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Entries in product review (37)

Thursday
Jan082009

A natural calorie-free sweetener? My coffee just got better for me!

I just received my sample of Truvia sweetener and I'm in LOVE.
I've gone through the pink stuff, the blue stuff, and thought I'd found bliss with the yellow stuff until I realized what was in it. Eventually I went back to old-fashioned raw sugar.

Now enter Truvia - the green stuff.
Truvia is made with rebiana, the best part of the stevia leaf. The stevia plant, a member of the chrysanthemum family, has been used for hundreds of years as a sweetener for food and beverages.
Truvia is made by taking the leaves of the stevia plant, drying them and steeping them like tea to extract the sweetest part.

Video

Things to know about Truvia

  • great for people with diabetes
  • kosher certified
  • 1 packet = 2 tespoons of sugar
  • I'm giving it a Twofer Thumbs Up

The taste?
I loved it in my coffee - not too sweet, and no aftertaste.
I put a little straight on my tongue and while there's a little 'cold' sensation (almost like mint), the granular texture felt like real sugar and I still didn't experience an aftertaste.
Go here to see how people in the Truvia Greenhouse thought about the taste. Or read what others are saying on the community boards.

While my sample came compliments of Truvia and Mom Central, I did look up where to buy and found lots of local grocery stores listed under my locations.

I'm excited to bake with it and serve it to my family, knowing that it's natural and not filled with chemicals.

Have you tried Truvia yet? If so, leave me a comment with your thoughts & tastes.

And now back to my coffee,
Janine

Monday
Dec222008

Holidays are the time to be thankful, merry, and Fire Smart

Now I'm not sure if this counts as a neuroses because fire is a legitimate concern.
What makes me neurotic is that I've been known to go through periods where I lose sleep over it. I have weeks where I unplug the toaster, the coffee maker, and anything else I can get my hands on before leaving the house.

After talking with some friends it seems I'm not alone.
I remember in school, a hundred years ago, I had to go home and make a fire plan with my family. But for some reason I was a lot smarter as a kid because I haven't a clue how to do that now.

Good thing Liberty Mutual has created a Be Fire Smart website (www.BeFireSmart.com) with all kinds of cool games, check lists, and fun stuff for kids to remind everyone about fire safety.

I just played the "How fast can you spot trouble game" (look in the right column) and I didn't spot everything. I didn't know you shouldn't leave clothes on a dryer!

I also played the "Dress a fireman" game which is terrific because it explains what each piece of equipment does and reminds kids that if they ever see someone in a suit like that, it's not a monster, just a fireman inside.

I'm going to print out 2 copies of the fire fighter coloring book for the girls to work on as we drive to my mom's this week.

Then I'm going to print out the Hazards Checklist and the Fire Escape Plan and work on that during the 6-hour drive. As with everything, I'm a control freak and having a plan will simply make me feel a whole lot better.

Here's my own quick quiz for you.
Which of these is TRUE?
a) Never leave heavy objects on the bed when an electric blanket is in use
b) You should vacuum your smoke alarms every six months.
c) Exhaust vents covered with snow can cause a fire
d) Don't leave your dryer running while you are not in the house

I'm going to pass along the BeFireSmart.com website to family, friends, teachers, and everyone else I care about, including you dear reader.

Leave me a comment if you decide to do your own plan, or if you blog about this post to your own readers. I'd love to see what others are doing.

Happy planning...
and the ANSWER: all of the above.

Janine
Thank you to Mom Central and Liberty Mutual for making me
Fire Smart!

Thursday
Dec182008

Another amazing National Geographic show

Clear your calendar this Sunday night, December 21 at 9:00 p.m. ET for the premier of National Geographic Channel's In The Womb: Identical Twins.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to see an advance copy and I was amazed by just how different identical twins can be, and why.

You can see the moment when a single cell rapidly multiplies into a blastocyst and see the many milestones as identical twins grow in-utero. Learn what happens when one identical twin doesn't fully develop, and why identical twins are not always subject to the same diseases.

My twins are obviously not identical but like most people (with or without twins) the idea of 2 identical children is fascinating. National Geographic covers several sets of identical twins including 2 boys one of whom weighed 6 1/2 pounds at birth while his 'identical' brother weighed just over a pound. Another set of twins had no contact with each other for 40 years and yet lead parallel lives.

Plus, the show explores what behavior is a result of nature versus nurture and how scientists can study the effects of genes on someone's personality.

The 4-D ultrasound is very cool and had me thinking back to my own pregnancy when the Twofer would kickbox each other on that little screen!

The girls really want to watch it and my only hesitation is the c-section part, and the fact that they don't really know how babies are made. I can hear it now, "Mommy? What's sperm and how do you get it?"

But I'd love for them to see what 2 babies inside a mommy's tummy looks like since they are used to hearing me tell stories.

Enjoy the show and I'd love to hear what you thought!.
Janine

Tuesday
Dec162008

The best Sunday snack

As I've posted before, we have a wall of TVs that exist solely for football Sundays. The TVs bring much more than football into our house...they draw guests.

And with guests, comes food - or really the need for food.
Thanks to Mom Central
I recently discovered Ultimate Party Meatballs!



Just 3 ingredients plus 20 minutes, and I have a filling little snack.

Here's all you need:
1. 2lb bag of frozen, pre-cooked, cocktail-size meatballs
2. 16 ounce can Ocean Spray Jellied Cranberry Sauce
3. 12 ounce bottle Heinz Chili Sauce

Put the cranberry sauce and chili sauce in a large pan on med-low heat and stir until smooth (about 5 mi.)
Add the meatballs, cover and cook for 15 min. (stirring occasionally) or until meatballs are heated through.

That's it! They taste tangy yet sweet. The Twofer LOVED them and took the leftovers to school the next day in a thermos for lunch! My husband LOVED them and ate more later that night. I LOVED them because not only did they taste great - they were quick and easy to make! (Plus, anything that is accepted as lunch the next day get extra points in my book.)

And now for the obligatory football reference joke... The Ultimate Party Meatballs scored a touchdown and were a real crowd-pleaser!

I will definitely stock these ingredients for future Sundays.
Visit UltimatePartyMeatballs for more recipes, entertaining tips, and the chance to win a $3000 Ultimate Party*! *sweepstakes ends. Jan 31, 2009

Then if you win, invite me to the party :). Or maybe I'll offer to host it in my basement and my wall of TVs.

Now back to the game,
Janine
Thanks again to Mom Central for the opportunity to review this item!




Monday
Dec152008

How Facebook changed the way I shave

Facebook has, among other things, changed the way I
communicate with friends
use my cell phone
network
and promote this blog.

Now it is responsible for changing the way I shave.
You see, through Facebook I have reconnected with an old college friend who also happens to have started a little company called Pacific Shaving Company.

What is special about this company is the itsy, bitsy, teeny, weeny bottle of All Natural Shaving OilTM that lasts for 100 shaves (if not more) - all you need is a few drops!

I tried it yesterday and all the places I usually get nicked were unusually free of red bumps and pain. Legs, underarms, bikini area....all silky smooth, and not the least bit irritated. So goodbye shaving cream, forever. I've changed my ways.

What's more, Pacific Shaving Company plants a tree for every bottle of All Natural Shaving Oil sold (just $6.99 at CVS.com or drugstore.com at the time of this post).


Even better - WIN 2 bottles of Pacific Shaving Company All Natural Shaving Oil right here plus a cute tank top (size large) to show off those smooth underarms!

Here's how and leave a separate comment for each one.
Contest ends at midnight on Wednesday, December 17, 2008.

1. Leave a comment (easy)
2. Tweet this blog post (leave link in comment)
3. Mention/link to this post on your blog or holiday gift guide (again leave link in comment)

Winner will be chosen by Random.org

Happy shaving!
Janine

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