Archive for May, 2013

Kroger Private Selection Upside Down Cakes

Instant gratification – it’s so American. When I joined the Private Selection Upside Down Cakes campaign through BzzAgent.com, I didn’t have to wait for a BzzKit to arrive – I was able to load a coupon for a free PS Upside Down Cake onto my Kroger card instantly! And speaking of instant gratification, these cakes are the next best thing to homemade desserts – 12 minutes in the oven (or 3 in the microwave!) and you have a warm, melty confection fit to serve company!

I had a hard time choosing a flavor when I went to pick up my free cake. There are three available: German Chocolate Fudge, Double Chocolate Molten, and Amber Honey Apple Spice. Part of my decision was made for me when there were none of the Apple variety in stock.  I decided to try the German Chocolate since that’s not something I have very often (or ever.) As a side note, these cakes are available in the bakery section, not the frozen foods like I expected.

My husband was actually more excited to try the cake than I was, which is pretty crazy because I have the sweet tooth in this house. He preheated the oven and took the cake out of the wrapper. All he had to do was put the cake on a baking sheet, warm it for a bit, and then flip it onto a plate. It all came out in one fell swoop, thanks to a sheet of parchment on the bottom of the “pan.” So easy!

There was a good amount of the coconut/nut frosting although it didn’t drip down the sides much like in the pictures. The cake was very dense and moist (thanks to a a number of delicious-but-terrible-for-you ingredients like real butter, cream, and sugar) and a small slice goes a long way. Seriously though, do yourself a favor and skip reading the nutritional values. You are better off in denial. That said, the ingredient list only includes things you would use in your own kitchen, so I can appreciate that.

The cake isn’t as good leftover as it is the first night, but that’s to be expected. It also isn’t as good cold, obviously. The only real problem I had with this product was the price. $10 seems a little steep – for $10 I want something I couldn’t do myself, like a well-decorated bakery cake or ice cream cake, not something that is “like homemade.” If this cake were closer to the $7-8 range, I might purchase it for a special occasion.

If you’re interested in purchasing one of these Private Selection Upside Down Cakes, they are available at your local Kroger store. You might be able to find a digital coupon online, as I have been told they exist, but at the time of writing this I don’t see them available.

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Garnier Oil-Free B.B. Cream

I’ve been itching to see if BB creams live up to all the hype I’ve been hearing for the last year or two. What better way to try out a product you’re not sure of than trying it free? I received a full-size tube of Garnier Oil-Free B.B. Cream in Light/Medium free  through BzzAgent.com.

A little about my skin before I get to the review: I am really pale, and my skin tends toward the oily side. I have darkish areas below my eyes (stupid allergies), large pores, and some reddish areas.

Ok, so first impressions of the BB Cream? It’s not so much of a cream. It’s pretty runny, and if you lay the tube down, you run the risk of the product coming right out. A bottle that stands on end might be a better choice of packaging. That said, the thinness of the “cream” allows the product to cover a large area of skin with a small amount.

I wish there were more color options available. The Light/Medium was a bit too dark for me and led to a little bit of a “mask” look. Once we get into summer, it will probably be a good match, and I’ve found that using a little less of the product made the color difference less obvious.

BB Creams contain sunscreen (SOOOOO important for me – I burn in 10 minutes in the sun!) but I’m not convinced that I would use enough of this product to actually protect my skin. However, I have worn it outside several times this spring and have yet to get a sunburn, so it appears to be effective. They also contain moisturizers and this one in particular contains minerals (including Perlite – which I use in my garden to retain moisture in the soil) that absorb oil and leave a matte finish. Garnier claims that this will last all day, which I haven’t found to be the case, but it does last for at least half the day.

This product has been gentle on my face, and hasn’t caused any breakouts or other undesirable effects. It does a good job of evening out my skin tone and making my dark eye circles less obvious. It doesn’t necessarily minimize my pores like it claims, but honestly, that’s not a huge concern of mine anyway. This is an excellent product for downsizing my morning beauty routine. Before, I would mix my foundation with a little moisturizer with an SPF 15, and follow up with concealer, and maybe a translucent powder. Now, I can replace all that with one product (though sometimes additional concealer is necessary.)

Overall, I am pleased with this product and will continue to use it!