Friday, June 27, 2014

SweetLeaf Sweet Drops Water Enhancers & Cola Flavor: Review





Do you remember when I reviewed SweetLeaf sweeteners, awhile back? I am now happy to present a new line of their products: Sweet Drops Water Enhancers and a new Sweet Drops flavor: Cola. In case you missed my review, here is a synopsis of SweetLeaf:

SweetLeaf is an award-winning 100% natural Stevia sweetener which was proposed by founder James May. May was introduced to the Stevia plant and its natural sweetness in 1982 by a Peace Corp worker. He learned "When processed, the sweetest parts of the plant, called glycosides, are extracted from the leaves and isolated. The combination of these compounds is 300 times sweeter than sugar and contains no calories or carbohydrates." James May was brave enough to invest all of his money into Stevia, in order create the SweetLeaf brand for marketing and production in the United States. His efforts paid off, as SweetLeaf has gained a great reputation. Mr. May was elected Honorary President of the Stevia Association of the Americas and plays a large role in helping Paraguayan farmers produce legal crops.  

SweetLeaf makes three varieties of sweeteners: powders, SugarLeaf, and Sweet Drops. The powder form of the SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener comes in 35 count and 70 count boxes, as well as dissolvable tablets and a shaker bottle. SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener contains the "purest and sweetest source of stevia on the market today". It is different from other sweeteners because it is the only stevia-based sweetener that uses the combination of high quality stevia leaves and cool purified water in its extraction process. The process is so clean that the water used can then be given to farmers for the irrigation of their fields. The packets and dissolvable tablets of sweetener are great for coffee, tea, or even in baking and cooking. SweetLeaf Stevia sweetener contains no saccharin, aspartame, refined sugar, maltodextrin, fructose or artificial sweeteners. This makes it a great product for people who are watching their weight, eco-friendly people, or for diabetics. The shaker bottle comes with the addition of inulin, an all-natural vegetable soluble fiber that can aid in digestive health and immune function.

SugarLeaf is a product which blends SweetLeaf Stevia® with cane sugar to create the perfect consistency for baking and cooking. SugarLeaf browns like sugar, but is non-GMO and only has 2/3 the carbohydrates and calories of regular sugar. 





SweetLeaf® Liquid Stevia Sweet Drops™ are zero-calorie sweetening drops made with all-natural flavors and stevia leaf extract. These drops make a wonderful addition to almost any recipe that calls for sugar; you can use them in beverages, yogurt, soup, sauce, desserts, salads, etc. What's great about the Sweet Drops is their ability to also add a unique flavor to your dish! They come in 21 different flavors, including: Coconut, Watermelon, Cola, Lemon Drop, Valencia Orange, Berry, Double Chocolate (coming soon), Chocolate Raspberry, English Toffee, Vanilla Creme, Hazelnut, Peppermint, Peppermint Mocha, Pumpkin Spice, SteviaClear, Strawberry (coming soon), Root Beer, Grape, Apricot Nectar, Chocolate, and Cinnamon. So many possibilities! Just four drops of Sweet Drops are equivalent to one teaspoon for baking. 

Sweet Drops are now available in three different sizes: 2 ounce and 15 ounce dropper bottles, and 6-ml minis. There is an average of 288 servings per standard 2 ounce dropper bottle, which is a great value! Sweet Drops have been recognized worldwide; the Vanilla Creme flavor received the "Best Taste Award" from the World Stevia Organization in 2013, and the Chocolate flavor received this award in 2012. 







I received a Sweet Drops Water Pack from SweetLeaf for the purpose of this review, as well as a Cola-flavored 6 ml bottle of Sweet Drops. Sweet Drops are available in convenient 3-packs for anyone that has an "on-the-go" lifestyle, or wants to try a variety of flavors. Each package contains three 6 ml bottles of Sweet Drops that have similar flavors. The Water Pack, which I received, contains Berry, Lemon Drop, and Valencia Orange Sweet Drops. The other 3-packs include the following:
  • Coffee and Tea Pack - This package, great for addition to your coffee, tea, milk shake, or dessert, contains the Chocolate, English Toffee, and Vanilla Creme Sweet Drops flavors.
  • Soda Pack - This package, great for addition to sparkling water, popsicles, or ice cubes, contains the Cola, Root Beer, and Grape Sweet Drops flavors.
  •  Party Pack - This package, great for addition to non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages alike contains the Peppermint, Coconut, and Cinnamon Sweet Drops flavors.







 


I tested the Sweet Drops Water Pack (Berry, Lemon Drop, and Valencia Orange flavors) in a standard glass of filtered water. I started by adding just one drop, and testing the water, until it had my level of preferred sweetness. I used about 4-5 drops for a really rich sweetness, but the nice thing is that you can change the intensity of the flavor very easily. Four to five drops was nice for a glass of flavored water to have at dinner. On the other hand, I also used these Sweet Drops Water Enhancers to jazz up the bottled water that I was taking to the gym. In this case, I only used 2 drops, for a light hint of flavor. SweetLeaf suggests adding one drop per two liquid ounces, and then adjusting. My favorite flavor was the Berry, but that was a very close call...they all tasted great! In fact, I definitely prefer the taste of the Sweet Drops Water Pack to that of some of the major brands of water enhancers (like MiO, for example). Many water enhancers on the market taste extremely artificial, like they are jam packed with chemicals and additives...not to mention all that dye! I prefer this more "natural" taste - it is very pleasant.

For those of you that have read my past reviews, you may know that I am NOT a water drinker, by any means. I wish I could lie and tell you that I drink it on a daily basis, but its a rare occasion where I'll actually consume any at all. I realize that I am not doing my body or my diet any justice by not drinking water, and this is something that I have been struggling with for awhile. I would love to switch to only drinking water, but it only quenches my thirst...it isn't exciting, or something that I desire. However, with the addition of the Sweet Drops, I feel like I might finally be able to take that plunge, trying to increase my daily water in-take. The 3-pack is nice because you can try multiple, similar flavors, and the 6 ml bottles are small enough to stick in your purse or at your office. I put the Berry Sweet Drops in my purse, so that I can add a few drops to my water before I go into the gym. I am very happy with the quality and the flavor!

So why don't I drink more water? ...Because I am addicted to Diet Pepsi. Yep, that's probably one of the worst drinks I could have chosen, but I tried to tell myself that making a switch from regular soda to diet soda many years ago was enough. Now, however, I am in medical school and we are learning more about the types of chemicals that are in leading diet sodas. I know that the aspartame is linked (though maybe not yet proven) to a variety of health conditions. Even if it doesn't directly cause them, it probably exaggerates them. If I don't have two of these a day, I will start to get headaches. I want to slowly wean myself off of this diet soda, on the journey to becoming healthier. This brings me to the other SweetLeaf product that I received...the Cola Sweet Drops. 






Cola Sweet Drops are a great addition to carbonated water or any sparkling beverage. They are the Diet Pepsi addict's salvation. Again, just a few drops (until you have your taste preference) in your sparkling or carbonated water, and you are good to go. I was a bit skeptical of how this one would taste, in particular. I tried the Cola Sweet Drops in a glass of sparkling wild cherry, and also in plain, carbonated water that I produced with my Soda Stream. I was pleasantly surprised. It doesn't taste exactly like Diet Pepsi, but the flavor is good, especially when mixed with wild cherry. It feels as though the carbonation tricks my body into thinking I am still drinking Diet Pepsi. In reality, switching to Cola Sweet Drops would be a major benefit for my health. This may be a way for me to continue enjoying the taste of soda, without having to worry about compromising my health. I definitely recommend this flavor to anyone who knows the struggle of a diet soda addiction! You won't be sorry.

Interested in learning more about SweetLeaf and their products? Check out the following links:

CanvasHQ - Unique Canvas Art with your Pictures! {Review and Giveaway}

520 by 245 canvasHQ 


CanvasHQ is a company based out of Fort Smith, AR, that takes customer's photographs and turns them into canvas artwork, which can be hung and displayed. Oil paintings are very tedious; now you can have your image on a canvas faster, with an ultra-precise, high resolution printer. CanvasHQ prides themselves on offering top-notch customer service and high quality "ingredients". They have a wide variety of options, whether it be size, finish, border color, etc. CanvasHQ works quickly and precisely to produce the best canvas art at affordable prices. The canvas prints that CanvasHQ produces are great for businesses, portraits, professional photography, home decor, interior design, or as a unique gift for your next birthday party or wedding.


How do CanvasHQ's materials exceed those of other companies?

CanvasHQ uses high-quality, solvent-based ink, which stands the test of time much better than standard, water-based ink. Solvent-based ink will not bleed when wet, and is UV resistant, so you can put your canvas anywhere in your house, without worrying about it fading in sunlight. The only exception is DIRECT sunlight, which would take three years to make an impact on solvent-based ink. CanvasHQ also uses eight different colors of ink, to best reproduce the quality of your original image. CanvasHQ uses only the finest canvases to print your images on -- the canvases that they use have been manufactured since the 1800's and are thick and resistant. CanvasHQ does not use wooden strips for frames as some companies do, but an authentic artist stretcher bar that is crafted out of radiata pine and imported from New Zealand. Not only are the physical canvas and artwork made with high-quality ingredients...so is the hardware and the packaging! Their packaging is extremely secure and intricate, to make sure that your canvas arrives safely. If, by chance, it somehow manages to become damaged, CanvasHQ will send a replacement immediately.

How does it work?
Ordering canvas artwork from CanvasHQ is simple -- you can either upload an image directly from your computer, or you can upload an image from your Facebook profile. The image doesn't have to be from a certain kind of camera...your phone's camera will do just fine!

You have many options for your finished canvas artwork. The first, of course, is orientation. The three options that you have are portrait, landscape, or square. The next option is to choose a size for your canvas artwork. You can have your picture printed on a single canvas or on multiple canvases, anywhere from 6" up to 96", depending on your preference. Next, you can choose whether or not you want your image to stretch around the sides of the canvas (image wrap or mirror wrap). If you prefer, you can also have a solid color as a border around the edges...and they have almost every color imaginable, to fit any decor! Then you choose the depth of your frame, or how much you want your image to "pop out" and away from the wall. You can choose from: 3/4", 1.5", or 2.5", and CanvasHQ recommends increasing depth as you increase the size of your canvas. Next, you decide what finish you would like for your canvas artwork. This is similar to when you are purchasing photo paper: you can pick between matte, semi-gloss, or full glossy. A matte finish is recommended for canvas artwork that includes people, and has soft colors and no glare or "shine". Semi-gloss finishes have a little shine, but not too much glare. Glossy finishes are recommended for reproduction of actual artwork, and is best for spaces without direct sources of light, as you will definitely catch a glare. Semi-gloss is the most popular finish. If that all wasn't enough for you, you can also pick from several image effects: colorful glow, dramatic, black and white, color isolate (where some parts are black and white and some are color), or sepia. Colorful glow and sepia effects will add $9.95 to your cost, black and white has no additional cost, and color isolate adds $29.95 to your cost.

Another great option from CanvasHQ is their free, professional image touch-up. You can either request a touch-up when you are ordering your canvas artwork, or you can see if your representative suggests one. They can remove red-eye, blemishes, color correction, etc. Major touch-ups, such as whitening someone's teeth are available at an extra charge.







Before CanvasHQ sends out your finished canvas artwork, the team member who is responsible for creating your canvas will reach out to you with a complimentary proof. This way, you can see exactly what your image will look like, and can alter it if something seems off, or it just wasn't what you expected. This way, you know if you like any borders or image filters that you have applied to your artwork. At this time, the team member who is sending you a digital proof will also make sure that you do not have any further questions or concerns. If they have any concerns about the quality of your image, they will notify you.

 CanvasHQ fully backs their products and company; if you are unsatisfied with your canvas artwork for any reason, they will either REMAKE your piece, or they will refund 100% of your money within 30 days of the original order. There is a lifetime guarantee on your canvas artwork, that covers cracking, bubbling, or fading (if not in direct sunlight). They want to make sure that all customers are completely satisfied, so this is truly a risk-free experience.

Prices are extremely variable, as you can imagine, with all of the options that CanvasHQ offers. The cheapest canvas artwork would be an 8" by 10" with a 3/4" frame depth and no additional image effects or major touch-ups; this runs for approximately $33.95. The largest of the canvases can cost upwards of $150-$300, depending on which options you choose. CanvasHQ has a lot of special deals and coupons, so make sure to sign up for their newsletter and check out their Facebook page before you make your order.







 



CanvasHQ allowed to me to choose any photo to have printed on one of their canvases for the purpose of this review. I chose a picture of one of my two dogs, Icarus, because I knew that my mom  was coming to visit me, and I wanted to have something special to give her to hang up on her wall. I moved to another state for school, but Icarus lives back in New York with my parents. My mom loves him just as much as I do, and is constantly sending me photos via text messages, so that I won't miss him as much. I chose one of the photos that she had texted me (taken on an iPhone), of Icarus looking (deceivingly) peaceful. At home we have a perfect, long hallway with a soft purple background, and I knew that this picture would go perfect with my mom's decor!

I chose an 14" x 11" landscape canvas with a black border. I wanted something that would really pop out from the wall (since it will be the only artwork on that wall), so I chose the in between, 1.5" frame depth. I know that that hallway gets a moderate amount of light (though not directly), so I chose the semi-gloss finish, to make sure that there is not a continuous glare on the canvas. The image effects looked really great, but I wanted to preserve the natural color of Icarus' coat and the softness of the image, so I left it as the original, without effect or major tweaking. I did not include any special instructions for my graphic artist. The process was SO simple, which I think is a huge benefit, especially for a lot of folks that aren't very computer savvy. You just click a button, upload, and click right through the rest of the options. You can see the changes made to your image in real-time, and there is no guesswork.

The graphic artist worked REALLY quickly to make minor alterations to my photo and to create a complimentary proof, which was sent to my email. I then clicked on the link, and I could see personalized comments from the graphic artist concerning my specific canvas artwork. My artist told me that they wanted to preserve the detail in Icarus' fur, but that there was a bit of pixelation when the image was blown up, so they softened it just a little to try and smooth it out. They showed me what the canvas photo would look like, and were very willing to work with me to resolve any issues or to alter the image if I was not happy. I thought it looked great, so I told them to proceed. I really felt like the customer service was top-notch -- the graphic artist made me feel like they really cared about the quality of my finished product, and that they would be patient and work with me if needed. I love that they go to this extreme to make sure that they really get things right. Sometimes you wonder how things will turn out without proofs and communication.

My canvas artwork was done in no time at all, and shipped extremely quickly. It was packed very precisely, and was placed neatly inside my entryway. I was pleased with this service as well, because I know how easily things get damaged in the mail if they are not packaged correctly. I tore open the box, and I was VERY happy with my finished canvas, featuring Icarus! I did not see any pixelation at all. You can tell that all of the materials are high-quality, from the ink, right down to the hardware. My image was printed beautifully, and the canvas feels very secure and well-built. The black border is sharp against the soft image, and will really look nice on my mom's wall. I will have her send a photo when she hangs it up, but I know that that process will go smoothly as well. The semi-gloss finish seemed to be a good pick for an image containing a pet - there is no glare, as the canvas sits in my living room. The frame depth is perfect, in my opinion, for this size canvas, and is really going to stand out as a nice conversation piece when guests visit my home.

This canvas artwork, without additional image effects or major alterations, would have cost me $53.95, which is not a bad price, given the quality of the work done, the materials, and the lifetime guarantee. I am very satisfied with this company, and I know that you would be, too!


Interested in learning more about CanvasHQ and their products? Check out the links below:

Twitter


One lucky reader will win their very own 11"x14" canvas or credit towards a larger canvas, courtesy of CanvasHQ! All you need to do is enter on the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. readers, 18 and over, unless you have permission from your parents. Please be honest when submitting Rafflecopter entries -- remember, I DO check all of your entries for verification, and I will throw them out if they are false. If the form has a spot for you to enter information, please provide me with the appropriate username, link, etc so that it is easier for me to verify your entries! I am not responsible for the shipment of the prize, that is the company's duty. I will contact the winner via email (so make sure to use one that you check) and you will have 48 hours to respond with your shipping information. If you have any questions or if the Rafflecopter is not working properly, you can always contact me via Facebook or email (links on the sidebar). Good luck!!
 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Summit Nutritions: Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract Review and Giveaway!

Summit Nutritions picture 

Summit Nutritions is a company based out of New Jersey that manufactures high-quality, natural dietary supplements. Their supplements are created in a state-of-the-art laboratory that follows cGMP standards (for quality manufacturing procedures), as well as those of USP. Each product is formulated by licensed pharmacists and chemists, to ensure the purest and most effective active ingredients, in accordance with current clinical research. Summit Nutritions takes pride in their products, in order to create supplements that are as side-effect free and safe as possible.

Summit Nutritions currently carries three products: Pure Garcinia Cambogia Extract, Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract (250 mg) and Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract (500 mg). This review will focus on the Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract (500 mg), which I received, for free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

The only ingredients in this dietary supplement are, simply, raspberry ketones and the vegetarian capsule. There are no binders, no fillers, and no artificial ingredients. The directions are to take one capsule, two times daily, thirty minutes BEFORE your meal with a six oz. glass of water. Summit Nutritions recommends that you do not exceed 1500 mg/day, and that pregnant or nursing mothers, children under the age of 18, and individuals with medical conditions consult their physician before starting this supplement. As with all supplements, Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, or prevent any disease. This particular supplement contains a much higher dosage of Raspberry Ketone per capsule when compared to other leading brands.

I have written about Raspberry Ketone before. In case you need a refresher, raspberry ketone is:

A phenol (chemical compound) found naturally in red raspberries that produces the fruity aroma, and is often used in perfume, cooking, supplements, etc.





What could Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract potentially do for you (according to Summit Nutritions)?
  • Help with appetite suppression - Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract "causes the body to release more of the hormone leptin". Leptin is produced by our body's fat cells and controls feelings of satiation, or fullness. 
  • Help obtain results rapidly - This supplement can produce visible results (as weight loss) in as few as two weeks, when combined with proper diet and exercise
  •  Increases energy levels - There are "enzyme lipases" in this supplement that "help break down fat cells, turning fat to fuel to increase energy"
  • Burns body fat for weight loss -  This supplement increases your metabolism and rate of lipolysis (breakdown of fats)
 Major research is inconclusive and still under way, but there are several clinical trials that have been published, noting the effects of raspberry ketone. Some of those include reducing free fatty acid and lipid levels in mice that were fed high-fat diets, and inhibiting fat accumulation in all body tissue and lowering levels of hepatic triacylglycerol in other animals. Another quoted research study, without randomization or blinding, found a decrease in triglycerides and "bad" cholesterol levels in 24-50 year-old men.

Right now, you can purchase Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract (500 mg, 120 capsules) for $49.99 on the Summit Nutritions' website, or you can purchase the same bottle on Amazon, here, for just $29.99; shipping is free for Amazon Prime members!





As I have stated before, I know that there is no miracle weight loss pill that will do the work for me, or else everyone would be on it. I have recently altered my diet and exercise habits after a hard year of medical school, so that I am now eating healthier, home-cooked meals and alternating between going to the gym and using at-home fitness videos. I like to review dietary supplements because I believe that natural ingredients can have some added benefit. I am making the necessary changes in my life, but I would like to see them happen more rapidly. I am always in search of new supplements that will keep me on my feet, full of life and energy. I also like to try supplements to see if they can help me curb my appetite a little better (this is my major problem, still -- I am eating better but I am hungry a lot, which tends to make me irritable!) and help me shed a few extra pounds, or kick my new routine into first gear. 

I have not yet taken the full, 30-day supply of Summit Nutritions' Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract. I forgot to write down the exact day that I started the supplement, but I believe I am a week or so in. I have not noticed any appreciable changes in weight, and I have been taking the supplement two times a day as directed. I have noticed that I actually feel more energized, which helps me in a roundabout way, because it keeps me more active and allows me to prolong my workouts. I may be a little less hungry, but sometimes when you start a new supplement, it is hard to figure out if you're under the placebo effect or not. I was surprised that raspberry ketone is the only ingredient in this supplement, because when I took them before (from a different company), I had a different feeling and different results. I didn't notice a spurt in energy, but I did notice other effects from the other brand. I wonder if this has to do with the purity, and/or the really amplified mg per capsule and dosage? It almost feels like I am taking caffeine pills at times. This would be great for when I am back to school and need to stay up long hours without losing energy or focus. I would caution anyone who is sensitive to stimulants, because I have heard that this type of product can cause a jittery, heart-racing state, even though this did not happen to me.


Interested in learning more about Summit Nutritions and their products? Check out the links below:

Pinterest


One lucky reader will win their very own 30-day supply of Pure Raspberry Ketones Extract, courtesy of Summit Nutritions! All you need to do is enter on the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. readers, 18 and over, unless you have permission from your parents. Please be honest when submitting Rafflecopter entries -- remember, I DO check all of your entries for verification, and I will throw them out if they are false. If the form has a spot for you to enter information, please provide me with the appropriate username, link, etc so that it is easier for me to verify your entries! I am not responsible for the shipment of the prize, that is the company's duty. I will contact the winner via email (so make sure to use one that you check) and you will have 48 hours to respond with your shipping information. If you have any questions or if the Rafflecopter is not working properly, you can always contact me via Facebook or email (links on the sidebar). Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

StyloPhora Ice Ball Mold: Review

Ice ball mold guarentee 
 StyloPhora is a company that is "passionate about bringing the best quality products to the market". They pride themselves on "great customer service and products that exceed your expectations". StyloPhora manufactures large, deluxe ice ball molds in packages of three. 

StyloPhora's Ice Ball Molds measure 2.5" and are made from high-quality, 100% FDA-approved, food grade silicone. They are dishwasher safe and they are BPA free. These Ice Ball Molds are made in China. Stylophora's Ice Ball Molds come stacked in a plastic container, which is a convenient way to store them in your cupboards. They come with a rubbery blue funnel that expands and fits into the top of the ice ball mold, which has a hole for filling. The top of the ice ball mold simply locks into the bottom, and then you can fill the mold up to the marked fill line on the top of the mold by using your funnel. This ensures that you don't make a mess everywhere!

StyloPhora's Ice Ball Molds are really easy to use. You just have to follow these instructions:

  • First, press the bottom and the top of the ice ball mold together firmly.
  • Next, extend the funnel and insert it into the fill hole on the top of your ice ball mold. Pour approximately 100 ml of water (or any other liquid) up to the fill line.
  •  Freeze your ice ball for 4-6 hours.
  • After freezing, pull off the top of the ice ball mold, and then push on the bottom of the mold to pop out the ice ball into your drink.

StyloPhora suggests that you wash their ice ball mold before the first use. They have more tips and tricks to creating the perfectly clear ice ball that you can unlock from their website once you purchase the ice ball mold! 








Ice balls are an innovative new trend which serve as both a touch of style and a convenient summer must-have. The increased surface area of the ice ball allows it to retain its form for much longer than your standard ice cube, even on the hottest day. This means that you can stop going inside to refill your ice, and that you can bring that pitcher of lemonade to the outdoors party without having to worry about it getting hot quickly. Ice balls add style to your cocktails, because, lets face it, they just LOOK fancy! You can actually be very creative with them, because you can freeze any liquid, such as different kinds of juice, to form flavored and colored ice balls to add even more pizazz to your next party. If you are looking to really jazz up a mixed drink or a bowl of sangria, you can freeze chunks of fresh fruit into your ice balls, which also enhance the flavor. 

You won't have to worry about the ice ball diluting your best scotch or watering down your tequila sunrise, as the unique shape and size allow for very slow melting time. Generally, you'll be done with your drink before it even finishes melting. This is great for summer, because now you can bring your drinks outside, and they'll actually stay cold, without you having to drink watered-down alcohol. Another fun thing to do with your ice ball is to make a dog happy on a hot day (see below). Dogs love rolling the ice balls around, and they're great in the summer when you have your dog outside in the sun -- a good hour of entertainment, too!

Right now, you can purchase StyloPhora's 3 pack of Ice Ball Molds on Amazon, here, for the introductory price of $13.97; shipping is free for Amazon Prime members. The description of the item states that this price is only intact until the first fifty orders have been placed. If you are not completely satisfied with the StyloPhora Ice Ball Molds, they have a LIFE TIME, 100% money back guarantee. 






I really enjoyed StyloPhora's 3 pack of Ice Ball Molds. I have a few positive and a few negative comments to make. I love the fact that you get three molds, because with a lot of other companies, you only get one or two, and the molds are not as big as these are. I think they have a great design in terms of standing up straight and not spilling or tipping in the freezing, even though I wish you could stack them on top of each other to save a little more space. I think the concept is wonderful -- I love being able to make my cocktails more interesting, and to save them from dilution when the sun is beating down in the summer. I think they are a lot fancier than ice cubes, also. I think that juice and fruit freeze really well and my boyfriend said that he is going to keep freezing juice because it makes his drinks taste "way better" and then he can suck on the remaining ice ball because it is "like a popsicle". I also think the funnel is great...I love how it expands and keeps me from making a mess when I am filling up my ice ball mold.




I did not like the smell of the Ice Ball Mold when I first opened the package - it smelled like strong plastic or rubber, and I was afraid the smell would linger on the ice balls. However, after washing them (before making ice balls), it decreased a lot, and I could not detect the smell on my ice balls at all. I like the way the molds are designed, but I accidentally went a little over the fill line, and I think, for that reason, my ice ball expanded in the freezer and a little water poured out the top. However, I tried to fill my juice ball less because of this, and nearly got the same result. It is probably just me, but I wonder if the molds would benefit from screwing together, which might keep them from potential expansion? My ice balls came out round, but definitely not as perfect as the how-to video on StyloPhora's website, as there is a ring around the ice ball that is an impression from the inside of the mold. I found it was easier to get the ice ball out of the mold if I ran it under hot water; the top came off easily, but it took a lot of squeezing to get the ice ball to come out of the bottom of the mold. My ice ball and my juice ball did last for a long period of time, especially for a moderately hot day. I made a white cranberry juice ball to put in my pink moscato, and it tasted great and looked stylish. There was no dilution and my drink remained cool. I made a water ball for my dog to chase around, also. Overall, I think this is a pretty well executed design, and I love the concept. I think it is a great gift idea, and as you can see from the video below, my dog loves it, too. 


video



Interested in learning more about StyloPhora? Check out the link below:

Website


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Natural Nutrition Labs Garcinia Cambogia Supplement: Review and Giveaway!

Natural Nutrition Labs Garcinia Cambogia 
 

Natural Nutrition Labs is a company based out of New York that sells a variety of supplements on Amazon. These products include: Garcinia Cambogia, Coconut Oil, Krill Oil, Caffeine, Omega-3, Prenatal and Folic Acid Vitamins, Testosterone Booster, Turmeric, Probiotics, Cod Liver Oil, etc.

Natural Nutrition Labs was generous enough to send me a thirty-day supply of their Garcinia Cambogia (with HCA). This thirty-day supply consists of 180 vegetarian capsules. This dietary supplement is made in the United States. Natural Nutrition Labs' Garcinia Cambogia contains the following ingredients per serving, which is TWO vegetarian capsules (90 servings per container):

To use the Natural Nutrition Labs' Garcinia Cambogia, you are instructed to take two capsules daily, 30 minutes before eating, THREE times a day, for a total of six capsules a day. The maximum dose is six capsules a day as well. Pregnant/nursing mothers, children under the age of 18, and individuals with medical conditions should check with their doctor before starting this dietary supplement. It is actually a good idea to check with your doctor if you are starting ANY supplement, especially if you are already taking other medications. 

Natural Nutrition Labs' Garcinia Cambogia is manufactured to cGMP, which means it adheres to good manufacturing practices. This ensures that this dietary supplement follows all the design and processing regulations, and that its purity is regulated. However, it has NOT been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This particular supplement contains no artificial ingredients, binders, or fillers. Natural Nutrition Labs' Garcinia Cambogia uses 60% HCA (Hydroxycitric acid), opposed to many competing brands, which only offer 50% HCA. It also offers the 3000 mg maximum daily dosage, whereas other brands offer less. 





What can Garcinia Cambogia potentially do for you?

Garcinia Cambogia is a plant, and its fruit rind is used to create dietary supplements. Right now, research is being conducted to assess the uses of Garcinia Cambogia, as it relates to certain medical conditions. The following implications are being tested:

  • Support of appetite suppression  - Hydroxycitric acid "blocks an enzyme that helps produce body fat, suppressing your appetite by increasing serotonin".
  •  Promotion of a healthy metabolism
  •  Natural Weight Loss
  • Enhancement of Fat Reduction
  •  Helpful for conditions such as worms and parasites, dysentery, etc

 Right now, you can purchase Natural Nutrition Labs' Garcinia Cambogia on Amazon, here, for just $25.00; shipping is free if you are an Amazon Prime member. Natural Nutrition Labs backs their product with a 100% money-back guarantee if you are not happy with your results. If you are on the fence, you can safely give it a try!

I wanted to review this Garcinia Cambogia supplement because, as many people do, I would love to shed some weight this season and before school starts up again. My major problem is over-eating/ portion sizes during lunch and dinner, as I have a healthy appetite. Recently, I have decreased my meals (allowing for one cheat breakfast, lunch and dinner a week) to one yogurt and some fruit for breakfast and lunch, and a healthier option (home cooked) for dinner. I haven't seen results as quickly as I would have liked, as I have also added in a one-hour work-out at the gym every other day. I like to try new supplements NOT because I am looking for the miracle weight loss drug. I know that doesn't exist. I am looking for something that will give me the boost I need to stay motivated, and to help me shed a few extra pounds. Supplements are a hard market to navigate with so many different blends, active ingredients, and research not yet complete. I do my best to give you guys an overview of what I have tried and what it does for ME, but I know that we are all different, and that you may have a different result.




I have not taken the FULL 30-day supply of Natural Nutrition Labs' Garcinia Cambogia. Thus, I haven't given the supplement time to completely maximize results. I have to admit that I haven't completely adhered to six capsules a day -- this is, perhaps, the one outstanding thing about this supplement that I do not enjoy. Although I am not that busy right now, I can't remember to take this six times a day (that could just be me). I know that when I am more busy, with school, I wouldn't have the opportunity to take this six times a day. I think these directions are a bit excessive, even if it is the maximum dose of Garcinia Cambogia. I have tried to adhere as well as I can to the directions. I have not noticed any appreciable changes in weight, but I am hoping that this will jump start my weight loss by the time I finish the 30-day supply. I feel like I may be less hungry, as I find myself taking home left-over boxes with at least half the meal on the rare occasion that we go out to eat. I also haven't been filling my plate with as many carbs, and, instead, with more vegetables. Although my results were not incredible, I don't completely discredit this supplement -- I have heard many great things about the ingredients, and I hope that the appetite suppression increases and that, eventually, I see a few pounds drop off!


One lucky reader will win their very own 30-day supply of Garcinia Cambogia, courtesy of Natural Nutrition Labs! All you need to do is enter on the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. readers, 18 and over, unless you have permission from your parents. Please be honest when submitting Rafflecopter entries -- remember, I DO check all of your entries for verification, and I will throw them out if they are false. If the form has a spot for you to enter information, please provide me with the appropriate username, link, etc so that it is easier for me to verify your entries! I am not responsible for the shipment of the prize, that is the company's duty. I will contact the winner via email (so make sure to use one that you check) and you will have 48 hours to respond with your shipping information. If you have any questions or if the Rafflecopter is not working properly, you can always contact me via Facebook or email (links on the sidebar). Good luck!!
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

KMS California Moist Repair Shampoo and Conditioner: Review and Giveaway!

Cover photo 


I recently reviewed a Bosley hair product which was distributed by Beauty Care Choices. Today, I have received two more wonderful products from this company. If you need a recap about them, here it is:

Beauty Care Choices is a company that was started in 2004, and is based out of Shasta, California. This company is an online distributor and authorized retailer of professional salon products, which offers consultations with licensed cosmetologists via phone and email. Beauty Care Choices purchases their products directly from the manufacturer, and most of these professional brands are not found in drugstores.
Beauty Care Choices offers a variety of products, including: hair care (shampoo, conditioner, styling products, color, accessories, dry shampoo, etc), skin care (body, hands, feet, face, eyes), cosmetics (face, eyes, lips, body, makeup removing, tools and brushes), nails (polish, remover, treatments, tools, etc), unique gifts, and travel-sized items. They have fast delivery and hassle-free returns, as well as free shipping on orders over $49. 

This time, Beauty Care Choices was generous enough to send me a 2.5 ounce KMS California Moist Repair Shampoo and Conditioner for the purpose of this review. The KMS California product line is known for its iconic style and professional hair-care products. The KMS California Moist Repair Shampoo is intended for exactly what it sounds like -- re-introducing moisture into dry, frizzy, color-treated, or damaged hair, and for repairing and reconstructing it. The KMS California Moist Repair Shampoo contains pantheol as its main, moisturizing ingredient, as well as aloe vanilla. It also contains 18-MEA, which aids in producing healthier, smoother hair. The KMS California Moist Repair Conditioner contains the same moisturizing ingredients, and not only helps to repair and provide moisture, but also to increase elasticity and manageability. To use the shampoo, you simply later, rinse, and repeat if necessary. To use the conditioner, you simply apply after using the shampoo, leave in for two minutes, and then rinse. WARNING: To anyone with a gluten allergy, these products do contain gluten!





The KMS California Moist Repair Conditioner contains the following ingredients:

Water, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetrimonium Chloride, Propylene Glycol, Isopropyl Myristate, Panthenol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, C14-28 Isoalkyl Acid, C14-28 Alkyl Acid, Lactic Acid, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Persea Gratissima Oil, Triticum Vulgare Flour Lipids, Stearoxypropyl Dimethylamine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lecithin, Stearyl Alcohol, Polygyceryl-3 Distearate, Polysorbate 60, Citric Acid, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Myristic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Mineral Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate, Fragrance. 


The KMS California Moist Repair Shampoo contains the following ingredients:

Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-3 Distearate, Sodium Cocoamphoacetate, Lactic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, C14-28 Isoalkyl Acid, C14-28 Alkyl Acid, Lactic Acid, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Malic Acid, Persea Gratissima Oil, Triticum Vulgare Flour Lipids, Sodium Chloride, Coco-Glucoside, Glyceryl Oleate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG-18 Glyceryl Oleate/Cocoate, Polyquaternium-7, Panthenol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Stearoxypropyl Dimethylamine, Lecithin, Glycerin, Polygyceryl-3 Distearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 60, Citric Acid, Stearic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Myristic Acid, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Tartaric Acid, Pyruvic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Sodium Benzoate, Benzoic Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance.

Right now, you can purchase the KMS California Moist Repair Shampoo on the Beauty Care Choices' website, here, for just $4.19 for a 2.5 oz bottle, $12.40 for a 10.1 oz bottle, or $25.20 for a 25.3 oz bottle. You can also purchase the KMS California Moist Repair Conditioner on their website, here, for $4.19 for a 2.5 oz bottle, $12.40 for a 10.1 oz bottle, or $25.20 for a 23.5 oz bottle. 





I was eager to review the KMS California Moist Repair Shampoo and Conditioner, because my hair is very dry, especially in the summer. I'm the type of person that could dump an entire bottle of oil on my head, and it would be dry and coarse again within hours. I have naturally wavy hair that I straighten almost on a daily basis, which tends to take a toll on the ends of my hair, sometimes leading to split-ends and a little bit of frizz. I haven't color-treated my hair in almost a year, but I am about to change it up again, since I am getting bored. It is important to me to use a shampoo and conditioner that cater to dry and/or damaged hair, because it really makes a world of difference! I had never tried this particular brand of hair products before, but I had heard good things about it, and I have seen it used in salons before.

I thought it did a great job. The smell of the KMS California Moisture Repair products is subtle and pleasant, with a very "salon-esque" touch. There is enough in each 2.5 oz bottle for three or four washes with moderately thick, shoulder length hair. I used the shampoo and conditioner together, and I left the conditioner on while shaving before rinsing it out to get maximum results. I loved how soft my hair felt when I got out of the shower, and how good it smelled. Though the conditioner still isn't quite the same as using one of those hair-dye conditioners that come in the boxes (they always seem to have the best results, but I can't find where to purchase them individually!), it was almost on par. I really think that if I conditioned using these products, I would see a difference in the quality of my hair over-all.


Interested in learning more about Beauty Care Choices and the other great products that they carry? Check out the links below:


One lucky reader will win a 2.5 oz bottle of KMS California Moist Repair Shampoo and Conditioner, courtesy of Beauty Care Choices! All you need to do is enter on the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. readers, 18 and over, unless you have permission from your parents. Please be honest when submitting Rafflecopter entries -- remember, I DO check all of your entries for verification, and I will throw them out if they are false. If the form has a spot for you to enter information, please provide me with the appropriate username, link, etc so that it is easier for me to verify your entries! I am not responsible for the shipment of the prize, that is the company's duty. I will contact the winner via email (so make sure to use one that you check) and you will have 48 hours to respond with your shipping information. If you have any questions or if the Rafflecopter is not working properly, you can always contact me via Facebook or email (links on the sidebar). Good luck!!


I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.