Monday, November 18, 2013

Re-Review of Maggi So Juicy Bzz Campaign

I want to return to re-review and repost a rating on Maggi. I've knocked this down from 3 -4 stars down to a flat 2 stars. When I was speaking to my mother and father about the product, my mom brought up a fantastic point. Sodium content. We told them that we tried the Mediterranean Herb Medley this past week. It was very flavorful, and moist, however to us it seemed a bit strong, even with using only 2/3 packet instead of the whole packet. We told them that this was not our favorite flavor, but will try others. Mom said she was concerned about sodium. I happened to have another packet of this same flavor in the cabinet and looked at the back of the package. I told her it had 10 servings in one packet. We used 2/3 packet for our 2 small chicken breasts, shared between my husband and I. Each serving had 220 mg per serving (which is 9% of one persons sodium intake). My husband and I used 2/3 the package on our 2 small chicken breasts. Between the two of us, we had a lot of sodium/salt. She and I agreed that amount is outrageous and not healthy. That amount of sodium will convince her not to use this Maggi brand. I tend to agree with her. Mrs. Dash is similar type of seasoning, but is salt free. We might just stick with lower sodium or salt free options. Maggi, please make a lower sodium option, perhaps in a pineapple herb or an Indian Chicken Korma.

Maggi So Juicy Bzzagent Campaign

We received several packets of Maggi So Juicy to try. These were free to try courtesy of bzzagent and Maggi. We tried the Mediterranean Herb Medley this past week. We put thawed chicken breasts into the included bag added about 2/3 of the seasoning pack (we have a toddler and did not want to over season this) and put into the oven at 350 degrees. We cooked for a little longer than the cooking time. The bag of chicken/seasoning Maggi mixture was placed inside a pan in case there was any spillage or popping of the bag. It was neat to see the bag puff up when it was ready. It is super easy to use and keeps the flavor and the juices inside. It was very flavorful, and moist. We are not sure we would purchase this particular flavor, as it was not our favorite. We are so glad we used less seasoning. We paired this meal with buttered baby carrots and steamed rice. We would purchase this Maggi brand again, but in a different flavor. It would be nice to see what other flavors the company comes up with. We think a sweet honey bbq type seasoning would be nice or perhaps a pineapple herb seasoning. We eat a lot of bbq in our family. My husband and I agree that an Indian chicken Korma would be super delicious. The whole cooking process was enjoyable and simple. The 3 star rating given by our family is for the actual flavor of this Maggi we tried, but we would up the rating to 4 on juiciness and ease of use. This particular flavor was just not to our liking. Maggi, please add more flavors and we will gladly try those as well!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Bzz Campaign Green Mountain Fair Trade Coffee: Three Continent Blend coffee

I was blessed to try the Green Mountain Fair Trade Coffee this month and believe me, it went super fast. Being an active mommy of an almost 3 year old, I am up early in the morning and then late at night getting chores done. I do not get as much sleep as I need. Often in the mornings I am tired and need a little pick me up to get me going. Also out house is 100 years old, and like ice all day during the winter due to poor insulation. I like to put on my Keen Howser house shoes (seriously like sleeping bags for my cold toes) and make my way sleepy eyed into the icebox that is my kitchen. I need a hot drink to warm up and get me motivated. I selected a kcup of the Green Mountain brand and added whipped cream. Lots of it. I only drink one cup of coffee per day as I want to limit my caffeine. I thought the coffee was delicious, and I never need any sugar in it. I use a fairly heavy hand of creamer, as I like my coffee a nice shade of beige. :)

The coffee I tried was Three Continent Blend coffee, and it was sourced from Sumatra, South America, and Ethiopia. I like how not only did the coffee taste high quality and fresh, (also smelled amazing) the farmers that grow this coffee are given a fair price for their labor. This coffee is fair trade certified. Fancy huh. Yes it is. I like quality in treatment and quality in product. The farmers/producers/and all involved are treated fairly and given a sense of pride with their product. Fair Trade helps the farmers and their communities with improvements in their lifestyle in the way of schooling, drinking water, roads, etc.

I received some coupons for 50% off the actual Keurig machine with a discount code. We already have a platinum brewer, but I shared a coupon with some friends. The fact that the codes were able to be sent over the phone or by email were nice for those who do not live near me. I enjoyed this coffee and my husband enjoyed it as well. It smells amazing when brewed and is delicious to drink. It has a good story to it as well. Green Mountain calls in Good Vibes. I tend to agree. I received these k-cups and coupons free to try in exchange for my review.

BzzAgent Review of Kroger Brands for Baby: Comforts for Baby

I had the opportunity to try out a few baby products free of charge, courtesy of bzzagent and Comforts for Baby. Here are my honest thoughts.

Training Pants: First off, I have a hard time referring to these as training pants as they look, feel, and work just like diapers and this issue causes a (big) problem. My toddler treats these "training pants" as diapers and so she goes potty in these without trying to hold it. This was a big negative for me. However, there are some positive notes for this diaper, (yes that is really what they are) so please continue reading along.

We have a 2 1/2 year old girl, she is on the end of diaper use. (or so we hope). It is a long journey, and we want this over. She does too. We tried the Comforts for Baby disposable pullup training pants. She has used these for a weekend away when we went to a kids science museum and then an aquarium. We normally use cloth diapers (Bum Genius snap one size) but have used disposables in the past for traveling. These seemed to work decently well for a disposable. I happened to have a Pampers brand diaper left over from another long getaway and compared them based on appearance and functionality. The Pampers seemed straighter/(boxier??) and did not seem to curve as much to a child's body nor did it have a full leg gusset on each leg opening. If you have ever had a really REALLY messy diaper to change, you know that leg gussets are very important and help keep messes in. I liked how the Kroger Comforts brand had nicer gussets.

Both diapers seem to have a written label "back" that lets you know which side is front vs back. I do need this, but my husband who has not experienced using disposables on our daughter, was happy to see the small labeled area. :) The bee logo on the back of the Kroger brand was cute, the front side had a large red shaded pink lady bug. I would have preferred a cuter cartoon (perhaps maybe Doc Mc Stuffins, Disney Princess, Monster's Inc, or something more recognizable to her) but have never really seen any particularly cute cartoons on a disposable diaper of any brand. I think it would be neat to have disposables that are polka dot, plaid or damask print. (There is a brand that has blue jean inspired, so why not?) The diapers had purple flowers in the front to let you know when the diaper is wet. That seems like a nice idea, however, usually when a disposable is wet, it swells up and gets squishy, which is quite noticeable. We have not had any "messy" diapers, only wet ones. I can see how the break away sides would come in handy for those times. The diapers did not give any rashes or have any leaks. They worked much better than I thought they would. The price point is much more reasonable than a more mainstream brand. The downside of using disposables for potty training is that they look and feel like regular diapers. These will not help in training. Our daughter is currently training in Potty Patty thick white potty panties (unisex). The disposables wick away the wetness and so once she has wet her training diaper she goes on with her activities until changed. With a cloth panty training pant, she notices she is wet and wants changed immediately. I would say these are good for someone looking for disposables, however they won't help much with training.

Wipes: We are currently using the Comforts for baby wipes that we got for free with coupon. We like the grass green almost lime colored plastic tub they come inside. We use wipes for hands, faces, bottoms and many other uses. The pretty bright green tub is something we will use to store toys in when it is empty. It is sturdy and well made, and although these wipes are not our favorite, but they are decently nice. They have a slight texture to them. Our absolute favorite wipes are the 365 brand (Whole Foods store brand), which are super moist, natural and fragrance free. However, these Kroger Comforts wipes are still a great wipe. :)

Lotions: I selected to try the Comforts for Baby nighttime lotion which has a similar calming scent of Johnson and Johnson bedtime lotion. The bottle is a nice lavender purple color. Kroger's Comforts for Baby also includes a full line of health and hygiene items such as shampoos and baby wash, as well as gentle powders and ointments. They all seem to have similar quality and style to the Johnson's brand. Their bottles and formulas look similar. We liked the fragrance of the Kroger brand and it was a soothing scent, perfect for slathering on freshly washed baby skin. I wanted to keep kissing her little arms and cuddle next to her and fall asleep. The lotion was not greasy and seemed to absorb well. We did not have any breakouts on our little girl's delicate skin. Our current brand favorite for baby lotions are Burts Bees and California Baby. They are more expensive but have more natural ingredients and work well with our little girl's skin and our semi-crunchy parent lifestyle. For now we will stick to our current loved brands, but this Kroger brand is a great choice for those on a strict budget who already use Johnsons brand.

All in all, this Comforts for Baby brand is comparable to the well known brand, Johnsons. For many, that brand is a standby. Our family does seem to lean towards more natural brands with essential oils, plant extracts, and recycled materials. We cloth diaper and use cloth training pants. But, for traveling, we think these diapers work well as disposables go.