Friday, December 11, 2015

Hot Italian Premio Sausage Chili

I recently received a coupon from Influenster for a free package of Premio sausage, so I have been on a mission to find a yummy, new recipe to use it on - and I officially have found it!

In the past, I've always used ground beef in my chilis, but the thought of using sausage sounded like an interesting way to literally spice things up!  I adapted this recipe from HelloFresh (which I will gush about soon!) to include Premio's Hot Italian Sausage - and it's been a hit in my family!  I've never made chili so much from scratch before, but wow - you sure can taste the difference!  Onto the recipe...

1 package Premio Hot Italian Sausage
1 red onion
1 clove garlic
1 green bell pepper
1 bunch scallions
1 can black beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 packet vegetable stock concentrate
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
Olive oil
Sour cream

1 - Prep the ingredients: Half, peel, and dice the onion.  Core, seed, and remove the white ribs from the bell pepper, then finely dice.  Mince or grate the garlic.  Thinly slice the scallions, keeping the greens and whites separate.  Drain and rinse the black beans.
2 - Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.  Add the Premio sausage to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned.  Set aside, then slice into 1/2 inch rounds once cool enough to handle.
3 - Heat another drizzle of oil in the same pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onions, peppers, and scallion whites to the pan and cook, tossing for 4-5 minutes, until softened.  Add the garlic, cumin, and chili powder to the pan and cook for 1-2 more minutes, until fragrant.
4 - Add the diced tomatoes, black beans, vegetable stock concentrate, oregano, and 2 cups water to the pan.  Bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir the Premio sausage into the pan.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.
5 - Serve the chili divided between bowls (we serve it on Fritos!), dolloped with sour cream and garnished with scallion greens.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Influenster Comfort VoxBox

Comfort VoxBox

Influenster has graced me with yet another one of their amazing VoxBox's - this time it's all about Comfort, just in time for the cold season!  There's lots of goodies to be found in this VoxBox, so let's get it unboxed!

Ragu Old World Style Traditional Sauce

Looks like we are started off here on the wrong foot.  I was sent both a FREE coupon and a $ off coupon towards Ragu sauces - unfortunately, they can only be used at Safeway and other stores that aren't in my area.  Looks like I'll need to give these away... hmmm... do I sense a giveaway?

Annie's Homegrown Organic Soups

This was the first product our family decided we needed to try immediately!  Annie's new organic soups are available in 5 delicious flavors, all packed with 100% Annie's goodness, like fun, bunny-shaped pasta.  Although we didn't have any of Annie's signature cheddar bunnies available to use as croutons, these Organicasaurus puffs worked out quite well!  I've never found a tomato soup other than Campbell's that I truly enjoyed, until now!  Annie's Organic Tomato Soup was creamy and delicious - without too much of a tomato-y taste to it.  We can't wait to try out the other flavors!

Tide Ultra Stain Release Free

Tide's New Ultra Stain Release FREE helps remove 99% of everyday stains AND it's free of dyes and perfumes!  I'll be honest - I like my laundry to smell, so I normally shy away from the detergents that are free of fragrances.  However, it's always nice to have some sensitive laundry detergents on hand when I am washing a load of delicates or fabrics that will be used with babies.  Not to mention, the sale they had going on at Target, with a gift card offer, a Cartwheel % off, plus a store coupon made for a deal I couldn't pass up!

Fiber Choice Immunity Support Fruity Bites

With winter right around the corner, I am doing everything I can to boost my immune system and get ready for the onslaught of germs.  Fiber Choice Immunity Support Fruity Bites help support overall well-being by supporting your digestive health and your immune system, combined!  Unfortunately, I am not quite sure what I did with my sample packet that was included in my VoxBox, so I'll have to get back to you on what I thought of these...

Fisher Nut Exactly Snack Bites

If you love snacking, Fisher Nut Exactly Snack Bites claim that they were made just for you!  Fisher Nut combined wholesome ingredients like roasted almond, whole grain popcorn, and milk chocolate together into one delicious, bite-sized snack.  At only 15 calories per bite and no artificial preservatives, it's a snack you can feel good about!  When I first tried the snack bites, I was unsure of how much I really liked them - however I found it near impossible to stop snacking once I started!  These snack bites are the ideal mix of salty and sweet to leave you feeling satisfied.

Do you wish you could receive VoxBox's from Influenster, too?  It's easy!  Just click this link to sign up, and start receiving your very own products to test out and review, too!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

We interrupt your latest broadcast to bring you... more reviews!

Full Time Energy Super Fruit and Berry Weight Loss Blend

Over the past year, I've lost 25 pounds and would love to continue to trend and lose even more.  That's why, when I was offered to receive Full Time Energy Weight Loss Blend free of charge in exchange for my honest review, I was stoked to give it a try!  I've used other products with Raspberry Ketones and Garcinia Cambogia in them in the past, with varying negative results.  Either the products have suppressed my appetite so much that I get physically ill when I try to eat (which isn't good - our bodies need fuel!), or they have no effect on me what-so-ever.

Sadly, this product falls into the latter category.  When I first received the product, I put it straight into my refrigerator, because I was worried about the taste.  I know refrigerating liquids can help them go down more smoothly, so I was hoping it'd help.  The next morning, I filled up the cap and took a swig.  Surprisingly, this stuff doesn't taste all that bad!

After a few hours, I realized that I never felt a burst of energy, and I was STARVING.  It was as if this product actually increased my appetite, rather than suppressing it - which I have also experienced in Garcinia Cambogia products in the past.  Different products affect everyone's bodies a little different, unfortunately this just isn't the product for me.

Valentina Paris Hand Painted Wine Glasses

If you ever are looking to say, "Just one glass", yet drink half of your bottle of wine, these glasses are your ticket!

Seriously though, these hand painted wine glasses are beautiful.  I received them for free of charge in exchange for my honest review, and love being able to pull them out when company comes over.  The only problem is that they are so large they don't even fit in my cupboards!  Thankfully, they are gorgeous enough that I don't mind them sitting out - they serve a double purpose as a decorative piece!

50 Assorted Craft Sanding Sticks

I do a lot of crafting, so when I was offered to review the above pictured craft sanding sticks at a discount, I knew it would be a great deal and motivation to get some more of my projects complete!

These sanding sticks are just as expected - they come in all different shapes, grits, and colors and work just like all of the nail files that I've purchased in the past.  If you use nail files regularly in your crafting, I highly suggest picking up this bulk assortment on Amazon at

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Glow 2 Go Self-Tanning Towelettes

Awhile back, Thermalabs approached me to try out their Glow2Go Self-Tanning Towelettes in exchange for my honest review - unfortunately, I don't think they're going to enjoy my review too much.  I normally use St. Tropez's Self Tan Bronzing Mousse, but that can get expensive, so I was excited to possibly find a more inexpensive option.

The towelettes come in trendy gold-toned packaging.  The instructions say to unfold and apply towelette all over your body as needed.  Pretty simple, so I started right away!  One of the first things I noticed was that unpleasant self-tan odor that comes with the majority of self tanning products on the market.  I have been lucky enough to find a few brands that don't leave you smelling like a fake bake, but this is not one of them.  I then was surprised to see how quickly the towelette felt dry, as if all of the product had been used up.  I ended up using THREE towelettes, just to do my legs!  So, when I originally I thought that this box would give me 20 applications of a golden glow.. now I am down to just 5 more, and that's only if I want to self-tan my legs and nothing else.

Although I was disappointed with how many towelettes I had to use, I was still willing to stick with the product if the results were phenomenal.  So, I waited the directed 4 hours, and took after photos.  Upon comparison....

I don't see a single difference.  Maybe I was already too tan to start with, and this works better on pale skin?  Thankfully, I didn't get the streaks that other users have complained about, but I feel that might be because I used SO MUCH of the product until I knew I was completely covered.  I also could smell my legs for the rest of the day until I finally took a shower to wash the scent away.

In the end, I've gotta be honest - I do not recommend this product.  For the price and the results, it just doesn't seem worth it, at least not for me!  If you do want to still check it out, it's available on Amazon at

Friday, August 21, 2015

Zahler Kidophilus Liquid, Advanced Childrens Probiotic

My daughter has to take Miralax quite often to stay regular, and I've always wanted another (more natural) option to help with her tummy troubles. So, when Apex Nutrition offered to send me this Children's Probiotic drink, I jumped at a chance to give her another option to help with her tummy troubles. Let me start off by saying this stuff is great! I don't have to worry about her taking it too often or the fact that she loves it so much she wants to take it daily. She enjoys the flavor of the product - and often is the one to remind me that she wants to take her "liquid medicine"!

We are down to only using Miralax about once a week - which is a great improvement compared to where we were before this product. With starting school in a couple weeks, I also am hoping this will help her fight off some of the bugs she might pick up from other students.

I received this product at a discount in exchange for my honest review, but I have to also say, this company is AMAZING to work with. My first bottle arrived with the seal broken, leaking all over my box. As soon as I contacted them to let them know about the issue, they immediately sent me a replacement bottle + some company swag. They were truly upset that the product arrived in the condition that it did, and you could just see their high level of commitment to the brand! If you'd like to check out Zahler Kidophilus Liquid, the Advanced Childrens Probiotic, it's available on Amazon at

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July Review Round-Up! Flash Temporary Tattoos, All Natural Mosquito Repellent, and more!

Eco Defense Mosquito Repellent Bracelet
I spent the previous week at Girl Scout Camp and couldn't wait to give these mosquito repellent braclets that Eco Defense sent me a try.  I used the bracelets on my campers who's bug spray just wasn't doing the job. These are fantastic! They have such a pleasant aroma to them - very similar to citronella, and the girls loved wearing them. I was surprised at how well they stayed secured, and definitely noticed an increase in bugs biting me when I didn't have mine on! I especially loved the peace of mind knowing they were all natural vs. the horrible aerosol cans that the rest of the girls were using.

Flash Temporary Metallic Tattoos
I had also wanted to give these metallic temporary tattoos a try at camp with the girls, but unfortunately ran out of time.  Instead, we had fun trying them out at home, and love them! I just love the metallic finish to these tattoos - they are gorgeous once applied to the skin! Not to mention, they also come off of the paper backing so easily after just 15-20 seconds, unlike many other temporary tattoos that come off in pieces. My only complaint is that the one tattoo I was most excited for isn't printed as a mirror image - which is bizarre, because all of the other ones that include words are. Therefore, once it's applied, it's backwards and hard to read (see photo).

Regardless, these tattoos are excellent - there's definitely something for everyone in this huge pack!

50 Plant Panda Pots
Lastly, Panda Pots sent me 50 plant pots - which was perfect because we recently started sprouting the pits from our avocados, and these pots work perfectly as a container to transplant the pits once the root emerges. The pots are flexible, yet very durable. My kids just love helping out with these, since they are the perfect size - and you get so many in the pack, I don't mind them going around planting other random seeds that they find!

Andre Lorent Cellulite Cream
The first time I tried to apply this "Crazy Beautiful" Cellulite Creme, I was a little irritated because of how difficult it was to rub into my skin.  I remembered, however, that with most other cellulite creams, you are really supposed to massage it into your skin well - and the fact that this product doesn't absorb well into my skin just means I have to massage it even more!  I truly believe that one of the reasons this cream works so well is because it forces you to give your legs (or wherever else you might be using it) a deep tissue massage, which in turn increases the blood circulation in those areas.  Not only do I notice that my legs immediately feel more moisturized and soft, but I am also seeing the long term effects of using this product!

NO2 Nitric Oxide Preworkout Supplement
I've only used one pre-workout supplement in the past, so this review is specifically based off of my experiences with GreenForce's supplement and the similarities and differences with the other one that I've used.  While trying out this supplement, I took it before leaving for the gym and was surprised when I could feel it kicking in while I was still driving (within 10 minutes of taking it).  It definitely kicks in fast, however I also feel that it wears off quite quickly - about 20 minutes into my workout, I was already feeling drained.  The overall strength and energy boost that I get from this product is quite a bit more than I've experienced in the past, though.  I actually cut down to only taking 1 tablet at a time and I much prefer that experience than with the recommended 2.

I received all of these products at a discount in exchange for my unbiased review, but would feel the same about them if I had paid full price!

Friday, June 19, 2015

wojoCALM Review and GIVEAWAY!

Life around our household can get a little hectic at times.  As a fellow parent, I'm sure you understand  how crazy it can get juggling school, sports, work, household chores, and more - so when Wojo Nutrition introduced me to their new wojoCALM liquid dietary supplements, it definitely caught my attention!  Every pack of wojoCALM contains 5 cute little plastic vials, each containing just 0.04 fl oz of a potent calming elixir.  Wojo Nutrition claims that these supplements contain a specialized formula to support non-drowsy mental and physical relaxation.  Sounds pretty perfect, right?!
The recommended use says to squeeze a vial into a beverage and drink - but Wojo also suggests just taking the vial straight.  I tried this, however, and was not at all pleased with the taste!  I could only stomach a few drops and had to quickly squeeze the rest into my glass.  Mixed with a drink, however, it was much more tolerable.  Immediately, I truly felt a sort of weight lifted off of my shoulders.  While it didn't instantly make all problems disappear, I felt more at ease.  This calmness seemed to wear off pretty quickly, however - I was back to my normal, frazzled self after just a few minutes.

I was curious about what made wojoCALM work, so I looked up the main ingredients.  Turns out, L-Thenine is an amino acid found naturally occurring in tea.  It has been linked to non-drowsy relaxation, anti-anxiety, and even has a preventative role in cancer!  For just $6.49 per pack, I definitely feel that wojoCALM gives us moms that little break that we desperately need from time to time.  If you'd like to check it out, feel free to browse Wojo Nutrition's website at

Want to try wojoCALM for yourself?  Just leave a comment below with the one thing you do to unwind after a crazy day!  I'll choose a winner to receive a pack of wojoCALM for free from the company!

(I received this product for free in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Safe Skins Spiral Slicer + Recipe eBook

In the past few months, I've made some drastic changes with the foods that I prepare and eat - and I've seen great results!  I've seen others use zucchini noodles, or "zoodles", in the their recipes and have always wanted to give them a try, so when Kitopia approached me to try out their Safe Skins Spiral Slicer in exchange for my honest feedback, my dreams came true!  First of all, when you purchase a Spiral Slicer from Kitopia, you not only get the slicer, but a cute little brush to keep it clean with (that I've also been using on my Camelbak spouts), a Safe Skins bag to keep the slicer in to avoid any sharp edges, and an eBook full of 40 recipe ideas!

Let's start out with these zoodles.  Replacing your ordinary boxed pasta with zucchini noodles not only cuts down on the amount of calories and carbs, but it gives your body all kinds of additional nutrients!  I regularly struggle with getting enough vegetables in my diet, but I love pasta - if I could combine the two, I'd be set!

Kitopia suggests using fresh, firm vegetables for the best results.  Admittedly, my zucchini was questionably old, but it still held up fantastically!  The spiral slicer was easy and fun to use - I didn't want to stop!  After spiraling two whole zucchinis, I then mixed together some tomato sauce with Tastefully Simple's Mama Mia Marinara Sauce Mix (YUMMY!),

At this point, I realized that not only is using the spiral slicer to make pasta healthier - it saves so much time!  My entire meal was prepped in under 5 minutes.

So now, the verdict.  I honestly didn't care for zoodles too much.  I tried microwaving it for a bit, hoping that maybe heating them would help, and I really do think it did - but I still couldn't finish my plate.  That said, I still love this product and cannot wait to try out some of the recipes from their eBook.  I can definitely see myself using this to make fancy carrots and vegetables to top salads and more!

The Spiral Slicer Value Pack is available on Amazon at  Even if you don't purchase it personally, I recommend you add this to your Wish List and maybe someone else will surprise you with it!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Adeline's Hyaluronic Acid & Antioxidant Serum

I've always loved the adorable packaging that Adeline's products come in - airless pump bottles that ensure no bacteria contaminates the product, plus the silver touches that make me want to leave them out on my counter for all to see.  Their Hyaluronic Acid and Antioxidant Serum are no different.

At first, I was pleasantly surprised to see how large the Hyaluronic Acid was - almost twice as much as any I've used in the past.  It actually reminds me more of a gel than a serum, and just a few little drops goes a long, long way!  It leaves a fresh scent behind, with no unpleasant residue.  With as little of this product as is needed to cover my entire face, I can see this bottle lasting me for months of daily use.

Adeline's Antioxidant Serum is much more liquid, almost water-like.  It also has barely any scent to it, at all.  Just like the Hyaluronic Acid Serum, it absorbs into my skin quickly, but it does take a little bit more to cover my entire face.

Adeline sent me these products for free, in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion. Even if I had paid for the products, however, I would still consider them both worthy of 5 stars!

Body Merry Products Galore!

Whenever I've used Body Merry products in the past, I've always been blown away by the results, so when they approached me to try out four of their new products, their Vitamin C Moisturizer and Vitamin C Serum, Pro-A Serum, and Neck Cream in exchange for my honest review, I jumped at the chance!

First off, the Super 6 Serum contains 22% Vitamin C, 20% Hyaluronic Acid, 2.5% Retinol, plus 3 more components used in combination for Age Defense. I was pretty surprised when I first used this serum at the bright orange color of it. After the initial shock of the color, I was impressed with how quickly the serum absorbed into my skin, leaving no residue behind.

Maybe I am crazy, but I feel the orange color of this serum also leaves my face looking a little tanner, which I cannot complain about. One thing I've noticed using this product is how much it smells like carrots. I've gone over the ingredients and cannot figure out what it is that I am smelling - and maybe it's being influenced by the bright orange color, but it's definitely not a turn off to the product.

Next up, the Super C-22 Moisturizer is a 22% Vitamin C, 20% Hyaluronic Acid, 2.5% Niacinamide, 2.5% Coenzyme Q10 formula. Having such a high amount of Vitamin C concerned me that this product would be too greasy for a facial moisturizer. However, Body Merry's Super C-22 Moisturizer is one of the least greasy moisturizers I've used in quite some time. It has a very light yellow appearance, combined with a delicious citrus-y scent that reminds me of orange peels. It has amazing moisturizing properties, leaving my skin nourished.

The next Body Merry product I tried is the Pro-A Serum, which is very similar to the Vitamin C serum, just without any of the Vitamin C. It is a combination of 2.5% Retinol, Hyaluronic Acid and Green Tea. There's not much of a fragrance to the serum and is just cloudy-clear in appearance. Just like the previous serum, the Pro-A also absorbs into my skin quickly, leaving no residue behind. I can follow-up with my daily moisturizer almost immediately after applying the serum, unlike some other brands which require me to allow the serum to dry first.

The Vitamin C Serum and Moisturizer combination has become my go-to for mornings when my skin is feeling a little drier than normal. Not only does the serum leave my skin radiant, but the moisturizer abolishes any dryness. On mornings when my face doesn't feel quite as dry, I lean towards the Pro-A Serum.

The last product in my Body Merry review list is their Neck Firming and Tightening Cream. This cream is a combination of Vitamin C, Glycolic Acid, and Coenzyme Q10. It claims to be a powerful moisturizer that firms, smooths, and improves the suppleness of your decollete. I was taken aback at first by how thick and greasy this moisturizer is - but being on my neck, it wasn't something that actually bothered me like it would had I put it on my face.

While I definitely felt like I had almost immediate results using the product, I just couldn't get over the fact that it honestly smelled like sushi. Every time I tried using it, I immediately would think of sushi and just couldn't stand applying it to my skin. Sadly, I passed this product onto one of my friends who didn't mind the smell as much as I did.

Body Merry is a wonderful company with a wealth of quality products. Best of all, they offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you purchase their products and aren't pleased with them for any reason, they will reimburse your money - no questions asked, no need to return the unused product. For this reason, I can't recommend trying their products enough!  Another bonus?  Once you purchase their products, they may contact you to begin receiving them in exchange for your opinion, as well!