Sunday, March 31, 2013

Don Pablo's Coffee Reivew


I was very lucky recently to get these 4 bags of coffee from a company called Don Pablo Coffee and I have to admit until now I did not even know that they existed. But, now that I know they are out there, we will definitely be keeping an eye out for you when it's time to re-order some coffee. One thing I can say for sure is that they don't believe in scrimping or sending just enough product to have one or two cups of coffee.
 
We were sent (4) 2 pound bags each and they are whole beans, not ground. I used to think why would anybody in their right mind want to buy coffee beans then have to grind them at home? Well, when I got to review a grinder last year and saw the difference, I will never go back to ground coffee again.
 
There is no comparison as the beans keep the coffee fresh and crisp and they only release those flavors when ground up. I only grind up enough for 4 or 5 cups at a time so I don't lose any flavors.
 
Here are the (4)flavors that we got to try:
 
**Pablo's Signature Blend Whole Bean (rich, complex, medium body)
**Pablo's Pride Guatemalan Whole Bean (full body, medium to dark roast)
**Pablo's Decaf Colombian Whole Bean (rich flavor, mild body)
**Subtle Earth Organic Coffee Whole Bean (medium dark roast)
 
I can tell you that Mike's favorite was the Signature Blend because he likes his coffee to be rich and complex and the medium body doesn't hurt either!
 
 
The Signature Blend is a mix of  Colombian, Brazil and Guatemala and that is what gives each cup of coffee their very own signature blend and the unique taste. Don Pablo's Gourmet Coffee's Signature Blend is sweetly intense, has a balanced aroma with milk chocolate along with cedar and ripe tomato notes. The acidity is sweet and well integrated and the body medium to full. The finish is cocoa-toned and very smooth. 
 
Mike was in heaven but then he ruined it by putting in Hazelnut Creamer!  I asked him what in the world are you doing? We need to taste the coffee, not drown it in a creamer that wipes out any flavor and he said that he could still tell the difference. So, in his mind, this is an awesome coffee and I hate to admit it, when I tasted his cup, it really was awesome! So, my conclusion on this one is that it can withstand anything thrown at it and still the original taste will come thru and you will recognize quality.
 
Of course, I chose to try the Decaf Colombian first as my stomach is still giving me some fits and alot of heartburn so I guess my increased meds haven't kicked in full gear yet or maybe it was those 2 sips of Mike's Signature Blend, but whatever it was, I could only drink about half of the cup and had to stop as I was getting heartburn bad. It's definitely not the coffee's fault because of my stomach so please don't misunderstand and think I am saying this is a bad coffee.
 
The half cup that I was able to drink with regular creamer was truly great. Even Mike took a few sips so he could give the opinion of someone not experiencing stomach issues and he declared it a winner. He says that when we get my stomach settled down that this new Decaf Colombian will be one of my favorites and he guaranteed it, so I am going with him on this one. He knows me better than anyone and knows what I like so for him to say that meant alot. It means I will have a great coffee I can drink once I get better. Yay!
 
I am so glad that they chose to include an organic coffee that is USDA graded to be Organic, so that should make those of you who will only drink or eat Organic foods and beverages, very happy! They thought enough along the lines of making sure that they had a good quality organic coffee for the organic lovers out there, so that should tell you that Don Pablo is constantly thinking of coffee's that will benefit every person, not just a few.
 
This one was a very light tasting coffee to me even though it says medium dark roast, I made it just like I make all of my cups of coffee and to me this one is milder than the decaf, so go figure! I only used regular creamer so I could tell the difference and was very surprised to taste how mild it really was.
 
I did copy this next little bit off of their site as it explains in detail what goes into making organic products:
The main harvest on the farm runs from November until February. The coffee is picked by hand when it is fully ripe, pulped on the same day, fermented and fully washed. The wet parchment coffee is then moved to the farm's extensive patios where it dries in the sun until it reaches the optimum humidity level.  
All of the waste water from the wet mill is treated at the farm's three oxidation lakes, in order to keep its water courses free from pollution.
 
We both enjoyed this one even though I could only take a few sips. Man, I think when I go back to Gastro doctor on Tuesday, we are gonna have to come up with some stronger heartburn meds or something because it seems to be getting worse than better. I am having alot of stomach pain with the heartburn and I feel like I am gonna bust at any moment. That can't be healthy.
 
Mike is thinking about taking this one to work for the guys to enjoy. We have some awesome coffee to drink now and with summer fast approaching, I would hate to hold onto this until the fall. I am not so much a coffee drinker in the summer, I would rather have a cup of hot tea. That seems to settle my stomach more than anything plus even with the tea, I don't drink much hot stuff in the summer. So, I told him to go ahead and maybe we can get some of the guys to liking Don Pablo's and they will get some more for their homes.
 
This will also make an awesome after dinner coffee served with a piece of cake or pie or whatever happens to be your family's favorite. It has a nice pleasant after taste that won't overcome the dessert but compliment it. You will truly love this one as it is so universal it is good no matter what you use it for!
 
I thought this was a cute little video that they put together about their coffee:
 
 
Here is a little bit of history I took off of their site:
The idea to produce a better cup of coffee through Café Don Pablo™ was conceived over two decades ago after traveling throughout Latin America and discovering how delicious, and different, the coffee was.  
Over the years we have developed a love for Latin American culture and a taste for great coffee. We have learned from the best and forged mutually beneficial relationships with farmers, roasters, importers, and especially our customers.  
At Café Don Pablo™ we feel that our coffee is the finest available. We use only the largest, most desirable Arabica beans, grown in nutrient-rich volcanic soil in the lush mountainous terrain of the world’s coffee growing regions.  
These are award-winning beans that were cultivated by skilled farmers whose methods, knowledge, and passion for coffee have been handed down from generation to generation since the very first seed was planted.
Connect with Don Pablo several ways:

Mailing Address:
Burke Brands LLC
521 NE 189th Street
Miami FL 33179
Phone: 1-877-4DONPABLO
Fax: 305-651-6018
Email: info@cafedonpablo.com


Also, just so you know, if there is a Costco near you, this coffee can be found there in these nice big bags that should last you a good while depending on how much you drink coffee.  They will be at these Costco locations on these dates:

Durham, NC Costco 4/4-4/7
Raleigh, NC Costco 4/11-4/14

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.

Teas' Tea by ITO EN Review & Giveaway **Closed**



I have some really great zero calorie teas to tell you about called Tea's Tea and the three samples I got to try were the:
 
1.) Rose Green Tea
2.) Pure Green Tea
3.) Mint Green Tea
 
I do have to tell you that all of these teas were unsweetened and as a die hard Southerner, it was really hard to drink them that way but I did drink a little from each one before I added some sweetener to them so I could tell you how they tasted both ways. They actually do sell it in several other ways too, like the low calorie sweetened tea, the plus sweetened and the Classic Sweetened.
 
So, hopefully from all those teas to pick from, it won't be too hard for you to pick the ones you like best.
 
I will start with the Rose Green Tea:
 
 
I have drank alot of Rose Tea in hot tea mixes and loose teas but this is the first time I have drank it as a cold beverage and it was different. I wasn't too sure what to expect and tried really hard not to compare it to my hot teas.
 
Teas' Tea Rose Green is an all natural brew using premium loose green tea leaves and delicately dried rose petals to give you the unique blend of flavors. But be sure to fridgerate after opening if you did not drink it all. It does have 2 servings per bottle so if you are like me, I can't drink a whole bottle of anything anymore so, yes, I do fridgerate the remaining tea until I am ready to drink it again. 
 
Caffeine Content: Approximately 40 mgs per 16.9 fl oz bottle.


Ingredients: Purified Water, Green Tea, Dried Rose Petals, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C).

Next was the Pure Green Tea:


This one will give you the purest form of what Green tea has to offer.  The Pure Green Tea is unsweetened, and has zero calories, Pure Green provides 140% of daily value of Vitamin C.  It is also high in antioxidants.  If you love Green Tea then you will really love this one. I did have to put some sweetener in mine but as little as possible.

Caffeine Content: Approximately 60 mgs per 16.9 fl oz bottle.

Ingredients: Purified Water, Green Tea, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid).

Lastly, is the Mint Green Tea:

 
Of all the teas, this one to me was the best. I know it sounds odd since I love Rose Tea, but that is as a hot tea and these are cold teas that aren't even sweetened. The Mint Tea is the only one in my opinion, anyway, that can hold it's own and taste pretty good in the process. Maybe the mint in the tea is what makes it more bearable to drink as a tea.
 
After all, we chew mint gum all the time to keep from eating so I guess that is why I can handle the mint tea the best. This one is also one of the few that can be stored in your fridge for over 18 months before you hae to throw it away.
 
Caffeine Content: Approximately 45 mgs per 16.9 fl oz bottle.

Ingredients:Purified Water, Green Tea, Dried Peppermint Leaves, Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid).

I bet you didn't know that ITO EN also sells tea bags and loose leaf tea also! Well, if you did, I didn't. I have reviewed for them in the past and I guess I never paid attention to that but I did today. They have a great selection of anything that you could possibly want. If you remember not too long ago I had the Oolong Tea shots I reviewed and those are from this company also.
 

Just wanted to show you one of the loose tea leave canisters and because I love Rose Tea, I picked this one to show you. I hope someday I will get to review this one because I hear it is really good. If it's made right, hot Rose Tea can be one of the most pleasurable teas you will ever drink.

They also have alot of tea ware that you can buy to help make your tea drinking more pleasurable. I would not give up my seeping tools for the world. Without them, I could never have the same experience as I do with the various loose leaf tea wares that I use to make sure I get a good cup every single time.

Here is what I found out about the new design at ITO EN Tea:
New re-design of Teas’ Tea® reduces carbon footprint and is now the lightest bottle in the 'ready-to-drink' beverage ITO EN has launched a redesign of the TEAS’ TEA® Unsweetened packaging.  
By creating a lighter weight PET bottle and smaller cap, the new individual bottles will be a distinct leader in the beverage industry weighing in at only 18.7 grams, compared to the standard plastic bottles in the industry of 24 grams.  
Reducing packaging has always been one of the company’s CSR initiatives and a central goal in saving emissions to reduce it’s environmental impact. By choosing recyclable plastic bottles (PET 1) over glass, the company has been able to ship more tea in individual shipping trucks, saving in fuel expenses and reducing it’s carbon footprint. 
The new packaging imagery reflects the TEAS’ TEA fresh and healthy appeal an wide array of people. The bottles are fully wrapped minimizing light exposure to reduce oxidation and preserve the antioxidants in the teas, ensuring the freshness and potency of the tea.  
Recognized for their itoen.com/corporate-social-responsibility-environment-recycled-tea-leaves" rel="nofollow">recycling tea leaf program, ITO EN has been awarded the Grand Prize by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan and the Environment Minister’s Prize for developing eco-friendly products made from used tea leaves.  
A variety of products ranging from vending machines and public benches have been a part of the company’s recycling CSR activities.
Connect with ITO EN Tea's several ways:

Customer Service:
20 Jay Street, Suite 530
Brooklyn, NY 11201
In NYC: 718-250-4000 or Outside NYC (toll-free): 1-888-TEASTEA
1-718-250-4000 (in NYC)  or 1-888-832-7832
Email:   customerservice@itoen.com

The awesome folks at ITO EN have agreed to give one winner the same 3 bottles of tea that I reviewed. Open in the U.S. only.  Good Luck Everyone!

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.

Renpure Original Shampoo & Conditoner Review



Oh, Wow, do I have a really awesome shampoo and conditioner to tell you about today called Renpure Originals with Argan Oil! I showed you the whole line so that you know that there is more products that they make but this time I just got to review the shampoo and conditioner.
 
I must tell you the smell of the shampoo and conditioner is what I noticed right off the bat. I am a scent freak and if it doesn't smell good then I have a harder time using it because I want my hair to smell fresh and crisp and clean. AND this one certainly does that while leaving a very pleasant and fresh smell behind. Not to mention all the other good things that it does.
 
 
Did I mention that it comes in an awesome size, which is 16 fl. oz., and that is alot bigger than most companies send for reviews. I will get some of the craziest sizes sometimes to review but these were pretty awesome because to be honest, it takes more than 5 or 6 usages to know if something really changed your hair for the better.
 
I absolutely am here to tell you that Renpure's Argan Oil Shampoo is simply magnificent! Why? Because I have very dry hair, thinning hair and color treated hair to keep the grey from taking over. I do go to a salon for this so I am getting the best possible care. Plus, I have noticed when I do it at home, it never turns out the color that it should be. But, back to Renpure's Argan Oil, it has a color safe formula so I am good to go on that front.
 
What I love even more is the other benefits I get from using the Argan Oil Shampoo:
 
**Color Safe Formula
**Free From Harmful Chemicals
**Not tested on animals
**No Sodium Chloride
**No Salts
**No Dyes
**No Sulfates
**No Parabens
**No Gluten
**Made in the USA
 
Can't get any better than that, right? Wrong, it can get even better! If you have never used Argan Oil on anything, let alone your hair, then you are in for an awesome treat. Renpure's Argan oil has an awesome and unique structure that penetrates the hair cuticle, reducing friction and breakage during shampooing and provides a natural micro-barrier that protects from styling heat & UV rays.
 
 
After washing your hair you are gonna want to use the Argan Oil Conditioner, which has the same awesome scent that the shampoo does, which means your hair will smell so fresh and clean! The only missing is the Blow Out Cream, boy, if I had that, there would be no way that people couldn't smell your hair coming and going all day long!
 
But seriously, it is a truly good conditioner and it compliments the shampoo perfectly. What this conditioner does is so unique that it blends the argan oil, which has micro-properties that absorb instantly into your hair for deeper penetration, repairing your deepest damage as its natural micro-barrier protects from styling heat & UV rays. This makes your hair very shiny and and feels like silk! I am so hooked on this duo!
 
I have noticed that Argan Oil has popped up in alot of places lately and I just reviewed an Argan Oil based skincare line that has done wonders for my face so I should not have been surprised with the results of my hair either!
 
Renpure has other products as well, if this particular line is not what you need.  They also have a Brazilian Keratin that looks pretty darn great also! I wouldn't mind trying this one next. Here is what it looks like:
 
 
As it says on the products, this is used to help you get the most out of using any kind of straight iron to get your hair straight. If you are using a straightener, please make sure you are protecting your hair from getting burned out.  Once that happens, the big time frizzies come to town and it takes alot of work to get it done.  They use Coconut Oil & Shea Butter in this product to help aid in the moisturizing formula.
 
 
But, here is what is the Gold Standard and what I would most like to try!  These are Cleansing Conditioners that will remove the impurities from your hair and the buildup of products over time. Everyone needs to use one of these every few weeks if not at least once a week to help your hair stay healthy.  It has a Hydrating Keratin loaded with amino acids & protein repair damage and restore strength. Shea butter conditions damaged areas replacing protective lipids, resulting in beautiful, soft, silky hair.
 
There are more products but I just wanted to touch on a few of them so that you know they have other equally awesome hair products to help you achieve whatever is your hair's deal. And I must admit, I do take my hair and twist it around so that I can smell the fresh and beautiful scent that it provokes in my mind.  I hope when you try this same duo that you have the same experience that I do.
 
Okay, I normally don't do this but I have become more and more aware of the chemicals that we use all the time and don't even know it. After reading this on Renpure's site, I copied it and brought over so that you can understand, I hope, the dangers that we are facing:
 
Most Americans are exposed to 10,000 chemicals a day.
 
We can’t save the world but we can supply it with safe and effective hair care.
 
Here are some chemicals that you should avoid that we do not use.
 
Sodium Laural Sulfate/Sodium Laureth Sulfate: These harsh detergents are used in shampoos for their cleansing and foam-building properties. Often derived from petroleum, these synthetic ingredients can cause eye irritation, scalp irritation, and tangled hair. SLS and SLES are used in car washes, as garage floor cleaners and as engine degreasers!
 
Parabens (methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl): These preservatives are used as inhibitors of microbial growth and to extend the shelf life of products. These chemical preservatives have been identified as estrogenic and disruptive of normal hormone function. Estrogenic chemicals mimic the function of normally occurring hormone estrogen, and exposure to external estrogens has been shown to be linked to breast cancer.
 
Synthetic Colors and Dyes: Used to make cosmetics “pretty”, synthetic colors and dyes are labeled as FD&C followed by color and a number. Example: FD&C
These are some of the other products that Renpure has and I hope that you will take the time to go and look them over and see how truly amazing some of these products are. Gosh, they would have made an awesome product to have in the Green Earth Day Events going on in April.  Well, at least now I know of another company that we can highlight in April on Green Earth Day. This is actually why I timed this review to kick off the April 1st that will begin Green Earth and will be featuring good for you products all month long.

Connect with Renpure several ways:

Location:
Shady oak Road , Eden Prairie, Minnesota 55344
Email:  info@renpure.com

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.

Mixed Tea Bags Giveaway **Closed**


Okay, I wanted to throw a few little extra giveaways at you just for the fun of it and for the heck of it. I know we get so bogged down sometimes in having to follow sponsors and all and so I decided to give you guys a break and just have a giveaway that is fun and short.
For those of you who like tea, I have a large assortment of all kinds of teas from just about every flavor you can imagine. Alot of them are The Republic of Tea mixed in with alot of other ones. There is nothing wrong with these teas except that as you know I have this bladder condition so anything that is spicy is a no no and some of these teas are spiced with alot of chai spices and ginger and the apple cinnamon (now this one is not my favorite) and then threw in some Chamomile tea in case you need to relax and calm down.
 
There are also black teas along with some green teas. So, sit back and enter this one just for the fun of it.
 
Good Luck and sorry, but I have limited funds so I can only ship in the U.S. or else I would include everyone.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Vidacup Lean Bean Fat Burning Coffee Review



I was a sample of this new brand of weight loss aid by drinking Lean Bean which is a green coffee extract mixed in with an energy drink to help you lose weight! If you love coffee, you will not even notice that you are drinking something that could help you lose weight while still enjoying one of the few things in this world just about everyone loves and that is coffee!
 
So, what is in this coffee? First off, I need to tell you that it is really easy to fix because it is an instant coffee that comes pre-packaged so you don't have to guess what the correct amount is. Just simply heat up your water, add the packet of Lean Bean Vidacup into your cup and stir until all the granules are gone.
 
 
Exclusive blend includes:
 
**H1X1 Super Concentrate Agaricus Blazei: Patented superior hybrid mushroom. One of the most potent immune modulators on the planet. True super food. Exclusive to Vidacup!
**Green Coffee Bean Extract: Helps your body burn fat faster by breaking down fat in the cells more effectively.
**Raspberry Ketones: Promotes effective weight loss. Powerful anti-oxidant. Helps to promote proper blood sugar levels.
**Garcinia: A natural aid for weight loss by helping to block fat absorption and suppressing appetite.
**Plus each serving contains 5 grams of soluble fiber!
 
 
This is the hybrid mushroom that is in the formula that is listed first in the above.  Looks mostly like a mushroom but with a case of bad wrinkles! Who knew that mushrooms would someday help aid in the fight against fat? What makes this any different than the mushroom in my backyard or yours?
 
Well, here is the explanation for their awesome fat burning mushroom:
 
What makes us unique is that all of our formulations will include an extremely potent extract of a specialized strain of the Agaricus Blazei Murill mushroom- highly touted for it's multitude of health benefits and supported by dozens of clinical studies
 
Here is what they say about their hybrid mushroom:
 
Named H1X1TM in the lab, this patent-pending mushroom has much higher levels of beta glucans, enzymes, and other life-enhancing nutrients than many other mushrooms.
 
 
Gosh, it just dawned on me that I should have poured the contents on a plate or something so I could show it to you but it's already in my cup, so that is my bad. It looks a little different than your ordinary instant coffee in that it has specks of a light substance in it which could have been any of the above listed ingredients.
 
I will be honest and tell you that I have never ever been a black coffee drinker and I hate that I had to do it but I did not non fat, zero calorie creamer to my cup with a dash of sugar to make it easier to go down. I can't even drink unsweet tea so it's not just coffee. I don't know if that changes the makeup of the formula or throws it right out the window, but since I only got one sample to make one cup of coffee, it wasn't gonna do me much good anyway.
 
Now, if I thought it was gonna burn 5 pounds off immediately, I would have found a way to get it down. I hate it when that happens because I really can't attest to the fact that it does aid in helping you lose weight. The only thing I can tell you is if you drink your coffee black, then you won't notice much difference in this cup.  However, if you are like me and need creamer or sugar/sweet n low to add some flavor to your coffee, then you might not get the full benefits because of the added sugar/milk or creamer.
 
That is actually a good question to ask and find out the answer to. I didn't think of it before but if it did not make a difference, then I could see myself drinking this to help me lose some added weight that I recently put on because my thyroid tanked.  My regular readers know how sick I have been since right before Christmas and still continue to feel bad. I actually go to the doctor today so I will post an update later on this weekend.
 
 
Here is a picture of how black the coffee gets without any added creamer or sugar. I sure do wish I knew the answer now to my question. I will have to investigate further and will come back and give you an update. Sorry I could not be more informative on how it works. Like I said, I only got the one packet so I can't guarantee anything other than to say it tastes good.
 
Here is what I found in the About Us section:
Vidacup was founded by an innovative team of professionals dedicated to changing lives around the world through exceptional functional beverages infused with highly effective nutritional products, while providing a rewarding opportunity for those who want to share them.

The founding team of Vidacup has over 90 years of combined direct sales experience, both in the field and on the corporate side. We also bring expertise in many other areas of business, and believe this gives us a unique perspective when it comes to developing Vidacup and appealing to prospective Brand Promoters.

We use cutting edge products, services, marketing, and research along with sound business development principles to bring the gift of abundant health and provide the opportunity to live life to the fullest.

Our mission is to create a business where integrity is expected and common, and people come first; to form a culture where people are honored and respected, and to build a platform to heal families around the world both with their health and financial well-being.

Vidacup is focusing on the coffee niche because of its large market potential and the social nature of the product. Given the social business model Vidacup plans to implement, it’s a natural fit! Over 400 million cups of coffee are served every day in the USA, and it is part of a $125 billion annual market globally. Combining coffee with nutritional and herbal blends shows promise as an emerging trend.

Vidacup was recently awarded the exclusive distribution rights to what many believe is the most potent immune modulator on the planet; a new enzyme isolating extraction of the H1X1 Agaricus Blazei Murill mushroom..  
Clinical studies of this powerful mushroom have shown exciting and broad-reaching health benefits. Now, with this powerful new extract, health benefits promise to be even greater for the consumer.  
This mushroom extract delivers many times more health-enhancing beta glucans than any other mushroom on the market. Vidacup products will be infused with this super concentrate.
 
 
 
I did find this picture on their site so maybe you can add a little creamer because it doesn't look as dark as mine did. But, it could be the lighting too, so don't take my word for it until you have researched or send them a question about it first. 
 
It does look like they have several other products with coffee in them and I think they are based on the strength of the weight loss that is in each one. These are all located in their store, so go check them out and see if one looks like it might be the one to help you and then take that information with you to your doctor for advice. One of them is called Xtreme High Energy so that one might have alot more ingredients or higher doses. 
 
As in any weight loss program, please check with your doctor first to make sure this is the right plan for you and that you have no history of problems with any of the ingredients. It really does pay to be extra careful when buying things that could affect your body's metabolism. I would rather be safe than sorry.
 
Good Luck and if you do get one of these, please come back and let us know if it worked for you. And if I happen to get anymore and get results, I will do the same. After all, we are all in this together. We need a team to help us all boost each other up in this fight against weight loss. I firmly believe you have to have people around you that will aid you and not deter you from your goals.
 
Connect with Vidacup several ways:
 
Mailing Address:
Vidacup International LLC
142-C South Cardigan Way
Mooresville, NC 28117
Main Phone Number: (704) 660-VIDA (8432)
Email:  info@vidacup.com
 
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.

Artisana Organic Foods Review


I had the pleasure a little while ago to sample something different that I have never tried before and wasn't sure what to expect and what I thought it might be was not what it came out to be, but it was still awesome and something that you can use in so many different ways.  The name of the company is called Artisana Foods and they make 100% organic flavored butters.
 
The one above is the Raw Coconut Butter and when I first opened it, I thought, this has to be a cooking product sorta like Crisco or something. Why would I think that? Well, it was hard and I couldn't get any of it to break loose. I did finally manage to get some and spread it on a cracker and it actually wasn't bad.
 
Now, remember, I am just now exploring organic foods so I have awhile yet to go but I am at the place where I really don't have any choice. My stomach and bowel issues have made it almost impossible to not check out other alternatives in my eating. So, give me time and I am hoping as I get better at it, I will know how to dress the food up and have it be more presentable to eat.


Artisana pays careful attention to detail, quality and handmade with care, our organic raw foods are crafted using a temperature controlled process that preserves the life-essential fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.
Certified Organic (QAI)Certified Kosher (KSA)They do make their products in a facility that processes tree nuts, but does not process any peanut, gluten, dairy or soy products.

Here is a video that also might help you to understand the products a little better, too:


 
Since I am new at this, I had my friend, Lynette, come over and help me taste these butters because she knows more about this kind of stuff than I do and I know that if you don't do something right when trying something new, you are hestitant to try it again, so I didn't want to mess this up right off the bat.
 
So, with her help and with her daughter also, the three of us were able to sifer thru some of these with nary a thought.  Thank Goodness I thought to ask her because I would have messed them all up adn then nobody in my family would have tried these at all.
 
 
See, what I thought it would be was like the Nutella that you see in the stores. I thought it would be like that except hardly any sugar and I would be able to use them on toasts and bagels with no problem. Well, it sorta is like that but you still have to learn to use it properly or it won't taste good. Hey, one good thing is that you don't have to refridgerate after opening!
 
Artisana's  Organic Raw Almond Butter is a great way to add protein, essential vitamins and minerals to your diet.  I had to add it to stuff first before I tried it all by itself. So, you can add to fruit, shakes, cereal, sandwiches, confections or eat right out of the jar.  Even though it's organic, it still packs some calories, so when making your snacks, meals, whatever, make sure you understand how many calories you are taking in. The Organic Pecan Butter is the same way that the Almonds are except they have a rich, intense flavor of pecan purée. Again, watch the calorie counts as they are a little high. I had to because of a little stomach and cholesterol scare going on right now along with some other health issues that would not make it wise for me to get all those calories on top of the high cholesterol and stomach issues.  So, I am moving slower and with all that this health crisis stirred up is why I am late getting alot of reviews and/or giveaways going, but I am slowly getting caught up, so hang in there for me.

Now, the Walnut Butter did a little bit more than the others did and I think this is the one I may concentrate on because of it's Omega 3 fatty acids (unsaturated fats) and also a great way to add protein, essential vitamins and minerals into your diet.
 
You should feel invigorated as your body absorbs the raw, healthy energy unlocked from deep within the walnut kernels.  Create a delicious dessert by mixing with apples, agave syrup and cinnamon. Try spreading on sliced bananas, fresh figs or add to smoothies.
 
Ingredients: Organic Raw Walnuts, Organic Raw Cashews.
 
The Cashews are naturally sweet, the raw cashews in our smooth and creamy purée have a complex, yet subtle character, lending creamy texture and dense nutrition to smoothies, sauces, desserts, and more. Cashew Butter is a great way to add iron, essential vitamins and minerals to your diet. So, this one sounds like a keeper, too. I can handle it when they already have something going for them.
 
 
The Organic Raw Cacao Bliss is a vegan and sugar cane-free spreadable nectar (when warmed). You can indulge guiltlessly with our rich, creamy, chocolatey coconut spread made from pure organic raw ingredients of the highest quality.Enjoy on fruit, bread, cakes, cookies, crepes and more! Excellent in smoothies, energy bars, and anything you want to turn into sweet succulence. I  am going to say this one will do really nice also and I should have enough of these different flavors to get me going and not feel like I have to give everytthing up.Ingredients: Organic Raw Coconut Butter, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Agave Syrup, Organic Cacao, Organic Cacao Butter

Then lastly, there is the Macadamia Blend with fresh red peppers to create a creamy Alfredo sauce for your favorite pasta dish or simply slice up your favorite fruit and spread it on. Every spoonful is delightfully delicious.  Now, this one, I don't think I will like much and may have a problem with. I can't imagine it on any kind of noodles or spaghetti.

Here is what I found in the About Us section:
Taste - Simply put, they are amazingly delicious.
Unique variety- In addition to our superior Almond Butter and Tahini, we offer unique varieties: Walnut Butter, Pecan Butter, Cashew Butter, and Macadamia/Cashew Butter. Our coconut products include the ever popular Coconut Butter and it's related Cacao Bliss, as well as our Extra Virgin Pure Coconut Oil.
Fresh - We hand select only the finest new harvest nuts, seeds and coconut for our butters. Our almonds and walnuts are the best California has to offer.
Quality - All of our nut and seed butters are hand crafted in small batches in Oakland, CA with careful attention to detail using strict food safety protocols.
Organic - We only use 100% certified organic nuts, seeds, and coconut meat which means no toxic pesticides, chemicals, or genetically modified organisms. (Certified by QAI)
Pure - We don't add any extra ingredients. No oil, sugar, preservatives or artificial flavors - Nothing. Which means that all you get is the clean, fresh taste of nuts and seeds the way nature intended.
Raw - Our raw products are made into puree with a temperature controlled process.

This means that all of the enzymes, proteins and vitamins are intact, in their natural state and fully utilized by the body. Powerful - Forget caffeine! Packed with energy-laden nutrients, our nut butters are a great source of sustained energy. Healthy - Nuts and seeds in the form that we make them - totally raw and organic and processed into butter (purée) - are among the most basic and healthy foods one can eat on the planet, offering to the consumer:
  • Non-animal proteins and enzymes
  • Vitamins and Minerals
  • Essential fatty-acids (including Omega-3, of which Walnut butter has the most)
  • Fiber in all products more readily digestible than whole nuts...making them truly whole foods.
  • Certified Kosher (KSA)
Connect with Artisana Organics several ways:

Mailing Address:
810 81st Avenue
Oakland, CA 94621 USA
Phone: 866-237-8688
Fax: 510-380-6942

 Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you
.

Found Item Clothing Tee Shirt Review


 
I found a really cool tee shirt company that has some really nice, family oriented shirts that you wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen outside the house in and it's called Found Item Clothing and they sent me that awesome Cheers T-shirt that Mike is holding up!
 
I know you can't hardly tell, but he is actually smiling and in a good mood when we took this picture. We both loved Cheers and I don't know about anybody else, but they don't make good comedies anymore or the comedians aren't funny to me, whichever one it is, we all had a fondness of Cheers, so when I went looking at the Movie shirts, I saw this one right away and told Mike we really needed to get this one.  
 
It's a very nice clean shirt with no dirty words or pictures, so in my book, that means it passes with flying colors! And they are all 100% cotton!  Did you know that the brown ink is in honor of the beer and the green color of the shirt is in honor of the Irish Americans? See, and you just thought it was another pretty little t-shirt!
 
 
I know you gotta remember this hilarious movie, don't you?  Oh, the good ole days are gone it seems. Now we have reality shows which is the last thing I want to be reminded of every single day 24/7! Can we not have a few nights that are not offered to any news/politics/reality shows/game shows/etc and just have some good clean, funny comedy or I will even take some awesome drama if things get get too bogged down by drama.  Oh, did I mention that it glows in the dark?
 
 
Now, who could forget Cameron Diaz in There's Something About Mary? That girl was seriously funny and wow, even for a woman, I must admit she was stunning and sexy, everything all of us other women want to be. And if memory serves me right, Red was her color (for lipstick, I think)! Seriously, I remember watching that movie and wondering if all men were that dumb or they made a very seriously funny movie (which I think that was really the point).

And by the way, if you sign up for their newsletter, they have drawings and you and you can win $50 to spend in their store!

 
They also have these adorable Bunny Slippers and now after looking at them for a good while, I want a pair! Dummy me, with Easter coming, I should have thought about slippers more than shirts. They have them in Men's sizes, but do you really think a man is gonna wear Bunny Slippers???
 
They also have Halloween Costumes and more shirts from the 80's, Props (like in movie props), Real Genius Shirts and Movie Alphabets.
 
Did you know that there is a tutorial on how to age our shirts? Well, Found Item Clothing has one!
The transition from stiff, new tee shirt to soft, threadbare keepsake is an uncomfortable and lengthy drag... but your friends at Found Item Clothing are here to help. We've subjected our esteemed t-shirts to a series of field tests, each experiment conceived to challenge or (confirm) the conventional wisdom and bring a degree of clarity to the t-shirt aging process.
 
Below, we present our initial findings to you, in the form of a comprehensive guide to what works - and, conversely, what doesn't - when aging t-shirts.
 
The transition from stiff, new tee to soft, threadbare keepsake is an uncomfortable and lengthy drag… but your friends at Found Item Clothing are here to help! How you ask?

Let us introduce, then, the very first installment of a new project, Aging Tee Shirts The Found Item Way, that will explore these, and related issues, methodically, but also with a crafty, DIY sensibility.
Along these lines, we’ve subjected our esteemed tees, both the actual garments and the screen prints that adorn them, to a series of rigorous field tests, each experiment conceived to challenge (or confirm) the conventional wisdom and bring a degree of needed clarity to the subject matter (which as it stands right now, is scattered willy nilly amongst various sites on the Infotainment Super Highway).  
In the chapters to come, we’ll present our initial findings to you in the form of a comprehensive guide to what works — and, conversely, what doesn’t — when aging t-shirts.  
1. Readers are encouraged to follow along at home. All of the materials used here are readily available off the shelf at your local supermarket.

2. Your results may vary; always exercise caution and safety around chemicals. 
3. Finally, this is an open-ended project and we’ll brainstorm new stress tests in the future. Likewise, if you have any suggestions, tips, or recommendations — complaints, too — that might contribute to our scholarship, hit us up: travis [at] founditemclothing.com.  
If one of our goals is to age new tees prematurely, convincingly, and safely at home, then a secondary objective is to share this knowledge with others in an easy, centralized and collaborative manner.
Connect with Found Item Clothing several ways:

Mailing Address:
4110 SE Hawthorne, Box 280
Portland, OR 97214
Email:  travis@founditemclothing.com

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you
                

Heart in Hand Book Review


 
Ah, another Amish romance in the making. This is a Stitches in Time Series addition written by Barbara Cameron.
 
About the Book:
Anna, a knitter and the oldest of the three cousins, watches the wedding of Naomi and Nick the following fall and remembers her own wedding. A widow, Anna thinks about how short her time with her husband was; as she looks at her grandmother, she wonders if Leah is recalling her own marriage.  
Her grandparents were married for a longer time than she and her husband were, but Anna and her grandmother lost their spouses only months apart three years ago. Perhaps this is why they have always felt so close. Both know how hard it is to be a widow, to go on with life.  
Gideon Beiler approaches Anna one day. Gideon is a wonderful, caring man. He, too, has suffered a loss – his wife, Mary, died and left him to raise their only daughter. Spring is a time for new beginnings, for love to bloom as nature thaws the earth and makes it come alive again after the long cold winter.  
As love begins to warm Anna’s heart again, she’s afraid to chance losing someone she has come to care so much about. Her grandmother tells her she believes Gideon may be the man God has sent for her to have a second chance at love. Stitches in time…and place: three cousins who laugh and love and learn about life together with their warm and wise grandmother, Leah, in their special shop.  
Two generations of Amish women who are bound by strong threads which bind them to their creativity and their community.
This was a lovely and sad book to read in the beginning because Anna and Gideon both had lost their partners in early death.  Gideon did have a daughter named Sarah Rose.
 
Anna had a hard time letting go of her life with Samuel and Gideon with Mary. It is always amazing to me how the right person can come into our lives, if only we would open our eyes and seize the moment.
 
It took Anna a near death experience to understand this and thru that experience she realized that she did care for Gideon, but will he return that feeling?
 
You will have to read the book and find out for yourself!
 
Happy Reading!
 
You can by the book at these two places:  AMAZON| BARNES& NOBLE
 
About the Author:
 
 
WEBSITE | BLOG
 
Barbara Cameron is the author of 35 fiction and non-fiction books, three nationally televised movies (HBO-Cinemax), as well as the winner of the first Romance Writers of America Golden Heart Award. When a relative took her to visit the Amish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, she felt led to write about the spiritual values and simple joys she witnessed there.
 
 
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.
 

Garnier Olia Hair Color Review


 
I really get nervous around home products that deal with coloring my hair and have tried several brands in the past with the results being totally different than what I thought it was gonna be so I had no grand illusions about this one either.
 
This is what you get when you use Garnier's Olia Hair Color Kit:
  • First oil-powered permanent home hair color
  • No ammonia
  • 60% oil blend with natural flower oils
  • 100% gray coverage
  • Maximum color performance
  • Visibly improves and restores hair*
  • Pleasant floral fragrance
  • In 24 different shades

  • I got a gift card to go and buy the color I would need and I got the 8.31 Medium Blonde, I think that is what I got. This is Garnier's new product called Olia and it has oil in it to make your hair feel and look softer, which it did in spades!
     
     
    Okay, here is my hair before and I had it straight because that is my preferred way that I like to wear it but alot of times I just let it go curly because it takes so much time to get it straight that I just say forget it! But, this is a picture that is what my hair really looks like if I take the necessary steps to get it to look like this. Notice that I have a unique color in that I have a little red, a little light brown and a little bit of dark blonde showing thru sometimes.
     
     
    Okay, I was right about the number. It is 8.31 and I think that says medium blonde. The last time I did my hair I did light brown and it made my hair a dark weird color of red. So, I knew that my hair acts quite the opposite of what it should be doing. The instructions say to leave on 30 minutes but I could tell from the color of the application that got on my forehead that it was getting a tad darker and no where near blonde, so after 18 minutes I rinsed it off to be on the safe side.
     
     
    I know it's hard to tell but the application was a light grayish color and really sunk into my hair pretty fast so it just looks like a wet rat experiment gone wrong! But here is what is inside the box of Olia by Garnier:
     
    The big fat bottle is the one that you mix and shake everything together in. There is wider tube beside it which is #1 and you put that in along with the tube with number 2 on it. Then shake well until you think it has all been combined well enough and start at the roots of your hair or any other stubborn places that the grey won't budge, which is what I did. I was doing this more for hiding the gray than to make my hair a different color.
     
    After I left it on for about 18 minutes versus the 30 minutes it said to, I jumped in the shower and got it all off and then used tube #3 which was a conditioner that needs to stay on the hair for 2 minutes at least and then rinse off.
     
    I decided to leave my hair curly since I was getting a little tired by this time and my favorite TV show was fixing to come on in about 15 minutes so I applied my detangler and my frizz control product and blew my hair halfway dry. I have found that my hair responds better if I dry it only have the way thru instead of completely dry. Drying it completely dry leaves my hair looking more brittle and damaged so I try not to do that if at all possible.
     
     
    And wala, this is the end game picture. I am so glad I rinsed it off when I did. The only way I can get a light blonde look is for a professional to do it and I do go and have that done about twice a year. That is about all we can afford with my disability check and I actually like this color alot. It is nowhere near the color on the box, but what it did do is give me some golden and some light reddish golden highlights!
     
    This is how my hair looks when I don't force it to go straight.  I can you that it did indeed get rid of the grey in my hair and now it has a nice healthy shine to it, so regardless of what the color on the box says, it's okay that it didn't work out for me, because this color is actually more like me.  It might look more red to some of you but I can tell you that it is probably the lighting we had in the kitchen.
     
    Another great thing about letting it dry curly is that it looks like I have thicker hair now. If you noticed in the first picture at the top, I look like my hair is very thin, which it is, but if I quit messing with it and let it dry naturally, I have alot thicker looking hair. So, I don't have any complaints about how my hair turned out. The last time I did this at home it came out almost black with red hints in there somewhere and that was a hideous site!
     
    Garnier has other brands of Hair Color and I would advise you to research all the different ones and the colors to see which ones you think might look good on you.  I have always said it is better to be prepared than to be caught off guard.  So, stop by and see what all Garnier has to offer and I think you will find the one that is right for you. 
     
    Garnier's Mission:
     
    Garnier USA is a division of the global cosmetics company, L’Oreal. L’Oreal is a leader in developing alternative methods to animal testing with the ultimate goal of eliminating all animal testing completely. In1989 L’Oreal voluntarily stopped using animal testing for the evaluation of its entire range of finished products.
     
    The company has invested $800 million over the last 25 years to develop innovative , alternative methods to animal testing, particularly in the area of reconstructed tissue development. We are totally committed to a future without tests on animals.
     
    Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monitary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you. I am a BzzAgent and I was given this toy by them to do a review.