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FoodSaver 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Review

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FoodSaver 2-in-1 Vacuum Sealer Review

The folks at FoodSaver sent me a vacuum sealer to review and tell you about.  It’s the FoodSaver 4800 Vacuum Sealer System which is the first of its kind for FoodSaver!

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I was really impressed with how pretty the new FoodSaver is on my countertop.  And, apparently without even trying, all my appliances are black and silver – so it fit right in!  It’s smaller than the FoodSaver I used to have (which I brought to the cabin). It has a drawer where the removable drip tray is, which allows it to be smaller on the countertop. It’s easy to use and clean, especially since the drip tray is removable. The vacuum works great to suck air out of the container which helps preserve food that much longer.  If you’re not familiar with FoodSaver, that’s such a nice feature compared to other heat sealing appliances.

The FoodSaver® 4800 Series Vacuum Sealer is “2 in 1” because it works with heat seal bags and rolls for long-term storage, and with its retractable accessory adapter you can use it with vacuum zipper bags, canisters and containers for short-term storage!

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I already have quite a few FoodSaver containers and they are compatible with all FoodSaver models that work with canisters (my sister has collected several sets and passed them along to me!) They are great for storing leftovers in the fridge. The food lasts much longer in FoodSaver canisters compared to Gladware and Ziploc containers or even Tupperware or Rubbermaid containers. That’s because you can use the FoodSaver to remove the air from the container, and in that air are the “things” that cause food to start to mold and go bad. Remove the air and it will stay fresher longer.

Actually, the FoodSaver® system keeps food fresh up to five times longer, helps prevent freezer burn, and saves families up to $2,700 a year when buying food in bulk and saving it with FoodSaver. That’s a lot of money, just for changing a few simple habits.

  • 2-in-1 Sealing System with fully automatic operation
  • Built-in retractable handheld sealer seals zipper bags, canisters, containers and marinates food in minutes
  • Moist/Dry food settings for optimal sealing
  • Convenient roll storage and bag cutter
  • Pull-out drip tray drawer with patented, removable, dishwasher-safe drip tray
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ToiletTree Personal Care Products Review

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ToiletTree Personal Care Products Review

The GimmieGirls are at it again, this time we were sent products from ToiletTree to review and tell you about. I reviewed the super awesome fogless shower mirror a few years back, but lost it in my move last summer. I miss it!

Pat:  I received the Deluxe Shampoo and Soap Dispensers by ToiletTree Products

I actually thought from the picture that these would be larger, but I’m glad they’re not!  They take up very little space and actually save room because the shampoo and conditioner bottles don’t have to sit somewhere in the shower. They’re easy to set up and use.  They seem like they’re built well and will last a long time. I love how they look too. Add your favorite shampoo, conditioner or soap to them and choose bright, fun colors to jazz up your bathroom decor!

  • High quality, sleek design. Eliminates shower bottle clutter.
  • Installs easily with double sided tape and removable silicone gel (included).
  • Ergonomic pull bar dispensing design: works with your natural grip for precise dispensing of shampoo, soap or bath gel directly into your palm.
  • Each dispenser holds 16 ounces of your favorite shampoo, soap or bath gel.
  • Backed by a 5 year replacement warranty. We make quality products and stand behind them!

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Debbie: I received the Toilet Tree Rechargeable & Travel Toothbrush Combo Pack. I really like the ergonomic design and feel of this electric toothbrush. I actually gave the toothbrush to my 6 year old to use. As with most young kids, he doesn’t always do the best job of brushing his teeth. I have tried other electric toothbrushes for him and I have always had to have him go back and brush again to ensure that his teeth were thoroughly clean. The Toilet Tree Rechargeable Toothbrush has a 2-minute auto-timer and two brush modes: clean and sensitive. The 2-minute auto timer is my favorite feature of the toothbrush. It takes the fuss out of telling my son to brush for 2 minutes.
The combo pack also came with a smaller, battery powered travel toothbrush, a replacement brush, and a charging station. Although the travel toothbrush is battery powered, it still delivers powerful oscillation action. It’s also compact (about the size of a tube of mascara) and fits nicely in a purse. Both toothbrushes are waterproof so there is no worries about getting it too wet. There is definitely an improvement in my son’s brushing and his teeth are clean and healthy. I highly recommend this toothbrush for kids and adults. It’s a definite winner in my house!

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  • Ergonomical and waterproof design.
  • 2 minute auto-timer ensures dentist recommended brushing. 2 brush modes – Clean & Sensitive.
  • Brush operates at 8,800 oscillations per minute which helps to remove more plaque than a regular manual toothbrush.
  • Unit charges on included recharge station using universal voltage (100-240v)
  • BPA-free and FDA approved

Reylin: I received the Rechargeable & Travel Toothbrush Combo Pack. I really like this rechargeable toothbrush for many reasons. I love that you can set the mode to sensitive, and I also love that it has a 2-minute timer. Not only that, you get a great clean with this toothbrush. They package it very neatly and set up is very quick and easy. It also doesn’t take up a lot of space on your bathroom counter. The only thing I was confused about at first was how to set up the travel toothbrush, but the instruction manual helped and then I was good to go. Another thing I liked about the toothbrush is its color. I really liked the black color along with the blue light for when it is on. I think this toothbrush set is perfect for those who travel around a lot, and even for those who don’t. Because I do not travel a lot, at first I didn’t think I would need it, but i still ended up using it. At first I did just to try it out, but other times I did just because I felt like using it over the main one. What’s great about the travel toothbrush is it works just as well as the rechargeable one. Overall, I love this rechargeable and travel toothbrush pack and plan to continue using it everyday.

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Wendy: I, too, received the Rechargeable & Travel Toothbrush Combo Pack

I have wanted to get a spin brush-type toothbrush for a while now, but don’t like the huge pricetag of Sonicare and Oral-B. So, if you consider that you get two toothbrushes for less than half the normal price of one – this is a fantastic deal!  I also wanted the best electric toothbrush, and found that this one is excellent.  My teeth feel SO much cleaner than with a manual toothbrush.  I also use less toothpaste

 

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Trish: We got to review the Professional Water Resistant Heavy Duty Steel Nose and Facial Hair Trimmer with LED from ToiletTree. This nose trimmer really is heavy duty! When I pulled it from the package I notices how durable it felt. My husband gave this a try on his nose hairs. The first thing I noticed was when he went to turn on the trimmer, a very bright LED light came on! This is what I enjoyed the most from this trimmer, you are able to see exactly what you need to when you are trimming up those delicate hairs. Usually my husband stays away from trimming anything like his nose hairs because it’s such a sensitive area and trimming can become quite painful. With this trimmer, it was completely painless he said! There was no tugging, no stinging, no eye watering. He was able to get the job done pain free! All you have to do is light move the trimmer around in a circular motion and it does all the dirty work for you! The next thing we tried was using it in the shower to test the water resistance. My husband brought it into the shower but hesitated, something like this would usually break if brought into the shower. As the product states, this nose trimmer works great in the shower! This way while shaving the other parts you shave while showering you can trim up as well! This device is also very easy to clean and keep maintained. The blades, even though they are so small and so delicate on your sensitive skin, are very powerful and durable! This truly is a high quality product that we enjoyed using! This would be the perfect gift to give that special someone in your life rather it be a Birthday, Father’s Day or Christmas!

 

  • Our water resistant design allows for you to use this trimmer in the shower and makes for an easy rinse off.
  • Our trimmer body is made of high quality steel. Not cheap plastic.
  • Bright LED light is a huge help when trying to find those hard to reach hairs.
  • Stainless steel high quality blades provide you with a clean smooth cut
  • Backed by a lifetime replacement warranty.

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Heather: I was sent a STORMp3 Water-Resistant MP3 Player for review.

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The Storm MP3 Player is an awesome gadget! You can add up to 500 songs of your choice using the included USB cord. Adding songs is as simple as dragging and dropping your choices for upload. You get over 73 hours of play time on just one set of batteries! I love taking music with me everywhere, so this has been one of my favorite reviews so far!  The Storm MP3 Player is water resistant, which means you can take it along with you in high humidity places like the shower, poolside, on your boat, and anywhere else outdoors. Its light weight, and small design makes it easily portable. The speaker system on this thing is great! The sound is very clear, and can go pretty loud. This is great for use outdoors for get togethers, and parties. It very convenient not having to have an electric outlet close to plus in a radio, or buy my weight in those huge batteries then have to replace them the next day!

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The Storm system comes with everything you need to mount your player on the wall in the shower (or wherever) then you can easily slide it off for take along. In all, I love mine! I set my music to shuffle, turn up the volume and get housework done, or sit back and relax! The only issue I have is that I would have liked to see a radio option on it. Otherwise, I would highly recommend purchasing one of your own!

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Laurie: I received a STORMp3 Water-Resistant MP3 Player to review. I’m not the technical type of person (I had troubles getting the StorMp3 out of the cool acrylic packaging that it came in, lol). Thankfully, my husband is really into music and stereo equipment, so I asked him to help me with this review.

We both tried it out, including loading the music from computer. I was glad to see that the StorMp3 is compatible with both Mac & PC computer systems. The first time I hooked it to my iMac, (via USB hub), my computer could not find/recognize it. It did find it once I hooked directly to a USB on my computer. I tried dragging three files in from iTunes, which seemed to go fine, but oddly enough, I got about 15 songs, so I’m guessing maybe my music files are goofy. At any rate, I was able to do that…even being non-technical/non-music type person, so figured that was a good sign. I used the “Getting Started” instructions and also checked some info on their web page. Both were helpful, and I was able to get my questions answered.

My husband had problems trying to load the music. On his first attempt of dragging songs from iTunes on an older Mac G5, it looked like the files transferred, but they were empty files (0KB size). He tried again using a micro SD card that he had loaded for another mp3 player and using an HP notebook computer with Windows 7. He copied 496 song files but only 87 files transferred (not sure why that happened, the StorMp3 shows 1.5 gig space still available). It should be able to hold about 500 songs in its internal memory.

As far as function it is a nice little player and has nice sound even at full volume. He was skeptical that it would not be loud enough for in the shower and it was plenty loud and nice to be able to skip a song if you want. It has a mounting bracket if you want to have a place to hang it in the shower, but he just placed it on the soap shelf until we decide where we want to mount it. It snaps on and off the mounting bracket so you can take it with you also. This would also be a nice player to use at you’re desk of if you like to listen to music when you sleep.

It runs on 4 AA batteries, and would be nice if it had built-in rechargeable (but you could use AA rechargeables). According to their webpage, you will get about 72 hours of playing time from the AAs, and don’t need to wait around for recharging times. It has 2 gig of internal memory. It would be nice if it had more storage (like 4 or 8 gig). One more thing that I didn’t care for is that the computer cord plugs into the same space that the batteries are, so first time I picked it up, I dumped all the batteries out. Also, the battery cover is not connected to the unit, so I suspect it would get lost somewhere along the lines (my kids ALWAYS lost the battery covers to their devices). It plays the songs in a random shuffle, so there’s no way for you to know what’s playing next, but there is a forward/backwards button so you can skip songs if you’d prefer.

So, bottom line…it is actually quite a bit better than I expected. It’s little, cute, water-resistant, and sounds pretty decent. The StorMp3 player is a little music machine that packs a pretty good punch.

  • Water Resistant
  • Does not Rely on Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Shuffle Control Allows Songs to be Played in a Random Order
  • “Click and Drag’ Design” Makes Adding Music Easy
  • Great Sound from Two Speakers Delivering 6 Watts of Power
  • Over 70 Hours of Play Time
  • Wall Mountable
  • Includes Wall Mounting Bracket, 4AA Batteries, and USB Cable
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Lugz Drifter Footwear Review

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Lugz Drifter Footwear Review

After moving to the country, I wanted a hiking boot that wouldn’t kill my feet (in my experience, they’re not usually very comfortable!)  So, when we were offered Lugz boots to review and tell our readers about, we jumped at the chance!

Lugz is a great name that’s well known and should be. They make good, quality footwear that’s built to last. Knowing this before I even got my Lugz, I didn’t expect to be surprised. But, I was!  Not only are they super comfortable, they’re not overly heavy (adding extra weight just makes me tired!) And, well, they’re just so nice! The classic Drifter work boot is made of nubuck leather and can be worn for winter, work or casual street wear.

My husband and I ordered Lugz Drifter boots.  I actually got the men’s style in my size minus 1.5 size (I wear a womens 10, so I ordered an 8.5).  They have women’s boots too, but I wanted these!  They fit great, and I love them. My husband loves his too. He was so excited since he had a pair of cheap work boots from Walmart that he barely wore and the sole fell off. We tried “shoe glue” and it fell off again the next time he wore them. His cheap Walmart boots might have cost less, but they were cheap and not worth it.

As you can see from the picture below of my boots, they do get scuffed up pretty quickly.  I’ve worn them maybe 5 times, if that, and the color is already coming off. I’m sure they would polish up nicely but I don’t care that they look like I wear them.

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So, like a goofball, I wore my Lugz to soccer practice (we coached our little girl’s U8 team this year).  I mean I could kick that ball from one end of the soccer field to the other with these Lugz boots on! HA!!  We were short a few players and couldn’t scrimmage, so my husband and I joined the kids and played (which they loved!) I can’t say my Lugz were quite as comfortable as my tennis shoes, and my foot did hurt a little from running in them SO much. Obviously, that’s not what they’re made for, and that wasn’t the best use for them. I don’t think that’s worth marking them down for that reason.  And, I probably shouldn’t have kicked a goal quite that hard, especially since there was a kid in the way and the ball might have hit him square in the head.  Oh my goodness, I was horrified!  He just smiled really big and insisted he was fine.  (Sorry, James!)

Pros:

  • Heavy duty
  • Well constructed and built to last
  • Beautiful designs
  • Reasonably priced, plus get 35% Off this style with code: 35FORJULY
  • Grainy Leather upper
  • Padded suede tongue and collar
  • Cushioned insole
  • Durable Lug rubber outsole
  • Military style design

Cons:

  • Finish comes off the leather unless you’re very careful, and who wants to be careful? It does happen, so I’m noting it. But, honestly I don’t think that’s a terrible thing. 🙂
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Mr Coffee Espresso Review

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Mr Coffee Espresso Review

The nice folks at Mr. Coffee sent me a Cafe Barista Espresso Maker to review and tell you about. Mr. Gimmie, a coffee snob, was so excited about this one he has officially claimed it and tells me I’m not allowed to go near it. (Of course, that’s a joke!)

We previously had a Capresso Café Espresso & Cappucino Machine that I got a great deal on at Rue La La.  As a matter of fact, it was such a great deal I bought one as a gift for my brother-in-law, and another for a friend who had helped on the blog (she insisted on paying something for it, but if I remember right we split it.)  Anyway, within a few months ALL THREE of them had broken!  With my friend’s and my BIL’s – they both had knobs break.  And, on ours, the seal where you put the coffee shuttle leaked.  We all contacted the company who were amazing about replacing them, but it was a hassle. Within another few months, all three had broken again in the same way as before. They replaced them again, and ours broke one more time and was replaced even though it was after the year warranty. They were really good about it, but frankly the units were not great. I was so disappointed as they retail for nearly $300!!

So, we had gotten a cheapie little “drip” unit (as opposed to the pump system) and we suffered through it. So, when the new Cafe Barista arrived, we were foaming at the mouth – and not just from the cappuccino!

Mr. Coffee® Café Barista Espresso Maker (MSRP: $199.99)
Bring the coffeehouse home with the ultimate gift for gourmet espresso lovers!  The Mr. Coffee® Café Barista brews gourmet, specialty coffeehouse-style beverages in the comfort of home at a fraction of the cost using a 15-bar pump that delivers bold espresso and perfectly frothed milk to create cappuccinos, lattes and more at the touch of a button. Delicious espresso is automatically dispensed into the rich and creamy milk whipped up by the automatic frothing system. Pre-programmed settings measure just the right amount of ingredients and selectable brew sizes range from a 2-oz espresso shot to a full 8-oz cup.  A special cleaning cycle makes clean-up hassle-free. Included recipe booklet features best-of-the-season beverages!

We absolutely LOVE this machine.  We’ve had it for three months with zero problems, and many, many wonderful cups of coffee!  It’s easy to use and makes great beverages. It’s so nice to have a double shot of espresso first thing in the morning, and a cappuccino or frappe in the afternoon – and you don’t have to drop $5 at a coffee shop!

Things I love about Cafe Barista:

  • You can use regular-size coffee cups (even travel mugs!)
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to use
  • The coffee tastes amazing!
  • Versatile – you can make many different coffee drinks with it
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Del Sol & Cariloha| Review

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Del Sol & Cariloha| Review

Del Sol features color changing clothes and accessories for the whole family.  They have a weekly deal you won’t want to miss!  Be sure to sign up for the Cariloha email club and you’ll get 10% off and free stuff!

Del Sol

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Debbie: I received Del Sol’s color-changing Soles flip-flops. The flip-flops appear a light grey when you are not in the sunlight and turn a light purple in the sun. The sandals did not get as purple as they appear on Del Sol’s website, but it is fun to watch them turn colors.

I wear flip-flops all summer long. I typically buy the cheap, rubber type of flip-flops due to my heavy sandal use. The Soles flip-flops are constructed well and felt sturdy. I initially thought they would probably be somewhat heavy and was pleasantly surprised on how light they felt when I first put them on.
The soles are slightly contoured to fit the bottoms of your feet. They are very comfortable flip-flops. I have even walked a couple of miles in them on asphalt and my feet felt just fine! Overall, I do like my Del Sol flip-flops. They are comfortable and attractive and will suit me for the summer. I only wish the “color change” feature were a little more vibrant. But for a comfortable pair of sandals, it does the job!

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Reylin: Del Sol has a line of nail polish that changes colors in the sun, and I received the Fire & Ice nail polish. On the Del Sol website it claims that this one changes from Large Silver Sequins to Red Sequins. It’s one color when you’re inside, but a totally different color when you’re out in the sun. When first receiving this Fire & Ice color changing nail polish by Del Sol, I was very skeptical. I figured the nail polish would change colors a little but not to the extent that it did. It came in its “Ice” color, or silver, shade. The nail polish was not too watery so It wasn’t a mess. I’m usually bad at polishing my nails, but I didn’t get this all over my fingers too much. When I went outside in the sun, it change into it’s “fire” shade; a red, glittery shade. I was extremely amused by that. It changed quickly too. So after standing in the sun for a bit, I went back in and right away it started to change back into the silver, glittery shade. This nail polish is definitely fun. I kept going in and out of my house.

There’s a ton of shades of this nail polish that you can. They include Sparkling Spring, Here Comes The Sun, Hello Spring, Green With Envy, and much more. Even though I’ve only used the Fire & Ice, it’s my favorite so far. I’ll definitely be trying some of the other shades such as the Green with Envy shade. This one turns from jade glitter to forest green glitter.

Overall, I am very satisfied with the Fire & Ice color changing Del Sol nail polish. It definitely does what it claims. The color change is very noticeable, and I will definitely buy more shade of this to play with.

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Pat:  I received color-changing barrettes for my granddaughter. They seem like ordinary barrettes until you put them in the sun. They are nice, not flimsy and are a very pretty silver and clear (diamond color) stone when you’re indoors (see first picture below).  The stone is in a Disney Mickey Mouse pattern that’s super cute! Then, when go step outside in the sun they change to a vibrant blue or purple (two of each). Wow, even the metal part turned colors! My granddaughter couldn’t see them because they were in her hair. I was raving about how pretty they were and she couldn’t get them out fast enough to see what I was talking about. Ha! Ha! ha!!  Her friends at school loved them too, and couldn’t wait to get their hands on some for themselves.

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Laurie: My niece loves Disney (who doesn’t!?) and so when given the chance to get her a Del Sol color-changing girl’s tshirt, she was thrilled!  She had a hard time choosing and didn’t actually choose the Disney Princess version as I thought she would (good thing I asked!)  She chose one called Swirly Dolphin, which starts out looking like it’s white and black / gray and turns into vibrant colors when you go outside in the sun. Her friends were so shocked and wanted their own!  Even I was pretty surprised at how colorful it was in the sun.  It’s completely black and white when you’re indoors!  This is a heavy cotton t-shirt too, constructed well and built to last even with a cute tomboyish little girl wants to wear it all the time. It’s machine washable too, which is vital to any mom who doesn’t want to have to mess with extra complicated laundry!

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Trish: I picked out the set of 3 bathroom towels from Cariloha. The towels came in a regular sized towel, a hand towel and a washcloth. What intrigued me about these towels and all the products on Cariloha is that they are made with bamboo! I have never actually had any product made with bamboo before so I really wanted to try this out! I’m also going toward more green products and Eco-friendly which these bamboo products are! Another thing I noticed about these towels were that they were naturally anti-bacterial! These towels will be used in the bathroom and with the entire family so this is a fantastic perk to these amazing towels! When I got them I noticed how heavy and durable the towels felt, all my towels seem to wear and tear easily being used by the whole family, these I feel will be lasting a very long time! They are also SUPER soft! I always think of towels as being a bit scratchy and rough on the skin but these are the most comfortable and soft towels I have ever used on my skin! These towels are also super absorbent, they soak the water right up from your skin and your hair! After drying off they also don’t feel very wet as other towels do, I can hang these right up and continue use for much longer before washing them! These towels are amazing and we are really enjoying them! As satisfied as I am, I’m planning on purchasing more bamboo products from Cariloha! If you’re looking for eco-friendly, long lasting, super comfortable products, Cariloha is the place for you!cariloha-tc  cariloha-tc2

Wendy: I have needed new sheets for quite some time, and have put off buying because I can’t find any I really like. So, when Cariloha offered this gorgeous Bamboo Bed Sheet set, in a lovely tan color (my favorite), I jumped at the chance!  They arrived quickly and I noticed right away how much heavier they are than my old sheets. I opened the package and was amazed at how soft and dense they feel. They’re smooth and luxurious, and I couldn’t wait to get in between them!  I made up my bed and laid down, and just melted into the softness. They are truly awesome!  There’s nothing better than a soft, comfy bed to snuggle up in. Sleep is so very important, and being comfortable is vital to getting good, restful sleep. I cannot say enough good things about these sheets. They are superb!!

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Heather: I received Cariloha’s Bamboo Sheet set in *Sage* for review, and I’m in love! 

For many years now I have suffered from sleep issues. To me a big part of getting a good nights sleep is in the level of comfort. I can’t sleep without my two memory foam additions, I love being able to just sink into the bed after a long day, but I’ve never put much thought into my sheets. I usually just throw down a big comforter, and make do. That all changed when I got these Bamboo sheets! 

First off let me say, I had no idea there was even such a thing! One would think sheets made of Bamboo might be kind of stiff, and uncomfortable, but they are actually very soft, and rather silky! I have never had the pleasure of resting on those super expensive Egyptian cotton sheets, but I can’t imagine any sheets feeling more luxurious as these!

I love the fact that they are hypo-allergenic as my little girl is very sensitive, and she likes to crawl in bed with me every now, and then. She has already claimed one of my pillows because she said the pillowcase feel like the silkies on her blanket! Its a good thing the bedding set came with two! 🙂

Cariloha calls this *The most comfortable bedding on the planet*, and I have to agree! If you are looking to spoil yourself, BUY THIS SET!

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Dove Men+Care Review

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Dove Men+Care Review

When given the chance to try out the whole line of Dove Men+Care products, the GimmieGirls unanimously agreed (and collectively cheered!)  Let’s face it, the chance to clean up our guys sounded intriguing.  And, the guys rarely get anything fun to review. Again, unanimously, we were surprised and impressed with this line of men’s grooming products.  Our guys are, well, guys.  They’re manly men who get dirty.  And, stinky.  And, did I mention dirty?  Each were impressed with the Dove Men+Care line. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, and I certainly wasn’t expecting to be surprised!  I don’t think the guys were either, which is why it’s, well, so surprising. I think the thing that shocked me the most was my dad (read about him in Pat’s story below), who has always had the stains of his labor on his hands.  You know that song “Daddy’s hands”?  Well, when I think of my daddy’s hands, I think of work-worn and grease-stained. This stuff got them clean.  I’m a little saddened by that, actually!  But, I know he’ll find some more dirt to grind under his fingernails so I’m not too worried.

Here’s what the GimmieGirls and their guys had to say about Dove Men+Care:

Pat: My husband has always worked with his hands. He’s a jack of all trades.  He’s been a mechanic, done auto-body repair, he’s even been a farmer, and he loves playing with his various heavy equipment (he owns two cranes and can practically braid hair with a skidsteer). To top it all off, he plays bass guitar and was in a band for years.  So, needless to say, his hands reflect all this hard work.  In addition to being worn and calloused, they are DIRTY and stained.  And, they pretty much always have been.  So, when Dove Men+Care sent us all these goodies to try, he was a bit skeptical.  He doesn’t put much stock into fancy-smelling soaps.  We were amazed that when he came out of the shower his hands were actually CLEAN.  In fact, cleaner than I ever remember seeing them!  And, soft!?  I still can’t believe one little old body wash could do that.  Oh, and about that fancy-smelling stuff – he smelled WONDERFUL from his hair to his toes (okay, I’m assuming the part about the toes ~ I didn’t get down and smell his feet).  In all, we are SUPER impressed and will be buying Dove Men+Care from now on!  This nice set would make a great gift for Father’s Day or Graduation. And, the recipient will love it!

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Trish: When the Dove Men+Care products came in for us to try my husband was surprised and really excited. My husband goes through a lot of body products because he works so much, he has to constantly clean up and wash up after working full day shifts. In the box came Dove Men+Care Shave Balm, Face Wash, Shampoo/Conditioner, Shaving Cream, Face Lotion, Body Wash and Deodorant. Basically everything a man needs to keep himself clean, shaven and fresh! My husband really enjoyed coming home from a long day at work and being able to take a shower with his new body products and shave with his new shaving products. He mentioned how refreshed he felt and how glad he was that he didn’t smell like a woman anymore. My poor husband usually uses body wash with me and shampoo and those usually have a scent that leans more toward a woman scent rather than one for a man. He’s never used shampoo for men only and that was one of the favorite products he used. He really enjoyed these products and he says he’s definitely going to switch his usual body products for these instead! I also think they smell wonderful, the scents are fresh, his face was so smooth after using the products as well. I always think a man’s scent is comforting and this is a very comforting scent for me! The whole line of Dove+Men that we got to try out is completely amazing! The smells are wonderful, the products work great and my husband is able to feel fresh throughout his long work days. These products are perfect for the everyday man to the hard-working, down and dirty male!

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Debbie: Recently, I signed my husband up for the Dollar Shave Club. He was a little puzzled on why I signed him up for a subscription grooming service. Then came the Dove’s Men+ Care samples; a full line that included body wash, face wash, shampoo/conditioner, shave balm, shaving cream, face lotion, and deodorant. He was completely overwhelmed by the amount of personal care items at his disposal. “Is there something you are trying to tell me about my personal grooming?” he asked. I assured him that we have been married for almost 16 years and if I have found his grooming habits offensive he would know by now.

Needless to say, he is not big on “beauty products”. He’s a bar of soap kind of guy. Getting a monthly supply of razors shipped to him was an extravagance. But he has come around and realized that taking a little care of yourself is not a bad thing! The Dove Mens+ Care line is packaged nicely to appeal to men. Not too flashy, and it doesn’t sport ridiculous names like “extreme mountain man sport” and “tough man don’t stink”….lol, you know what I mean! I like that it is subtle and doesn’t need to boast that it will increase a man’s masculinity.

My husband did like all of the samples. His two favorites were the Shaving Cream and Shave Balm. He does shave daily and has sensitive skin. He reported that the Dove Mens + Care Shaving Cream left a nice clean shave and the balm was very moistening. Okay, I did rephrase what he said a bit….he said it was “good”. I had to ask his specifically about the clean shave and moisturizing part. Men.

As for my opinion, I LOVE the way is smells. It has a slight spicy scent. Even our boys noticed that daddy smelled different. He asked the boys, “What did I smell like before?” My oldest replied, “I don’t know, but you smell good now!” Oh my goodness, kids.

So I say the Dove’s Men Care line is a winner. Will my husband go out and buy his own? Probably not, but he will use it if it’s there waiting for him!

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Reylin: When first receiving the Dove Men+ Care products, I knew immediately that I was going to get my dad to try this. Because the set came with so much and was so nice, he thought it was an early Father’s Day gift. The set came with Dove Men+ Care shaving cream, shampoo/conditioner, body wash, shaving cream, face lotion, deodorant, and shave balm.

The body wash was one of the first things I smelled when receiving the package, and I was absolutely impressed. It smelled so good that even I wouldn’t be against using it myself. My dad was impressed also. He usually uses Zest bar soaps, so he really enjoyed using this. For the face lotion, I automatically assumed it would dry my dad’s face out, but it didn’t. He told me his face felt, in his words, “different but in a good way.” I think although he has never really been big into using face lotions, Dove Men+ Care may have started a new thing for him. When I asked him about the deodorant, he said “it gets its job done,” so I’m going to assume he gives the deodorant a rating of 5 stars out of 5.

After using all of these products, my dad said he’s going to continue to buy them after he runs out, so I think it’s safe to say that Dove Men+ Care products are pretty awesome. He loves all of it! They accomplished something my mom could never get my dad to do which is using men’s “beauty” products to pamper himself, instead of just using hotel room shampoo bottles he’s saved and bars of soap that he always buys and never change-up, and calling it a day. It got him to try something new, and well, he’s hooked. Although I gave this to my dad already, I think this makes a really, really good Father’s Day gift It consists of stuff men probably don’t usually buy themselves and won’t, but once it’s thrown into their hands, they love it. Now If only I would have thought to save the whole set for him until Father’s Day.

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Laurie: We received a box full of Dove Men’s Care products recently.  I enlisted the help of my husband and two sons to help with this review (and also tried a couple of things myself).

First, I have to say I was surprised to see how many men care items Dove makes.  I think their current promotions for women/girls, “Real Beauty” and “Girls Self Esteem” are both just great.  I like that they take the focus away from air-brushed super models and put the focus back on real people like you and me.  My husband’s mother bought the pink Dove bar soap for as long as he can remember.  It was always their favorite. Okay, on to the Dove Men care products.  My guys are not big talkers, … nor are they overly concerned with “how they look/or smell”, etc… so it was a bit of a challenge to get details from them.  They all liked the products that they tried and mentioned no problems.  My husband tried the deodorant, and typically doesn’t like stick deodorant. but said Dove Men Deodorant was clear, and smooth. it also did not irritate his skin.

He said the shampoo cleaned his dirty, greasy hair really well (he works with cars, etc. a lot so gets really grubby).  He usually uses a dandruff shampoo, but he did not notice any problems after using the Dove Men Shampoo for a couple of days. He said his hair felt good, and wasn’t greasy.

He also tried the body wash and liked that as well. He said it seemed to clean well and went a long way. He said that the face wash felt greasy going on but after i dried off my face was dry and oil free.

I tried the shaving cream on my legs and thought it did well.  It has a nice smell, might be a little more masculine that I would normally want. I also tried the moisturizer (was really curious, lol), and thought that was nice also.

So bottom line, we think that the Dove Men care products work well, are very reasonably priced, and smell great. 🙂

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Heather: Dove Men+ Care is an excellent men’s line offering a great variety of hair, face, and body products. Although the review was meant for the guy in my life, I decided to try some of the products out for myself, and instantly knew the body & face wash was mine for the keeping! 🙂 It has a luscious, light (almost powdery) men’s fragrance. It creates a rich lather, which is hard to come by with a lot of body washes. The best part is that it leaves your skin soft, and smooth! That’s totally important with the guys, I know so many who never pay much attention to what they use, and couldn’t care less if they washed everything with something as simple as a bar soap.

The shave gel creates a wonderful, and silky whip. The razor seems to just glide over areas, and help give you a closer shave. I love the long lasting scent of the deodorant. I have never been afraid to use men’s antiperspirant. It’s all the same to me! But, it always seems to last much longer than the women’s varieties.

I was really impressed with these products, and I suggest you introduce your guy to Dove Men + Care, or buy some for YOURSELF! 😉

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Milk Splash Review #‎MilkSplash‬

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Milk Splash Review #‎MilkSplash‬

Have you heard of MilkSplash? It’s a brilliant new way to flavor milk!  Not only does it make milk yummy, it’s a great way to get kids and adults to drink more milk. MilkSplash has no calories, no fat, and it’s kosher, BPA-free, gluten-free and allergen-free. Each no-spill container provides 24 servings and does not need to be refrigerated. Handy!

Several of us tried this the first time by mixing as if you’re mixing in Mio Liquid Water Enhancer. Unfortunately that mixes it WAY too strong and it didn’t taste right.  The good news is, a little goes a long way! It’s much more economical to not have to use so much to get a great taste.

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Trish: I received the Jammin Banana and Cookies n Cream MilkSplash flavors to try out. I usually don’t touch milk unless it’s premade chocolate milk but all my kids love milk, even milk that isn’t flavored. I myself, am expecting and I really need to include more milk into my diet but it’s been a struggle because I normally cannot stand drinking it! I figured maybe these new flavors could help me drink milk more often. When you use this product, it’s good to remember that you only really need one or two squirts. I made the mistake of squirting quite a lot into my milk and ended up with a super sweet milk that I didn’t enjoy. When I used one to two squirts in a larger glass of milk, the taste was fantastic! The banana is a very different flavor for me. It’s very unique and tastes like a milkshake rather than milk, the family enjoyed the fun of this new flavor! The cookies n cream was my favorite. It’s like having a chocolate milk but with a vanilla flavor mixed in as well, it’s fantastic and we all enjoyed this flavor the most. Of course my kids kept asking for milk over and over again which makes me happy, but I also finally was able to get my milk intake without dreading it. I think these would be amazing while making milk shakes as well, we will be trying this next! There are other flavors of MilkSplash available such as Strawberry Swirl, Orange Cream Dream and Cocoa Loco. If you are looking for a change in milk flavors or something really fun especially if you have a child who refuses to drink milk, MilkSplash is the perfect product for you!

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Reylin: One thing I have a lot of in my house is water enhancers. I find it so convenient to just grab a cup or bottle of water and squirt a drop or two to make a refreshing drink, so I absolutely loved the idea of MilkSplash when I first heard about it. Now I can do what I do with my water with my milk! The flavors I received are the Cocoa Loco and Orange Cream Dream. First off, the faces on the bottles are so cute. I really love the design of these little bottles. They’re so fun! I decided to try the Cocoa Loco flavor first. As someone that uses water enhancers a lot, I knew immediately to not overdo it with the squirting because so many times I’ve ended up with very sugary-tasting water when putting too much. It’s very easy to squirt a bunch so I had to be gentle and not go crazy with it. The Cocoa Loco has a nice chocolatey smell and the flavor was tasty. It almost expected it to taste like Nesquik but it didn’t at all, which isn’t a bad thing. I like the flavor of this chocolate milk. It was definitely a unique chocolate flavor. The best part is the Cocoa Loco makes amazing chocolate milkshakes. The Orange Cream Dream was my favorite out of the two. If you’re into creamsicles, you’re going to love this. It reminded me of a mild flavored creamsicle. It wasn’t too sugary tasting either. Also, Orange Cream Dream MilkSplash milkshakes are also very tasty. It was my first time making an orange cream flavored milkshake and I loved it. I think this is a good way for people who don’t like to drink milk to drink it more. Overall, I am very satisfied with MilkSplash and can’t wait to get my hands on more of the flavors.

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Laurie: We received Cocoa Loco and Orange Cream Dream to sample at our home. My husband and I liked both flavors, but we liked the Orange Cream Dream the best. It is like having an Orange Creamsicle in your glass! I don’t tolerate milk well, so I used my flavors in my morning diet shake and also in almond milk. Both were great!

There are five MilkSplash flavors: Cocoa Loco, Sir Strawberry Swirl, Orange Cream Dream, Cookies ‘n Cream and Jammin’ Banana (their webpage hints there will be more flavors to come). Each MilkSplash flavor has a corresponding fun character and you can download free coloring page and computer wallpapers for your kids!

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MilkSplash flavors are all zero calories, fat-free, kosher, BPA, gluten and allergen-free. Each no-spill container provides 24 servings and does not need to be refrigerated. If any of your family carries their lunch, this would be a great addition to jazz up their serving of milk.

The one thing that we had trouble with was regulating the amount of MilkSplash flavor. The package says “1 gentle squeeze for each 8 oz. serving” which leaves quite a bit of room for variety. The good news is, you can make it to suit your tastes… add a little more flavor if desired (or add more milk if it’s too much flavor for your liking). So, to sum it up… I think that MilkSplash is a great way to get your family to drink more milk without adding additional calories. We’re looking forward to trying the rest of the flavors.

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Debbie: Neither of my kids are milk drinkers. I have tried many times to flavor milk to get them to drink more. So when I was given the opportunity to try another milk flavoring product, I was a bit skeptical. I didn’t think it would make a difference to my kids.

The Milk Splashes are packed in cute little animal shaped dispensers. I receive the Cookies and Cream and Strawberry flavor. The directions on the bottle say to add one “squeezeful” per 8 oz of milk. I wasn’t clear on how much a “squeezeful” was. The squeeze varies on how much pressure is applied to the bottle. I squeezed too much in my first attempt. My kids did not like it initially. I added more milk to dilute the flavor and the results were much better.

My kids liked the Cookie and Cream flavor better than the Strawberry. My husband and I preferred it as well. The Strawberry was still too strong even when diluted. Did the MilkSplash make my kids drink more milk? Not really. But I do think the Milk Splash options are a great alternative for adding a flavor to milk without the added sugars. It’s also a cost effective way to get flavored milks instead of buying them prepackaged at the grocery store. Try adding MilkSplash to organic, hormone free milk, and you got yourself an extra healthy, flavorful drink!

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Pat: As a senior citizen, I definitely don’t get enough milk in my diet. Calcium is very important at any age, so adding a splash of flavor without a lot of calories or other junk is definitely a winner in my book!  I liked the flavors a lot, and my granddaughter loved them! It was fun to sit down together and chat over a glass of chocolate MilkSplash.  She told me about her day at school, and how she always drinks chocolate milk (versus the white milk option). She’s probably the reason I’d give for buying MilkSplash, but in all fairness I will continue to enjoy a glass regularly because of the flavor. I love that it tastes like a malted milk shake!

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Heather: My 5 year old loathes drinking plain milk! From the very first time we switched her over to whole milk as a baby, it HAD to have added flavoring or she would not drink it! Over the years we have gone through pretty much every mainstream flavoring available including the strawberry, and chocolate syrups, powdered cocoa, Milk Straws, and even Ice Cream! Recently, she has lost interest in Milk altogether, The only time I can get her to have some is when she has it in her cold cereal, or when I sneak it into her hot cereals.

So, I was really anxious to see if MilkSplash would make a difference for us. Let me say, I LOVE that these bottles are small, and portable! The size is very convenient for stashing in your bag, or in the car.

A little truly does go a long way with these flavorings! Its best to really play around with how much is good for you at first go as far as sweetness, and flavor strength. The bottle states you can get 24 servings from each, but I anticipate getting at least 30 or so, which makes it a great value!

MilkSplash comes in 5 flavors: Cocoa Loco, Orange Cream Dream, Cookies N Cream, Jammin Banana, and Sir Swirl Strawberry. We received the Strawberry, and Cookies N Cream to try out!

The Strawberry is good, but there is nothing in its flavor that would really set it apart from what you have previously tried. Although myself, and the hubby enjoy Strawberry milk, and shakes, the only thing my little girl liked about this one was the fact that it turned her milk her favorite color Pink! The Cookies N Creme got even less attention from her unfortunately! None of us really found this one to actually taste like its namesake, but rather like a Banana flavor! Which is odd! I actually liked it myself, but its REALLY easy to overdue it with the flavor!

All and all, if I were to purchase these from the store I would probably not go for the more original flavors like Chocolate, and Strawberry, but focus on the fun stuff like Orange Cream (Creamsicle, omg!). I would love to see them expand their flavors, and really change it up with out of the ordinary!

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Disclaimer: In addition to receiving MilkSplash samples to conduct this review, each Gimmie Girl was given a $25 Target gift card to buy more flavors of their choice.

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Pretzel Crisps Review

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Pretzel Crisps Review

When the folks at Pretzel Crisps® asked the Gimmie Girls to review their yummy, low-calorie snacks, I thought “that’s nice.”  I like pretzels. I like low-calorie snacks. I like Pretzel Crisps®. What else am I going to say?

So, we got this awesome shipment you see above. In it were lots of different flavors, a reusable bag that looks like the regular Pretzel Crisps® and most importantly – something I never realized until I did this review – each of the bag secretly has the most excellent suggestions for what to pair Pretzel Crisps® with!  Since I was not prepared for the yumminess I was about to encounter, I just used my imagination.  I tasted each of the flavors, looked at the bag and thought, “oh YEAH that would be good!”

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So then I started gathering things to pair with my Pretzel Crisps®, and try the suggestions pictured on the package. I must say, it was a party!  We had a whole spread and it was absolutely delish!!  Check out the pairings and recipes on their website. They have some GREAT ideas!!

But don’t take my word for it!  Here’s what the other Gimmie Girls thought:

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Trish: When I received my Pretzel Crisps at my doorstep I was surprised! There were so many delicious flavors to try! I got 9 different varieties and flavors of Pretzel Crisps. Garlic Parmesan, Sesame, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, Honey Mustard & Onion, Original, Buffalo Wing, Everything, Chipotle Cheddar and Jalapeno Jack. The first one I wanted to try out, which ended up being my favorite, were the Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper ones. I have never tried Pretzel Crisps before and these were DELICIOUS! They flavor was fantastic and the crisp makes you feel like you are actually eating a chip rather than a pretzel. My husband’s favorite flavor was the Honey Mustard & Onion, he ate almost the entire bag in one day! The bold flavors are fantastic with dips. We tried the Jalapeno Jack and the Chipotle Cheddar crisps with a basic cheese sauce and they paired great with it! I enjoyed pairing these crisps with slices of block cheeses as well, the shape and style is perfect for layering with cheeses or dipping into a dip. The most favorite combination as voted by the entire family, was using the Original crisps and dipping them into a chocolate spread. Nothing better than a sweet and salty snack in my opinion! All of these flavors were great, there wasn’t a flavor that we didn’t enjoy even the more bold and spicy flavors like Buffalo Wing. We usually aren’t a huge fan of pretzels in our home but these were fantastic! The crunch in them is awesome, it’s really like eating a very crunchy chip! The flavors are amazing, nice and bold but not over powering to the pretzel flavor. They are all natural and baked which is also perfect! I would much rather my family snack on these rather than greasy potato chips any day! These would be great with cheese spreads, any type of dips, sliced cheeses and meats. These will definitely end up being a regular snack in our home now!

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Debbie: My family and I are definitely carbaholics. We can down a bag of pretzels in a couple of days. The Pretzel Chips from Snack Factory are a carb lover’s dream. First of all, it’s not too bready like most pretzels. It’s just the outer, crispy layer…my favorite part! I received 9 different flavors of Pretzel Crisps: Original, Garlic Parmesan, Sesame, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, Honey Mustard & Onion, Buffalo Wing, Everything, Chipotle Cheddar and Jalapeno Jack. My personal favorites were Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper and Everything. My husband liked the Garlic Parmesan and the kids liked the Sesame and Original. They were great for dipping in salsa and hummus. I liked that they were light and crispy and went well with sandwiches (but way healthier).
My only complainant about the chips was that a good number of them were broken. That could have been due to the way they were shipped. But I did enjoy the pretzel crisps and they are a great, healthy alternative to chips. I highly recommend Snack Factory’s Pretzel Crisps and will definitely buy them in the near future!

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Laurie & Joe: If you go to the Pretzel Crisp webpage or Facebook page, you’ll see that their slogan is “Rethink Your Pretzel!” … and boy is that appropriate. I’ve enjoyed Pretzel Crisps for a long time, but did not realize they had flavors besides “Original.” In reality, they have many more flavors! (apparently I need to get out more, lol).
There are eight Deli Style flavors, four Modern Classics, two Holiday Indulgent (available once a year), two Everyday Indulgent, and two Minis flavors. WOW! They have great pairing ideas right on the package, plus more pairings and also recipes on their web page. We tried many of the pairing suggestions and were amazed over and over again as to how simple, yet really tasty they were. I tried their recipe for prosciutto & asparagus on “Everything” pretzels (see picture above).

They’re healthy too! Pretzels Crisps® are a great alternative to potato chips and other snack foods. They contain no saturated or trans fats, are 110 calories per serving and 0-2 grams of fat (10-11 crisps) compared with 150 calories and 10 gram of fat (1 g saturated) per one ounce serving for potato chips.

We sampled all of the “Deli Style” flavors. A couple of the flavors were too spicy for me, but my husband loved them. Of course, he wants to just chow down on the plain pretzel crisps while I’m trying to get him to try the pairing suggestions, lol. I think that the pairings that put something sweet (like apple, grape, etc.) are especially intriguing. Get that sweet & salty combination going and it’s very tasty.

My husband says: these are great for snacking, you can have a good amount and still be low calorie. The flavored ones are great by themselves (and great for dieting) and when combined cheese or dip make some tasty combinations. The only two things I did not like so well (but it would not stop me from buying them) are: 1. Some of them get broke up into pieces too small to dip or put something on. 2. When you eat some of the flavored ones the flavor stuff gets all over your fingers.

As you have probably guessed… Pretzel Crisps get two thumbs up at our house.

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Heather: Oh boy, I love Pretzels!  So, I was in Heaven when a BIG box of Pretzel Crisps arrived at my doorstep! I’m pretty sure they sent a bag of every flavor they carry which includes: Original, Garlic Parmesan, Sesame, Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper, Honey Mustard & Onion, Buffalo Wing, Everything, Chipotle Cheddar and Jalapeno Jack!  I love having variety in my food, and Pretzel Crisps truly offer something to fit all off my savory cravings!

Pretzel Crisps are made nice, and thin to mimic a chip, just perfect for dipping or adding some goodies on top! They are a fantastic alternative to regular chips, all the while maintaining that delicious classic pretzel flavor, and crunch. It was difficult to narrow it down, but I think the Mustard & Onion is my favorite, with Garlic Parm a close second! My hubby (who is NOT a pretzel fan) went straight for the Buffalo Wing, and Jalapeno Jack flavors, and he LOVED them!  I served these paired with my Quick Party Cheese Ball recipe on Easter this year, and I had to break out a back up bag! Some people were actually scooping up, and eating their salads with them! Pretzels are finally being seen as more than just a *beer snack*, and they are all the rage right now with restaurants creating special Pretzel bun sandwiches. Pretzel Crisps are plain & simple – really good! We all absolutely enjoyed giving these a try! I would love to see some sweet or dessert flavors offered in the future.

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Ivanabitch Vodka Review

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Ivanabitch Vodka Review

With a name like Ivanabitch, how can this vodka be anything but great?  I’d never actually heard of it before, but the name is intriguing and I like a good vodka. My Polish friend was impressed and amazed at my Midwestern self for my enunciation of “Stolichnaya” – it’s all in the attitude. 😉

Long ago, my drink of choice was the Greyhound. Easy enough to make – just mix vodka with grapefruit juice and throw in some ice.  If you like it salty, salt the rim and call it a Salty Dog instead.  It’s like a screwdriver but with grapefruit instead of orange juice.  I swear I could lose 5 lbs in a night of dancing and consuming greyhounds.  About 10 years ago, at one especially memorable work Holiday party, I was at another office for work in the beautiful city of San Francisco. They invited me to join them.  After the formal dinner where I was the company’s president’s honorary date (both our spouses weren’t there), a bunch of us hit an after-party at a local bar. They had Karaoke – a long-time favorite of mine!  The San Francisco office’s general manager learned I drank greyhounds (see, I’m getting back to the point) and insisted that I try Grey Goose instead of Stoli.  I was surprised at how good it was!  I’m told I took over the Karaoke jockey’s job, by getting her big tips for preferential turns in singing.  Everyone had a blast!  I don’t party often, but when I do – it’s legendary. 🙂

Another fun story about vodka: it’s a great accompaniment to a breakup party. Why? I don’t know, it just is.  When my friend called me, barely discernible through tears because her jerk boyfriend finally did her a favor and left, I jumped into action. I went to the liquor store and bought every color of Smirnoff vodka I could find.  It was fun, frilly and silly. It was the lighthearted anecdote we needed to lighten the mood. She came over and we made exotic drinks. She felt better. Voila!

In addition to standard stuff you can buy in most liquor stores, I’ve tried real Russian vodka, that friends claim is “the best.”  It was good!   I’ve tried Belvedere Vodka, also very good!  It’s a far cry from SKYY Vodka, which isn’t bad but is much more mainstream (and affordable).

So, I know good vodka (that was the point).

Enter Ivanabitch.  This flirty vodka with its fruity flavors and colorful bottles makes you want to try it. I mean, they’re so pretty!  After a long week of general nonsense, it’s so nice to relax and unwind. If you like vodka, you really should try Ivanabitch.  Their flavors are fun and tasty.  They have great Ivanabitch vodka drink recipes on their website, and most of them use things you probably already have at home.

The nice folks at Ivanabitch sent us 8 of their fun flavors to try, and to tell you about.  If you follow Gimmie on Instagram, you probably already know that!  The flavors we received are: Menthol Tobacco, Red Berry, Blackberry, Vanilla, regular, Cherry, Orange and Peach.

My first Instagram post captioned:  About this week… Ivanabitch

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Ivanabitch is great for unwinding, de-stressing, and relaxing. I have to admit, I wanted to b~tch a little about my week. It was a doozie! lol!

 

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Ivanabitch Berry Blast

Berry Blast

2 oz Ivanabitch Red Berry Vodka
2 oz Club Soda
2 oz Cranberry Juice
Splash of Fresh Lime Juice

Pour over rocks, stir, garnish with an orange slice and enjoy.

The Ivanabitch Berry Blast has red berry vodka, club soda and cranberry juice. Seriously, what’s not to love?  I love cranberry. Since all I had was cranapple we used that and it was fantastic.  This was probably my favorite of the three, although the orange was also amazing!

ivanabitch liquid cheesecake

Ivanabitch Liquid Cheesecake

Liquid Cheesecake

2 oz Ivanabitch Vanilla Vodka
3 oz of Lemon Lime Soda
Serve on the rocks.

The Ivanabitch Liquid Cheesecake was a lot like its name. I’m not typically one to drink sweet drinks, but it was incredibly good.  I do love cheesecake!  It was fun to try different drinks and share with my mom, sister and niece (don’t worry, all are 21+!)  I highly recommend grabbing a few fun flavors of Ivanabitch and inviting a few friends over to try different tastes. It was really fun!

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Ivanabitch Orange Soda

Orange Soda

2 oz Ivanabitch Orange Vodka
1 oz Orange Juice
3 oz Club Soda
Splash of Grenadine
Pour over rocks, stir, garnish with a cherry, and enjoy.

We didn’t have Grenadine or cherries, although they’ve since been ascertained. The Orange Soda drink was everyone’s favorite even without the cherry twist. It is yummy and sweet, but not too sweet.  It’s sort of like a grownup screwdriver (orange juice and vodka).  The club soda adds a bubbly bit of extra fun that really made me love it!

Don’t miss all the yummy Ivanabitch vodka drink recipes!

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Foundations in Personal Finance: College Edition by Dave Ramsey

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Foundations in Personal Finance: College Edition by Dave Ramsey

Dave Ramsey’s College Edition of Foundations in Personal Finance is for college students who want to learn how to basically be smart with their money and pay off their debt. It comes with 4 discs (3 DVD’s and 1 CD) and a 5-chapter student guide.

When watching the DVD’s, you follow along with your student guide that it comes with and fill in the blanks. I found this convenient because it helped me to learn what he’s going over while he’s talking. I not only hear it, but I also write it down. This is also good for when you want to go over things he went over in the DVD without having to watch it all over again. Another thing I find convenient is on the back of the DVD case it says how long each chapter is. With how it’s divided, I think college students can easily find time to watch this. I found it easier to do a chapter a day. It only took about 1 ½ hours to 2 ½ hours (depending on the chapter) out of my day to do this.

Dave Ramsey goes over Savings, Budgets, Debt, College Student Essentials, and Family, Friends and Philanthropy. While I did learn a lot, I found it all to be a bit overwhelming and not focused specifically on college students. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I feel that all the chapters should have been like the 4th chapter (it’s focused on college students and getting grants, scholarships, financial aid, jobs after college, etc.). For instance, chapter 1 is titled “savings” and of course, we all need to save better but instead, he goes over the baby steps to becoming wealthy. One of the baby steps is to save $1000 in an emergency fund but the rest of them consisted of things like paying off all debt except for your house debt (not saying it’s not possible but I don’t know of any college students that can afford to pay off their debt while still in college), saving for your children’s college fund (how can we save for our unborn children’s college fund when we can’t even afford ours?!), and paying off your home early. Now I understand these are all great tips, and it’s never too earlier to learn them, but I was under the impression that this was all suppose to be things college students could do to help their money situations now.

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Later on he goes over budgeting. Now every college student needs to learn how to budget, so I did find this chapter helpful BUT once again, he then threw stuff at us that was a bit overwhelming. It’s things I felt would be more helpful for people out of college and with a family and home. A lot of these things are not “baby steps.”During Dave Ramsey’s excerpts, it cut out to clips of his daughter and she was more college student focused with the small tips she gave. I think having someone other than his daughter would have made this a bit better because at times I was very skeptical. Her dad is Dave Ramsey and she could have very well gotten help for college since saving for your child’s college tuition is something he emphasizes. Nothing is wrong with that at all, but I think a lot of college students that are in debt will probably not think she’s helpful. Some of her tips were things like “Save so you can pay for next semester’s tuition in cash.” That’s a good tip, but something very obvious. The only reason a lot of college students don’t do that is because even with saving, college still isn’t affordable for those who don’t get much financial help. Now, she did make a few good points like save and go to a college you can afford, but then again, how many colleges today are “affordable?”

One of the things Dave Ramsey did go over that I thought was good for college students is the envelope system. This helps with not overspending and making sure we don’t go over our budget. The only issue with that is that will mean college students will have to keep cash on them in envelopes. I, personally, use a debit card 90% of the time so if I were to do this envelope system, I’d keep a sheet of paper in the envelopes and keep track by writing down how much money I’ll designate for whatever the envelope for and subtract from it every time i make a purchase with my debit card. Most people I know do not feel safe keeping a month’s worth of expenses in cash on them, so I think he should maybe explain that for people that mostly use debit/credit cards. Otherwise, I think the envelope system seems like a good idea to help with budgeting money.

Overall, I learned a lot of info from this college edition of Foundations in Personal Finance. I learned financial terms I didn’t know before, a few things I can do now like balancing my checking account, saving and putting into an emergency fund (maybe not as much as he suggested), budgeting, how important it is to save now to have a better future, and A LOT of stuff that will benefit me in the future that I probably wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I think he does a really good job of emphasizing the things we should not do, such as using credit cards and spending money we don’t have. A lot of us tend to do that without even thinking. I do think this would have been a lot better if this was more college student focused, but some of the info in here is things college students can still do. I suggest not trying to do everything he suggests, but rather starting small and taking actual baby steps such as stopping bad spending habits you have (you don’t need that $100 pair of jeans), and saving more. It probably won’t help you get out of debt instantly while still in college, but it will help get you on the right track to having a better and comfortable future, money-wise.

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