Posts Tagged ‘ bzz ’

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula® Hand Cream

My family and I recently spent a few days at a huge indoor waterpark. Waterslides in Ohio in January, pretty nice, isn’t it? The only problem is combining days of swimming in super-chlorinated water, frequent showers, and incredibly dry winter air leads to really flaky, cracking, painful skin. Luckily, I had just received a whole slew of Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (seriously, a full-size tube as well as a ton of mini samples) for free in the BzzKit from this BzzAgent campaign. A little goes a long way, so this was a really generous amount of product.

The best about this hand cream (beside the price, which is a totally reasonable $4.99 for around 200 applications) is that it really reverses the damage to your skin in one use. My skin feels so smooth after applying, and it lasts for hours. I used to work in a dental office, and with the constant hand-washing, we always kept an ultra-expensive hand cream around – I wish I had known about this product back then! It works as well, if not better, than other really pricey options. The packaging suggests you can use it on your lips, too. I haven’t tried that yet, but if it heals them like it does my hands, this is definitely going to become a winter staple in my house. It’s available in unscented too, so it won’t clash with your perfume.

Unreal™ Candy

CAAANNNDYYY!!!!

*Ahem*

Sorry, I did get a little excited about this campaign. As a self-admitted junk-oholic, I was thrilled to be invited. The BzzKit consisted of an envelope with some BOGO Free coupons, and as with most campaigns, a coupon for a free Unreal item to try so I can give my honest feedback. LET ME CLARIFY, I AM A BZZAGENT AND I GOT THIS PRODUCT FREE THROUGH THEM.!!!!!!!

Anyway, this campaign was the first time I’d heard of Unreal Candy. Their schtick is “unjunking” candy by getting rid of artificial stuff like high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified ingredients, preservatives, and the like. This is something I can definitely get behind! Yeah, I love my chocolate, but I’m also a Mom and the primary shopper and chef for my family, so I care about what goes into our bodies.

It took a little effort to find somewhere that sold the Unreal brand, and I couldn’t find it at either of my normal groceries, but it was at the candy counter in CVS. I picked up Unreal 8 (their version of Snickers) and Unreal 77 (peanut butter cups.) The packaging is a little confusing and takes some effort to find out what exactly you’re buying. I suppose once you’ve bought it a few times you’d recognize the color, but for a new customer, I had to read all the packages for a minute (crouched down on the store floor.)

The sizes of the candies were slightly smaller than, but still comparable to, their popular name brand counterparts. I didn’t miss the extra few grams. As far as taste? I thought they were about what I would expect. They were a little less sweet (just fine by me!) I tried the 77 first and found the peanut butter to be thicker, smoother, and less gritty than a Reese’s cup. It had more of a real peanut butter taste. It wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was definitely something I would eat again. The 8 was much the same – better texture, still a similar flavor to the Snickers. I wouldn’t mind trying them at the same time to see what the real difference is – it’s been some time since I’ve eaten a Snickers.

Of course, candy still isn’t healthy, but if I’m going to eat it (and I’m not making it myself,) any of the Unreal varieties would be a fine choice. I look forward to seeing some of their future offerings – I’m looking at you, Butterfinger!

Progresso™ Recipe Starters™

When it rains it pours – I had no campaigns for a few months, and then BAM! three at once. So here’s the first, Progresso Recipe Starters. Not much came in the bzzKit, just some coupons and a free can of Creamy Roasted Garlic Sauce (my choice – I’m a sucker for anything garlic!) But boy was I glad I had that can a few nights ago when dinnertime came around and I realized I didn’t have a plan! The recipe on the back of the can looked good (Easy Weeknight Chicken Pot Pie) but I decided to scan the QR code on the can to see what their other ideas for the sauce included. The one that caught my attention was for Chicken Enchiladas – and since I had everything on hand, I decided to go for it.

When I opened the can, the first thing I noticed was the sauce was much more liquid than I expected – not like a condensed cream soup. The second thing I noticed was that it smelled exactly like chicken pot pie! I started to second guess my dinner choice, but went ahead with enchiladas anyway. I reduced the amount of cheese (tip: don’t look at the nutritional info for these – yikes!) and used fresh chiles instead of canned.

My family loved the enchiladas, including the two-year-old. I’m not certain if I’ll make this recipe, but I do think I’ll be trying Progresso Recipe Starters again – next time, I’d like to try another flavor. It was really great to have on hand when I needed it and so convenient. I do wish they had a lower sodium version – especially when I’m already cooking, I like to have more control over the salt level of the foods I prepare.

Pork – Be Inspired

This cracks me up – I love advertising for (seemingly) generic products – Drink Refreshing Milk! Eat Eggs! Pork – Be Inspired! I joined this bzzCampaign for pork and got a nifty digital meat thermometer (my second, but a backup is always nice!), basting brush, a $5 coupon for pork chops at the Kroger family of stores, a bunch of other coupons, and waaaay more information that I previously had about pork and the many ways you can prepare it.

I’ve never been a huge fan of pork chops but I do prepare them for my family when they’re on sale. Despite my best efforts, they usually end up dry and we have to puree them for my poor two-year-old and his limited set of teeth. As it turns out, I’ve been cooking them to a very outdated 170 degrees – apparently, and I didn’t get the memo until starting this campaign, pork only needs to be cooked to 145 degrees (with a 3 minute rest!) This makes a huge difference!

So I went to Kroger today with a song in my heart and a recipe in my pocket, determined to make the best damn pork chops my kitchen has ever seen. There were only two cuts of pork chops available in the pre-packaged section, so I purchased the center cut loin chops. My handy-dandy pocket pork guide compares this to the “Porterhouse” of pork. The guide came with loads of recipe ideas, and I tried a simple Smoky Rub, as follows:

Smoky Rub for Pork Chops

Combine:

  • 2 t smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 1 t dried thyme
  • 1 t coarse salt
  • 1/2 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t onion powder
  • 1/2 t black pepper

I preheated my grill, and here is where everything went to hell.

I took my plate of seasoned meat outside, and noticed copious amounts of smoke on the side of my house, and an acrid burning smell. Somehow, my grill had started spewing flames out the bottom, melting the temperature control knob. I turned off the gas and tried not to panic – all I had to do was consult my little guide for an alternate cooking method! I decided to just pan-fry them (and the summer squash I was preparing on the side.)

I am pleased to say that these chops turned out GREAT, despite the change in plans. They were moist, juicy, and even my son chewed them up without incident. He’s not a big meat eater, but he ate the entire serving! The seasoning was nice – I think it would have tasted even better on the grill, but I’ll just try that another time. I think I will be buying pork chops more often now!

If you’re interested in more pork recipes or general information, check out http://www.porkbeinspired.com for probably anything you ever wanted to know!

Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Shampoo/Conditioner

Well, I’ve been using this shampoo and conditioner duo for about two weeks, and my hair sure doesn’t look like that.

I have medium thickness hair that is somewhere between wavy and curly, and frizz is a major enemy of mine. I’m used to battling it on a daily basis, so I had some hope that this would make that job somewhat easier. Although I loved the scent and packaging (more on that later) of the Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Shampoo and Conditioner, I don’t think I’ll be making the switch to this product in the future.

So what was in the bzzKit? A full-size bottle of the shampoo and conditioner. I love the packaging (which is supposed to be more eco-friendly, I guess they contain 30% consumer recycled materials.) It doesn’t hurt that they’re green (my favorite color.) The plastic feels a little on the flimsy side, but they’ve held up to being thrown by my 2-year-old, so it’s plenty strong enough! The little nubs on the caps are the best idea I’ve seen in haircare packaging in forever. They’re so easy to flip up with soapy hands, and they won’t pinch your skin! The scent is pretty nice too, somewhere between fruity and fresh, sort of like cucumbers and strawberries maybe? I don’t know what it is, but I like it. The shampoo seems a little bit too runny, so I need to use a lot of it, but the conditioner is thick and extra creamy.

The first time I used these products, I was dismayed to find that my hair actually looked MORE frizzy than usual. To be fair, it was horribly humid outside. I don’t use expensive haircare products, but my Dove conditioner seems to do a better job on the frizz than this does. Since using it exclusively for the past couple weeks, it’s been less extreme than my first experience, but I’m still not sold. The anti-frizz serum probably makes a difference, but why buy (and work into my routine) another product, when I get the same results with just shampoo and conditioner?

Intro & Campaign Overload!

I’ve moved my bzz reviews over to this blog so as not to compete with the other – it should be easier to focus only on product reviews and campaigns this way! Thanks for stopping by! Not sure what bzzing is? Check out https://www.bzzagent.com/ to get the info – it’s a great way to try products (usually for FREE!) and share your opinions with others!

Spring has been crazy with campaigns this year – right now I’m in:

Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine hair products

Neutrogena Cosmetics

Filippo Berio Olive Oil

Pork – Be Inspired

Dr. Scholl’s for Her

and Private Selection Taste of Summer.

Phew! I’ve got a lot of products to talk about. I have received (or will shortly) samples and/or coupons for all these products and I’ve been having a blast trying them all out. Over the next few weeks I’ll be talking about these products.