Archive for the ‘ bzz review ’ Category

FIBER ONE® PROTEIN CEREAL

I enjoy eating cereal for breakfast, especially on busy mornings. Cereal with extra protein? Well, that’s just an added bonus! I was excited to try the Fiber One Protein Cereal. I haven’t tried any Fiber One products before, so this was my first experience! And it was…lackluster.

I received two boxes of the cereal free through BzzAgent.com, Maple Brown Sugar and Cranberry Almond. These are labeled as “granola cereals,” so I was expecting something a little closer to the granola I make at home (oats, nuts, dried fruits) but they seem much more like crisped rice cereal with a few other bits mixed in. I tried the Cranberry Almond first. Not enough cranberries, not enough almonds. It had a strange artificial flavor and was way, way, WAY too sweet. Both these varieties have more sugar than many popular sugary kid’s cereals with marshmallows! The Maple Brown Sugar variety was a bit tastier, but even sweeter, as you might imagine.

The good news? Both cereals stayed very crispy in milk up until the end of the bowl! I also felt full all morning after eating the cereal.

I understand that it’s difficult to make a product tasty, good for you, and that holds up on the shelves, but I’d rather spend a little extra time making my own granola, or just having a bowl of oatmeal with some nuts sprinkled in than fill up on sugar and (practically nutritionally devoid) crisped rice. This one’s a no-go for me!

Disclaimer: I received these product for free for testing purposes through BzzAgent.com, but my opinions are my own!

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Lysol® Power & Free™

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted here! It’s not that I haven’t had new BzzCampaigns…I have…but they haven’t had blog post activities. So, anyway, I’m back, and today I’m Bzzing about Lysol® Power & Free™ cleaning products.

I received the multi-purpose cleanser as well as the disinfecting wipes for free via BzzAgent.com. I also received a few coupons for the products in the line and bought the toilet bowl cleanser for myself (at a retail price of $1.97, and a $1 off coupon, it was a steal. I needed some anyway.)  The main selling point of these cleaning products is that they are bleach-free, using hydrogen peroxide to clean and disinfect. I absolutely hate using bleach, and avoid it if at all possible, so I was excited to give these products a try.

I first tried the wipes on my stovetop, where my husband managed to burn some sticky wort while making beer. I scrubbed with the wipes, and they barely made a dent in the mess. I moved on to my go-to cleaning product, Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, and it had some difficulty too, so I let the wipes slide. I ended up using a scouring powder. That is not an application I would expect a wipe to do well, so I wasn’t too disappointed. The wipes have been fine for wiping down countertops and (my most common use) cleaning my 3-year-old’s little potty. The scent is not overpowering, and I trust that a Lysol product is effective in killing germs. I feel okay using it around food and my child/pets.

Unfortunately, the other products didn’t really live up to my expectations. The toilet bowl cleaner wasn’t as powerful as I anticipated, and I really had to scrub to get some of the stains off. (That’s disgusting, isn’t it? I apologize.) While it didn’t have a bleach smell, I still felt the scent was too strong – it still smelled chemical.

The multi-purpose cleanser was the most disappointing. It cleaned my bathroom sink, and did an okay job, but I still feel like a Magic Eraser would have been a better choice. The bathtub was just a big failure, and I definitely needed to bring in reinforcements after spraying it down and scrubbing with a brush. The scent is TOO, TOO STRONG and almost had me gagging. It doesn’t even smell overly chemical, just – bad.

In short: good idea, bad execution. I’d love to see some retooling of the products – the idea of bleach-free is great!

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.

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!

Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel

Well, I may be officially the worst in the world at taking care of my skin. I do not have a set routine. I wash my face in the shower, and sometimes at night I’ll put on an overnight cream. I try to use a lotion with SPF during the day. I forget a lot. Needless to say, if I’m going to work a new skin care product into my “routine,” it had better be easy.

Let’s back up a bit, first. I joined the BzzCampaign for Garnier Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel through BzzAgent.com. I got a free full-size bottle out of the deal. To be honest, my first thought was “Eek!” I’ve never used a peel, at home or otherwise, and assumed it would burn, or irritate my skin, or something equally bad. The first time I used it, hesitantly, I was pleasantly surprised. It was no different than using any other leave-on face product. Garnier suggests that you use it at night, and you can put your regular moisturizer right on top of it. You don’t need to wash it off.

Now here’s the problem. Like I said, I’m horrible at remembering to use stuff. I’m really going to try with this one, because I do have some small red spots and scars I wouldn’t mind vanishing. But I really can’t speak for the efficacy of this product right now, because I have only used it a handful of times. So what is it supposed to do? Well, straight from the Garnier website:

Skin Renew Clinical Dark Spot Overnight Peel is powered by Glycolic Vitamin C Complex. The glycolic acid effectively exfoliates and smooths skin, while Vitamin C addresses dark spots. Glycerin and a special acid buffer ensure that the Dark Spot Overnight Peel is gentle on skin to reveal a new radiance.

So, I’m going to keep trying it out. Will update at a later time if I see results!

Kroger “Good for You”

I’ve blogged before about Kroger products, so you guys know that I am usually a big fan of the high-quality, low-cost foods they offer. This time, the BzzAgent campaign I’m in is about their Greek yogurts and CARBmaster line. I was generously sent a $10 Kroger gift card as well as some coupons to try these products. Now, I don’t eat artificial sweeteners or buy them for my family, so the only product in the line I was interested in trying was the Greek yogurt.

We go through a lot of yogurt in my house, as it’s my son’s go-to breakfast of choice (for the first course, anyway.) My husband also eats a lot of yogurt as a snack, and prefers one with less sugar than most national brands contain. I only started eating yogurt a few years ago, but I use it a lot in cooking and occasionally eat it straight from the container.

Kroger’s Greek yogurt line has an impressive number of flavor options. I always choose Greek yogurt for cooking, so I like to have a few containers of the unflavored and unsweetened kind for making tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce, great on Mediterranean food or just about anything else!), roasted garlic cream sauce, or peanut butter fruit dip (just peanut butter and yogurt with a bit of honey – although flavored yogurts are good for that too.) I also like to have a few vanilla Greek yogurts on hand for making “ice cream” with bananas. (Blend frozen ripe bananas with yogurt – it’s just like soft serve!) The Kroger Greek yogurts work fine for all these purposes, but the yogurt  isn’t usually the star of these recipes anyway.

As far as straight eating goes, I think we’ve tried all the flavors by now. My favorite is the Lemon Creme, but the Black Cherry and Blackberry Yumberry have been favorites too. I do have one complaint about the yogurt, though – it has a very chalky texture and aftertaste. I’m not sure if that’s the Stevia (these yogurts are sweetened with both sugar and Stevia) or something else, but my husband really dislikes it, and my son doesn’t care at all.

Schick Hydro Silk® Razor

Oh, hello there skirt season, you snuck up on me!  One of the best things about winter is that I can really slack off on shaving my legs because they are nearly always covered. Well, spring is just around the corner so it’s time to bust out the razor again. Right now I’m trying the Schick Hydro Silk razor for free through BzzAgent. So what do I think?

I’m not one to splurge on a million blades, so the Hydro Silk is a bit of an extravagance for me, with five blades. I’ve been using the Venus Breeze handle with some cheap 3-blade cartridge for as long as I can remember. Honestly? I can’t really tell much of a difference. Shaving with the Hydro Silk might be a little bit faster. I shaved one leg with my old razor and one with my new, and now, a few hours later, they feel the same to me. Both had nice, close shaves, and neither one left me with razor burn.

The design of the Hydro Silk handle is nice – it’s weighted just right and has a soft, rubberized grip to ensure that it stays safely in my hand. I can’t say as much for the included hanger. It attaches with a suction cup that will NOT stay on my shower wall. It’s not textured or anything, so I don’t know why, but it falls off at least once a week, scaring my dog and making her bark in the middle of the night, which makes my husband think someone broke into our house. So I’m literally losing sleep over this.

I like the “Water-Activated Moisturizing Serum” strips, but I have to wonder what the point is, if you still need to use shaving gel while you shave. (Pro tip: Do you have some conditioner lying around that didn’t work out for you? It makes a great shave lotion!) That said, I did shave my legs only with soap, and I have no irritation afterward.

All in all, do I like the Hydro Silk? Yes. Do I like my old razor? Yes. It’s really a wash – I’ll probably  just buy the cartridges for whichever one is cheapest at the moment.