was a cameo appearance.
~George Michael - Make this the 3rd childhood music icon we lost in 2016. I remember listening to One More Try after my 3rd grade teacher, Miss Smith, told us she was leaving the class to get married and not realizing he really didn't mean a schoolteacher. (C'mon, I was 8 at the time... I didn't understand the meaning of the song) Same with Father Figure; I had NO clue that song was about BDSM... My little 8 year old brain couldn't process the meaning of 'Daddy' beyond 'a male parent of a child.' My 30-something brain was shocked when it realized what his songs were truly about. My favorite song of his is his duet with Elton John, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me. I was a huge fan of both men before, but this duet sealed it for me.
~Carrie Fisher - Really? Princess Leia? After hearing she was on the mend, this is the one that just blew me away and convinced me 2016 was just being vindictive.

As of this writing, we have 4 more days of 2016 left... I am so glad we've finally come to the end of the road for it, and it can do what it did to so many people this year.

#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, December 16, 2016

Spicy Subscriptions

Spicy Subscriptions

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

Even though I am disabled, as a grown woman, I have needs. Spicy Subscriptions makes it possible to take care of those needs safely and discreetly.
About Spicy Subscriptions
Spicy Subscriptions is a monthly subscription service. Choose between our Premium and Deluxe Spice Boxes! We'll send you an assortment of romance and intimacy products such as personal toys, lubricants, oils, books and massagers in your Spice Box.
I believe I was sent the March 2016 Premium box (yes, I'm THAT far behind on reviews).

Please click the 'Read More' below to read my reviews...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Love with Food November 2016 Gluten Free Box

Love with Food
November 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!
December's box is on it's way, so it's time for the monthly post!

This month’s theme is ‘Love is Food.’ Food is one of those universal way that we show love. Whether it’s making a favorite treat for a friend’s birthday, perfecting family recipes on a holiday or even making breakfast in bed, we’ve all experienced the love expressed through making (or sharing) food. So this month, show your love by passing around the food in your red snack box!

Again, this month’s box didn’t come with an information sheet, like the other Love with Food boxes usually come with. It just had a card with the paragraph above and a few other tidbits that really didn’t have anything to do with the snacks. While it saves ME time from not having to type the info, it makes it a bit hard to disclose all the dietary guidelines. Apparently, this is their new method, so I will try my best to provide what diets can have the snacks.
*It would be safe to assume these snacks are gluten-free only unless otherwise noted.


^^what I received^^

FLAPJACKED HIGH FIBER MIGHTY MUFFIN WITH PROBIOTICS IN MAPLE PUMPKIN
We have to be one of the few families WITHOUT a microwave, which is what this requires to make. I may stop by their Facebook page to find out how to make this another way, but if I can’t, this will go unmade/unreviewed until I have access to a microwave.
EDIT 02.02.17 - So, last week... we got a new microwave. It's small, but it doesn't have to be GIGANTIC just to throw an occasional breakfast sandwich or bowl/plate of leftovers in.
This morning, I decided to make this. It wasn't AWFUL, but I didn't really care for it. It wouldn't mix smoothly, and there were 'bits' of... I'm not entirely sure what. It looked like maple syrup, but there were these grainy things in them, that felt like pieces of my teeth had broke off and I was chewing them.
The actual texture of the muffin was soft, but the grainy bits ruined it for me.
TASTE: 4/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, High Fiber, High Protein, Low Cholesterol, Non-GMO

HEALTH WITHOUT THE HASSLE GUMMY VITAMIN PACKS
I received two of these packets, one with Vitamin C and one with Biotin. We all know what Vitamin C does, and I personally take 1000 mg a day. These gummies contain 250 mg per 2 gummy serving. I may save this for if/when I get sick, for an extra dose.
Biotin supplementation is commonly used to strengthen hair and reduce hair loss. In addition, biotin may be able to improve flexibility in brittle nails and increase strength in thin nails. It’s also sometimes used in diabetes treatment, so I may give this one to Mama Melissa, if her doctor okays it.
You can save 30% on your first order of these vitamins by using the code gummy30 at shop.vitefive.com/gummy30
TASTE: UNKNOWN
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

GO ORGANIC CHOCOLATE GINGER CHEWS
Two worlds collide to create these super yummy chocolate ginger chews - chewy chocolate deliciousness blended with zesty ginger. They're chocolately smooth and with a zing of spice!

When I first handled these, they actually felt more like a hard candy than a chew. But I tried one anyway.
It tastes like a Tootsie Roll with ginger in it. I did NOT like the one I did eat. I’ll probably hand toe other two off to a non-diabetic family member, since I don’t like them.
TASTE: 2/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

GO ORGANICALLY FRUIT SNACKS
These fruit snacks have 5 different flavors: Strawberry, Apple, Orange, Peach, & Cherry.
Honestly, the only one I tasted for definite was the orange. The rest of the flavors ‘blended’ together, even when ate separately. I liked the taste of these. Very fruity.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

FREEYUMM DOUBLE CHOCOLATE COOKIE
Judging by amount of things this cookie is free from, I was going into this with a ‘This will be nasty’ mindset. It wasn’t awful, but it was quite bland for a cookie with 4 different kinds of sweeteners in it.
You can save 20% on your first order of these cookies by searching for FreeYumm on Amazon and using the promo code FYLOVE01 (Expires 12.31.16)
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Sesame Free, Seafood Free, Sulphite Free

WISE CINNABON POPCORN
FROM THE BAG: You’ve got good taste!
Well, Hello there! The irresistible world famous flavor of Cinnabon Classic Cinnamon Rolls has made it’s way to our popcorn. Take a moment to enjoy the simple pleasure of this one-of-a-kind flavor - A delicious sweet escape!

I received 3 snack bags of this, and because they fell within Mama Melissa’s ‘sugar limit,’ I gave her 2 of the 3 bags.
Best ways to describe this is taking buttered popcorn and sprinkling a GOOD dose of cinnamon onto it. It is absolutely delicious!
My inner teenager smiled at this, since Wise is a ‘HomeRegion’ staple, being made in Berwick PA, and we lived about 70 miles from the factory.
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

NOGII PEANUT BUTTER AND CHOCOLATE HIGH PROTEIN BAR
Need to power through that frenzied grocery shopping trip right before Thanksgiving? This sweet, crispy, energy-packed bar is here to the rescue.

FROM THE PACKAGE: The day is busy; the demands are high. Whether I am training for a 5K race, pushing through a long day of work, or getting the kids from school to practice and back -- I rely on nogii bars to keep me fueled, energized and ready to tackle it all!
I created the nogii (noh-jee) bar as a solution to my search for a lower calorie, NO GLUTEN, NO GUILT, HIGH-PROTEIN snack on the go with quality carbs for sustained energy. It goes wherever I go -- Elisabeth Hasselbeck

This reminded me of a Rice Krispie Treat. It had the same texture to it, just wasn’t as crumbly. I liked the chocolate on the bottom. It also wasn’t as sweet as I had pictured.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten-Free, High Protein

RIGONI DI ASIAGO NOCCIOLATA ORGANIC HAZLENUT SPREAD
FROM THE WEBSITE: SO GOOD. SO ORGANIC.
It's actually quite simple. Quality ingredients produce superior taste. Only certified organic ingredients go into each jar of creamy, dreamy Nocciolata. That means no chemicals, no artificial flavors, no GMOs and absolutely zero palm oil. Nocciolata is still made following the Rigoni's exclusive family recipe. It is a slow process that uses only carefully selected ingredients like dark chocolate from the Antillean Islands, Italian hazelnuts (16%), brown sugar, skim milk and Bourbon vanilla extract.
Enjoy Nocciolata any time of day. Try it in the morning on toast, or on a crusty bread for a delicious afternoon snack. Nocciolata is the perfect special ingredient for cakes, crepes, cookies, muffins, and many more recipes. It's fantastic as a frosting or filling in all your baking inventions! No matter how you enjoy it, there are always new ways to love Nocciolata!

I actually used this on my morning Pumpkin Spice toast, and I really didn’t taste the hazlenut flavor in this; all I could taste was the chocolate, which played VERY nicely with the pumpkin spice flavor of the bread. It was a bit sweet, but nothing overpowering.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten-Free, Organic, Non-GMO

SHINE ORGANICS SMOOTHIE BLEND in REVIVE PEAR CELERY COCONUT LIME GREEN TEA CHIA
FROM THE POUCH: Experience Shine Organics -- Our special blend of superfoods will help you feel your best and shine your brightest. Shine On!
REVIVE
Help keep your mind and body on the right track with REVIVE. Organic fruits, veggies, green tea, and chia seeds blend deliciously to give you a refreshing snack your body craves.
~Good source of Vitamin C
~Good source of Fiber
~240mg of Omega-3 (ALA)
~No Artificial Flavors
~Made without the use of GMOs

Again with the ‘baby food’ like pouches… and again with the chia seeds. I’m not one for chia seeds, to be honest.
Once again though, the pear flavor overpowered the other flavors, so I didn’t taste too much of the chia seeds… or anything else, for that matter. I did detect a SLIGHT hint of the lime. Disappointingly, I didn’t taste any coconut, which is the flavor I was looking the most forward to.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten-Free

WIPALA HEALTHY SNACKS ANDEAN BAR
According to the Inca Legend, Andean Grains were the food of the Gods, until a Fox broke into Heaven, stealing and spreading this food of the Gods throughout the Andean Region. This makes our Andean Bars a sacred snack, where Quinoa and Andean Lupin are our holy ingredients.

I’m not entirely sure what to make of this bar. It looks like your typical granola bar, but it does NOT taste like a granola bar. I’ve tasted BETTER, but I’ve also tasted a LOT worse. The saving grace of this bar was the chocolate/cacao pieces. I think one of the other flavors the company offers would be better, because this one just didn’t do it for me.
You can save 20% on your order of these bars AND get a ‘Buy 3 Get 1 Free’ deal by using the code LoveFood at www.BonusSalus.com
TASTE: 5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: Gluten-Free

BARILLA GLUTEN FREE FETTUCCINE
This is just fettuccine noodles without the gluten. I couldn’t really tell a difference between these noodles and normal fettuccine pasta. I ended up making my Spiced up Spaghetti with this and it was JUST as good with the fettuccine noodles as with spaghetti noodles.
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE DIETS: 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. Also, cooking the fettuccine noodles, if cooking isn't your strong point.

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 lots of snacks and part of a meal, all that are good for me.
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.**

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Hangry Kits

Hangry Kits

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
People have been “hangry” since the dawn of time (cavemen were always super hangry, from what we hear), but the dangerous phenomenon of being hangry was only recently recognized by modern society. Technically defined as “being irritable as a result of feeling hungry,” we would just say that being hangry is “goin a lil cray cray when you starvin!”

When someone is hangry, nobody wins. He/she is hungry and gets angry, then that makes you angry, and you’re all still hungry. Luckily, we discovered a cure for being hangry: The Hangry Kit!

First unveiled in July of 2016 by our trusty leader, Reuben (the perfect name for the man who cured hanger, amirite?), Hangry Kits are stuffed with fresh, delicious, filling snacks to relieve hanger instantly. Since then, our small US-based team has been working tirelessly to end the global hangry crisis by personally packing every Hangry Kit with fresh, quality-ensured products.

Whether the hangry person in your life craves something sweet, salty, savory, or sour, there’s a Hangry Kit for every appetite. From Planters and Knott’s to Nature Valley and Snyder’s of Hanover, we make sure each Hangry Kit has the perfect combination of the freshest, most trusted names in snacking to satisfy the hangriest person you know. All Hangry Kits are fulfilled and shipped in the US, meaning your potentially lamp-saving-kit will get to whomever needs it quickly, safely, and reliably.

So what are you waiting for? Hanger only gets worse the longer you wait! Order a Hangry Kit today and help fight the hangry epidemic!
Have you ever been so hungry you’ve gotten angry? Where you’ve become HANGRY?

Enter Hangry Kits to the rescue! These kits are filled to the brim with snacks to bring you back from the brink of hangry-ness.

There are 9 different kits to choose from, but because Mama Melissa is pre-diabetic, we were sent the Cheesy kit, since it contained the least snacks with high amounts of sugar.

About the Cheesy kit:
SHOWER THE HANGRY PERSON IN YOUR LIFE WITH SNACK LOVE: When hangry (hungry + angry) times hit and only savory cheesiness will do, this Cheese snack sampler is your best friend. Birthdays and holidays can give rise to serious hangriness, but college students and soldiers always require immediate Hangry First Aid.
20 HANDPICKED CHEESE-FLAVORED CHIPS & CRACKERS: Cheese lovers know that all snacks are not created equally. That's why we’ve selected 7 varieties of cheesy chips and cracker snacks - 20 individual servings in all - to satisfy your cheesy cravings.
SNACKS PICTURED ARE EXACT SNACKS INCLUDED: We hate it when we buy a sampler pack and the products we receive aren't the same ones advertised - so we will never do that to you. What you see is what you will get.
COMES IN OUR SPECIAL HANGRY KIT EMERGENCY SNACK BOX: You or your hangry friend are going to get a kick out of receiving this in the mail. Store your snacks in the fun box and get a chuckle every time you open it.


^^Outer box^^

This is the outer box. Reminds me of the Love with Food packaging.


^^Magnet included in the box^^

Upon opening the box, I was greeted by this magnet (which I slapped onto the refrigerator) and two 'flyers,' advertising other boxes they have.


^^the inside of the box, showing all the snacks^^

So, what was inside? (All bags are considered ‘Snack Size’)
 2 bags of Nacho Cheese Doritos
 4 bags of Goldfish Crackers
 4 packs of Austin Cheese & Peanut Butter Crackers
 2 bags of Cheddar Cheez-it Crackers
 2 bags of Original (Crunchy) Cheetos
 4 packs of Handi-Snacks Ritz Crackers with Cheese
 2 bags of Flamin' Hot (Crunchy) Cheetos

I’m not entirely sure why, but the kit we received did NOT have the Austin Cheese & Peanut Butter Crackers; instead, we received 4 packs of Austin Toasty Peanut Butter Crackers. (I ate these myself, since they are over Mama Melissa’s limit of 3g of sugar content. These crackers have 5g of sugar) It was okay with me though… I liked these crackers just as much.

Now, since these are national brands, I’m sure most of us have ate these snacks at one time or another. Therefore, I’m not going to review each snack, like I do with the Love with Food boxes.

I really liked how this was packaged. The box was packed full with the snacks, and all the bags were still sealed. These are the same snacks you’d find at the register of a grocery store or a convenience store. They were all fresh, with the majority of the expiration dates being in January 2017, except the Goldfish having an expiration date in April 2017.

The biggest problem that disabled people are going to have with this kit (minus any chewing issues) is going to be opening the bags. As I said earlier, These are ‘snack-size’ bags, so they will be harder to open than full size bags would be. The box itself is sealed with one big circle sealing sticker, which I was able to slice through easily with a pointed spoon. Once the box seal is cut, the flaps open with a simple pull.

These kits would make an AWESOME gift for the foodie or snacker in your life.

This is available from HangryKits.com/ starting at $21.99. Gift cards are also available.

FINAL THOUGHTS
Fun way to get a whole bunch of snacky goodness at once!
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.**

Monday, November 14, 2016

Letting the true me shine...

Letting the true me shine...

I originally posted this as a note on my personal Facebook, but I wanted to share it here as well.

You know... Ever since the Presidential Election, especially all day Friday, I felt awful. And I don't mean physically ill (puking after having garlic and pumpkin eggnog with spaghetti, notwithstanding); I mean emotionally ill.

I felt like I needed to ‘hide.’ Hide who I was; hide my thoughts, my feelings, my wants, my desires.

I felt like I was wrong... wrong to feel the way I do. I felt like I had no right to be scared. That even though I’ve seen and read evidence of the horrendous things that have been said for the last 12+ months and can interpret them, that I was seeing it wrong... along with millions of other Americans.

I felt attacked... like I needed to change my opinion just to suit others. I felt like I was on the losing end, so instead of ‘ruffling feathers,’ I felt like I was expected to just nod and smile politely, just to avoid fighting... Just like a ‘good woman’ does.

I felt afraid... afraid to post or share things on Facebook that I related to, for fear of being told to ‘stop believing the mainstream media.’ Fear of once again, being told that None of that will ever happen and that I need to do my research away from the ‘mainstream media.’ Fear of not even knowing what others would consider the ‘mainstream media.’

I even felt stupid... that even though I think I had a great education and I feel confident that I can clearly and cohesively interpret things I read/see/hear, that I wasn’t understanding them the way I was expected to.

and then... I felt ashamed.

I felt ashamed of being a Democrat. Ashamed of being a liberal. Ashamed because I am scared out of my mind that someone who is against EVERYTHING I believe in is going to lead the country for the next 4 years. Ashamed that I feel the way I do.

And most importantly, I felt ashamed of myself for letting it get that far.

Mommy didn’t raise me that way. Mommy would be SO upset with me if she was alive. She’d be scolding me for not standing up for myself. She’d be yelling at me for letting myself feel like I was bullied.

I sat and took a long look at things... No one else is letting their friends ‘control’ what they post. Why the hell am I?

I don’t need to ‘hide’ how I feel.

I’m not wrong for feeling the way I do.

I shouldn’t care whether I ‘ruffle feathers’ or not.

I shouldn’t feel afraid to post things I agree with. It’s MY wall; not yours.

I shouldn’t feel stupid, because I’m not. I’m smart and have a good understanding of most things.

AND I SHOULDN’T EVER FEEL ASHAMED OF ANYTHING!

I am proud of being a Democrat. I am proud of being a liberal. I am COMPLETELY scared out of my mind that someone who is against EVERYTHING I believe in is going to lead the country for the next 4 years.

I’m scared for my black friends. I’m scared for my Latino/Latina friends. I’m scared for my other foreign friends, which are too many to list. I’m scared for my female friends. I’m scared for my poor friends. I’m scared for my disabled friends. I’m scared for my LGBTQ friends.

I’m scared for America.

From now on, I’m saying WHAT I want, WHEN I want. It could be sweet; It could be so laden with swear words, it’d make a sailor blush. (Actually, I’d bet on that last one, truth be told) If it goes against what you think, TOO DAMN BAD.

Life is too short to worry about making others happy. You gotta make YOURSELF happy and the hell with everyone else.

And THAT is what I intend to do.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Love with Food October 2016 GF box

Love with Food
October 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!
November's box is on it's way, so it's time for the monthly post!

This month’s theme is ‘Love is Wicked.’ We show love for the important people in a lot of different ways, and sometimes it might come off just a little bit… wicked. Maybe you love to tempt your friends and family with irresistible indulgences like cookies or candy? Well, we think that’s the best type of wicked. So go ahead, be a little extra wicked this month with your Love With Food box… if you dare!

Again, this month’s box didn’t come with an information sheet, like the other Love with Food boxes usually come with. It just had a card with the paragraph above and a few other tidbits that really didn’t have anything to do with the snacks. While it saves ME time from not having to type the info, it makes it a bit hard to disclose all the dietary guidelines. Apparently, this is their new method, so I will try my best to provide what diets can have the snacks.
*It would be safe to assume these snacks are gluten-free only unless otherwise noted..


^^what I received^^

RW GARCIA 3 SEED SWEET POTATO CRACKERS
FROM THE BAG: RW Garcia 3 Seed Sweet Potato crackers bring something new to the table. Great with any topping - our nutritious ingredients include North Caroline Beauregard Sweet Potatoes (prized for their exceptionally sweet flavor), stone ground corn and a trio of seeds blended together to make a delicious gluten free cracker. Enjoy!

Reminded me of a sesame cracker I was addicted to as a teenager. I am NOT ashamed to say I ate the whole bag in one sitting. I really didn’t taste the sweet potatoes in the crackers either, nor did I taste the chia or flax seeds.
My gums were a bit sore after eating these, but that’s because a piece of cracker JAMMED itself into my gums. YEOWTCH!!
I also received a recipe card with this box, which I will be posting on my recipe blog soon.
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

GARDEN OF LIFE RAW ORGANIC PROTEIN in VANILLA CHAI
The directions on this say to mix with water, but I had a feeling this would not have tasted very good with water, so I cheated and used straight up cow’s milk. It still tasted disgusting and I ended up being nauseous while running my monthly errands.
TASTE: 2/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Vegan, Dairy Free, Soy Free

LANCE’S GLUTEN FREE PEANUT BUTTER BITE SIZE SANDWICH COOKIES
FROM THE BOX: You can always count on Lance to provide great-tasting, high quality snacks for you and your family.
We are proud to offer Gluten Free Sandwich Cookie Bites, little bites of deliciousness for when you are looking for something sweet and satisfying. Each mini sandwich starts with real peanut  butter spread between delightfully baked gluten free cookies to create a wholesome and flavorful snack.
Free from gluten and egg, you and your family will love Lance Gluten Free Sandwich Cookies.

These tasted just like Ritz Peanut Butter Sandwich crackers. I’d be hard-pressed to tell a difference. Only thing I didn’t like with these were some of them were haphazardly put together. Cosmetic issue, I know. But that was my only issue with these.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

RUNA CLEAN ENERGY SPARKLING GUAYUSA BEVERAGE in ORANGE PASSION
FROM THE CAN: Clean Energy in how we describe what Amazonian hunters call the “mental strength and courage” they get from drinking guayusa, a super leaf that has naturally occuring caffeine, polyphenols, and flavonoids.
These compounds in guayusa give you sustained and focused energy. No harsh chemicals. No  feeling burned out later. Just organic, healthy energy from a leaf, not a lab.
Get the energy you want now without sacrificing how you feel later. Not all energy is created equal -- keep yours clean.

Judging by the ingredients on the can, I was picturing a carbonated fruit juice drink. This was NOT the case.
This was completely disgusting. Thinking it was just my taste buds because I’m not one for low-sugar/no-sugar drinks, I had some other people taste it and they said the same thing; it’s nasty. It almost tastes like the fruits they used were rotten. We poured about half of it out.
TASTE: 1/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Organic

BEANITOS WHITE BEAN CHIPS
I got two flavors of these chips: Sweet Chili and Sour Cream, and Garden Fresh Salsa.

SWEET CHILI AND SOUR CREAM
Take a Fritos Scoopable chip, fill it with sweet and spicy chili, then drop a small dollop of sour cream onto it; you have the flavor of this chip. VERY yummy, but a bit hot for me. I took one for testing, then gave the bag to Mama Melissa, since these are diabetic-friendly.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Diabetic

GARDEN FRESH SALSA
I could really taste the salsa seasoning on this. It actually felt like I was eating a chip with salsa on it. The tomato flavor really shines through with these chips. Again, I took one for testing, then gave the bag to Mama Melissa, since these are diabetic-friendly.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Diabetic

PAMELA’S BAKING AND PANCAKE MIX
FROM THE PACKAGE: Wake every morning to light and fluffy pancakes made in no time! Quick, easy and delicious with 8 whole grains per serving, use Pamela’s Baking & Pancake Mix to make all types of delicious baked goods!

Considering there are 4 grams of sugar in this mix, and the diabetics I live with like to keep their count to 3 grams per item, I’m not entirely sure we’ll make this.
What I really like about Pamela’s Products is their support of national and regional non-profit Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerance and Autism Support Organizations. The last one is important to me, since I have HS friends whose children have Autism. Those organizations need all the support they can get.
TASTE: UNKNOWN
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Kosher

TESSEMAE’S ALL NATURAL ORGANIC LEMON GARLIC DRESSING & MARINADE
I usually don’t do salads… at least not the ones here. (Sorry, I don’t do strawberries and bananas with my lettuce and tomatoes. Not happening) I may see if I can add this to a chicken salad,
TASTE: ?/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Organic, Non-GMO, Dairy Free, Diabetic, Vegan

KETTLE BRAND MAPLE BACON POTATO CHIPS
FROM THE BAG: In Salem, OR, we re-introduced native plants to our 2-acre wetland & have watched wildlife return, including a family of herons.
We planted 5 acres of native tallgrass prairie, now alive with a variety of songbirds in Beloit, WI.
Our national promise -- Non-GMO Project Verified
Gluten Free
No Preservatives
0 Grams Trans Fat

I usually shy away from kettle chips, because they are normally too hard for my teeth. But I ‘bit the bullet’ for the review… and I was pleasantly surprised.
I really don’t taste the maple flavor on these; I thought I tasted barbeque sauce, then a heavy taste of bacon.
If Lay’s or Wise made these, I’d gladly eat them more often, since those brands seem to be softer.
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Non-GMO

WALKER’S GLUTEN FREE PURE BUTTER SHORTBREAD
I love shortbread, so this was a happy surprise. And Walker’s brings me back to my childhood, when Mommy would order gifts from Figi’s and these would be the ‘Free Gifts.’
However, these cookies have a strange taste to them. I’m not sure if it’s the butter wasn’t completely fresh or if the absence of gluten alters the taste, but I wasn’t a huge fan of these.
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegetarian

BROWN & HALEY ALMOND ROCA BUTTER CRUNCH TOFFEE
I was very skeptical about trying this, because I remember Butter Toffee can be very hard on the teeth, and I was afraid of this bothering my oral issues. While it hit the sore spots, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. It tasted just like regular butter toffee.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

BIXBY ORGANIC CRAFT CANDY BAR in DARK CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER SEA SALT
This reminds me of a Baby Ruth with dark chocolate. I really liked the peanuts in the bar itself.I didn’t like the dark chocolate, but I never did like dark chocolate to begin with. I ate about half and tossed the rest.
TASTE: 5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

AWAKE ENERGY GRANOLA BAR in DARK CHOCOLATE CARAMEL
This was EXACTLY like a Quaker Granola bar. It was absolutely DELICIOUS. Even though it says it has dark chocolate in it, I didn’t taste the normal bitter dark chocolate taste. I think the caramel covered the taste well. I may pick some up the next time I go to Walmart.
TASTE: 10/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free

SALTED CARAMEL SQUARES BY TAHANA CONFECTIONS
Good friends offer advice and words of wisdom. Real friends come over with caramel, cocktails, glitter, duct tape, catsuits and a plan.
We believe in the power of glitter, cocktails, catsuits, and, most importantly, friends and caramel. So before you go back to ruling the world, make sure to treat yourself. You deserve it.

I got these last year (ironically, ALSO in the October box), and the review can be found here: http://www.thecpchick.com/2015/11/love-with-food-gluten-free-box-october.html
Visit us at www.tahanaconfections.com and save 20% off your order. Use coupon code LWF2016 at checkout.*
*One coupon per purchase. Offer excludes Caramel of the Month Club and gift certificates. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Expires 06.30.17

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 lots of snacks that are good for me.
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.**

Thursday, November 3, 2016

NaBloPoMo postings...

NaBloPoMo postings

In place of NaNoWriMo I'm trying to do NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) postings. However, due to the 3rd being the day I get my Disability check, I am physically spent and did not have time or energy to prepare a post for today.

I will have a post on the 4th... I hope to aim for 2 posts.

Friday, October 28, 2016

My thoughts on Windows 10

Windows 10

Usually, this is where I put the Product Description, but since this is a WELL known product, I don't think I need to.

I make it well known I use a Chromebook. It's simple, it works when I need it to, and it has state-of-the-art security (and one day here, I WILL be doing a review on this system).

But, for the longest time, I was a Windows Fangirl. My first Windows system was a Packard Bell desktop with Windows 95 on it. It worked enough for the school essays I had to do during my Senior year, and it was fine for Internet access through AOL.

My next system was a Gateway Select 900 desktop with Windows ME installed, and it was purchased for me through OVR for a 'college course' I was taking, and the Win95 system would NOT handle the software I needed to use. Most people had infinite amounts of trouble with Windows ME, but that system was still working WAY past the EOS (Rnd of Support) date in 2006. Truth be told, I only pulled the hard drive and tossed the tower, because it was outdated and not upgrade-able.

I then migrated to Windows XP, and stayed there until 2014, when the XP desktop I had crashed so hard, I had no choice BUT to move to Ubuntu.

I moved BACK to Windows earlier this year, when Mama Melissa got herself an Alienware gaming laptop, and I took her 'old' Dell Inspiron 5558 laptop, which runs Windows 10.

And that is when the troubles of Windows 10 began.

As I said before, I used to be an AVID graphic designer. I was self-taught for the majority of techniques I can do. One of the downfalls of going to Ubuntu was not having a program I truly enjoyed, Adobe Photoshop. Sure, there is GIMP, but it's not the same. So, when I returned to Windows 10, one of the FIRST things I did was try to install my copy of Adobe CS3 Master Collection.

and it was a bust.

Oh, sure the programs OPENED, but they weren't usable. PS wouldn't 'parse' the pictures... I didn't even BOTHER with trying to use anything else. I even tried running it in 'Compatibility Mode...' Nada.

Okay, fine, whatever. Affinity Designer for Windows was due out soon anyway; I could wait.

Well, then The Anniversary Update (Version 1607) was released, and while it installed on my Dell Inspiron laptop fine, it messed Mama Melissa's Alienware laptop to the point of where it was completely unusable; the activity light would go nuts for no reason.

Now, I get it that Windows 10 'phones home' a lot, but this was almost a constant thing. The activity light would continuously be lit, even if she was just watching a YouTube video or simply reading her email on the web. A lot of her drivers were not compatible with Version 1607, in particular one of her graphic cards... which until I googled a solution, made her favorite game, Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2, completely unplayable.

But, Mama Melissa LOVES that system, so to make it SOMEWHAT usable, we installed Linux Mint 18. It had minor bugs, but at least the system was usable. The funny thing is, Linux Mint should not have even been able to be installed.

One day, Mama Melissa decided to 'recover' the Alienware to Windows 10 using the recovery USB stick sent to us by Dell. It recovered fine, but now we are at the point of where Version 1607 REFUSES to install, even after at least 3 additional 'recoveries.' The machine is stuck in a 'download-install attempt-failure' loop.

And this is where this reviewer has her issues with Windows 10.

Seriously, it should not be this hard to install an update... Nor should it be near IMPOSSIBLE to get ANY help from the company or in this case, companies!

I first went through Dell/Alienware for a copy of the newest OS, or at least a copy of what the system shipped with (Version 1511) and they basically told me all their USB sticks have the 'Base' build (Build 10240) and any subsequent builds/updates would be available through Windows Updates.

Here's the thing; I know Version 1511 (and Version 1607) is not a different OS; it's equal to a service pack. I understand this fully. However, If I had bought a system that came with Windows 7 SP1 from the factory, I'd expect the recovery media to have the same Windows 7 SP1 on the recovery media... Not just the Original Windows 7 release and I'm on my own to download the SP1 update!

Okay, Fine... I even asked Microsoft for a USB stick of the Anniversary Update. I was told to download the ISO file and try it that way. After explaining that we have TRIED this way as well, and it did not work either, I was told the only solution to the problem was to REBUY Windows 10.

Um, Excuse me? Why should I buy another copy of something I already own? No! I shouldn't shell out MORE money for something that was included in the HEFTY price of the computer!!

Microsoft then said to 'disable your Anti-virus software prior to installation.' When I replied that we were using Windows Defender, which is built into Windows 10 by default, I was THEN told that some '3rd-party anti-virus prograns do interfere with the installation.'

Really? Windows Defender is HARDLY a '3rd-party program,' especially when it's built into the system.

We even tried a 'Remote Access' through Microsoft Help. Neither browser would allow the remote connection.

Now, I'm not saying Windows 10 isn't a nice operating system. For some people, it's perfect... especially if you are heavily tied into the Microsoft ecosystem or you use programs that are reliant on Windows 10.

But there are too many things that isn't worth it.

Why does Microsoft NEED to call home so much? That is MY system. Unless I am having a problem with it, you don't need to know what *I* am doing on *MY* system. You don't need to know what files or what programs I have on my system. This is what you have the Windows Insiders program for. They can be the guinea pigs for new features.

I don't like the idea of needing to use a 3rd-party program to control MY privacy. I should be able to go right into the settings and disable EVERYTHING I don't want Microsoft to know about my system.

I also don't like the idea of Windows 10 telling me what programs I have to use. I have NO use for Cortana. I don't need a personal assistant helping me through my computing day. If I did, I would hire one. But there is NO way to fully turn Cortana off, so she is constantly listening/watching what I am doing... and no doubt, reporting my every computing move BACK to Microsoft.

At least with my Chromebook and the various Android devices I have used, I have the option to disable 'OK Google' from the settings. You can also disable Siri on iOS/MacOS devices from the respective Settings menu... So WHY is Cortana downright IMPOSSIBLE to disable on Windows without a registry hack?

And I surely don't appreciate Windows 10 telling me WHAT programs I should uninstall. It cracks me up that Windows 10 tells me to uninstall CCleaner, a program my household has used for years on EVERY Windows system we've owned, just 'to save space.' No, more like Microsoft wants my system to get bogged down with junk files, so I either pay for their 'help' to get my system working again or buy a newer system, and they will get a cut of the purchase price. Besides, a full install of CCleaner is not going to cause 'insufficient space' on a 1 TB drive.

Why do I NEED to sign in with a Microsoft account? If I wanted to be tied into your ecosystem, I'd use MORE of your services. Just go back to the OLD way, when a local account was default. It made things SO much easier. Furthermore, This should be a better visible option on the Installation/Recovery page, not just a 'Skip this Step' link in a really tiny text, that is easily missed.

Why do the updates have to be so HUGE? Seriously, I'm wondering if my problems with Verizon this past weekend wasn't that they thought I was pirating movies and/or TV shows, with as much traffic was coming from my IP address and they capped me! An update should NOT be 4 GB+, especially if it's not an entirely new OS. Granted, Apple's newest OS, MacOS Sierra is 4.78GB in size, but this is NOT just an update, this is an entirely new OS.

If you're aiming for a 'seamless' experience, Why can't I use apps on my computers the same way I do on a mobile device? Let's take Instagram, which is one of Windows 10's newest app releases. For me, typing on a physical keyboard is 100x easier than a touch keyboard. So, why can't I upload photos from my Windows computer using the Instagram app available in the Windows Store? I can do everything the Windows Store app does right from the Instagram website!

In short, it's too big, too clunky, too intrusive and just not ready for major usage.  If you are on an older version of Windows that still has support, STAY THERE FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN. When your Windows version reaches its EOS date, either move to a Mac product or start looking at alternative OS options. There are MANY distrubutions of Linux or even Chrome OS devices.

If you still want to try Windows 10, This is available from Microsoft Store for $119.99 for the HOME version.

FINAL THOUGHTS
RUN! RUN AS FAR AWAY FROM THIS OPERATION SYSTEM AS YOU CAN!
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: No

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

ADMIN POST: Again with the Internet problems...

Verizon Internet issues
October 2016 edition

And we're at it again!

My speeds are being ABYSMAL... AGAIN. It's been this way for the past 5 days. It's been a LONG time since I've had weather-related connectivity issues.

I pay for the 1.1-3 Mbps tier and after the last time we had a Verizon Tech out here (I posted about this visit here), we were actually getting OVER that. For the LONGEST time, we were clocking 3.4 Mbps downstream and 0.9 Mbps Upstream, which was absolutely perfect for the three users.

But last weekend (October 21, 2016) we had a rainstorm and the speeds crashed down to 2.2 Mbps downstream and 0.6 Mbps upstream, which still would been FINE...

EXCEPT...

they continued to slow down over the course of the weekend. As of this post, My MODEM page says 1.8 Mbps Downstream and 0.4 Mbps Upstream... However, my Speedtest.net extension says OTHERWISE...



So, where does that leave us?

Honestly, I don't know. We had a Verizon Tech out here on Tuesday (October 25, 2016) and he replaced some of the outside wiring, since he thought that might be the issue. However, That didn't fix it.

The tech NOW has to return sometime today (October 26, 2016) with another tech to try and fix it, since the first tech is stumped.

I personally DON'T think it's us. I think something happened at the remote site and we're getting the blame for it.

Whatever the case, I'm hoping to get these issues fixed SOON.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Love With Food September 2016 GF Box

Love with Food
September 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!
October's box is supposed to be here with today's mail, so after the past week of dealing with computer issues (bouncing back and forth between my Chromebook and Linux Mint 18) I figured, 'Well, I better get on the ball and get this posted!'

September’s theme is ‘Love is Learning.’ We never stop learning, no matter how old we are - whether it’s learning a new language, learning about a new culture, or just learning a new skill. But let’s face it, learning can be a hungry business! This month’s box is packed full of snacks that are perfect for enjoying while broadening all your horizons. So go ahead - share your knowledge and share your snacks!

Again, this month’s box didn’t come with an information sheet, like the other Love with Food boxes usually come with. It just had a card with the paragraph above and a few other tidbits that really didn’t have anything to do with the snacks. While it saves ME time from not having to type the info, it makes it a bit hard to disclose all the dietary guidelines. Apparently, this is their new method, so I will try my best to provide what diets can have the snacks.
*It would be safe to assume these snacks are gluten-free only unless otherwise noted..


^^what I received^^

BAI BUBBLES SPARKLING ANTIOXIDANT INFUSION DRINK IN SULAWESI LIMON
FROM THE CAN: Fresh flavor that has other lemons feeling pretty sour. But they’re just jealous.
If we had to describe Sulawesi Limon in one word, we’d say delicious, exciting and cool. We know that’s three words, but with a flavor this fantastic, it’s impossible to choose just one word. We tried.

So, I goofed up and didn’t drink this cold, like the info card said to do.
That being said, I actually liked this, which surprised me because I usually don’t like low-sugar drinks (Propel Water excluded) and this has 1g of actual sugar, but 10g of Erythritol. So, it still tasted sweet to me. It reminded me a LOT of carbonated tart lemonade. Mama Melissa did NOT like this, which surprised me since she normally likes these types of drinks.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Low Glycemic, Non-GMO, Kosher, Vegan, Soy Free

HAPPYTOT ORGANIC SUPERFOODS IN PUMPKIN, SWEET POTATO & PEAR
FROM THE POUCH: About HAPPYFAMILY: We are moms, nutritionists, and pediatricians who come up with tasty recipes using organic nutrition and yummy ingredients. Our mission is to provide you with the absolute best for your little ones.

Okay, so this is essentially baby food. Why they’d send this in a box aimed typically for adults is beyond me, but I have ‘ate’ my good share of Kabrita goat milk yogurt pouches, which are aimed more at kids than adults.
I was kind of worried about tasting the chia, since another item I had contained chia and I absolutely HATED it… but this tasted like pears, with no real taste of other ingredients.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Organic, Soy Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Non-GMO

SIMPLE MILLS ALMOND FLOUR CRACKERS IN FINE GROUND SEA SALT
FROM THE BAG: Simple Mills enriches lives and bodies through simple, delicious, real food. We strive to make healthful choices easy by offering food that tastes great in the moment and nourishes your body in the long-term. We believe in clean, nutritious food for a better life -- it’s that simple.

I was expecting more of an almond flavor to these, but all I tasted was onion, garlic and sea salt. I really didn’t even taste anything with the cracker; the other spices complete overpowered the taste.
The only MAJOR problem I had with these was the size of the bag. It was very small, and had MAYBE 15 pieces, 10 of which were just broken pieces of cracker. I would have liked a bigger bag of these.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Organic, Soy Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Non-GMO

BLACK FOREST ORGANIC GUMMY CHERRIES
The soft and delicious Black Forest Organic Gummies are made with colors from natural sources. They’re also fat free and come in a variety of great fruity flavors.

Gummies are one of my favorite candies. I seem to recall eating the gummy worms by this company as a child and loved them.
I would have liked more cherry flavor in these, but they were one of my faves in this month’s box.
TASTE: 9.5/10

FIELD DAY ORGANIC ORIGINAL COCONUT BAR
Take a Mounds bar and strip the chocolate from it; you now have this bar.
This was very similar to the Banderitas Coconut bar I reviewed here, just without the food coloring. It was also very crumbly. I was making a mess eating this.
TASTE: 8/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Organic, Non-GMO

SAVORY BAR BY MEDITERRA
FROM THE PACKAGE: Sesame Energy Bar with Orange & Honey
Did you know sesame seeds and Greek honey are among the best natural sources of energy? Packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, these Mediterranean favorites have been boosting performance since ancient times. We added pistachios from Aegina Island to bring you a nutrition bar bursting with flavor. Just a little taste of the Mediterranean Diet’s infinite wisdom -- made to enjoy on the go.
Good Health. It’s in our nature.

I reviewed another flavor here, That one being the Pistachio and Honey flavor.
This flavor did not disappoint either. I loved the little bits of orange peel IN the bar. This was completely soft on the teeth, almost to the point of crumbling in my mouth.
Out of the two flavors I’ve tried, this is my favorite.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Non-GMO

BAKERY ON MAIN BUNCHES OF CRUNCHES DARK CHOCOLATE SEA SALT with CHIA
FROM THE BAG: BING! BANG! BOOM!
That’s the sound of Bakery on Main’s Crunch Crusader taking on your taste buds. Fighting the snack attack is easy with the POWer of audaciously premium whole grains and bakeshop delicious flavors such as Dark Chocolate Sea Salt with Chia and Coconut Cacao

These tasted like a mix between Cocoa Krispies and Cocoa Puffs. They had a nice taste to them, but they were extremely hard on my teeth and hurt when they would hit my oral issues.
TASTE: 7/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Non-GMO

GOORGANIC HARD CANDY IN MANGO AND STRAWBERRY
I seriously can’t find much info about these flavors. They seem to be discontinued, which makes me more than a little rattled to even try them. If/When I do, I’ll update this.
TASTE: UNTESTED

GO RAW SWEET SPIRULINA SPROUTED BAR
FROM THE PACKAGE: Spirulina is one of the hardest working superfoods in the world, packed with 18 amino acids, as well as loads as vitamins and minerals. True, it may look like it’s only for health nuts, but this bar is delicious with a capital “D” -- made from coconut, banana, dates and sprouted sesame seeds, which are heart healthy, high in fiber and support skin, hair and bone health.
Get healthy and Go Raw!

I’m completely unsure how to begin describing this… Nasty would be a start though.
When I opened the wrapper, I was actually expecting a sweet, fruity smell, considering this has three different fruits in it. It smelled like banana with the ‘green fuzzy mold’ stench… kind of earthy and musky.
After doing research and realizing that Spirulina is basically ALGAE that is safe for human consumption, I had MAJOR reservations about eating this. I don’t care if it’s ‘safe for human consumption’ or not, I’m LEERY of eating algae!
But, for review purposes only, I broke a corner off and ate it. To me, all I was tasting was the banana and the coconut. That was the saving grace of it, but not enough of one to make me want to eat ALL of it. I threw the remainder of this in the trash. It also was very crunchy and hard to chew.
TASTE: 5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, Nut-Free, Organic

COSMOS CREATIONS PUFFED CORN
FROM THE BAGS: If you’re ready for a unique experience, then let Cosmos Creations take you there. Every bag begins with pure, non-GMO corn, baked in the oven for a taste that’s out-of-this-world. Every bite is an explosion of flavor and a mouthful of happiness.

I received three snack-sized bags; Caramel Apple, Coconut Crunch and Salted Caramel.

CARAMEL APPLE
I was actually amazed at how well you could taste the apple on these. The caramel tasted more like a brown sugary syrup flavor, but still yummy. I was a bit surprised at how crunchy these were.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Non-GMO

COCONUT CRUNCH
This reminded me of the toasted coconut macaroon cookies I buy from Dollar General sometimes. I really liked the crunch on these. I noticed the sweetness level was less than the macaroon cookies. My favorite of the three.
TASTE: 9.5/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Non-GMO

SALTED CARAMEL
This reminded me of caramel corn or Cracker Jack without the peanuts… or the ability to break my teeth. If you like caramel corn, but don’t eat it because it gets in your teeth, you’ll love these! It also not as sticky as caramel corn or Cracker Jack.
TASTE: 9/10
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Non-GMO

B’NUTTY PEANUT BUTTER IN IRRESISTIBLE PRETZEL
I had every intention of trying this. However, I peeled back the foil ‘wrapper’ and saw the unblended peanut oil on the top. This would normally have not bothered me, BUT… I was unable to mix the oil in with the plastic spoon I had on hand. Instead of going and getting another utensil, I just put the lid back on and trashed it. I was too sick with a late summer cold at that point, and the container was way too small for me to try to mix the oil in.
TASTE: UNTESTED
PERFECT FOR THESE TYPES OF DIETS: Gluten Free, Vegan

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 lots of snacks that are good for me.
STARS: 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.**

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Discover Our America May 2016 box

Discover Our America May 2016 box
May 2016 box

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
What is Discover Our America?
Discover Our America is a subscription box that empowers people to celebrate each state’s uniqueness. Each month, Discover Our America carefully curates 5-7 products from each state for you to enjoy. Every month, you’ll receive a new state-themed box.
What’s inside each Discover Our America box?
Food and goodies that represent that state well. We also include a photography-filled, printed overview of the state, highlighting its unique history, geography, culture and places to see.
Who is behind Discover Our America?
We’re a group of U.S.-travel-loving Americans who sought a way to discover more about each state when travel wasn’t possible. That’s why we’re bringing the states right to the door.
Not just another subscription box
Discover Our America was founded to empower people to spark conversation and interest in discovering more about each state. Discover Our America brings families together, promotes education, fosters tourism and supports local businesses.

Subscriptions are $39.95 with free shipping. You can also gift Discover Our America boxes in 6, 9 or 12 month options.
Single boxes are also available for purchase at $39.95 per box; however, these ‘Single purchase’ boxes DO NOT have free shipping.
As you can tell, I'm WAY behind, as this was the May 2016 box... I'm SLOWLY pushing myself to get caught up! (Moving to Linux Mint was one of the best decisions I made!!)

May’s ‘State of the Month’ was Georgia. Discover Our America included a book with facts about Georgia. Here are some of the facts.

If anyone ever claims Georgia to be anti-Yankee, then correct them by stating that Georgia is opposite-Yankee. Life in the Peach State moves at its own pace. Residents are rarely found to be in a hurry and are never short on manners. But don’t mistake Georgia as simply a supersized, quaint southern town. Georgia is diverse in culture and uniqueness.
POPULATION: Just over 10 million
TOTAL SIZE: 59,425 square miles

FIRSTS AND FACTS
~”The City of Savannah,” the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, left from Georgia
~The Vidalia onion can only be grown around the fields of Vidalia and Glenville
~There were five cities prior to Atlanta that were the official capital of Georgia
~Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River
~The Nation’s first gold rush did not happen out west, rather, in the now ghost town of Auraria, Georgia
~Atlanta was originally named Terminus and Marthasville
~There are more than 55 streets named “Peachtree” in Atlanta
~Georgia was the first state to allow 18-year-olds to vote
~Georgia license plates are easily identifiable with two peaches featured

PLACES TO EXPERIENCE
-Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site
-World of Coca-Cola
-Stone Monument Park
-Jekyll Island
-Georgia’s Back Roads

One of my BFFs when I first moved to PA now lives in Georgia, so I was excited to get this box!


^^What I received^^

Let’s take a look at the Georgian products in the box...

VIDALIA ONION GRITS BITS BY GRITS BITS
The path to making Grits Bits had many twists and turns for Diane Pfeifer. Before starting her company, she was a pharmaceutical chemist, a back-up singer for Tammy Wynette, a country music songwriter and a lead guitarist in an all-female rock band - just to name a few. She invented Grits Bits - cheese snack biscuits and cookies baked with grits, joining two Southern favorites, Vidalia onions and grits into one crunchy biscuit.
HOW TO ENJOY BEST: Cheesy and savory Vidalia Onion Grits Bits are best enjoyed as an afternoon snack on your own or shared with your entire family, if they last that long!

FROM THE BACK: Kiss My Grits!
We’ve wedded two southern favorites: sweet Vidalia onions and cheese grits, and baked them into crispy biscuits. Bite-Sized and Ready to Eat!
Southerners and Yankees can finally agree on something -- GRITS BITS are GREAT!

Now, I have NEVER had grits before, which is saying a LOT, since my father was born in Alabama. So, I had NO idea what to expect.
These reminded me of Cheez-it crackers, to be honest. Very soft on the teeth. I really enjoyed these.
TASTE: 10/10

PEACH COBBLER JAM BY BLACKBERRY PATCH
Founded by farmers in 1988, Blackberry Patch harvests local Georgia fruits and uses time-honored Southern techniques to make jams, jellies and syrups. Combining Georgia’s staple peach and the popular dessert of peach cobbler into one jam, the Blackberry Patch stays true to its company goals since the day they were established: to make handmade, small batch and high-quality goods using all-natural, real fruits and family recipes.
HOW TO ENJOY BEST: Although we couldn’t provide the actual dessert, this jam is the next best thing. Picture yourself in the sunshine of the beautiful state of Georgia as you add this delicious jam to a piece of toast or scone.

I've grown to love peach flavored things... my go-to flavor of commercial iced tea is Peach. So it was a no-brainer that this was going to be my favorite item in the box. I love putting this on rye toast in the morning. It also spreads onto the toast very easily, even straight out of the refrigerator.
TASTE: 10/10

VINEGAR BARBECUE SAUCE BY GEORGIA'S SAUCE
Scott Galt has a passion for barbecue cooking and barbecue sauces. At age 16, his parents gifted him a grill that ignited his lifelong passion. Scott tried all of the commercial barbecue sauces for his grilling, but none were good enough. After nearly 10 years of trial-and-error cooking, his "homemade ketchup" was made with a secret blend of 17 eastern and western spices and the fresh zing of lime. Georgia's Sauce is all natural and free of preservatives and fillers.
HOW TO ENJOY BEST: Just how Scott would prefer it, Enjoy Georgia's Sauce on chicken, steak, pork and other popular dishes for a unique taste of Georgia.

This was too 'thin' for me. When I think of barbecue sauce, I think of a thick, rich sauce that has a bit of a 'ketchup texture' to it. This was very runny. I think even A1 Steak Sauce has a thicker consistency to it.
That being said, it tasted okay. I used it on the burger I had at our Father's Day cookout and I did like the taste. However, I don't know what it is about sauces/condiments with vinegar in them, but they always taste rancid or spoiling, and this was no exception. I'll use this up when we have beef for dinner, but I probably wouldn't buy this myself.
TASTE: 6/10

PRE-SWEETENED FAMILY SIZE SWEET TEA BY SOUTHERN BREEZE SWEET TEA
Southern Breeze Sweet Tea is sweet tea inspired by the South itself. It is a bottomless glass of hospitality and refreshment made with real tea leaves in a bag that you hot-waterbrew, steep and chill. The sweetener is already in the bag. At zero calories, you can enjoy it with thirsty abandon.
HOW TO ENJOY BEST: Serve a batch of original sweet tea to quench the thirst.  Your family, and taste buds, will thank you.

I did a review of this tea at this link. I can't really say any more than I already have.

ALL NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER BY NATURALMOND/GEORGIA GRINDERS
Georgia Grinders Premium Nut Butters was launched in 2012 based on a recipe for almond butter (NaturAlmond) created by Jaime Foster's grandfather in 1970 as part of an initiative to combat his genetic disposition to cardiovascular disease. In 2014, NaturAlmond expanded its offerings to include Georgia Grinders Peanut Butter. The peanut butter is made with only two simple ingredients: peanuts and sea salt. The company sources Georgia-grown peanuts and then slow roasts and grinds them to their signature texture.
HOW TO ENJOY BEST: Thinking about making a batch of cookies soon? Consider adding a cup of Georgia Grinders Peanut Butter to your recipe for a healthier alternative. A tablespoon also makes a great addition of protein and flavor to smoothies.

What I love about this peanut butter is the fact that even though it's considered 'Natural,' it doesn't separate like most 'natural' peanut butters do, even the commercially available ones (Grandma bought a jar of Smucker's All-Natural Peanut Butter for Grandpa and even that likes to separate)
This was VERY easy to spread on toast, and it isn't runny. I really couldn't tell a difference in texture between this and other commercially available brands. However, I did taste the peanuts more in this.
TASTE: 9/10

Only problem I see disabled people having with the box (minus any food allergies) is opening the packages. There were outer safety wrappers on all but the Grits Bits, but they were in a bag inside an outer box. There was nothing needing to be cooked/prepared in the box, so there are no worries of injuries from the oven/stove.

This is available from DiscoverOurAmerica.com for $39.99 per box.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I actually enjoyed this subscription box. The price is a little steep for my personal budget, but it's well worth the cost for someone who loves trying different foods from around the country.
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.**

Monday, October 3, 2016

OrangeGlad Dessert Subscription Box July 2016

OrangeGlad Dessert Subscription Box
July 2016

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
EVERY ARTISAN HAS A STORY,
WE'RE HERE TO TELL THAT STORY.
[ Passion. Craftsmanship. Dedication. ]

Through working with numerous talented confectioners, we find that the story of an artisan usually involves a firing passion for epicurean creation, a secret recipe, and an unforgiving dedication in delivering high quality treats.

The journey typically begins at a Sunday farmers markets, where artisans from around the country enthusiastically showcase their handcrafted treats. Whether they’re makers who are participating at their first farmer’s market or someone who has built a successful brand with what started out as a small-batch operation, these sweet makers rely heavily on getting their products directly in the hands of those who would appreciate them-- sweet-lovers from around the country!
Believe it or not, I'm REALLY not one for sweets in general. I'm VERY fussy when it comes to the sweets I enjoy. I enjoy coconut candies, cookies and sweet drinks. It's easy for me to walk past the candy aisles in stores. (The chips aisle? Well, That's a whole different story...) I'm not really one for chocolate either... unless it's on an Almond Joy bar.

But I was excited when OrangeGlad offered me a box for review. I had heard LOTS of good things about their boxes, so I couldn't wait to try the goodies!


^^What I received^^


Let's take a look at the yummies inside!

POMEGRANATE & NECTARINE HARD CANDY BY TORIE AND HOWARD
Unique, sophisticated sweets brimming with fresh flavors that taste of real, luscious fruit picked straight from the garden. You’ve certainly never tasted anything like these candies. Carefully crafted from all natural ingredients, the candies feature sophisticated dual flavors of tart California pomegranate with sweet freestone nectarine. No additives, no artificial flavors or colors. Just pure fresh, delicious satisfaction

USDA Certified organic | Kosher certified hard candy | Non-GMO | gluten free | casein free | nut and soy free | No artificial dyes or artificial flavoring | All at just 12 calories each

These were okay. I couldn't really taste the pomegranate in these, just the nectarine. I'm not one for hard candies. I only 'eat' them when I have a sore/dry throat and I'm trying to soothe it. Not entirely sure I'd buy these myself.
TASTE: 7/10

S’MORES BISCOTTI BY THE CANDY STORE (OrangeGlad Exclusive)
Inspired by the classic candies, marshmallows and chocolates curated by The Candy Store, these were designed in collaboration with OrangeGlad and local pastry chefs. Crisp chocolate and graham cookies are topped with a fudgy layer of burnt marshmallow. Enjoy as-is or try dipping in coffee, milk or hot chocolate for a unique take on a classic summer treat.

I can honestly say I’ve never made/eaten a s’more in my life. I’ve had s’more-flavored things, like cocoa and cereal, but to actually make and eat a traditional s’more… nopel
Before this, I don’t think I’ve ever had biscotti either.
If I were to based my like of biscotti on this, I’d pass. I just didn’t like it. Maybe it was the flavor I got, but it was just WAY too chocolatey for me. The only thing I liked was the marshmallows on top.
TASTE: 6/10

HONEY LAVENDER SHORTBREAD COOKIES BY WHIMSY & SPICE
The subtle floral bouquet of lavender blends delicately with sweet honey to form a sophisticated and fragrant shortbread cookie

As you can see by the video above, I thought these were going to be disgusting, but they actually were pretty good. I really couldn’t taste lavender in the cookies… then again, I don’t make it a habit of eating lavender petals. *giggle*
I tasted the honey heavily in this. I really liked these cookies. A bit crumbly, but then most shortbread cookies are.
TASTE: 9.5/10

ESPRESSO DULCE DE LECHE BROWNIES BY WHIMSY & SPICE
A decadent and rich chocolate brownie is flavored with espresso and drizzled with freshly made dulce de leche.

These were REALLY rich. I'm actually not one for brownies overall, because they have too much of a cake texture, and I RARELY eat cake, unless it's a no-bake cheesecake.
However, these weren't very cake-like at all. Very soft and chewy. I couldn't taste too much of the espresso in this, and because I don't like strong 'road tar' coffee, this was a major plus.
TASTE: 9/10

SALTED CARAMEL CREME COOKIES BY THE CRAVORY
Made with The Cravory’s in-house salted caramel, infused with vanilla chips, and finished with sea salt sprinkles, this soft and moist cookie was truly crafted in cookie heaven! Your mouth probably is screaming for milk without even tasting it, so we recommend a tall, chilled glass of it along side.

Wow. I usually like sweet things, but this was just too much, even for me.
When I first opened the bag, my nostrils filled with the scent of well-melted caramel, almost to the point of smelling BURNT.
The cookie was very soft and chewy. I liked it, but I wish I could have tasted more of the vanilla chips.
TASTE: 8/10

This is available from OrangeGlad's CrateJoy page for $25.00.

FINAL THOUGHTS
WILL BE FILLED IN WHEN REVIEW IS COMPLETE.
STARS:
WOULD RECOMMEND: Yes/No

**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.**