Tag Archive | Product Review

Product Review: James Anthony Skincare Line

James Anthony Skin Care Line
All Photos By Gail

I like to think of myself as a low-maintenance babe. I’m not a slave to an elaborate make-up routine, so I want my skin to look good, even if I’m leaving the house with just a dusting of powder on my face. In NYC especially, the colder months mean harsh weather conditions combined with the drying effects of indoor heat that can wreak havoc on your complexion. To keep your skin looking as young as possible, it’s definitely worth investing in quality skincare products that will cleanse, moisturize and protect your face, so that you look fresh and youthful, with or without make up. Recently, I was given the opportunity to review a new, female-founded skincare product line called James Anthony. After a few weeks of use, these fine products have become part of my daily routine.

Jennifer Hayes, founder and CEO of James Anthony Skincare, is an industry veteran with 20 years of experience. Based on her own issues with sensitive skin, rosacea, breakouts and aging, and her frustration with a full range of products — from OTC to prescription treatments — Jennifer developed James Anthony based on a whole new way of treating, repairing and protecting the skin. Using unique Peptides and enzyme-release technology, James Anthony offers a results-driven skincare line unlike any other on the market. The dramatic effect of the peptides on the complexion offers visible results, increasing daily skin repair without irritation, while the enzyme-release technology allows for deeper penetration into the skin, ultimately better results, and less irritation than other topical skincare treatments.

These claims are impressive, sure, but I know that the only way to prove that the products really deliver the results promised is to try them. I started using the James Anthony skincare line at the beginning of October, just as the changing weather was making my complexion noticeably dry and flaky.  Below, I’ll show you each product I’m using, explain what it does, and offer my own experience. Here we go.

Come Undone Face Wash

The fist step in basic skincare is cleansing. Come Undone ($28) is gentle pH-neutral cleanser formulated to remove makeup and impurities without stripping away skin’s natural oils. Come Undone contains a probiotic and peptide complex that acts as an antimicrobial agent and an anti-inflammatory, and helps regulate defenses in the skin.

Face Wash Foam

The photo above shows how Come Undone looks when you pump one application into your palm: light and foamy.  I was skeptical that this lightweight foam was substantial enough to clean the days worth of ‘NYC atmosphere’ and make-up off of my face, because I’d been using a cleanser with a creamier, thicker consistency, but I was soon won over. The foam lathers well as you circulate it around your face with your finger tips,  and it rinses clean with just a few splashes of water. There is no need to ‘scrub’ your face, or use a washcloth, although I suppose you could use one if desired. I like the way my face feels fresh and smooth after washing it with Come Undone.

AM and PM Cream and Toner

After cleansing, you want to tone and moisturize your skin. T.L.C. toner ($28, above right) is formulated with multiple acids that work to treat and clarify skin, and probiotics that help balance skin resulting in a healthy, glowing skin tone, T.L.C (stand for Treat, Level, Clarify) is formulated to be gentle enough for daily use, but effective enough to deliver maximum results. Offering antioxidant protection, T.L.C. prepares the skin to accept skincare products that follow its application.

I’d like to point out here that since all of the James Anthony products come in well-designed packaging that employs with a “pump” delivery system (as opposed to unscrewing a cap and squeezing or pouring the product) each one dispenses just enough product to do its job, and there is no waste. I apply two to three light sprays of the T.L.C. toner on a cotton square, and it is enough to tone my entire face. I can also tell that the Come Undone cleanser has worked well because I see virtually no make-up residue on the puff after applying the toner to my skin. T.L.C. toner is non-drying and makes my skin feel tingly fresh.

Resurrect and Vivify

Next, you want to treat and moisturize. In the evening before bed, I use Resurrect P.M. Cream ($88) — a true age-reversal treatment. Resurrect is designed to treat serious aging signs with the most advanced skin technology, resulting in rejuvenated skin, even skin tone, and stimulation of the skin’s daily repair via a pro-active peptide complex. I spread one application of this lightweight serum over my face and throat, and it dries almost instantly. There is greasy feel at all and you can next apply additional moisturizer, if desired.

Vivify ($68) is a lightweight hydrating day cream formulated to repair, replenish and provide the perfect balance of moisture for healthy, glowing skin. Vivify combines key vitamins, nutrients, collagen-stimulating peptides and more for an increase in elasticity and softer, smoother, and more even skin tone. I enjoy the creamy feel of this moisturizer on my skin, and it absorbs quickly. Vivify helped to heal my flaky skin issue within a couple of days after I started using these products, and my face feels soothed after use. This is a terrific moisturizer for all skin types.

Holy Veil Sun Screen

Holy Veil Primer, SPF 35($48) is my favorite product in the line! This broad-spectrum chemical-free self-adjusting tinted sunscreen provides skin with antioxidants and essential vitamins while protecting it from the sun’s harmful rays. Used as a primer under makeup or alone, Holy Veil evens skin tone, smooths the skin, helps with flawless makeup application and helps retain the skin’s moisture for a lasting healthy glow.

I absolutely love this primer! I’ve been wearing it alone, without any added foundation, on the weekends and my skin looks amazing. Holy Veil goes on smooth like velvet, distributes evenly and seems to have an oil absorbing property because there is no shine on my face for hours after I apply it. I would compare this product to Clinique Super City Block (SPF 40) except I like Holy Veil much better.

Genie in a Bottle

The Genie in a Bottle ($98) is your secret weapon for combating extreme dryness. This maximum moisture-boosting serum instantly transforms dull, dry, damaged, and unbalanced skin into soft, radiant, balanced, beautiful and healthy skin. A multi functional serum that goes beyond basic beauty oil, Genie in a Bottle can be used whenever a nourishing moisture boost is needed and it offers rapid and deep penetration of actives for cellular regeneration, making it perfect for use on the face, neck, and hands. It can also be used on the ends of your hair, or (my favorite) massaged into dry cuticles and fingertips. You can even add a few drops to your favorite creams or lotions to boost its moisturizing benefits. Just a drop or two goes along way, and you can achieve truly miraculous results.

Smooth Move Mask

Smooth Move Mask ($58) is your once  a week go-to for exfoliating and revitalizing your skin.  Packed with ingredients such as papaya, cucumber and aloe vera, this mask instantly moisturizes and calms the face. Grapefruit and pineapple combine to remove dead skin cells, leaving the face with a hydrated glow and allowing other James Anthony Skincare products to penetrate even deeper into the skin. Smooth Move is unlike any other mask on the market.

Smooth Move Mask

Smooth Move, as you can see,  is a lovely shade of green, and its light fragrance recalls all of its natural ingredients. I like that this mask is a gently exfoliating, wash off mask, rather than one that needs to be left to dry on the face, and then peeled or washed off. If you have sensitive skin, this mask is especially ideal.

I have enjoyed discovering the benefits of using the James Anthony Skincare line and I have honestly seen benefits from each product even in a short amount of time.  I would even say that they are fun to  use, and I look forward to taking better care of my skin with these products. The entire James Anthony Skincare product line in now available online via James Anthony Skincare Dot Com. Get 20% Off your first order and check out a few sales going on right now!

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Extend Your Summer Vibe With Lifestyle Accessories From Pomchies!

Pomchies Accessories
All Photos By Gail Except Where Noted

Back to School: three little words that stir anxiety in the young and the young-at-heart. Nobody wants summer to end, but while you can’t stop time, you can keep your summer vibe alive by adding Pomchies accessories to your back-to-school shopping list. Established in 2002, Pomchies is a line of fun fashion, home and lifestyle accessories with amazingly practical uses.

Original Pomchie
Image Courtesy of Pomchies

The company name Pomchie was originally coined to describe a soft ‘ouchless’ ponytail holder — part scrunchie, part pom pom — which was its debut product. Pomchies accessories were born from a quest for sustainability, back when Pomchies owner Heather Logan was selling children’s sun protective swimwear and the Australia-based factory was in search of a way to use the scraps of left-over fabric. While Pomchies now buys its fabric by the container load, the adventurous spirit that launched this fun, carefree accessory line still informs its creative aesthetic. All Pomchie products are soft and waterproof, made from washable Oeko Tex approved swimwear fabric.

I recently received a surprise box of assorted Pomchies items to try, some of which – such as ubiquitous fashion hair accessory known as the scrunchie – I’ve already been using for years, and others that I never knew I needed until they landed on my doorstep. Let’s take a look!

Scrunchie Threesome

I have very long hair that loves to fly around in the breeze, so to keep it out of my face, I tie it back with a scrunchie practically on a daily basis. The Pomchies Hair Scrunch comes as a single piece, or a coordinated 3-pack, and there literally hundreds of color combinations, so you can own one to match every outfit.

Pomchies Trio

Hair Scrunch Fashion Shoot
Look, I Did a Little Scrunchie Fashion Shoot!

Pomchie Headbands

Headbands are another hair accessory that’s made a big comeback owing to the fitness craze, but I like to use one to hold back my hair when I wash my face or put on make-up. They are indispensable!

Rainbow Headband

Water Bottle Holder

These days, nearly everyone can be seen toting a water bottle for on-the-go hydration. An alternative to tossing your bottle into your bag or backpack (where it can get lost) would be to carry it in this Pomchie Water Bottle Holder. The style above has a shorter strap for hanging across your arm or shoulder, while the cross-body style, seen below, allows for more freedom of movement.

Water Bottle Holder

Key Ring

Are you someone who regularly misplaces their car or house keys? Consider keeping them close-at-hand with a Pomchie Key Ring, which is made to wear on your wrist!


Image Courtesy of Pomchies

There’s still time this season to do some outdoor entertaining, and if you’re drinking wine, which I hope you are, check out these Pom-Charms wine glass charms. So festive and fun!

Pom Charms

Pom ID Luggage Tag

For years while travelling, I’ve identified my easily-overlooked black suitcase on the baggage-claim carousel by the hot pink bath puff tied to the handle. Now, I can toss that away and swap it out for these colorful Pom-ID Bag Tags! Everybody who owns non-descript luggage needs these!

Pom ID

Pomchie products are a unique way to show your individuality and add color to your life while helping you feel organized and put-together. In addition to the products showcased in this post, there are Pom-Shoes, Spirit Band-it Headbands, Team-Twist Braided Bracelets, Pom-Braid and Double Pom-Braid braided Lanyards, Cellphone Holders, Eyeglass Keepers, and many other items in the line.  Pomchies accessories are available to purchase in over 2000 retail outlets around the country, and you can find a list of where to buy them in your area at This Link!

Check Out More Fun Pomchies Accessories in the Video Below!

Product Review: Garden Lites Vegetable Bakes

Garden-Lites Logo
Above Image Source, All Other Photos By Gail

Being a single, working woman means that I am all about convenience foods. With so many options available to shoppers, I know that I can count on finding delicious meals in the grocer’s freezer section that will go from the package to my plate in about 30 minutes, but I also want to eat food that’s healthy. That said, the ideal frozen entree should fill me up, but not fill me out, if you know what I mean. And I think you do.

Cheddar Broccoli Bake Packaging

For all of those (and so many other) reasons, Garden Lites Vegetable Bakes are a terrific way for convenience-seekers to eat smart. Part of the Garden Lites line of vegetable-forward products that include muffins, waffles and entrees, Garden Lites Vegetable Bakes are an easy way to create a tasty, meatless meal that anyone who saw it would think you spent hours cooking.

Cheddar Broccoli Bake With Packaging

For this review I tried three different varieties of Vegetable Bakes: Cheddar Broccoli (seen above), Zucchini, and Roasted Vegetable. Each vegetable bake comes in its own baking dish and takes about 30 to 40 minutes to bake thoroughly, which gives you time to open a bottle of wine and make a pot of rice, if you choose — which I did.

Cheddar Broccoli Bake Back of Packaging

When fully cooked, Vegetable Bakes are similar in consistency and mouth-feel to a very vegetable-dense quiche or frittata, where eggs have been added only to bind the ingredients together. Therefore it’s understood that these dishes, while vegetarian-friendly, are not vegan, due to having whole eggs or egg whites as an ingredient.

Cheddar Broccoli Bake Cooked

Here it is, just out of the oven, and you can see that the cheese has browned nicely!

Cheddar Broccoli Bake Serving Suggestion

It looks amazing, doesn’t it?

Cheddar Broccoli Bake Ready to Eat

Broccoli Cheddar Bake is a delicious and nutritious dish that is loaded with healthy, superfood ingredients like broccoli, onions, brown rice, and select spices, topped off with cheddar cheese.  Like all of the Vegetable Bakes, it is gluten free, Non-GMO and kosher, as well as being free of peanuts, tree nuts and soy. The full portion clocks in at just 210 calories and 7 Weight Watcher Smart Points. If you wanted to serve this as a side dish, it could easily feed two people.

Roasted Vegetable Bake Packaging

About a week after enjoying the Cheddar Broccoli Bake, I tried the Roasted Vegetable Bake. This dish is filled with tender carrots, broccoli, onion, red bell pepper, zucchini and potato, seasoned with assorted spices including black pepper and garlic salt. The Roasted Vegetable Bake is just 150 calories (wow!) and will set you back 5 Weight Watchers Smart Points. Check out all of those veggies!

Roasted Vegetable Bake Over Rice

I put some cheese on it as well!

Roasted Vegetable Bake With Cheese

There is no such thing as too much cheese.

Zucchini Bake Packaging

Last, but not least, I tried the Zucchini Bake. Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables and it makes everything that it touches taste better: this Vegetable Bake being no exception to that rule. Here, everyone’s favorite summer squash is combined with cauliflower, onions and  potatoes, as well as eggs, and a select seasoning mix for a farm-to-table dining experience.

Zucchini Bake over Rice

Here it is served over rice with a generous grating of sharp cheddar cheese, for just 150 calories and 5 Weight Watchers Points. A satisfying, delicious and low calorie meal that’s healthy and convenient: Win Win Win!

Find a store near you that sells Garden Lites products and get a money-saving coupon to use on your next purchase at This Link!

Product Review: Brooklyn Bites Thin Cookie Brittle

Brooklyn Bites Packages 2
Photos By Gail (Click on Any Image to Enlarge for Detail)

The holidays may be a few weeks behind us but, if you’re like me, the extra pounds gained from indulging in many (many) delicious treats still remain! The only way to take off the post-holiday fluff is to bump-up the exercise regimen and cut calories, which means feeling deprived — and that is never fun. But don’t despair: let me introduce you to Brooklyn Bites Thin Cookie Brittle, a line of sweet treats that are not only ridiculously low in calories (between 80  – 110 per serving!), but they’re made with decadent, premium quality ingredients and are actually good for you. Just being serious!

Brooklyn Bites Packages 1

Brooklyn Bites Thin Cookie Brittle was created by a mom and daughter duo who share a mutual love for baking and healthy eating. They had a mission to upgrade their cookies with the healthiest, most heart-friendly ingredients available. By default, their cookie became a brittle, which was so thin, crunchy, crispy and delicious that their healthy treats were an instant hit. Over the years, these ladies never lost sight of their goal to deliver the most wholesome and premium products while never sacrificing on taste or quality. All Brooklyn Bites products are still hand-made in Brooklyn with artisan quality ingredients!

Cinnamon Coffee Cake

Brooklyn Bites Thin Cookie Brittle comes in six tempting varieties with on-trend flavor profiles to please every taste: Chocolate Lovers Delight, White Chocolate Brownie, Crunchy Creamy Pretzel, Chocolate Nutty Sea Salt, Coco Crispy Rice, and (my favorite) Cinnamon Coffee Cake.

Cinnamon Coffee Cake
Cinnamon Coffee Cake, Detail

It is no secret that I have a day job in a large office and that I sit with an enthusiastic team who never stops talking about food. When I received a huge shipment of Brooklyn Bites Thin Cookie Brittle to review for the ‘Gig, I brought a couple of bags into the office to share with my coworkers, and everyone went insane for them. I am not even fan of cinnamon flavored anything, but the Cinnamon Coffee Cake variety blew by mind with its crispy texture, gingerbread-reminiscent cookie and drizzle of sweet icing that pulled everything together. Best part: a serving of four (4) cookies totals just 80 calories! Anyone can afford to indulge and not go off even the strictest diet.

Chocolate Lovers Delight

For chocolate purists, the Chocolate Lovers Delight has a not-too-sweet chocolate taste that gets kicked up a notch by a drizzle of rich chocolate icing . There is no guilt when it’s only 90 calories per four-cookie serving!

Cookie Brittle with Crisped Rice
Coco Crispy Rice, Detail

Cookie Brittle Creamy Pretzel
Crunchy Creamy Pretzel, Detail

In addition to being low in calories, Brooklyn Bites Thin Cookie Brittle is dairy free, non-GMO, made without white flour to be gluten-free, egg-free, with no white sugar or preservative and — oh yeah — Kosher! Learn more about Brooklyn Bites and find a store in your neighborhood that carries these indulgent, yet healthy, treats at Brooklyn Bites NY Dot Com!

Product Review: Fruit Bliss Fruit & Nut Bites!

Fruit Bliss Snacks
All Photos By Gail

Naturally sweet dried fruit paired with crunchy nuts is a popular, healthy snack combination that really cannot be improved on; but that doesn’t mean there aren’t innovative ways to change-up the presentation! Fruit Bliss Fruit & Nut Bites combine sweet, fiber-rich fruit and toasted nut pieces into bite-size squares that taste far more indulgent than you’d expect from a snack with zero artificial ingredients.

Tart Cherry Cacao
Don’t These Look Like Tiny, Nut-Studded, Chewy Brownies? Wait Until You Taste Them

Fruit Bliss Fruit Bites start out with only the the best organic fruits, sourced from global regions such as the Eastern Anatolian region of Turkey, or the Agen area of France — locales known for their high quality produce.

Fruit Bliss Apricot Bites

In the simplest way possible, Fruit Bliss has reinvented dried fruit snacking. While most dried fruit can be tough and hard to chew, Fruit Bliss snacks have a soft bite thanks to a steaming and rehydration process that adds water back into the fruit. The only three ingredients you’ll find in these Fruit Bites are fruit, nuts and water — no added sugars are needed because the fruit is naturally sweet from the sun-drying process!

Fruit Bliss Apricot Bites

Because they are dried by the sun, Fruit Bliss snacks are naturally darker in color than your typical dried fruit snack. Fruit Bliss skips the preservatives and chemicals that restore dried fruit to a bright color, and leave you with what matters most – pure and simple organic fruit.

Fruit Bliss Fig Bites

Fruit Bliss Fruit Bites come in three varieties, Apricot with Dates and Hazelnuts, Fig with Dates and Hazelnuts (think: elevated Fig Newton), and Tart Cherry with Dates, Hazelnuts, and Cacao Nibs. The tiny bits of toasted hazelnuts also add a fresh crunch to the soft, chewy texture of the fruit, for a pleasing mouth feel.

Tart Cherry Cacao Presentation

The Tart Cherry and  Cacao Nibs combination is my favorite, as it tastes like little tart cherry-infused chocolate brownies! Amazing! Chocolate lovers take note! All Fruit Bliss Fruit Bites snacks are packaged in environmentally sustainable, resealable pouches, so you can toss them in your purse or backpack for delicious, healthy snacking on-the-go!

Get more information about the full line of Fruit Bliss dried fruit products, and order online, at Fruit Bliss Dot Com!

Tart Cherry Cacao Packaging

Product Review: Booty Shawl Fashion Hip Wrap

Audrey Hipburn Booty Shawl
Audrey Hipburn-Style Booty Shawl (Image Courtesy of My Booty Shawl)

When it comes to rocking my personal style, leggings are an endlessly versatile fashion asset that I simply cannot do without. I pair them with a T Shirt for yoga, top them with a tunic and boots for the office, and layer them under skirts or dresses for added warmth in the winter. While feeling properly dressed in just leggings and a top is not an issue for me, there have been a few situations where I felt like I maybe needed a little extra “street coverage” when my shirt ends up being shorter than I had realized before leaving the house. In a pinch, you can always tie a sweater around your waist, but isn’t it better to plan ahead so you can feel confident and keep your outfit looking polished? Sure it is.

Booty Shawl Package

Enter the Booty Shawl: a lightweight, fashionable hip wrap that you can wear as a shirt extender or skirt-cover up over tight jeans or leggings anytime you want a little extra coverage that complements your style.  When I heard about the Booty Shawl, I immediately knew this was a fashion accessory that would not only be fun to play around with, but something that I could use right away to solve the coverage dilemma.

Audrey Hipburn Booty Shawl
Audrey Hipburn Booty Shaw in Black Stretch Lace

The ladies at Booty Shawl sent me over this Audrey Hipburn in Black Lace, which goes with practically everything my closet. This is what it looks like on:

AH Black Lace

So super chic! Audrey Hipburn provides the most coverage of all Booty Shawl styles. Low on the sides,  the  wide waistband can be worn rolled over to cover pockets and provide more tummy holding power or unrolled for more midriff shaping. Large kangaroo pockets stash cash or cards or so you can go hands-free.Throw this baby on after dance class and you’re ready for cocktail time!

Booty Shawl comes in three other styles. Check them out:

Lauren Bashawl

Lauren Bashawl is the newest girl in the Booty Shawl house; a direct response to customers who loved the wide 4″ waistband and wanted coverage for curvier hips. Her skirt is cut with greater easement to fit over more voluptuous hips, but still does the basic booty covering duty.

Booty Shawl Stella Draper-1

Stella Draper’s asymmetrical design allows for adjustments side to side. Slide it to the right for a little more leg reveal. Slide to the left for more hip reveal. Topped off with a simple elastic waistband, Stella provides coverage and cost control.

Booty Shawl Isabella Wrapalini

Isabella Wrapalini features a wide 4″ waistband which provides tummy holding talents. Crossover panels on the side of the legs provide great mobility for lateral movement. Ideal for dancers, prances and jumpers of joy. The secret waistband pocket holds essentials!

Each Booty Shawl style comes in an array of fabrics, colors and sizes (XS2X) and can easily be worn with any outfit you can imagine! Dress them up over skinny jeans, keep it casual over yoga pants, rock them at the gym over leggings, or wear it as a swimsuit coverup. The fashion possibilities are endless! Visit My Boot Shawl Dot Com for more Information on each Booty Shawl style and to make purchase, check out the Look Books, and visit the Booty Shawl Etsy Shop at This Link for custom orders!

Product Review: Summer Snacking and BBQ Favorites From Traina Home Grown

Traina Brand Images
All Photos By Gail

It’s hard to believe, but we are now half-way through summer. If you aren’t already deeply-immersed in the weekend picnic and backyard BBQ scene, it’s time to step up your game! Traina Foods has just introduced Home Grown;  a new line of healthy dried fruit snacks and gourmet condiments that makes it easy to bring the taste of summer to your table right now!

Snack Size Frutons

One of the best things about summer is the abundance of fresh summer fruits that you can find everywhere — from the grocery store to your local farmer’s market. But, as silly as this may sound to some, there are those who miss out on fresh summer fruits because the time and effort it takes to wash, peel and cut up the fruit is just too daunting. With a plant-forward approach to eating in mind, Traina Home Grown introduces Fruitons, a delicious, convenient way to help you meet your overall healthy diet needs with perfectly portioned snack bags of their naturally sweet California sun-dried fruit. Sun-dried fruit is nutritionally equivalent to fresh fruit, being high in fiber, healthy nutrients, and antioxidants. Good to know!

Traina Dried Apricots
Traina Home Grown Dried Apricots

Not only are Fruitons a tasty, grab-and-go snack, but they can also be a versatile ingredient in creative meal preparation. I’ve been taking Fruitons to the office and adding them to the morning oatmeal I buy in the cafeteria.

Oatmeal with Dried Fruit
Oatmeal With Apricot and Cherry Fruitons Mixed In!

The hot cereal plumps the dried fruit, adding a chewy sweetness, and making a healthy breakfast even more delicious!

Frutons Large Bags

Fruitons also come in larger, resealable 6-once bags, so you can add the taste and nutritional benefits of dried fruit to all of your summer recipes.

Frutons Assorted Mix

Fruitons All American Blend contains a pleasing assortment of dried peaches, cranberries, grapes, apples and blueberries. This selection is ideal for making your own trail mix, sprinkling into salads, mixing into yogurt, and for perking-up the aforementioned hot cereals. Fruitons would also be an excellent substitute for raisins or other dried fruits that are called for in a variety of baking recipes! The creative possibilities are endless.

Frutons Sun Dried Tomatoes

Do you like sun-dried tomatoes? Who doesn’t? You probably already have a few favorite pasta recipes that call for this premium ingredient. Now you can have sweet and savory sun-dried tomatoes on hand all the time!

Traina Sauces
Traina Ketchups

If you’re planning a BBQ any time soon, be sure to pick up a couple of bottles of Traina Home Grown’s new Gourmet Ketchups and BBQ Sauces for all of your grilling needs! These sauces taste great on a variety of meats — burgers, chicken, steaks —  as well as on vegetables, and used in dips. There are four pounds of tomatoes in every bottle of Home Grown Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup, and these ketchups are also gluten free, kosher, vegan and contain no corn syrup.  There is an organic variety of Ketchup as well as two additional specialty favors.  Gourmet Sicilian Ketchup, with its Italian herb blend, is great on fish and chicken, and to add a kick to your meal,  try the spicy Gourmet Sriracha Ketchup! All are made with same care and quality ingredients.

Traina BBQ Sauces

You’re probably not going to find BBQ sauces like these anywhere else, because Traina Home Grown BBQ Sauces are made with real dried fruit, for an extra special taste! Both the Sun Dried Apricot and Sun Dried Plum BBQ Sauces are sweet and spicy, and would taste so amazing on ribs! The Sun Dried Plum variety reminds me very much of Hoisin Sauce. I served it as a dipping condiment with Trader Joe’s Masala Burgers, and it was off the hook!

Find out more about the Traina family of fine products, shop online, get recipes or find out where to shop in your neighborhood for the products in this post, at This Link!

Frutons Assorted Packaging

Product Review: Tayst Coffee Roasters Subscription Box Service

Tayst Logo
All Photos By Gail

Do you like Coffee? I sure do. I especially love my Kuerig Coffeemaker for its convenience, ease of clean up, and the seemingly endless variety of flavors and drink types available in those little pods. I love it! But I also love the Earth, and the amount of waste that accumulates in landfills from those same little pods is not lost on me. A couple of years ago, I actually purchased a set of reusable plastic coffee pods, which can be filled with your own ground coffee, and then washed and reused again and again. They work fine, but the amount of sediment left in the bottom of the coffee cup after drinking is unappealing to me. Faced with this conundrum, I went back to the regular disposable pods. Sorry, Earth.

Coffee Box

Recently, I was contacted by Tayst Coffee Roasters, a subscription coffee service that delivers high-quality, gourmet coffee pods and supplies directly to your home or office. Tayst is concerned with sustainability, and so all of their pods, bags, cups and related packaging are fully compostable and thus biodegrade. It is a cause for excitement! Tayst sent me a sample box of their delicous coffee to try out for review, and here’s what was in that box:

Bold and Brilliant

Bold and Brilliant Bold Roast, Bag of 10 Pods.

Medium and Magnificent

Medium and Magnificent Medium Roast, Bag of 10 Pods.

Vintage Vanilla Cream

Vintage Vanilla Cream Varietal Roast, Bag of 10 Pods.

That’s an entire month’s worth of coffee! Wow! They also sent me these:

Coffee Pods

4 Random individually-packaged coffee pods of various boldnesses.

Coffee Bag Clips

And these cute little wooden clothespin clips, which are for sealing the open bag to keep the pods fresh! Cutes and practical!

Tayst Cups

And they sent me some cups and lids, in case I want to take my coffee to go! So thoughtful!

My Tayst box arrived on a Friday afternoon, so I was excited to make a cup for myself first thing on Saturday morning! I went for the Vanilla Cream first, because flavored coffees are my jam. As you can see, the pod has no hard plastic cup and the coffee is just contained inside a soft, compostable filter.

Coffee Pod Close Up

Here is a close up of the pod.

Coffee in a Pig Mug

While all beverages taste great when served in a Pig Mug, this Tayst coffee is so smooth, rich, robust without being bitter, and the sweet Vanilla Cream flavor really started off my weekend right! I have been enjoying Tayst coffee at home for a few weeks now, and I have come to crave its yumminess.

Of course, there is a good reason why Tayst coffees tastes so fantastic. The beans that go into Tayst coffee are sourced from sustainable farms around the world. These fine beans are roasted, ground fresh and put into compostable single serve cups, and then sent direct to customers. By choosing to source coffee from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, companies subscribing to Tayst Coffee Box Service are having a demonstrable impact on the ground, conserving natural resources and improving the lives and livelihood of farm communities. Every way you look at it, Tayst Coffee Service is great for the environment!

How It Works

It’s so easy to get started with Tayst Coffee delivery to your home or office. First, choose either Keurig or Nespresso compatible single serve cups in quantities as low as 30, 40 or 50 pods monthly for individual or family use. Prices go down a few cents per cup as you increase your order, and if you are ordering for an office, buying in a larger quantity would make sense. There are subscription plans that deliver as many as 2500 pods per month, at a significant savings.

Next, choose your brew strength. There are two bold roasts, two medium roasts, plus the Vintage Vanilla Cream for flavored coffee fans, and a Defiantly Decaf variety that still maintains its dark, rich coffee characteristics. You can also choose the Tayst Sample Box to get a mix of all varieties.

Coffee Pod Trio

You’re in control of how often and how much coffee you will receive with your subscription. Either set it and forget it or adjust the coffee taste profile, quantity or frequency of your monthly order at will.  Initial office coffee box orders include Tayst Coffee Storage Jars and Tayst Ceramic Coffee Mugs, with the number of each adjusted according to the size of your order. You can also order a sleeve of 20 compostable coffee cups for just $6.00. The best part is that there is no commitment and no contracts to sign. You can cancel your delivery subscription at any time!

Visit  Tayst Dot Com for more information, and to get 30% Off your first box! You’ll be glad you did!

A Yawn is a Silent Scream

Product Review: Dr. Loo’s Harmony Patches For Allergy Symptom Relief

Dr. Loos Harmony Patches Packaging
All Photos By Gail

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, like I do, then you know that the symptoms can really lay you low — especially when they can linger for weeks at a time. There are plenty of effective over the counter remedies, like antihistamines, cough suppressants and expectorants to help you get through the worst of it, but there are few factors to consider. Maybe you are someone who isn’t good with remembering to take your next dosage, or maybe you are conflicted about what you can take that won’t bring on unwanted side effects, such as drowsiness. Most importantly, you want to know that the ingredients in whatever remedies you choose to take are safe and as natural as possible. It’s a lot to deal with when all you want to do is feel well again.

Coincidentally, a week into my most recent onset of allergy symptoms, I was contacted by a representative of Dr. Loo’s Harmony Patches, which are an organic, all-natural treatment for the relief of coughs, colds and allergy symptoms. She asked if I’d be interested in trying out Dr. Loos Harmony Patches as I blew my nose for the millionth time that day “I am having an allergy attack right now!” I replied. “How soon can you get them to me?” She put a package in the mail to me and I had them two days later! I started using them immediately.

Dr. Loos Harmony Patches Child to Adult

Dr. Loo’s Harmony Patches are transdermal patches containing herbs and organic, natural ingredients that you apply to your skin and leave on for up to 12 hours at a time. I received samples of two different varieties of cough, cold and allergy relief patches: one that treats Age 8 to Adult, and one for Mature Adults 50+ Years. For my first treatment, I applied five of the Age 8 to Adult patches as directed on the reverse of the packaging – 3 on my chest and 2 on my back – about an hour before bed time on a Friday, and slept with them on me. The patches seen above are about the thickness of a sheet of paper, and once they are on your skin, you do not feel them at all.

Dr. Loos Harmony Patches Instructions
Information and Detailed Instructions Are Printed on the Back of Each Package

Although I had been waking up several times during the night with coughing fits for, say, the previous five nights, on this night I didn’t cough even once during my sleep. Once I was awake on Saturday morning and hit the twelve hour mark, I removed the patches, showered, and applied a fresh round of patches to my clean, dry skin. I wore those patches from noon until midnight. I only coughed a few times throughout the day; and when I did, the cough was much more productive than it had been. I felt much improved from the previous 24 hour,s to say the least. Bonus: I didn’t have to remember to take any pills or other oral medications!

Dr. Loos Harmony Patches Mature Adult

Saturday night, I slept without any of the Dr. Loo’s Harmony Patches on me, but Sunday I  decided to try the Mature Adult patches. These patches, seen in the photo directly above, are slightly thicker than the pink patches, and are therefore easier to apply, especially to your back area. Besides the visual difference in the color, shape and thickness of the patches, there is a difference in the adhesive, in that the Age 8 to Adult variety contains a small amount of acrylic, and the Mature Adult variety is recommend for anyone with sensitive skin. The propriety formula on both patches is identical, with the active ingredients being USDA organic ginger, chamomile, and fennel, with no alcohol sugar, bicarbonate or additives.

Because Harmony Patches are applied directly onto the areas of the body where symptoms originate, the ingredients are absorbed into your body immediately and can get to work right away to make you feel better. After using the patches for a few days my symptoms were great reduced and I was much more comfortable. I recommend them!

Dr. Loo’s Harmony Patches are also available to treat Tummy  / Digestive Distress in both Children and Adults. Get more information about the Dr. Loo’s family of Harmony Patch products at This Link, and visit Amazon Dot Com to Purchase!

Product Review: Good Karma Non-Dairy Yogurt

Good Karma Non-Dairy Yogurt
All Photos By Gail

More and more it seems, food allergies or intolerances to commonly used ingredients such as nuts, wheat, soy and dairy no longer have to keep you from indulging in your favorite foods. For example, Yogurt lovers who have been missing out on this creamy treat due to a lactose intolerance can now enjoy healthy and great tasting Good Karma dairy-free yogurt, which I recently had the chance to taste test at home, after first meeting product representatives last summer at a food show.

Good Karma Label View

Vegan-friendly and free of major allergens, Good Karma is versatile, creamy, fresh and delicious.  This dairy free yogurt is made with flax milk (derived from cold-pressed flaxseed oil) which is a rich source of Omega-3 healthy fats. Each serving of Good Karma contains 5-6 grams of plant-based protein, plus 7 live and active cultures to aid digestion. Even better: each 6 ounce serving has only 90 calories!

Good Karma Blueberry CupGood Karma Blueberry

As you can see by the photo above of the Blueberry variety spooned into a serving dish, Good Karma is very creamy in texture and not at all gelatinous, as is Greek-style yogurt. The fruit is already blended in, rather than being at the bottom of the cup, so you get a very consistent fruit flavor in every bite.

Good Karma Raspberry
Good Karma Raspberry

Using plant-based milks, the company’s goal is always to create a delicious yogurt that gets as close as possible to a traditional dairy yogurt, while also being free of all major allergens, with added protein and a tangy, fruity taste that makes you smile!

Good Karma Strawberry Cup

Besides these three luscious fruit flavors, Good Karma dairy free yogurt also comes in comes in Plain and Vanilla varieties.

Parfait Recipe

I tasted the Vanilla Good Karma at the aforementioned food show, where I was served a tasty fun yogurt  parfait recipe that knocked my socks off! Find out more about Good Karma dairy-free products (made with Flax Milk, which, as you can see below, they also offer), plus get recipes like the one you see above, and download money-saving coupons good towards your first purchase of Good Karma, at this link!

Good Karma Flax Milk
Good Karma Non-Dairy Yogurt and Flax Milk Products!