Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hello Fresh review

We are THRILLED TO review this Hello Fresh box full of deliciousness!!! HelloFresh is a weekly recipe kit delivery. You choose three delicious recipes each week, they are delivered to your door in an insulated box.

Hello Fresh sent three meals and an apron. 

Each meal is accompanied by a recipe that has detailed instructions
These ingredients made TASTY Beef pasta with soy sauce.
These ingredients made a tasty chicken/potato combo.

It wasn't as visually appealing as the others but the taste was great.
These ingredients made a SUPER yummy pasta!
A couple of the pictures I got ahead of myself and put the meat in the pan prior so they aren't pictured. 

You can choose from an original box or a vegetarian. I would love to see a gluten free option as well.
On their site you can see the upcoming boxes and choose what you want. They have a flexible subscription plan and great choices.

I found the instructions mostly easy to follow. This would be great for beginners who want to learn to cook, as well as those who want everything prepackaged and ready to go as soon as they get home. I cooked these on a work night which took a bit of time for a couple of them. I would suggest these for a weekend meal unless you get home at a reasonable time and don't have kid activities after.

My youngest is learning safe knife skills and cooking so this was great to have everything bagged up and ask her for certain things as we prepared it together.

Xbar review and giveaway

Xbar sent me this product for a review. This is quite possibly the most amazing product EVER. Exercise and I have a love/hate relationship. However NOW, its more of love than hate.

First of all my pictures just do NOT do this product justice. You can really see the quality here. The metal piece moves separately from the bar to create smooth movements. I lost my original picture somehow, so I apologize for the cell pictures.

Secondly Xbar I need to add that the shape of the bar allows for women to not have to modify their grip because of their chest. BRILLIANT!!

Now on to Mr. Crazy Lifes review............

My passion for fitness began around 1983 when I took a high school weight lifting class.  Ever since then fitness has been a steady part of my life.  I’ve owned many home gyms, weights, and devices and have read countless books about fitness.  As I get older I find that the philosophy of “less is more” applies to my fitness strategy as well as other aspects of my life.  I accidently found the XBar website and it was a case of love at first sight.  The XBar offered exactly what I needed in a beyond reasonable cost.  From the moment you open the box you’ll notice the quality of the bar, bands and other accessories.  The printed materials are fun to read and the instructional video is fun and motivating.  The XBar website is phenomenal and has everything you would need to completely understand the product and its capabilities.  To that end, I’m going to focus on writing about the many pros of the product and leave the visuals to the team at XBar.  

My review will focus on portability, scalability and versatility. 

First, portability is one of the greatest aspects of the XBar.  Unlike a home gym or heavy weights, the XBar can be used in any room in the house, work, outside, etc with no issue.  Weighing 10 pounds, and with a cinch bag for the bands, the bar can easily be picked up and moved to wherever you want to workout.  Their Facebook page and you’ll see this in action as users upload pictures of all the locations they’re using their XBar. 

For scalability I’m going to focus on the simplicity of adding intensity to the workout.  The 9-piece kit comes with three bands (easy, medium and tough) with built in carabineer clips.   The XBar will work with virtually any brands of bands; however, their bands are definitely high quality.  My wife is using the easy bands and after her total body sets she is wiped out.  I’m using a combination of one, two and sometimes three bands and the workout I get is any bit as tough as my traditional weight lifting routines are.  The unique shape of the bar allows multiple positions per exercise.  For example, a traditional curl can be done from three different hand positions by simply sliding your hands inwards or outwards. 

Is there a more versatile piece of fitness equipment on the market than the XBar?  I would argue that there isn’t.  The XBar is a TOTAL body workout and with over 100 exercises, and counting, it does it all.  The door anchor and cable handles just further increases the options and imagination can just keep adding to your exercise options.    

This product has changed my workout routine, so much so that I have gotten rid of every other fitness item and am solely using XBar.  Not knowing me, that might not mean as much. Ask Mrs Crazy Life who now has back a garage because the ton of exercise equipment is gone.  Check out their website and I bet you’ll leave the site with an order confirmation code in hand.  Thank you XBar for the AWESOME product.  This isn’t as much a review as a fan letter!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Exo Cricket Bars review and giveaway

Exo sent me 4 bars to try.  Cacao Nut, PB&J, Blueberry Vanilla, and Apple Cinnamon are real food bars full of nutrients. Turns out the creator is a three Michelin star chef!
No Gluten
No Grain
No Soy
No Dairy
No Refined sugar
Did you know that compared to cows….crickets produce 100x less greenhouse gas? Apparently crickets are a complete protein source containing all amino acids and contain more 2.2 times more iron than spinach. Crickets are high in protein and low in saturated fats. The sustainability of this product can have a massive impact. Insects themselves have very little impact on the environment.  According the exo crickets are 20 times more efficient to raise than cattle as far as protein goes. Livestock takes up so much more space and resources and do not reproduce as quickly as insects.  Exo believes that insects are one of the solutions to the protein dilemma.

I offered an office full of guys an option to try a piece of the cocao nut bar. Only 4 tried a piece. One person took 2 more pieces, the other three turned their nose up. I think this is a mind over matter issue. These bars were moist and full of flavor! Even little Crazy Life kept trying to get the biggest piece so she could have more than us. She devoured these and she isn't the easiest one to please.  
Check out the ingredient list
PB&J was my daughters favorite. It tasted just like a childhood favorite. She ripped that one of the counter before I could get a picture of it!
Blueberry Vanilla – Need I say more? SO tasty!

Apple cinnamon – Tastes JUST like pie only better!

Cocoa nut – is JUST like a brownie! It has cocao nibs and nuts for a great crunch.

I just saw their shirts. Hilarious. I would totally rock one of these. I think my favorite is “Crickets are the new Kale”

use coupon code LIFEASMOM if you cant wait to see if you won!  
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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Canyon Bakehouse Review and giveaway

Canyon Bakehouse  sent me some goodies to try and report back.
The mister has been gluten free for about 4 years now. Our quest for tasty Gluten Free products has often been met with high disappointment with an hefty price tag. Much of the Gluten Free (GF) product lines are dry, crumbly and tasteless. Until we found THIS!
Mr Crazy Life is Gluten Free, Little Crazy Life is Dairy free, and I am soy free. Canyon Bakehouse is a dedicated Gluten, dairy, soy and nut free facility!! Queue up the angels singing because this is music to my ears! Now do their products taste good?

This post is specifically in regards to the 7 grain, Cinnamon raisin, Hamburger buns, and Rosemary Thyme Focaccia.

First thing I noticed is the smell when I opened the box. I traced it back to the focaccia bread. SO Tasty!! It is soft and dense just like bread should be.
The 7 grain bread is soft, pliable and even Little Crazy Life will eat it! She doesn’t have to be Gluten Free but for contamination purposes we keep the food in the house GF. We’ve struggled with sandwiches before finding this bread and now she will actually eat them! This will be a blessing for school lunches! In a pinch we have used this bread as hamburger buns also. Very tasty!

I adore cinnamon raisin bread with butter or coconut oil. Many of the brands we have tried just are not  soft and I end up toasting them only since toast is better with a dry texture. THIS was fantastic! Soft, pliable and DELICIOUS.
The hamburger buns were a breath of fresh air. Seriously. Have you ever tried To make a burger with the buns that are more like chewing stale sourdough? These were tender and so good! Even Mr Crazy Life liked them.

I'm looking forward to trying their deli rye style and cranberry crunch muffins!

In our GF journey I have learned to promote the brands we love so others don’t suffer with feeling like they are different and having to be tortured with bad food. They even have a form that you can fill out and take to your local store to request their products to be carried.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ifit Review and giveaway

Ifit sent this band to me for my opinions. Mr. Crazy Life did a guest review! Enjoy!!
The iFit Active 3-in-1 fitness tracker is a fantastic multi-purpose device that has many unique features compared to the competitors. 
First, the “pod” can either be worn with the included wristband or with the included clip.  Depending on the activity, this provides great versatility. 
Second, and possibly one its best features, is the LED display is fantastic.  Instead of trying to determine what a series of blinking dots mean, this tracker clearly shows communicates the desired information. 
The device was simple to charge by USB and it didn’t need charged but once every 5-7 days.  The sleep-tracking feature is a great tool to gauge duration and quality of sleep. 
The device sync’d easily to my iPhone.  The app was easy to maneuver through and provided a wealth of great information.  Inputting calories was simple and the various graphs provided a great visual representation of calories in and out. Ifit is designed to work with and iFit enabled treadmill, elliptical, etc.  Overall it is a great fitness tracker with features that make it worth the price. 
Mrs Crazy Life here again. I think for the price point, this ifit is a great benefit for busy moms. I love the sleep tracker which is interesting for those with small children to see just how much you do or don't sleep.

NOW! Enter to win your own!
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Essentia water review and giveaway

Essentia sent me this water to evaluate. Their catch phrase is “hydration perfected”. I would say so! If you look at the ingredients in Essentia they are as follows; Purified water, sodium bicarbonate, dipotassium phosphate, magnesium sulfate and calcium chloride (electrolyte sources). I won’t bore you with details however from what I read sodium bicarbonate is what alkalizes your body.

Potassium is added as the addition of the bicarb can deplete your levels.
Essentia uses Microfiltration, Reverse osmosis and ultraviolet exposure to get the water to 99.9% purity. Next, they add electrolytes consisting of calcium, magnesium, sodium and potassium which are water soluble minerals. Finally the acidic ions are removed by electronically charging the water through electrolysis.
PH water itself can have a high ph but it can be across the board when it comes to alkalinity. The thing I love about essentia is that it has the alkalizing minerals in it as well. These will alkalize the body by neutralizing the stomach acid and allow the body to produce bicarb into the blood. This produces oxygen within the body.
Our bodies are meant to be at a ph of 7.2. I consistently run around 6 for my ph. This is too low and can create health issues.
Dr Otto Warburg won the 1931 Nobel peace prize in physiology/Medicine. He shows how important knowing and maintaining your PH truly is. 
 Im hooked on this water! I test my ph a few days a week first thing in the morning to monitor, and this has been a great addition to helping maintain a healthy PH.
 Enter to win here!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

21 Drops review and giveaway!

21 drops sent me The wake up call essential oil gift set. I almost squealed with glee when I opened this box up. Isnt it beautiful!? I love the box it came in.

This comes with Invigorate #1, Headache #5, and Focus #9.
Here are the  backs of the bottles
And the tops with roller balls.
Invigorate #1 is a blend of black pepper which motivates, cedarwood which maximizes endurance, juniper for energy and Rosemary to stimulate the mind.
Headache #5 is a blend of lavender which pacifies, nurtures, and rebalances, peppermint which invigorates, cools and awakens, and rosewood which clears the mind and calms the nerves.
Focus #9 is a blend of frankincense which induces clarity, peppermint for stimulation of the mind and Rosemary which reduces fogginess.
These three are blended in 100% organic Jojoba oil.  Their products are free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, triclosan and is not tested on animals. These are in a carrier oil so can be applied directly to the skin!  
For those of you who are not familiar with essential oils (EOS) check out What is Essential oil therapy on 21 drops site. This is a new passion of mine and LCL has recently taken to my passion by making lotion bars as gifts that encorporate the use of EOS.
Essential oils work by Inhalation and Topical application. Check out 21 drops site for more information. The oils are meant to be used on pulse points such as temples, wrists and the back of the neck.

When using on children do your research as some are not recommended for children. I personally do not recommend ingesting EOS with some of the recent information that I have come across.  You can find a guide for EOS here.
I love the products I received. They have such a unique blend which makes me excited to use them. I am saving the Focus blend for my daughter to put on her wrist before school. I'm hoping this helps her throughout the day. We have an aromatherapy pendant but sometimes that can actually be distracting, so I'm excited to see how this works for her in the longrun.

Enter to win one of their blends!
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Wall Pops review AND giveaway

WallPops Sent me this Posh Chandelier. Isnt it GORGEOUS! We didn't have a lot of sun that day, but you can see how much light it reflects!
There are three tiers of silver metallic orb shapes.   he Posh Chandelier does not include a lighting fixture or cord set, but does fit over a standard lantern bulb and cord, not to exceed 40 watts. This chandelier is 14 1/8" in diameter and 33 1/2" high.
We chose to just hang it from the ceiling between two lights
Chirping away the day Wall decals
WallPops also sent me "Chirping the day away" wall decals. For some reason they didn't want to stick to our old walls that were freshly painted in the last year, but they really worked well on the doors and smooth surfaces. WallPops did a great job making sure it wasn't their product.  Look how adorable they are!! I apologize for the lack of pictures on this one, but the lighting was terrible and I couldn't seem to get a good picture. They are even more beautiful than the website portrays.
Perch these beautiful bird decals in their pretty birdcages for an enchanted wall decor idea! With a precious pink and purple palette, and sweet hearts and flower decals, the Chirping the Day Away vintage birdcage scene is truly darling. This wall art kit contains 27 pieces on two 17.25" x 39" sheets. WallPops are repositionable and always removable.
Now enter to win your own decals

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