Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ring Pop Review (and Giveaway)

Ring Pops were always one of my first choices as a treat while I was growing up.  Well, that and candy necklaces.  I loved to pretend I was dressed up wearing my candy apparel.  Then you got to eat it in the end and I couldn't think of a better treat!

When I was asked to do a review on Ring Pops, I couldn't pass it up.  It brought back so many childhood memories of eating the pops and sharing with my friends.  I rarely give Mason lollipops because I am afraid that he will take a bit of the stick or lollipop and choke on it.  Then there is the mess factor that goes along with a 2 year old eating anything sticky.  The Ring Pop packaging also reminds us that this is a candy kids can wear on their finger so they never have to worry about dropping it.  One more plus for the Ring Pop.

When I received the bag of Ring Pops to try, I was delighted to see that this was a sugar-free version of what I grew up on.  The flavors like strawberry, watermelon, and blue raspberry will appeal to any child.  The Pop seemed large enough at the start that I didn't have to worry about choking and there was no stick to contend with.  So far, so good!

And, I do admit that I am one of those Mom's who save lollipops for special occasions, long visits at the doctors office, or when all else has failed and I need to maintain some sort of decorum.  A lollipop will always work.  Now, I don't have to feel guilty about bribing Mason with a lollipop, because it is fat free and only 30 calories a pop.  According to the package, it also has 0 sugar carbs and 0 impact carbs, (for those watching their carbs).  This is also an approved candy for those with diabetes.  It is good to know that there is fun, diabetic friendly candy, that kids can enjoy eating!

Mason was excited when I gave him the Ring Pop to try.  I slid it on his finger and he wasn't sure what to make of it at first.  He quickly discovered the sugar-free goodness!  It seemed to be a really good size for his hands.  He did wind up taking it off and holding the ring part to eat it, but the plastic ring did help to prevent some of the mess I usually wind up with.

When I gave Mason the Ring Pop, I wondered if he could tell the difference between a regular lollipop sweetened with sugar or the sugar free Ring Pop, which is sweetened with Splenda.  I believe his exact words were, "Ummm, Yum!"...the entire time he ate the Ring Pop.  I dare to say he didn't notice.

I definitely foresee buying more of these sugar free Ring Pops for the future.  They will be nice to have on hand for a special treat without all the guilt, and not just for Mason.

Do you want to win some Sugar Free Ring Pops of your own?  Click HERE or head over to Mama Cheaps and enter to win.  There will be 3 winners chosen!  Good Luck!!

Ring Pops provided us with samples of the products reviewed above in order to facilitate the review.  Ring Pops is providing the prizes for this giveaway.  All opinions are 100% our own.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Frito-Lay Summer Snack Pack Giveaway (Closed)

Today is the first day of Summer but if you ask me, it already feels like it as been in full swing!  I have already had a few barbecues and have spent many warm days in the pool with Mason.  Summer is probably one of my most favorite times of the year.  I love getting together with friends and nothing beats the feeling of hanging out and enjoying the warm nights.

Everyone knows that along with friends gathering comes food, and lots of it.  I know I always have a few staples on hand just in case a friend pops over.  One of which is Frito-Lay Hint of Lime tortilla chips.   These are my favorite chips because you can eat them with salsa or alone and still have an interesting flavor to enjoy.  And besides, who really wants to be in a hot kitchen cooking on a hot day?  It is so much easier to pop some chips and dip in a bowl and enjoy the time you have with your friends and family.

What I really love about having chips and dips at gatherings is that can be a sneaky way to add fresh fruits and veggies to your diet.  You can easily use your favorite chips as a vehicle to dish up extra nutrition by pairing them with dips made with fruits and vegetables, like Frito-Lay's Mango Salsa Chutney.  Or, you could try the Garden Lime Dip, which also just happens to pair perfectly with my favorite Hint of Lime chips.

And, in case you didn't know, some of Frito-Lay’s most popular snacks, such as Tostitos Scoops tortilla chips and Lay’s Classic potato chips are made with only three simple ingredients: potatoes or corn, healthier oils and salt - that’s it!  I figure, if you snack, why not choose a healthier snack?

Do you love Frito-Lay too?  Fill out the form below to win your own Frito-Lay Summer Snack Pack!  You will receive a Frito-Lay summer snack pack with three favorite summer snacks – Tostitos Scoops tortilla chips, Tostitos Restaurant Style with a Hint of Lime tortilla chips and Lay’s Classic potato chips – along with one of Frito-Lay's new Dip Creations Dip Mixes, and a festive, insulated Frito-Lay tote bag made from recycled material.

The Giveaway will run from 6/21/11 at 12:00pm to 6/26/11 at 12:00pm.  You may enter the Giveaway once a day, including bonus entries.  All erroneous entries will be deleted.  Your mailing address will ONLY be used to ship the Summer Snack Pack.

Congratulations to Angela W, winner of the Frito-Lay Summer Snack Pack!

Frito-Lay provided me with a Summer Snack Pack and recipes in order to facilitate this review.  My family has been happily enjoying the Hint of Lime Tortillas and will be using the Potato Chips and Dip for this weekend's gathering!  All opinions are 100% mine.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Prevent Bug Bites and Stings Naturally

We all know it is the season of spending time outdoors in our backyards or at the park.  Along with that comes bugs and bites.  I know last year my backyard was swarming with mosquitoes.  I still can't figure it out.  No standing water for them to breed, but they still have found their way into my yard. 

Last year, I applied one of the commercial, over the counter insect repellents.  It seemed to work fine for me, but I still got the occasional bite.  My real concern is putting the insect repellent chemicals on Mason, but I figure what other choice do I have?

This week, I received Remedy magazine in the mail and there was a brief article about bugs and how to prevent bug bites.  You can use the good, old-fashioned insect repellent with 20% to 30% DEET or picardin to exposed skin.  Make sure if you apply it to your face, your first spray the repellent into your hands, and then rub them into your skin.

Here's what I will be using for Mason this season.  Not only is it safer, it's cheaper than buying repellent at the store.  The easiest way to make your own insect repellent is to mix 2 drops of essential oil (like geranium, peppermint, or eucalyptus) into two teaspoons of water.  Rub the mixture on the skin.  You can get the essential oil at health food stores.  There you go!  Insect repellent with out all the nasty chemicals.

Click HERE for a great article and a more in depth look at how to make insect repellents and what worked for certain types of insects.