Thursday, February 23, 2012

#Review - Camino Fair Trade #Chocolate Candy Bars

Almond and Raisins: Hail the raisin and its chocolate dreams! Every time I munched on a raisin while eating this bar, I found myself reminded of my childhood. A full fledged flashback to a pint sized me and my little red wagon, carefully picking chocolate covered raisins out of a box of Glosettes while I played in the yard. I loved them so much as a child. I certainly preferred them to chocolate covered peanuts and those were quite tasty as well. I really enjoyed this bar a great deal although I found it lacking in the raisin quantity department. 

Peanut Butter: This tastes like a slightly healthier version of your classic Reese Peanut Butter Cup only it is made with Cane Sugar and other organic ingredients. Perfect for those little cravings we all have on occasion.

Almond ButterThis one pleasantly surprised me. I was not anticipating an Almond version of the Peanut Butter bar... I was expected a creamy almond flavored bar with a super creamy consistency. Yummy!!

Hazelnut Butter: Unfortunately, I didn't get to try! My husband found it in the middle of the night during his sweet cravings. He must of enjoyed it because there was nothing left to it when I awoke in the morning, just a wrapper on the night stand and a happily snoozing hubby.

Puffed Rice and Quinoa: This tastes like one of those rice Chocolate Easter Bunny, so if you are looking for an alternative with healthier, non-toxic ingredients; this is the bar for you. Perhaps the great Easter Bunny will bring you treats. Remind him to stop by my house as well when you see him. Busy fellow.

You can connect with Camino on their WebsiteFacebook and Twitter.

Monday, February 20, 2012

#Review - Clif Bar - Original Energy Bar

If I had 1 tip to pass on to each of you in regards to the Clif bar, that would be to wait until the warm up from being out in the cold before you eat them. They will be much easier to eat and then you will truly get to  appreciate the splendor that is the Clif Bar. You might remember my review of the Luna Bar last week, a nutritional bar designed for women. This bar was designed by a company called Clif bar. They have a vintage looking website and over 25 Clif Bar - Energy Bars to choose from. I was sent 3 flavors to review.

The Clif bar is made with 70% organic ingredients and is made without trans fat, hydrogenated vegetable oils and high fructose corn syrups. They are also commited to using non-gmo ingredients. Upon opening each wrapper I noticed that each bar has that homemade cookie/square look, taste and texture. The Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch bar tastes like a peanut butter granola square. It is made with Brown Rice Syrup and Protein Blend and various other yummy ingredients like Apple, Oat Fibre, Milled Flax Seed, Fig Paste and much more.

The Cool Mint Chocolate reminds me of the holiday season and winter in general. Do you remember the chocolate mints with the cookie bottom? I'm not certain of the name but this treat is what immediately comes to mind when thinking of a comparable flavor and texture. The Peanut Toffee Buzz bar was delicious, however I found that unlike the other 2 bars the flavor wasn't immediate. You had to wait and the toffee and peanut taste both arose in time.

You can connect with Clif Bar on FacebookTwitter and You Tube.

Disclaimer: I received 3 Clif bars in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own and I received no other additional compensation for this post.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

#Review - Dr Lucy's Gluten Free #Cookies

I was sent 3 boxes of Dr. Lucy's Cookies to review and they are tremendously delicious. Crisp and light, they texture reminds me of certain brands of Oatmeal cookies that I have had in the past. I prefer soft, chewy cookies and although these were crispy, I didn't mind. It wasn't long before the Maple taste formed in my mouth. The Maple Bliss Cookies are wonderful and I recommend them to anyone who is a fan of Maple. My husband gets late night food/sweet cravings and I had been waiting for one of them so I could get his honest opinion of the product, before I ate them all myself.

The Ginger Snap Cookies were my favorite. I swear, I could taste whole ginger pieces. I examined the cookies and couldn't find any... [I've since accepted their invisibility] I did some research and found out that the secret to the spiciness is chipotle seasoning. How clever! My husband enjoyed the maple and the ginger cookies and was very impressed with the quality of Dr. Lucy's cookies. I think it surprised him that they were gluten free and vegan and it didn't taste as though anything is lacking. These cookies are also Kosher. The Chocolate Cookies were yummy as well but they were bland in comparison to the deliciously sweet maple and spicy ginger.

Dr Lucy's Cookies are allergy friendly and cooked in a dedicated bakery. They contain no-gmo's, no peanuts or tree nuts.

You can connect with Dr Lucy on their WebsiteTwitter,  Facebook and You Tube.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

#Review - Luna Bars, Designed for Women

I had the privilege of trying out 3 different nutritional supplement bars that are designed specifically for women. Made with 70% organic ingredients, the Lemon Zest flavored Luna Bar has 9 grams of protein, 320 mg of Potassium and is jammed packed full of Vitamins and Minerals. They taste pretty good too! I really loved the Lemon flavor and the delicious white chocolate coating gave this soy crisp bar a slight rice dipped granola taste.

The Nutz Over Chocolate Bar is high in Calcium and Folic Acid and rich with flavor and antioxidants. The Luna bar is low on the Glycemic Index as well, making it a balanced snack choice. For those of you who may think this is a meal replacement bar, put the bar down.... go eat something and come back later. This is only meant to supplement an active lifestyle.

The Caramel Nut Brownie remind me of Baileys Irish Cream without the Alcoholic bite. With a drizzling of caramel across the top and a bottom coating of chocolate this bar is very flavorful. If Bailey's obsessed Old Gregg from The Mighty Boosh were of the womanly gender, this would be his bar. He might

The Luna bars are manufactured and distributed by Clif bar, a company that believes in sustainable business practices.

Disclaimer: I received 3 bars for the purpose of my honest review and I did not receive any additional compensation. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

#Review - NuGo Organic

These protein bars are dipped in chocolate and they remind me a great deal of all the chocolate dipped granola bars that I had growing up except these ones are made with soy crisps.

Nugo has many different varieties of bars, they sent me some of their vegan candy bars that also have the advantage of being a protein bar as well. I received 3 flavors from the Nugo Organic line to review:

Dark Chocolate and Almond is a beautifully balanced combination of a nice dark bitter chocolate and sweet nut taste. The dark chocolate is filled with Antioxidants.

Double Dark Chocolate while a wonderful bar was my least favorite. Although it would be any chocolate lovers dream, I personally prefer the subtle sweetness's and how it intermingles with chocolate that dark.

Friday, February 10, 2012

#Review: Deliciously Raw Food bars from @Larabar

Larabar has a wide assortment of food bars designed for vegan, raw, kosher and gluten-free diets. All of their bars are vegan except for their bars containing chocolate chips. The chocolate chips are dairy free which is a vegan requirement, but since they are manufactured in the same factory as dairy chocolate chips there is the potential for cross contamination. Thus, the chocolate chips can't technically be called vegan. Other than that, the Larabar is made entirely from plant based food sources. I received 4 flavors from Larabar to sample:

Made with real fruit, nuts and spices, the Key Lime Pie was my least favorite of all the Larabars I had sampled. I had a hard time getting past the coconut. I did however enjoy the taste of lime but found it a little too bland in comparison to the taste of the dates with is the dominant ingredient. While it wasn't my favorite I could imagine it being a rather delicious cookie filling. My husband enjoyed it, he is the bigger coconut fan out of us both. 

Blueberry Muffin bar was delicious. This was the second bar I tried and I was a little worried that I wouldn't care for it too much after being a little let down by the Key Lime Pie. Fortunately, I was not disappointed. I grew up on my grandmothers homemade blueberry muffins and I must say the addition of cashews is interesting. I do not object.

The Ginger Snap bar was to my liking. I can't seem to get enough ginger these days, I nearly inhaled the bar it was so delicious. I almost didn't get to experience the wonderful hint of cloves. I love cloves, especially this time of year. I usually have cloves and cinnamon simmering in a pot on top of the wood stove to add moisture to the air and a nice aroma. My husband did not get to try this bar.

As previously stated: dates are the first ingredient, so I really wasn't expecting the Chocolate Chip Brownie to have the taste and consistency of an actual brownie. I frequently found myself in disbelief that this was in fact, a fruit and nut bar. I love that this bar is made with fair trade certified chocolate.

You can connect with Larabar on TwitterFacebook or by signing up for their newsletter.

Disclaimer: I received samples of this product in exchange for my honest opinion. No additional compensation was received for this review.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

#Review - #Organic Tea, Winter Wonderland Nights

Last night, I enjoyed the company of a dear friend who has been living in the city for the last few months. Not only is she a dear friend but a fellow music maker and I miss her presence in my life while she has been going back to school. It was nice to see her last night if only for a few hours. While she was here I put on a pot of Winter Wonderland from Joy's Teaspoon. It was a perfect evening for a tea that spoke of Winter. A fire was lit in the wood stove and the smell of this tea fresh in the tin and in the pot was mesmerizing. It was deep and calming with a hint of magic. There is chocolate in this coffee, chocolate... like it didn't already have me hooked. We were both very impressed with the deliciousness of this tea.

You can connect with Joy's Teaspoon on FacebookTwitterGoogle + and Pinterest.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pacifica Donates Percentage of Island Vanilla Sales to the Ocean Futures Society

I'm a night owl. I can often be found awake on the internet blogging away into the wee hours of the AM. I've been trying to keep ahead of the game by scheduling my posts in advance which is a fantastic notion as it keeps me proactive and I am less likely to feel overwhelmed or pressured to create content. If I find myself whisked away on a songwriting spree, I can stay focused without feeling guilty. Sometimes I find myself immediately inspired to write because of my first product impressions! This was the case today... by the time you read this however it will be Saturday.

I received a couple items to review from Pacifica. The first one I am will review today is the Island Vanilla Perfume Roll-On. Right now a portion of proceeds from the sale of all Island Vanilla products goes to the Ocean Futures Society. The product packaging is beautifully designed with various tones of pink, swirls and butterflies giving it a distinctly feminine branding; essence of an island tropical paradise complete with lush fields and exotic flowers. Upon removing the roll on from the box you notice that the artwork continues on the bottle. I unscrewed the top and was whisked away by the captivating, sweet smell of Vanilla.  The perfume is 100% vegan, cruelty free. It is free from parabens, phthalates and propylene glycol. I encourage you to purchase this delightful scent and support this wonderful cause!

The second product that I'm reviewing today is the Color Quench Natural Moisture Lip Tint in Blood Orange. Like the Island Vanilla I am really fond of the packaging. The tube that it comes in is fully recyclable and I love the fact that the product is 100% vegan. I absolutely adore the scent of this product. I do however have a product suggestion. I would love to see alternative sources for coloring other than dyes that many people (myself included) have developed sensitivities toward. I personally could still utilize the product in moderation if I choose so, however people with higher sensitivities who might be drawn to the company for compassionate reasons might turn away. So great overall but I would love to see healthier coloring alternatives. Having said that, I do really like the color and how it looks and feels on my lips.

If you would like to purchase either one of these products they are available exclusive at Sephora stores, and

Disclaimer: I received both of these products in exchange for my honest opinion. These opinions are my own.

Friday, February 3, 2012

#Review - Beanitos - My Hearty Bean Chip Friend

Lately, I have been watching a 5 year old girl after school along with my own children. She gets off the bus with my youngest son every day after school and I watch her until just after supper. It has been quite comical to observe her each day. The contrast between her and my boys really is like night and day. I am very glad that they get along so well. Today, I had a multipack filled with 4 varieties of Beanitos arrive. With the children soon to arrive on the bus, I couldn't think of a better opportunity to collect tiny, yet valuable opinions.

I sat down with the children and explained that some chips are made with potatoes, corn, spinach and these ones are made of beans! I've never had bean chips before... have you? Both of them shook their heads. Would you like to try them with me. Considering it was snack time, it suddenly made their afternoon quite fun.  There were 2 different varieties of chips made from different beans in a regular version and a flavored version. So the choices were: Regular Black Bean Chips, BBQ Chipotle Black Bean Chips, Regular Pinto Bean and Flax Chips and last but not least Cheese

The little lady, my son and I plowed through those first 4 bags and I think my son could have finished off the rest of the multipack if I would have let him. As filling as they are, his stomach does not come equipped with a flashing red sign that says: "I am FULL, Food Denied". Every bag Ty tried was his new favorite. The tiny visiting lady claimed both the regular Pinto Bean and Flax Seed bag and the Regular Flavored Black Bean chip and placed them on her lap on the couch and snacked away."These are mine, okay." She's comical.

When my oldest son came home I thought it was only fair that I open up another 4 bags for him to try. He compared ingredients! I was so impressed with the awareness he was placing in his observations of the product. He loved the taste of the BBQ Chipotle and said it was probably the best tasting barbeque chip he has had in a long time. He asked me if I could pack a bag in his lunch tomorrow. I just might, I wonder how many of his friends will try them.

I asked him to save half out of each bag so I could bring them downstairs into the jam room for my husband and his visiting friend to try. I then closed the door behind me and proceeded to grab some wood to put in the wood stove and I could over hear them discussing the chips and comparing them to the stout of beers. Wonderful beer drinkers analogy. They are certainly the potato chips dark, hearty, nutritious friend.

Although there is more fat (good fats) in the Pinto Bean and Flax then in the Black Bean, the calories are quiet reasonable especially when you compare them to other chips of any variety. I personally prefer the taste of the Pinto bean over the black bean but they are both delicious. I certainly wouldn't argue to eating a bag of either one of these varieties, flavored or unflavored. There is a lot more sodium in the BBQ Chipotle but that is to be expected. No GMO's, high in Omega 3's, Gluten Free, High Fiber, a great source of protein this chips are packed with nutrition. What makes them really unique? These chips are certified low Glycemic which is just fantastic!

Not only are these chips great on their own but I feel they would be the perfect dipping companion to a nice bowl of guacamole or other dip of preference.

Right now I have quiet kids with happy bellies and I don't think any of them even realize supper is coming... except maybe Ty!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

#Review - The Simply Bar

The Simply Bar are a milk free, gluten free, low sugar, vegan protein bar. The bars contain more fiber than sugar, so they fill you up and keep you satisfied without all the empty calories. All of the bars are made with soy crisps so they are very easy to digest but they are a little crunchier then traditional granola so they take a little more work to chew. I had the privilege of sampling the various flavors of the simply bar and they were all very tasty... very tasty. I had a difficult time narrowing it down to my absolute favorite because I appreciated all of then for different reasons. However, two of them in particular really grabbed my attention. Those two were the Cocoa Coffee and the Lemon Coconut bars.

The Cocoa Coffee bar is made with real organic coffee beans and it is absolutely delicious. It was as though I was eating chocolate covered coffee beans with soy crisps. Oh, I could eat it buy the jarful... I was banned from chocolate covered coffee beans as a teenager. It was for my own good. True story.

The Lemon Coconut surprised me and grabbed more than just my attention, it blew my mind. I am allergic to Tartrazine which is also known as Yellow #5 and disguised as Color on many product labels. A rule of thumb for me has always been if it is yellow, orange or green and has color on the label don't eat it. My allergies aren't severe but it does leave me uncomfortable and sometimes a little sick to my belly depending on how much I have ingested and how good my body is functioning that day.  Over time I have learned to taste that chemical in my foods so you can imagine how I've conditioned myself overtime to be repulsed by the idea of eating anything with lemon in it. Except there are no chemical ingredients in these bars it was like eating a lemon meringue pie. I don't even normally like the taste of coconut all that well unless I'm in the mood for it but these large coconut shavings were so yummy.

Disclaimer: I received various flavors of The Simply Bar to sample in exchange for my honest review. All opinions on this blog are my own.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Greek Salad Adventures with #Organic Oregano

Every week we make a large bowl of Greek Salad. We make it large enough to last a family of 4 about 3-5 days depending on our appetites. We started this weekly tradition about 5 years ago, what started off as a basic Greek salad has evolved over the years into a Mediterranean dream salad! We don't use lettuce, instead we use spinach because it offers a much more nutritious base for the salad. From there we add capers, onions, cucumbers, sweet peppers, celery, plum tomatoes, green apples, black olives, green olives, feta and when the mood strikes... some cheddar cheese. Everything is finely diced. One of my husband's pet peeves is vegetable chunks in a salad. If we chop things any finer we might as well start using a food processor. We topped the salad off with some dried organic Oregano from Joy's Teaspoon, my husband was impressed with the scent and flavor of the oregano. We do not use it sparingly in this salad, in fact both the homemade Greek dressing and the salad rely heavily on oregano as a seasoning. Joy's Teaspoon did not let us down!The end result was a delicious and rather beautiful salad.

You can connect with Joy's Teaspoon on FacebookTwitterGoogle + and Pinterest.

Disclaimer: I received samples of spices and teas from Joy's Teaspoon for the purpose of review. All opinions are honest and my own.