Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back to School with Harvest Snaps: Review and Giveaway


**Product received at no charge to facilitate review.**


I'm always looking for gluten free snacks I can send with my college age daughter, Kalina, to her place and also snacks that my teenage son will eat. The teenager could care less if his snacks are healthy, as long as they taste good. On the other hand my daughter has so many dietary limitations that she is just happy to find a snack she can eat. Healthy options are usually the only options for her.

The Snapea Crisps and Lentil Snacks by Harvest Snaps gives me products that will work for my entire family. Even better, the Snapea Crisps are made with 70% all-natural peas while the Lentil Snaps are made with 65% authentic lentils. This means that my family will get protein and fiber in every bite.






It felt like Christmas opening our box from Harvest Snacks. So hard to choose which flavor to try first. Since my daughter is lactose intolerant as well as gluten intolerant, she skipped over those made with milk products and went straight for the Tomato Basil Lentil Snaps. It was love at first bite for her. It was all I could do to get her to let me have a few for review purposes. While it was her favorite, I ended up liking the  Lightly Salted Snapea Crips better. The little bit of salt enhanced the pea flavor and I liked the crunch of the snacks. The Lentil Snaps ended up being a hit with both my daughter and husband as they both really liked the Onion Thyme Lentil Snaps.




 My son ended up liking the Casear and Wasabi Ranch Snapea Crisps the best. I have to admit, I liked the flavor the Ceasar the best as well but my moderate case of lactose intolerance kept me from eating more than a few so I stuck with the Ligthly Salted Crisps.

Last to try was the Black Pepper Snapea Crisps. I'm not a big black pepper fan so these were my least favorite. However, the rest of the family liked them. Kalina talked her brother into letting her take them if she would leave the Cesear and Wasabi Ranch ones for him. He gladly obliged, though if he would have read the ingredients, he would have known she couldn't have eaten those two flavors anyway. He felt like he got the best end of the trade so that is all that matters, right?


I'm not one to buy a lot of snack foods but with back to school time upon us, it means we are rushing to eat in between getting out of school and getting to mountain bike practice. Caden has learned that he has to fuel up or he doesn't go very far or fast on his bike. A quick snack and dinner gives him the energy he needs for practice. Thanks Harvest Snacks for making our back to school days easier.

Be sure to visit the Lunchspiration and create your own for a chance to win $1000.

**This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps. I have been compensated for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.**


Giveaway Details:

Harvest Snaps is offering my #HarvestSnapsFans a chance to win their own sampler of Harvest Snacks. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the Rafflecopter form and agree to them. Contest ends 9/15/2014 at 11:59 EST.
  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Summer Activities at Snowbird, Utah

 
Alpine Slide











 Get Ready. Set. And off to have some summer fun at Snowbird Ski Resort. Yes, Snowbird offers more than skiing. Every year, my family buys season ski passes to Snowbird. Included in our passes is a one night stay at the Cliff Lodge iconand two passes to enjoy the summer activities.


The Mountain Flyer takes you backward up the mountain in a two-seated cable chair. At the top, the chair zooms down the mountain at an exhilarating speed, giving you a blast of fresh mountain air.


The Mountain Coaster is new to Snowbird. It wasn't quite ready the last summer we visited but this summer, it not only was ready for fun but included in our day pass.  While it's not like a roller coaster at an amusement park, it is still the most popular attraction at Snowbird and a lot of fun. A cable pulls the coaster up a hill and at the top, it releases you to zoom to the bottom. A handle lets you control how fast you want to go while you zip around the track.





We always like to try the Climbing Wall. For younger children, a blow up slide sits next door. Not pictured is the Bungee Trampoline, my least favorite thing. However, all of the children I've watched on the trampoline have a blast and the bungee straps make it possible for them to do front and back flips without getting hurt.

Snowbird also boasts their Alpine Slide. A short ski lift takes you to the top of the hill where you pick up your sled and pull it over to the slide area. The sled sits on a track the speeds down a gradual decline. You can control your own speed with the handle in between your legs. Great for those who are timid and don't dare go too fast or for those who want to go full throttle and see how fast they can get down the hill.My son likes to time himself and then try to beat that time with each run.

The Ropes Course sits among a beautiful backdrop and is not especially hard since your are tethered in and won't go far if you slip. In fact, all of the activities have safety mechanisms in place so you can enjoy yourself without worrying about getting hurt.

 Want to enjoy a nice view of the resort? The day activity pass also includes a pass to ride the tram. For those more adventurous, you can pay a little extra and take your mountain bike on the tram and ride it down the mountain. The day activity pass costs $42.00 but discount tickets are available at Papa Murphy's or by checking online where to find them. This time of year is a great time to visit as Oktoberfest runs during the weekends and you can eat bratwurst while you enjoy the activities. It does get busy, so be prepared to wait in line.

If you don't want to spend a lot of money, Snowbird has plenty of hiking trails. Pack a lunch, throw on your hiking shoes and get moving. You will find spectacular views of the beautiful granite walls that abound in Little Cottonwood Canyon.


Not a sponsored post. However, it does contain affiliate links. Your purchase from these links help support this blog.


 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Orkin Scientific Fact or Fake School Pack Giveaway

FTC Disclosure: Prize pack is sponsored by Orkin and blog owner will receive a duplicate prize in exchange for hosting the giveaway.





We've all heard myths about bugs that we assume are facts. Now it is time to debunk them. Take the Scientific Fact or Scientific Myth quiz and save your results for one of our giveaway entries. Orkin is giving away a fabulous prize pack pictured here to one of my lucky readers.




Giveaway Details: 

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Orkin Fact or Fake School Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 8/31/2014 at 11:59 EST a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Green Earth Frying Pan by Ozeri Review

Product received at no charge to facilitate review. Opinions are based upon actual experience.



 I've been using a smaller Ozeri pan for a few months and like it so much that I jumped at the chance to try the larger 12 inch Green Earth Frying Pan. My family cooks a lot of food on the stove top. Since we have a lot of dietary restrictions, we found that stir fry foods work best for us.

I was especially excited to cook our fresh catch for fish tacos in my new pan. I like that Ozeri pans utilize a ceramic coating that is naturally 100% PTFE and PFOA safe. This means less harmful chemicals seep into our food.


I absolutely loved the heat resistant bakelite handle. It is long and I was able to grab it on the end without a hot pad and not worry about burning my hand. The Green Earth Frying Pan is made with heavy-gauge die-cast aluminum and has the feel of a good quality pan. While I can't comment on the durability as I haven't used it long enough, it definitely seems solid enough to last a while.

While the Ozeri pan boasts a non-stick coating, it isn't 100% non-stick. I did have a little bit of sticking with my fish but found that a few drops of olive oil help prevent sticking of both fish and stir fry vegetables. Still, I would rather have a pan coating that is free from chemicals and add a drop of oil that have harmful chemicals. I loved the size of the pan. It is the perfect size to cook for a family of four. Overall, I give the pan a solid four star rating.

Pros
  • Ceramic coating is 100% PTFE and PFOA safe
  • Sturdy heavy duty aluminum 
  • Long handle
  • Handle is truly heat resistant
  • Large enough to cook for four 
  • Heats evenly
Cons
  • Coating not 100% non-stick for all foods
  • Does not wear well over time
  • Sticks after just a few months
Product Rating: ★★★
The Ozeri Green Earth Frying pan can be purchased on Amazon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Hiking in Utah: Red Pine in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Post contains affiliate links.


Distance: 6 Miles roundtrip to Lower Red Pine Lake
Difficulty: Rated Class 2
Directions: From I-15 take 9000 S. exit. E on 9000 S. to 9400 S. Stay E to Y in road at Wasatch Blvd. from Y it is about 5.5 miles to White Pine/Red Pine trailhead



Get your cameras ready. You never know what awaits you near Little Cottonwood Canyon's hiking trails. Red Pine Trail is no exception and begins in the same parking lot as White Pine Trail about 5.5 miles from the bottom of the canyon.





The trail begins on an old jeep road for the first mile and is a shared pathway with the White Pine Trail

After one mile, the trails split and Red Pine crosses White Pine Creek across the footbridge to the right. At this point, the trail traverses the mountain where you will get spectacular views along the way of Snowbird Ski Resort and the Salt Lake Valley.







After the traverse, the trail enters Red Pine Canyon where it does get steep and Rocky in areas. About 2.5 miles into the trail, another footbridge crosses the creek to the Maybird Gulch area.




The final stretch leads to the Lower Red Pine Lake and some spectacular scenery. It is the hardest part of the hike but worth the climb as you hike over steep, rocky areas. Reaching the crest at the treeline, gives you awesome view of of the lake. You may also get lucky enough to see the wildlife at their waterhole.  I saw a bull and cow moose the day I went. If you are fortunate enough to see moose, stay far away from them as they can be aggressive. They do not spook easily like deer and will even stop to watch you.



For those who want to continue to Upper Red Pine Lake, follow the trail around the lake. At the southeast corner of the lake, take the trail which makes another 400 foot climb to the treelike where you will find the lake.

Turn around for a great out and back day hike and enjoy to downhill.

Take plenty of water, a few snacks as it can take 2.5 to 3 hours. depending on how fast you hike. A good pair of hiking shoes is a must on this trail because of the rocks.

Red Pine Trail is definitely a must see in Little Cottonwood Canyon.




Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cleopatra's Choice 100% Pure African Shea Butter Review





I've always been a fan of products made with Shea Butter. However, I have never tried it as a stand alone product until I received my free sample for review of the Cleopatra's Choice 100% Pure African Shea Butter. I wish I would have tried the shea butter sooner. I am thrilled that I finally found a product that can make a difference on my dry heels in just a few days. I have tried several different types of foot creams and though I have a few I like, none of them work as well as Cleopatra's Choice Shea Butter. Now I don't have to worry about getting cracks in my heels.


Not only did the Shea Butter work well on my feet, but it made my lips feel smooth as well. In fact, my lips still felt moisturized in the morning after applying the Shea Butter before going to bed the previous night. I loved the Shea Butter for my legs as well as lips and feet. It absorbs quickly, though it does leave a bit of a greasy feel for a few minutes. However, it goes away quickly and is exactly what my normal to dry skin needs.


Cleopatra's Choice is 100% pure organic unrefined Shea Butter of the African Shea Nut Tree. Rich with natural emollients, it also contains Vitamins A, E and F. It is also packed full of essential fatty acids which help promote elasticity. This is exactly what my skin needs. It does have a natural, nutty smell that did not irritate my sensitive skin.

While I used the Shea Butter as is right out of the tub, it can also be used as an added ingredient in your own skin care creations. It can also be softened in the microwave if it feels too hard. I had no trouble using it right out of the container and especially liked it the way it was for my lips.

A one pound container will go a long way as it doesn't take much to make the skin feel silky smooth. I could not find anything about the Shea Butter I did not like that would cause me to drop my rating. 

Product Rating:  ★★★★★

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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

EnvyDerm Lip Volumnizing and Conditioning Plumper Review and Giveaway

Product received at no charge for review purposes. 

While we wish we could spend all of our time exploring the outdoors or traveling, it is not possible. We still have to work which means we must get dressed up and apply makeup on a daily basis. Neither Kalina nor I are big fans of heavy lipsticks. However, we do like lip products with shine and a nice hint of color. I also like lip products that moisturize my lips and make them look fuller. Being in the sun a lot tends to dry out my lips.

We both got a chance to try the Lip Volumnizing and Conditioning Plumper by EnvyDerm. We loved the how it moisturized our lips and gave them a beautiful hint of color all while appearing very natural. What stood out for me was the thickness and the hint of mint. It truly felt like a luxury product and one which I would would gladly pay a little more for over my regular lip products. Not only that, but it really did make our lips look fuller. 

Check out our before and after photos to see for yourself.





The conditioning lip plumper is easy to apply and the applicator holds just the right amount for one application. We both loved the organic moisturizing oils which include Aragan and Jojoba oil which helped soothed my dry lips.

We tried the Rose Bleu color and we both loved how it tinted our lips with a natural looking color.

In my reviews, I like to point out anything I think could be improved. However, there was nothing about the EnvyDerm Conditioning Plumper I disliked. While I do wish it cost a bit less, I would still pay the price as it is a high quality product. We would both highly recommend this product to our readers and would be happy to use it again. I love that EnvyDerm makes their products in the U.S.A. I am increasingly wary of reports of high lead content in products shipped from overseas. I don't have to worry about that with EnvyDerm.

Product Rating:  ★★★★★

Giveaway Details:

EnvyDerm is giving one of our lucky readers a Lip Volumnizing and Conditioning Lip Plumper. Please use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Contest ends 8/31/2014 at 11:59 EST.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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

Friday, August 15, 2014

Block Island Organics Mineral Sunscreen Product Review

I received a product sample at no charge to facilitate review. No monetary compensation received.



Our outdoor adventures wreck havoc my family's skin. With so much sun exposure, I am constantly worried whether or not we use enough sunscreen. However, I am increasingly skeptical of all of the chemicals we absorb through our skin.

Two years ago, my then 22 year-old daughter was diagnosed with advanced stage ovarian cancer. While I know there is nothing me nor my daughter did that caused her cancer, we both can't help wonder what kinds of changes we can make now that will lessen our exposure to harmful chemicals in everyday items.



With Block Island Organics Mineral Sunscreen, my family has one less chemical to worry about. I love the idea of organic sunscreen made with natural ingredients. One of the hardest things about making the slow switch to organic products has been the expense. Organic products almost always cost more. Block Island Organics Sunscreen is no exception. However, I don't mind paying the extra money for the peace of mind of getting rid of unnecessary chemicals.


What matters most is how a product works and the Block Island Organic Sunscreen kept us from getting sunburned even after getting in the water. With SPF 15, we could go several hours without reapplying it and still not worry about the sun. It is water resistant up to forty minutes so we didn't have to worry about reapplying it after waterskiing a round.




One of the things we noticed with the organic sunscreen with SPF 15 is that it is a lot harder to rub in then regular sunscreens. It works best to use a small amount in each area and not try to apply too much at once. I used too much on my arm and couldn't get it to rub in. It left a lot of visible white residue. Once I switched to a smaller amount, it was much easier to work onto my skin. The sunscreen absorbs instantly.

One thing I liked about the Block Island Organics mineral sunscreen is that it doesn't have the same smell as other sunscreens which is great for my sensitive skin. In fact, I am allergic to some brands of sunscreen and will break out in a rash as soon as I get in the sun after applying those. My sensitive skin didn't have any reactions to the Block Island Organics sunscreen. This is enough to make the switch to organic sunscreen.

Follow Block Islands Organics on Twitter or Facebook.

Block Island Organics is offering my readers a 20% discount with coupon code trudy. Offer may not be combined with other offers. Ends 8/21/2014. Go to Block Islands Organics HERE to use your coupon.


Last minute deals at Sandals Resorts

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

$25 Gift Card Giveaway to Goinstyle.com


Wherever you're going, go in style with awesome items from goinstyle.com.  From gorgeous handbags to comfy slippers, make your next outing a memorable one.


For those who want practicality over style, that is okay too. Go In Style carries a variety of hats to keep you protected from the elements in all types of weather.



And if that is not enough, a nice selection of travel accessories awaits as well.

I had a chance to review the Scala Safari Hat and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the construction.

Check out my review.






Giveaway Details:

Goinstyle.com has generously provided a $25 gift card to one of my lucky readers. Please use the Rafflecopter to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. Must be 18 or older to enter. Contest ends August 28, 2014 at 11:59 EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Scala Safari Rain Hat by GoInStyle.com: Product Review


FTC Disclosure: Product received at no charge to facilitate review. Opinions are mine and based upon actual experience.

You don't need to go on a safari to appreciate a good quality safari hat. 
Nor do you need rain to have protection.
The Scala Safari Rain Hat from GoInStyle.com offers much more than protection from the elements. It also helps you look good too.


Both my son and I had a chance to try the safari hat. On a sunny day, it offers plenty of shade, which is evident in our photos. If it happens to get wet, it does well at keeping the water off and dries quickly as it is water repellent. 

While we couldn't use the hat while we were riding in the boat, we used it for other water activities like paddle boarding. It is a rain hat and does not have a strap. Therefore, it works better for the more leisurely adventures. It makes a good hiking hat for both cloudy and sunny days. It fits well, not too tight or too loose and stays put.

Our favorite thing about the hat from goinstyle.com is the sturdy construction. The thick, canvas type fabric holds up well for all activities. The even stitching on the rim and at the seams, keep it looking sharp. 
The strong rivets are built to stay in place and give the hat an expensive look at a fair price.



It's almost impossible not to look good in the safari hat. We loved the stylish brown band around the lighter khaki. A good addition to an already great hat. I had planned on keeping the hat or giving it to  my husband but my teenage son has other plans and refuses to give it up. He thinks he looks cool in it and teenagers are always right. And though he probably doesn't care what my readers think, I feel good about recommending the Scala Safari Hat with five stars.



Product rating:  ★★★★★

I am so glad GoInStyle.com found me. I love their selection of hats and they have a ton of travel accessories I could use on my next trip.

Go In Style can be found on:
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