Mommy’s not-so-guilty pleasure: @Zevia Soda Review and #Giveaway

hugsodaI may be a green-smoothie-making mom who avoids feeding my family junk whenever I can, but I’m only human and sometimes temptation sneaks up on me, seductively whispering sweet nothings in my ear and my resolve wavers.

One of my guilty pleasures is soda.  It’s usually something I can only very rarely indulge in, because either it has empty calories and nasty ingredients, or it has carcinogenic non-calorie sweeteners and nasty ingredients. None of that is anything I’d want my kids to drink.  And oh, is it addicting!

But sometimes I really really really want some soda!

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Lucky me (and you!), I’ve found Zevia zero calorie sodas that are sweetened with natural stevia and monkfruit!  No calories, no carcinogens, no artificial sweeteners and lots of great flavors!

MomsMeetSM sent me a whole case to try out on my family! All of the flavors were pretty good, but our favorites out of the 15 flavor line-up are: Cream, Cola, Caffeine-Free Cola, Dr. Zevia, Ginger Ale, Ginger Root Beer and Lemon-Lime.  And something I was pretty surprised about was that the colors for some of the flavors like Orange and Grape, were clear!  None of the clothing-staining, unnatural coloring  in those that comes with conventional sodas!  And none of them had any weird aftertaste that zero-calorie sodas sometimes have.

kiss soda

Seems like my “guilty” pleasure has become “guiltless”! :D  And I can’t tell you what immense pleasure I had when one of my little girls earnestly approached me as I was enjoying Zevia’s Ginger Ale and started lecturing me on watching my calories and I could smugly point out to her that this was actually a SAFE soda for mommy to drink! :D

Then she asked if it had any GMOs in it. :D (Zevia is actually in the midst of the Non-GMO verification process, and estimates that they could be certified sometime in 2014!)

If you would like to try out Zevia for yourself, You can check here to find where Zevia is sold in your area! Here’s a link to some coupons to save money on your next purchase on Zevia!

And if you’re feeling lucky, 5 readers can win a voucher for a FREE 4- or 6-pack of Zevia in our giveaway below! :D

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Zevia is the original naturally sweetened, zero calorie soda with no sugar and no artificial sweeteners. This tasty treat comes in 15 familiar, favorite flavors including Cola, Black Cherry, Cream Soda, Grapefruit Citrus and Ginger Ale.

Consider it the smarter soda go-to for you and your family. Zero calories, naturally sweetened and delicious; Zevia is the soda trifecta of awesomeness.

• Zevia Zero Calorie Soda is sweetened naturally with a unique blend
of high purity Stevia (grown right here in the US!) and Monk Fruit.
• Zevia comes in 15 different flavors, including Ginger Root Beer,
Strawberry, Cherry Cola, and many more.
• This soda contains no calories, sugar or artificial sweeteners.
• No worries! It’s totally Kosher, Vegan, and Gluten-Free!
• The retail price for a 6-pack of Zevia ranges from $3.99 to $5.99.

Connect with Zevia online to see their latest products and get exclusive
access to discounts and special offers!

zevia.com
facebook.com/zevia
twitter.com/zevia
instagram.com/zevialife
 pinterest.com/zevia

*Text in italics was provided by Moms MeetSM.

**I received this product for free from the sponsor of
the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC,
who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a
Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agree to use this product
and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not
necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group
LLC or the manufacturer of this product.

BubbleBum comes to the rescue! Review & Giveaway

Have you heard of BubbleBum yet?

If you’ve got kids who still need booster seats and you’ve ever had to lug those around with you on vacation for the rental cars, or had to swap them from one parent’s car to another, believe it or not there IS an end to the pain!

We usually use convertible carseats and now that the girls are 7, we use them as “booster seats”.  I remember well when we brought these along with us on vacation:

carseatcarseat

Pure. Unmitigated. Hell.

My husband is the lucky one who gets to regularly lug those seats from my car to his anytime we split up the kids for one-on-one time, or when I need my car and he needs the boosters in his car.  Judging by the look on his face when he’s lugging our clunky carseats, he is not a happy camper!

And then came along a very nice company called BubbleBum with the answer to our carseat woes!

bubblebum hi res images prup_newpackaging_fullkit_flat copybubblebum hi res images happy kids2

See those nifty things up there?  Those are the travel booster seats that BubbleBum let me try out on my kids.

These boosters are great!  They inflate and install so easily!  I could literally do it one-handed!  Behold the awkwardly filmed (with the other hand) video!

 

Since we’ve installed them, my husband can take the kids on unplanned outings, even if our lunky, clunky carseats are still in my MomMobile and I’m miles away!  He just pops these babies into his car and less than a minute later, they’re ready to go!

This makes him very happy!

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And when we go on vacation to visit out-of-state relatives, the BubbleBum boosters deflate and roll up into these neat little carrysacks so we can take them with us without bulking up our luggage!

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BubbleBum has a variety of colors and styles and is covered in a soft fabric.  My two girls say they are very comfy and leave a lot more room in the back seat for their books and car toys. (You could also fit a third BubbleBum in that middle space if you have a shoulder seat belt.)

BubbleBum meets and exceeds all US Federal Motor Vehicle Standards FMVSS213 and the European Regulations EU R44/o4 and can be used for children over the age of 4 who are between 40 ~ 100 lbs in weight.

You can buy BubbleBum boosters at Walmart and Target for avg. retail price of $29.99. Find the store closest to you here.

Trust me, it’s SO worth it!

Or if you feel lucky, you can enter our giveaway for a new BubbleBum booster of your own!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

*I was provided with BubbleBum booster seats to facilitate my review.  I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the manufacturer.

WORLDFOODS Sauces – the easy way to serve better things than fishsticks! :D

WORLDFOODS-logo worldfoods-sauces-samplingpage

My husband is Japanese.  Even though he’s been in the U.S. for 13 years now, he still hasn’t lost his taste for asian food.  I can see it in his eyes, every time I serve soup & sandwiches or fishsticks for dinner, he’s wishing for something a bit more…exotic.  And asian.

So I tried making him some Japanese dishes, but after awhile he got tired of my limited repertoire and I caught him eyeing travel brochures for places like Malaysia, Thailand, etc.

So I asked him about it:

“Honey, did you want to go on vacation there sometime?”

“Yeah, they’ve got great food!”

“…you want to spend tons of money, take tons of time off work…just to go eat at another country?”

“Yeah, they’ve got great food!”

So I thought that now might be a good time to step up my game in the ethnic cuisine department.  However, after a disastrous attempt at “authentic” made-from-scratch recipes with exotic (and pricey) ingredients, I was desperate for a better (easier, cheaper, tastier) way.

That’s when WORLDFOODS and Moms Meet(SM) came to my rescue!

They kindly sent me a few different cooking sauces to try out!  All I had to do was add meat/veggies and serve with rice! Easy peasy!

And thank heavens, it really was that easy!

Indian Tandoori Marinade & Stir-fry

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I just put some organic chicken drumsticks in a ziploc bag with the tandoori sauce, let it marinate overnight, put it in the oven on 350F for 20 mins. and just kept turning and basting every 5-10 mins until the juices ran clear when poked with a fork.

My husband LOVED it!

Then I decided to get fancy and made a soup with the Thai Galangal Lemongrass Stir-fry Sauce.

stirfry_galangal

First, I put the sauce and shrimp together in a ziploc bag to marinate for a few hours, then I pan-roasted the baby bok choy  in some oil until it started turning a little brown and smelled pretty good, then I added mung bean sprouts, the sauce & shrimp from the ziploc bag, about a half cup of fresh mint leaves, some chopped green onions, about 2 cups of water and a little hot sesame oil because the sauce alone was on the mild side, and GENTLY folded in some organic silken tofu chunks.  Then I simmered everything for about 20 minutes and served with rice.  As you can see in the picture, my husband was a VERY happy camper!

And then my schedule got a little hectic, so I decided to not fiddle around with so much washing, peeling, chopping and just make a curry stew with the Malaysian Rendang Curry Cooking Sauce

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Basically I just marinated 1/4 lb organic ground beef with the sauce in a ziploc bag for a few hours, and added it to a pot with baby potatoes, organic baby carrots, an onion and some slices of green onion and cooked it on medium until the meat was cooked and then simmered for about 30 minutes  (occasionally adding a little water as it reduced) and served with rice.  My husband also loved this one too!

I also tried out the Thai Green Curry Sauce

sauce_thaigreen

I added it to mixed frozen seafood, 1 cup broccoli florets, and 1/2 cup asparagus pieces and cooked it on medium until everything was cooked through.  My husband couldn’t wait to eat it, so he managed to finish it off while I was upstairs showering our kids after swimming, before I could get any pictures!

Personally, I loved all the sauces as-is.  I really don’t like spicy things at all, and these sauces were just right for me.  I loved tasting the different flavors of the ingredients that went into them.  My husband, however, did put a bit of soy sauce into each dish and said they’d needed a little more salt and dashi (a Japanese dried-bonito fish stock used for umame seasoning in Japanese cuisine.)  But he usually says that about pretty much everything I cook anyway.

If you’d like to try these sauces out with your family (and there are A LOT of other sauces in WORLDFOODS’ product range), then you can find a $1 off coupon here!

And WORLDFOODS has a giveaway of their sauces for fans of their Facebook Page!

You can also check out WORLDFOODS on Twitter too!

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WORLDFOODS is a legendary pioneer in the Fusion and Asian
food industry. For over twenty years they’ve been developing
recipes using 100-percent natural ingredients. By combining
traditional herbs and spices they create fusion flavors that fit
perfectly in the kitchen of a culinary connoisseur in an everyday
family. Each of their sauces is crafted by a team of master chefs,
nutritionists, market researchers, food tasters, and everyday
ordinary users to find the perfect balance of quality and flavor.

WORLDFOODS only uses authentic herbs and spices along with
100-percent natural, fresh ingredients to create each of its unique flavors.
• Currently the brand offers 65 different sauces, dips, and marinades all
inspired by the tastes of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, China,
and India.
• These sauces are perfect for individuals with dietary constraints. Each of
their products are allergen and gluten free!
• Free of added oil, trans fat, artificial ingredients, preservatives, or food
flavor enhancers.
• The retail price for WORLDFOODS sauces varies based on retailer. To find
a store near your visit: worldfoods.com.my/wf/where_to_buy/index.php

———————————————————

*Text in italics was provided by Moms Meet(SM)

**I received this product for free from the sponsor of
the Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC,
who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a
Moms MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product
and post my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not
necessarily reflect the opinions of May Medai Group
LLC or the manufacturer of the product.

#ginnybakes Good Things To Eat!

ginnybakes-image

A couple of years ago, I found out that some relatives had put their kids on a gluten-free diet.  This meant, unfortunately, that my girls couldn’t share their EasyBake oven treats with these cousins.  Undaunted, I researched and bought quite a few gluten-free bake mixes that my girls could use instead to treat their gluten-free friends and relatives.

We mixed and baked with high hopes. Then came the taste test…

If you could imagine what cement mixed with stale chocolate chips would taste like then you’d be on the mark.

There was no way in h-e-doublematchsticks I was going to feed that to anyone!  I tried a few other brands of gluten-free “treats” and was likewise disappointed.  Never mind trying to persuade my kids that gluten-free = good, I’d have a mutiny on my hands!

So when Moms Meet™ told me that they had some actually scrumptious gluten-free bake mixes and cookies from ginnybakes for me to try out, I was equal parts relieved and eager.  I’d been hearing a lot from other moms on the playground about how putting their kids on a gluten-free diet had helped with a number of health issues!  And even better, all ginnybakes products are organic and Non-GMO!! :D

First we delved into the many flavors of cookies:

Chocolate Chip Love * Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss * Coconut Oatmeal Bliss – (This one was my favorite!) Butter Crisp Love – (Halle liked this one best!)


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The Chocolate Chip Love cookies were pretty good.  Not too sweet, firm, not mealy at all.  They had a bit of a wholegrain cereal taste, but were still very very edible!  And the chocolate actually tasted like chocolate!  The Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss were also very tasty.  Halle really enjoyed the Butter Crisp Love.  I’d say they were extra firm, but she prefers her cookies that way.  They had a distinct rich buttery flavor that I think would go well as a nice tea biscuit.  The Coconut Oatmeal Bliss – Oh. My. Goodness!!  This one was crispy, and the oatmeal and coconut flavors were blended perfectly  with chewy bits of raisins and a nice buttery aftertaste, just like a homemade cookie!

And then we forayed into the selection of baking mixes:

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* Peace, Love & Crumble Muffin Bake Mix  – (My husband raved about this and couldn’t believe it was gluten-free!) * Lovely Brownie Bliss Bake Mix – (Zanna thanked me for this one and said I was ‘the best mommy in the world’ for baking this!) * Chocolate Chip Love Cookies * Naked Love Butter Crisp Cookies * Coconut Oatmeal Bliss Cookies

The girls had their heart set on baking the Peace, Love & Crumble Muffins with me, and we had some fun doing it!  The directions are very easy, no exotic, costly ingredients to add.  The girls were able to do pretty much everything except greasing the muffin pan and dealing with the oven.  The topping amount that is supplied with the mix is very generous, and the extra got added into the next day’s pancake batter!  The muffins were very soft and airy with a very nice flavor and lovely chewy bits of fruit in them, and the topping was SO scrumptious!  I fed one to my husband and as he was making “Mmm” noises, I told him it was gluten-free.  His eyes popped a little at that and he asked “Really?” a few times, so I showed him the box to assure him I wasn’t pulling his leg.  “Wow! These are really good!” was his conclusion.

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For our anniversary (#19) the girls helped me bake the Lovely Brownie Bliss brownies. (They’re my husband’s favorite kind of cake/cookie.)  Again, it was so easy to follow all the steps.  However, instead of coconut oil, we used sunflower seed oil, but everything still turned out just fine. (My kids aren’t fans of coconut oil.)  The brownies had the shiny crispy layer on top, and were SO chocolatey!  They were very chewy and moist and practically melted in your mouth!  We fought over who got the final brownie (I won!).

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They also have boxes of mini-packs, perfect for school lunchbags!

* Chocolate Chip Love * Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bliss

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Halle is looking forward to showing off her very Non-GMO cookies to her classmates when school starts up again in a couple of weeks!

And for on-the-go hunger pangs, they also have a line of ginnybar fruit & nut bars!

* Love & Nuts * Karma, Love & Apricot * Happy Chocolate Bliss (This was my favorite! SO GOOD!!!) * Peace, Love & Apple

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Somehow I managed to miss breakfast one day, so I grabbed some of these to try them out while I went to the laundromat.

Love & Nuts and Peace, Love & Apple tasted natural and were jam-packed with chewiness, Karma, Love & Apricot (LOVE these names, by the way :D) had a definite apricot flavor and was quite good, but if you’re as chocolate-addicted as I am then you’re going to absolutely love Happy Chocolate Bliss!  They sure didn’t skimp on the chocolate with this one! Yum!!!

All in all, when our cousins get back from their vacation next week, we’ll be prepared to wow their taste-buds with gluten-free yummy ‘welcome home’s!  :D

 ****************************

ginnybakes is a family-owned company, whose passion
is to create outrageously delicious and nutritious treats
that everyone can enjoy. The founder, Ginny, is a holistic
nutritionist, who believes that your body deserves only
the finest ingredients, so she’s made sure that’s the only
thing they put in each of their products. Members of their
team work tirelessly to deliver a wide range of outrageously
delicious cookies.

  • ginnybakes offers a line of scrumptious chocolate chip cookies made with tempting dark chocolate.
  • ginnybakes’ coconut oatmeal bliss line is made with organic coconut blended with dark, organic raisins, crispy whole walnuts, and gluten-free rolled oats to make the perfect oatmeal cookie with a tropical twist.
  • You won’t find any artificial ingredients in ginnybakes cookies.
  • Every product from ginnybakes is gluten-free, organic, non-GMO and kosher.  They also offer a line of totally vegan treats.
  • ginnybakes produces cookies, bars, crumble snacks, and baking mixes – to fit each and every one of your cravings.
  • The retail price for a 5.5 oz box of ginnybakes is $5.99, the price is the same for a case of their mini boxes.
  • ginnybakes products are sold at Costco stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, Whole Food Market stores, and Fresh Market.  They recently found their way into Stop & Shop, Giant, Martin’s, Big Y stores and Peapod for those who live in the New York and New England region!  Use the store locator on ginnybakes.com to find even more ginnybakes locations.

 Connect with ginnybakes on social media:

Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Pinterest * Google+

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*Text in italics was provided by MomsMeetSM

**I received this product for free from the sponsor of the
Moms MeetSM program, May Media Group LLC, who
received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms
MeetsSM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post
my opinion on my blog. My opinions do not necessarily
reflect the opinions of May Medai Group LLC or the
manufacturer of the product.

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