Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Today I am reviewing the Dentyne Split 2 Fit gum packs.

I have tried all 3 flavors of the gum and would like to share my thoughts.

About a week ago my husband and I were running late to meet some out of town family members. We have found our life is slightly (ok that is an understatement--ha ha) more complicated now that our daughter is a toddler and so we seem to always be in a bit of a rush.

We were all packed into the car when I asked my husband if he brought the gum (I wanted to make sure my breath was nice and fresh and I also wanted something to chew during the 1 hour drive). He did not remember to bring it, and so I had him rush back into the house and get it. I had not specified which flavor so he just grabbed one pack from the 3 choices.

I did not take the time to see what flavor, and just popped 2 pieces into my mouth. I almost spit it completely out! The Artic Chill was so very VERY strong! I would describe it as Listerine flavored.

I do want to mention though, that I timed the flavor strength and it was a good 10 minutes of full blast flavor, the kind that could knock you over. If I previously had any foul or even "not freshly brushed" breath before trying this, it was certainly gone after chewing this! The flavor eventually went back to a normal minty strength within about 15 minutes and the overall flavor lasted about 30 minutes (right about the time when you want to remove gum as it begins to get harder to chew and more bland).

My husband tried the gum after me, and was happy/grateful that I warned him about the intensity. I would have to say that this Artic Chill flavor was my least favorite flavor. I think it should be saved for when you need to blast away offensive breath or when you are seriously worried or concerned that you will have bad breath around someone. It is not to the faint.

My favorite flavor is the spearmint, it is a classic mild sweet mint flavor and reminds me of the gum I used to chew back in highschool.
The peppermint was pretty nice as well and was refreshing.

All 3 seemed to make my mouth feel clean and fresh and the flavors lasted a good 30 minutes. They may have lasted longer than the 30 minutes if I left them in my mouth, but I have always been the type to get tired of chewing after 3o minutes. I get headaches easily.

No onward to the "Split2Fit" design: I realize these "new" gum packets are designed to be convenient and easier than perhaps other types of packs, however, I do not really see the hype of having them split into 2 packs. I also think it is silly to think this slimmer design will make people wear these smaller gum packs in their hats, ponytails, belt loops, or carry them on their daughter's my little pony toys. :)

Being a woman, and a mommy, I always have either a diaper bag or a purse with me or within close proximity, so I could store gum packs of various sizes and shapes. Our family has also put gum packs in the glove compartment of our suv. I do not carry gum in my pockets so the split 2 fit "convenience" does not really assist me personally in any way.

It is a fun idea, and perhaps is more convenient to young kids who do not carry purses or perhaps the male population who carry the essentials such as a cell phone, keys, and gum. My husband and I generally travel together when shopping or visiting friends, so my purse is always close by if he needs gum.

Overall this is a great gum and I was happy to review these flavors. My 2 flamingo salt and pepper shaker friends wanted to be in the picture and give their approval. :)
This month I received another BzzAgent Campaign. We had the opportunity to try the Lavender and Juniper Berry oil diffuser from Glade.

I will provide a quick overview of the product.

Appearance: The oil diffuser with holder is very nice as it blends into the room with a leaf design. The oil is pulled up into the top where the fragrance releases onto the square pad. These work similar to a reed diffuser, but this is nicer in the fact that there is less chance of spilling the liquid out (something very helpful and necessary when you have a busy toddler running around or for pet owners and active play.)The leaf decoration on the front is nice as it gives a natural botanical spa like presence. I thought it was pretty in my daughters room as her room is pink, lime green, white, and chocolate brown. Her bed and changing table are white wood so this matches well. Scent: I chose the Lavender Juniper Berry as it was a clean scent that almost had a baking soda and laundry refresher type fragrance. We put this diffuser in my toddlers nursery on the dresser out of her reach. The room smells like clean laundry and this will keep her diaper pail area fresh.  I am not sure how long this will last or if it will be a noticeable fragrance.

Price: the local grocery store had this listed at $8.49, but we used our free coupon. I am not sure how great of a value this is for the full retail price as I am not sure how long this product will last before needing refilled. I realize it wont be the full $8.49 each time as this price is the starter kit. I think the full price of the starter seems a bit high, perhaps $6 would have been more reasonable in my opinion. If I like using this, I would want to buy several kits to put throughout my home. The price may steer some away, from buying more than one kit. If I did not have the luxury of using a discount / a few dollars off coupon, and had to pay the full $8.49 for each starter kit, and I wanted to buy one for every room of the house, it would be costly at that price. I am liking the product so far in the selected fragrance and appearance. Perhaps they will come out with more designs and colors to match more wider home decor.

UPDATE: I have had this product about 2 weeks and I want to comment on the fragrance. At first I really liked the fragrance as it seemed light and clean, but after 1 night of having it in my toddler's room (door mostly closed) I felt it overpowered the room and was so strong it gave me a headache when I entered the next morning. I was worried it would bother my daughter so I moved it to the guest bathroom. Upon further review of the scent, it seemed to not smell like Lavender or Juniper Berries at all, it smelled of a strong cheap mens musk cologne. I am not in love with the smell. I really would have loved this to smell like Lavender. The scent is lighter now, and less irritating to my nose, however I would not purchase this particular fragrance again. The diffuser itself is lovely, and nice to look at. It seems to release fragrance well. I would have liked a product that smelled like fresh laundry or something crisp and clean. I did end up trying the fragrance mist in Cotton and Italian Mandarin. Sadly this delightful, clean smell does not come in the oil diffuser. My family and I like this scent a lot.

I am including a picture of my daughter's nursery the day we put the (now removed and stinky) Lavender Juniper Berry Glade diffuser on her dresser beside "Lamby" her lamb. Lamby is being a sweet gal and very polite for this picture. However, she told me later that the fragrance was a bit overpowering for her liking, and I agreed.

I do hope the Cotton and Mandarin becomes available as a selection for the scented oil. Perhaps many new scents will arrive in the coming months. I always enjoy warmer winter fragrances such as hot fudge chocolates, buttered caramels, and gingerbreads for the home. Glade, please makes these scents available!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bzz Campaign Progresso Recipe Starters with Garlic Chicken (Pineapple Garlic Chicken with Mashed Butternut Squash and Broccoli)

I was excited to try the Progresso Recipe Starters Sauce in the flavor of Garlic. This sauce has a chicken broth base and has endless possibilities. I decided to make a chicken breast dish with broccoli and winter butternut squash. I had my husband peel and cut up a large butternut squash and cube into large pieces. Once those were finished, I put them in a large pot with salted and buttered water to cook until very soft. I drained the water out of the pot and used a potato mashed and prepared like home style mashed potatoes. I left some chunks of the squash for a nice texture. I added 2 tbs of Philadelphia cream cheese to the mashed squash (spreadable kind). I taste tested the squash and it was amazing. 

I turned the burner on low to keep this warm. Now on to the chicken. I started out with a pan with some butter and oil. I butterflied the thawed chicken breast and added some salt and a ground pepper spice seasoning (mixed spices) and one third of the Garlic Cream sauce. I cooked the chicken until it was golden and well marinated in the spices. I added a small serving of steamed broccoli (leftover from the previous day) to the pan to garnish the chicken and add a splash of color. I added about 5 tbs of crushed canned pineapple. When the chicken was finished and had soaked up the delicious flavors of the garlic pineapple sauce and seasonings, I added another 1/3 of the can of sauce to the chicken. (the last 1/3 I was able to save in a air tight container to enjoy the next day--perhaps to use as a base with chicken broth for a soup for lunch. 

I plated the chicken and poured the garlic pineapple sauce on top. I added some warmed crushed pineapple on top of the chicken breast and added a few pieces of broccoli. I then plated the mashed butternut squash next to the chicken breast. This was a very easy and delicious meal. I served this to my husband and our 19 month old daughter (hers was cut up appropriately as a finger food to prevent choking). 

I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed the garlic sauce, as I am not a fan of garlic. This sauce was delicious and not overpowering with garlic. I would try this again with another recipe/dish in the near future.