Monday, February 20, 2017

Green Chef Review and Giveaway

I received this product for free from Moms Meet (momsmeet.com), May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.




I've always enjoyed home cooked meals. When my children were younger, I made it a point to sit down together every night. Now that two my three children have moved out,  I'm working outside the home more. This means I have less time to shop than I use to and not as much motivation. However, I  still prefer eating at home to eating out 

I like to know exactly what I put into my body. I constantly struggle with my weight but do better when I eat at home.

I love the idea of home delivery service. Green Chef has mastered the art of home delivery. 
It's nice to come home from work and find a box of groceries sitting on my doorstep. Since the box is well insulated with great ice packing, I didn't have to worry that my food might spoil. before I get home. Even better, I don't have to waste time at the grocery store only to get home to find out I forgot half the ingredients and have to make a return trip.


With Green Chef I can choose three meals that work for my family. I love that the meals are USDA certified organic which means all of the ingredients are organic including the meat. I chose the gluten free option and the meals for two people for three days.
The options include:
Omnivore
Carnivore
Gluten Free
Vegetarian
Vegan
Paleo

With so many options, it's unlikely that one wouldn't be able to find a meal plant that works for them.


The meals are super easy to prepare. The ingredients are pre-assembled and pre-measured. They also come color coded. A colored card for each meal shows the step by step instructions so it's hard to go wrong.



The Creole Steak was a hit. I have a teenage son but between my husband and my son, we're not big eaters. I was able to feed three of us on the recipe made for two. I doubt that would work for most families but I was excited it worked for us.
I love that the meals have great tasting veggie options. I was pleasantly surprised with the combination of butternut squash and red pepper with the creole seasoning. It's not a mix I would have thought of on my own but we loved it.


Our favorite meal was the Tandori Chicken. This meal and the most generous portion sizes and fed three instead of two. Again, it's only a two person meal but worked for my family of three small eaters. The garam masala seasoning mixed with tandoori yogurt sauce gave this a flavor I haven't tried before. The white quinoa with cinnamons a raisins added a slightly sweet flavor which went well with the chicken. I like the healthy alternative of quinoa to regular grain. My favorite was generous serving of vegetables.The green pepper and the sweet potatoes were a great combination.


I don't like eating meat every night so it was great to have a vegetarian option. I loved the Red Beet Risotto. I never imagined I would get a meal made with red beets. I love beets so I was excited to give this a try. I didn't care for the goat cheese on my risotto but my husband liked it. Out of three meals, only having one optional ingredient I didn't like was awesome. I left the goat cheese off my serving and enjoyed my risotto. I've never had a meal anything quite like this one and I felt like I was living on the edge trying something so different. I loved the citrus, snap peas, and mint salad. This one the one salad I wish had been a bigger serving. This was the one meal that only served two.

The meal service costs between $10.49 per person per meal to $14.99 per person per meal. I have to admit, when I thought about paying $30 per meal, it sounded expensive. However, as I broke down my grocery bill, it dawned on me that I buy a lot of things I don't need at the grocery store. By the time I factor in the time I save shopping and the extra things I wouldn't buy, the price didn't seem so bad after all. Since Green Chef is a subscription service, you get a delivery every week. I like that they give you the option of skipping weeks. I travel a lot so a weekly subscription doesn't work but knowing I can cancel weeks makes me more likely to use the service.

Taste ★★★★★
Convenience ★★★★★
Packaging ★★★★★
Price★★★★

Want to try Green Chef? Get $50 off your first box HERE

Giveaway Details

Winner will receive a coupon for one free box of Green Chef meals which consists of three recipes that feed two people. Coupon does not include the $9.00 shipping charge but blog owner will provide a $9.00 Paypal credit for the winner. Winner must have a Paypal account to get the shipping credit. 

Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the form and agree to them. 
Contest ends 3/5/2017 at 11:59 EST



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Finding Comfort in hotter® Shoes: Review

Product received at no charge to facilitate an honest review.


I'm at the point in my life where comfort is the most important thing in my footwear. I'll gladly pay a premium price for shoes that support my flat foot and keep them from having pain. Hiking and running puts a lot strain on my feet. I'm constantly battling heel spurs and achilles tendon pain. I know I will never find a pair of shoes that will cure my problems but I'm always on the lookout for shoes that will keep my pain from getting worse. 



I've heard of hotter® Shoes and have wanted to try them ever since. Usually red is not my first choice for shoe color but I'm getting tired of the dreary dark days of winter and decided to go bold now that spring is inching closer. Plus with the many shirts I own that go with red shoes, I chose colorful instead of the safe browns and blacks I usually wear. The Nirvana Style looks stylish. I rarely receive compliments on my shoes but every time I've worn these I've received a compliment. My sisters all want a pair. They look great with pants and are perfect for everyday wear.


As much as I like the way my Nirvana hotter® Shoes look, I like the way they feel even more. They are lightweight and breathable for hot days. Best of all, they are comfortable enough to wear all day and never hurt my feet even when I do a lot of walking. The only drawback I had was with the sizing. I was sent a half size too big. I would not recommend sizing up as the hotter® Shoes seem true to size. The half size up was too much for me which means they slip off when I walk fast. However, the company does offer free returns so I'm sure there wouldn't be a problem returning a pair and exchanging them for another size. 

At first I wasn't sure I would be willing to spend the money on the Nirvana shoes but after trying a pair, I would buy another style and color. With the company offering plenty of sales and free shipping, the shoes don't end up being more expensive than they are worth. Like I said before, I don't mind paying a premium price for shoes if they are comfortable and hotter® Shoes offer plenty of comfort that makes them worth the price. I'm impressed that the company is the UK's biggest shoe manufacturer and I think they have well thought out designs that are truly more comfortable and flexible than the shoes I own made in Asia.

I've already got my sights set for the blue Shake Shoes.









Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Adventure Travel in Puerto Rico: El Salto Waterfall Hiking and Zipline Tour


I admit, cruises aren't my favorite way to vacation. I would rather explore foreign countries than lounge on a ship. One of our summer vacations during 2016 included a family reunion cruise. I wanted at least one excursion that would get us off the ship to see the country not just the port. I spent a lot of time researching tours and finally settled on the El Salto Waterfall and Zipline Tour offered through Rocaliza Adventure Tours. I was not disappointed. I'm sure all six of our group would agree the tour was the highlight of our trip. 


Our tour guides picked us up near the cruise ship. We walked about two blocks to the pick up area. After an approximately 45 minute drive we arrived in the town of Caguas for our hike. The tour company requires that participants not weigh more than a set amount and be in relatively good physical condition. Just the hike up the road is a challenge as it is steep so I agree with the requirements. Closed toe sandals that can get wet like the ones HERE are a must for this hike and flip flops won't work. Most of the hike is in the water on slippery rocks. The guides were awesome in explaining how important it is to stay low so our arms could brace us.



The waterfalls at the top are amazing and it was fun to get in the pools by the falls. The rain forest vegetation ensures that the hike is beautiful along the way.


While we didn't have time to do the rappelling the tour group offers, we did have time for the zip line.  We loved that there were several platforms with various distances. I've done enough zip lines that I'm getting good at approaches and breaking.


Our group would have been satisfied with the tour if we had stopped at the zip line but we were lucky enough to have a home cooked Puerto Rican meal with chicken, rice, and banana flan for dessert. I'm not usually a fan of flan but the banana flan was the best I've ever had. It didn't take much for me to get it all down. I loved that one of the locals cooked our meal for us and had a seating area inside the local neighborhood. 


Our group loved the tour. The guides were awesome and we had a lot of fun. This is a great tour for teenagers but keep in mind, children younger than ten are not allowed. I would recommend this to anyone traveling to Puerto Rico as a great way to see the country and have fun while doing so.

Tour Rating ★★★★★



** Not a sponsored post though post contains affiliate links.**







Saturday, February 4, 2017

Baskets-N-Beyond Giveaway Ends 2/28





Welcome to the Baskets-n-Beyond Giveaway

Sponsored by Savvy Sweeper's Tidbits



Baskets-n-Beyond is a NJ based basket company that ships beautiful baskets for any occasion, all over the USA.  Many of their baskets ship from NJ or Missouri.
(Coming soon:  Wine baskets from California)

I have known Michele for many years, have visited her shop and ordered baskets from her.  Her baskets are beautiful and stuffed full of great items that the recipient will love!

Baskets are the perfect gift for any occasion.

There are baskets for everyone in you life~!

The Sports Lovers



The One Who Loves To Be Pampered




The Chocolate Lover



The Cookie Monster!




There are baskets for every occasion!



Breast cancer awareness

Valentine's Day


and so many more~



Here are all of the categories to choose from! Check out all of the beautiful baskets Michele has to offer!




Categories



Visit Baskets-n-Beyond for all of your gift basket needs!


Enter to win a basket of your choice, worth up to $50!

I'm teaming up with the sponsor to share with my readers.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.





This giveaway is being sponsored by Savvy Sweeper's Tidbits.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Hiking Bell Rock In Sedona, Arizona


To many, hiking to Bell Rock in Sedona, Arizona is a chance for spiritual renewal and energy. For those unfamiliar with the New Age movement, Bell Rock is one of the vortexes that surround the Sedona area. I had never heard of a vortex before arriving in Sedona, By the time I left, I learned that many consider a vortex an area of concentrated energy rising from the earth. Whether or not you believe in the metaphysical, there is no denying that these vortexes possess a beauty that can't be denied.


The hike to Bell Rock is well marked and relatively easy to climb. To go directly to Bell Rock, stay left when the Bell Rock Pathway intercepts with the Courthouse Butte Loop. Cairns mark the easiest way to the halfway point of Bell Rock which is about as high as you can safely climb. However, even without following the cairns, it's easy to find a path.



Halfway up, there are a few spots to relax and feel the energy. The views of the surrounding areas are amazing.

 

After we hiked up Bell Rock, we did the 4.5 mile Courthouse Butte Loop which circles Bell Rock. Though some guides rate the trail easy to moderate, I thought it was easy. The most difficult part was the climb to Bell Rock but even that wasn't bad.


Getting there

South of Sedona take Highway 89A to the Y at Highway 179. Take Highway 179 south about 6.4 miles. Parking lot is on the left just before Bell Rock Boulevard and the trailhead is on the north end of the parking lot. Be prepared to pay a small daily fee at the kiosk in the parking lot.




Monday, January 23, 2017

Must Try Simple Gear from the Outdoor Retailer Show 2017



Who knows where my next adventure will take me. One thing I do know is that it takes the right gear to get me there.

A few weeks ago, I attended the Outdoor Retailer Show for the first time. Since it is held in my hometown, I have always wanted to get an entrance pass. Luckily, having an outdoor blog gave me the credentials I needed to get in. 

I have to admit, I was overwhelmed with what I saw. I had no idea what I would write about and have had to spend the last few weeks sorting through all of the literature I gathered. In the end, all I could think about were a few of the products I would use on a regular basis. Sure, an air filled bag that might save my life in an avalanche on a backcountry adventure sounds amazing but I realized those adventures are few and far in between. What I really wanted were those things I would use on my weekly hikes.


Kahtoola Gaiters

Not surprisingly, the top item on my list for winter hiking were the new Kahtoola Gaiters. The awesome thing about the gaiters is that they have clips that I can attach to my Kahtoola Microspikes. That way, I can unzip the gaiters but leave them attached to my microspikes when not in use. The fabric feels like it would do well in the snow. As soon as I purchase a pair, I will be sure to review them. I can't wait until they are available.










Abisko Trekking Tights by Fjällräven

Since I started incorporating trail running with my hiking, I like wearing tights to make movement easier. I love the idea behind the Fjällräven Trekking Tights. They have built in knee and butt waterproof pads so I can sit or kneel in the snow. Always nice for those times I want to stop for a snack or a quick rest. I love that they are women's specific. The only drawback is that I couldn't buy a pair at the show.











Icebug Studded Boots

I spent a lot of time at the Icebug booth. I got to try a pair of the studded boots on a block of ice. It's not the same as using them hiking so I can't say how well the studs work in a real life situation. However, I loved the idea behind the Icebug Studded Boots. They have built in retractable studs. This means I wouldn't have to take off my spikes on the exposed rocky parts of winter trails and wouldn't have to worry about the studs wearing down on hard surfaces. Definitely on my want list.


Bottle Bright by HydraPak

The winner of my simple but most useful items is the Bottle Bright by Hydrapak. I've been looking for something that would clean my hydration bladders. For those who use hydration bladders, you know how stale they can get inside which greatly impacts the taste of water. The Bottle Bright comes in easy to use tablets that you put inside of the bladder. Add water and it cleans. I was lucky enough to snag a sample so I will be reviewing it on my blog soon. The Bottle Bright is available to purchase on Amazon or on the company website.