Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sensible Portions Cheating With Chocolate

If you like sweet snacks, but are watching your calorie intake, Sensible Portions Cheating with Chocolate snack packs are the perfect answer.

I recently had the chance to try two different flavors of this product, the Cinnamon Roll drizzled with white chocolate and the the Smores, which had a dark chocolate topping.

The Cinnamon Roll snacks were light and the soy was crunchy and had great flavor, There was cinnamon throughout every bite and the white chocolate was a good complement to the crunch and cinnamon. Unlike other 100 calorie snacks that I have tried, there was enough in the bag to make you feel like you were getting a decent snack. Granted, these will not fill you up when you're hungry, but if you want a sweet treat, this will definitely take care of the issue with only 100 calories.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of smores, as I find them way too sweet. However, the Chocolate version? It satisfied the chocolate craving, had the crunch and a hint of marshmallow flavor.

Both flavors reminded me of breakfast cereals with the noisy crunch. I don’t know about you, but if it’s supposed to be crunchy, I want to hear it.

At the end, I saw a little bit of crumbs in the bottom of one of the bags. I freely admit it, that was two calories that I thought I’d be getting-the bag went up and those crumbs went into my mouth. That’s how good these snacks were-I didn’t want to miss a morsel.

If I've got a rumbling stomach, I'll reach for something more substantial, but if I want something sweet that's better for me than a candy bar, Cheating with Chocolate fits the bill.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The WAT AAH Challenge

Recently, Kim at What’s that Smell told of trying a new beverage for kids, WAT AAH. It really piqued my interest and I contacted WAT AAH to participate in the “WAT AHH CHALLENGE”.

In our house, we don’t usually have a lot of soda. Partly due to the expense and partly because I’d prefer my kids not be loaded up with all the junk that’s in it. Looking at my husband and my weight issues, I know that soda is full of empty calories that I’d rather the kids didn’t consume.

About a year and a half ago, I started bringing Vitamin Water into the house on occasion. It’s a product I find tasty, the kids find irresistible and it’s better than soda. I had a concern with it, though-the vitamins in it are geared towards an adult’s nutritional needs, not a child’s. I watered it down, mainly so that I got the benefits and the kids didn’t get TOO much vitamins.

Enter WAT AAH. Two moms created this vitamin fortified beverage in four types, each formula designed to pack a specific nutritional need into simple water. This was the answer to my concern-I could let the kids grab a bottle without worrying that they were getting too much of a nutrient, like I sometimes do with the Vitamin Water.

WAT AAH is different. It's the first premium bottled water designed by kids (and their moms) FOR kids. There are four varieties, each with nutrients formulated to benefit the portion of the body specified: Brain, Bones, Body and Energy. We tried Brain and Body, but I'll be happy to get my hands on the others. While they're not in our local stores, WAT AAH makes it easy to purchase online.

The question now was “will they drink it?” The day the box arrived, containing two bottles of WAT AAH, I was in luck. There happened to be two very rare bottles of soda in the fridge, a gallon of Kool Aid (I make it with half the suggested sugar-Invisible variety), some Vitamin Water and milk. The two bottles were placed in among everything else, and I knew it was only a matter of time. Would they choose it over the rarely seen soda?

Honestly, I had to scramble to get video, because Chef came home and hurried to the fridge for a drink (it was hot that day). I heard him exclaim “Whoa, what is THIS?” Take a look:

He says he’s only going to have a little bit, right? I almost didn't get a sip for myself. Even after being a bad mom and telling him incorrect information-WAT AAH is not flavored in any way. He still loved it.

Ten minutes later, we were in the car and on our way to Scouts. Chef lamented the fact that we didn’t bring the other bottle along. Then I explained that they were samples for us to try. He asked to go by some, and I had to break the news that we can’t buy them here in Florida-yet.

As a result, he drank the second bottle a little slower than the first. But he has asked several times when we’ll be able to buy more WAT AAH. That, my friends, is pretty impressive for a drink that isn’t flavored, sugared or colored in any way. It’s just full of the good stuff. So, when ARE we going to get it in Florida-because I want to make sure we can have some more in the fridge!

Would YOU like to take the WAT AAH Challenge? It's easy! Head over to WAT AAH's website and you'll find all the information you need to get a package of two bottles of WAT AAH! I have to say from personal experience, if a bottle says "Brains" on it, your kid will grab it first.

If you'd like to WIN a WAT AAH prize pack, head over to What's That Smell?, because she is having a WAT AAH! Giveaway through the 31st!

Boo, these are empty-we need more WAT AAH!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Punky Monkeys Giveaway-UItimate Blog Redesign

If you haven't visted Tena at Punky Monkeys, you should. She has such a positive outlook on life, even when things aren't so rosy. She's also got another blog called the Crazy Book Slut-which endeared her to me even more!

Recently, Punky Monkeys got a beautiful facelift and to show her gratitude for the great work that Sara at Subjective Beauty did, she's hosting a giveaway of a custom blog design, regularly priced at $60.00 (but truly a $300 value).

A custom blog design includes:
Custom Template (2 or 3 columns)
Custom Header (the sky is the limit)
Custom background
Navigation image (umlimited links)
Unlimited sidebar images
Social buttons (Twitter, Facebook, BlogHer, Feed, etc.)
Hosting space via my serverButton for linking (150x150)
Post signature
Email image
Post divider
Favicon (bookmark icon)
Flash animated greeting messageInstallation
*Rollover effects per request.

If you're in the market for doing a spring overhaul of your blog, go check out Sara's portfolio-I honestly love what HER blog looks like. Then, head over to see Tena at Punky Monkeys to see what you can do to win the chance to have Sara make yours look great!

Don't delay, this contest ends at noon PDT on March 23rd.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Tide Loads of Hope

Have you ever wondered what would happen to you if a disaster struck your area? Fire, flood, earthquake, tornado or hurricane would not only wipe out your resources, but those of your neighbors, friends and family.

What about food, clothes or shelter? Electricity to keep food fresh or to clean clothes?

Tide has thought about this and created Tide Loads of Hope. They've partnered with Feeding America, and they travel to communities affected by disasters. Tide offers free mobile laundering services to those who need it, via their trucks and vans. The trucks have 32 high capacity washers and dryers, and the vans partner with local laundromats to do 300 loads of laundry a day (the same as most of us do in a YEAR).

Loads of Hope was borne out of the need of Louisanans affected by Hurricane Katrina. Since its inception, Loads of Hope has cleaned 35,000 loads of laundry for 20,000 families. Proctor and Gamble is asking for your help in keeping the program running. By purchasing a Loads of Hope T Shirt, you can help make sure that communities affected by disasters can have one small comfort-clean clothes. All profits from the sale of the shirts goes towards continuing this project.

Consider giving those in disaster areas a little bit of Hope.

Hip T Giveaway!

Stefanie at Mommy's Quiet Time reviewed the Hip T and is having a Giveaway, too!

I love the idea of the Hip T, because after two kids, I don't want my belly showing and that's what happens with a few of my favorite shirts. They've been retired, but it looks like a Hip T can restore them to the rotation!

Go check it out! Contest ends March 20th.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Keurig Platinum Brewer Giveaway at What's That Smell

If you're like me, you don't want to drink a whole pot of coffee. I'd much rather have a single, fresh hot cup, because there's nothing yuckier than coffee that's been burning in the pot in the name of keeping it warm.

Enter Kim at What's That Smell with the most awesome giveaway, The Keurig Platinum Brewing system! You can use that bad boy to make a cup, whenever you want it.

I'm not sure which part I like best: fresh hot coffee, no cleaning out the filter, no griping that I don't have the beans I prefer, no burnt coffee taste or no science project when I forget that there was about 4 oz of coffee left in the pot the last time I made it. All of the above.

Go check it out! And go check out Keurig's website, because I am drooling. The only thing that would make me happier is if they started carrying Indigo and Barnie's Coffees.

Contest ends April 3rd.

Oh, and if you're the winner, would you invite me over for a cuppa joe?

Kolobags Giveaway at the Not So Blog

is hosting a giveaway of a Kolobag laptop bag. Do you want to carry your laptop in style to BlogHer? Then you need to visit the Not So Blog to win the Room It Up pink messenger style laptop bag, regularly a $50.00 value.

Don't delay, because this giveaway ends March 11th!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Why a Front Load Laundry Pair Saves You Money

Here is a Resource Comparison of Top Load versus Front Load Washers that I did for my customers in my last job. To determine your cost benefit, take your water bill and determine your cost per 1,000 gallons to find out what it will cost you.

Your average Front Load uses 15 gallons of water PER LOAD. Your average top load uses 80 to 120 gallons PER LOAD. (We’ll use the low end for comparison purposes)

Per load, a front load washer uses 65 gallons less per load. (Realistically, this could be as much 105 gallons each load)

Let’s say you do 4 loads of laundry per week.
4 loads x 65 gallons = You’re saving 265 gallons per week.

This means, each year, you are using 13,500 gallons less water. (Possibly you are saving 21,800 gallons depending on your model washer)

Currently, that saves you $42.98 in water costs from Lakeland water. (or $88.44)

That water has to go somewhere, right? That’s where your sewer charges come in. You’ll save $44.66 in sewer fees. (or 70.18)

So, the average of four loads per week in a front load saves you $87.64 a year, right? Nope! Double that, because the front load capacity is twice your typical top load. On water resources ALONE, your customer is saving $175.98!

On a $2000 laundry pair, your water savings pays for the set in 11 years. Just from using less water. That said, consider how much ENERGY it takes to move 80-120 gallons of water (a gallon weighs 11 pounds, so 880 to 1320 pounds per load). Additionally, a front loader moves only the clothes through the water, not both. If your local electric company is like ours, that can save you HUNDREDS each year.

So, if you would like to upgrade to a front loader and your spouse says "No, we can't afford it", show them this to prove that you can!

Are You Buying a New Refrigerator?

You're in the market for a new refrigerator. If it's been more than 5 years since you last purchased one, boy, are you in for a surprise!

Stainless steel is the most popular finish and French Door style refrigerators are rapidly overtaking side by sides as the most commonly purchased style. I'm sure you have many questions about the different styles and which is the best for you. I will answer those questions in another post. Today, I'll tell you about one very important feature: Water Filtration.

You may be thinking that you've lived a long time without it or that you've already got a water delivery service. I have a few questions for you to help you decide if spending the extra money up front is cost effective in the long run.

Are you ready? Here we go:

1. Do you drink bottled water?
2. How many bottles do your family drink a day? How much do you pay per bottle?
3. Multiply the number of bottles by the cost.
Example 6 bottles a day by 1.29 a bottle = 7.74
4. Calculate your expense per week by multiplying the daily cost by 7
Example 7.74 per day multiplied by 7 = 54.18
5. Then multiply the weekly total by 52.
Example 54.18 multiplied by 52 = 2817.36

That refrigerator’s water filtration has paid for itself in the first year!

Another example:

1. How many gallons of water does your family go through in a week?
Example 3 gallons
2. Multiply the gallons by the cost
Example 3 gallons by .89 cents a gallon (Publix cost) = 2.67
3. Multiply the weekly cost by 52 for annual cost.
Example 2.67 X 52 = 138.84
You won’t see the benefit as quickly, but your benefit of water filtration will be seen in a $1099. refrigerator in eight years.

A simple feature that you may not have considered important can mean big savings for your family!

I hope this helps you in determining if adding water filtration to your new refrigerator is right for you.