Torani Sugar Free Syrups Review and Giveaway

Nearly 4 years ago I gave up soda entirely.  In those four years I have had a Sprite in a kiddie cocktail a few times when I was pregnant, and some ginger ale to soothe my stomach, but I have not had any real soda for soda’s sake since.  It was not an easy transition but a good one for me.

I did not however give up caffeine, because I am a mom of young kids and there are only so many bad habits I can fix at one time.  Enter two of my staples: coffee and tea.

My favorite however is coffee.  Everyday a cup of coffee or some iced coffee keeps me going.  Sometimes it is from Starbucks, sometimes it is from Caribou, and sometimes it is from my house or from work.  The problem with coffee shop coffee is the price.  The problem with my own coffee (at home or work) is that it doesn’t taste nearly as good.  It lacks the mix-ins.

I like some dairy in my coffee, but I also like some sweetness.  Going with real sugar in my coffee can be dangerous because it makes me crave sugar throughout the day, especially if I am having coffee with breakfast like normal.  SO, enter Torani Sugar Free Syrups.  I had looked at getting these before to help curb my coffee shop addiction but hadn’t pulled the trigger when I was contacted with a chance to review them and to give some away.

Sold.

They sent me three Sugar Free Syrups to try: Vanilla, Caramel, and Raspberry.  I was expecting small bottles but I got the giant coffee house size!

The first one I tried was the Vanilla since my go to splurge is a skinny vanilla latte.  That came to live with me at work.  It goes into my work coffee daily, and even into my tea if it needs a bit of sweetness.  What I like is that it is not too vanilla-y but it lends sweetness and fragrance to the coffee.  I would like to add it to an espresso sometime, but given that coffee is what I have then it works with that.  I have even been known to get a latte unsweetened (cheaper) and bring it back to work for sweetener.   I also love that I can just as much as I need.  I find most of the coffee places add WAY too much and I do better with about half of the quantity.  It works perfectly for me.

The second one I tried was Caramel – this lives at home where I can put it in coffee but I can also put it in some hot chocolate with a bit of salt for a salted caramel hot chocolate – made with skim milk it is a reasonable treat for me, especially when it was cold out.  One of the reasons I like this one is that it is not a burnt caramel flavor.  Some of the coffee shops have really nasty Sugar free caramels, but the Torani one is not bitter.

Finally I tried the Raspberry.  I am rarely a raspberry syrup fan and don’t think I have anything to compare it to in my beverage drinking world but it is really delicious.  I don’t mix this with coffee, but I do get unsweetened sparkling water and put a few pumps into that to make it fruity and delicious.  Sometimes I add a few real raspberries as well.  It will serve me well as a mix-in for lemonade, sparkling water and possibly even cocktails this summer especially.

Aside from the flavors there are a few things I like about them.  One I already mentioned is that I can control how much I put in.  I often find I need less than I think I do and it really has reduced my sweetener habit.  Two, I like that it is made with Splenda and not Aspertame.  It may be a minor thing in terms of the sugar free sweeteners but it goes a long way in my book.  Of course if they made one with stevia then I would be all over that as well.

In a world where I choose my food battles, I am not at a point to give up sweetening my coffee and with the syrups available I don’t feel like I have to give them up but I can have some control over it.  My budget is happy that I spend less at Starbucks too.  (Of course now I have my eye on the Sugar Free English Toffee)

Would you like to try some Torani Sugar Free Syrups?  They have generously provided me with TWO 3-packs of the syrups to give away.  Follow the rafflecopter below to enter.

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I was provided the syrups free to review, however all views expressed are my own.  In addition, I was given the giveaway items but since I am shipping myself this giveaway will be limited to the United States.  The giveaway will be open until 5/5/15 at midnight.

Review: Jump Sport iBounce Kid’s Trampoline

A week or two ago I was contacted by JumpSport who was looking for bloggers with children 2-5 to review a kid’s trampoline: the iBounce Kid’s Trampoline  I remembered JumpSport from my first FitBloggin (2013), but had been bummed that I was too pregnant to feel comfortable jumping in their exercise class.

I was excited to review and indoor toy that could keep E1 moving during the winter.  It was also an exciting opportunity because E1 has loved “Toy review videos” on Youtube lately and he was over the moon with a chance to star in his own review video.   Plus, since it has a giveaway to it too it was extra fun.

So we assembled it this weekend and he has been bouncing all weekend long.  It came with 3 DVDs that have bouncing ideas and games, but he prefers to just free bounce.  Even E2 wanted to get in on the action though her gross motor skills require lots of supervision still.

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I really like the trampoline, the bungees are covered so that kids won’t get caught in them.  It isn’t too high off the ground but it still has a good bounce to it.  E1 can get some serious air.

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The handlebars are sturdy and make it safer for the kids.  I do think E1 might be on the cusp of being TOO big for it, it is designed for 2-5 yr olds.  Still I can see E1 and E2 getting a lot of use out of this.  And if E1 is bouncing during the occasional netflix video even better.  There is even an iPad holder you can attack and an app to give additional bouncing games for the kids.
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I could go on, but I think the smiles on E1’s face and his enthusiasm speak volumes.  (Please note, he is sometimes tempted to show off and forgot the handlebars at one point.  We are working on that, lol.)

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Giveaway: Quest Bars!

This summer has been a whirlwind, with far more activities and travel than ever before.  It just sort of happened that way, but this last weekend was our first real weekend home relaxing all summer.  Travel can reek havoc on healthy lifestyles, especially when one is easily led astray (ahem).  One of my go-to’s during this crazy time has been Quest Bars from Quest Nutrition.  And since they had a representative at FitBloggin’ again this year I was able to get some samples so I could try all their delicious flavors.  And thanks to Quest, I have not one, but TWO sample packs to giveaway to loyal readers so you can try them too!12sampler

Photo from Quest Nutrition (because I forgot to take my own before starting to eat them!)

I really love Quest’s hashtag #cleancheat because it feels that way.  It feels like a cheat food, but the reality is that it is nutritious as well as being delicious.  Most of the bars end up being 4 or 5 Weight Watcher PP, which is a good size snack, but they have a great amount of protein and fiber and very few net carbs.  For many bars that description sounds like it would be a bland soy mess, but Quest bars are delicious!

My favorite bars are the Cookies and Cream, Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, but the amazing thing is that there was not a single flavor that I didn’t enjoy.  I would have them all again.  That says something since I am notoriously picky when it comes to protein bars.  (Actually, I had to hide them from E1 and Mr. Goat too, otherwise they would all disappear!

As I said above, Quest is giving me TWO 16-flavor sampler packs to giveaway.  Just enter below!  They will even ship worldwide!  I have a bit of jealousy about my own giveaway.  I ate all my Quest Bars.  See?

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All Gone! *sadface*  Time to order more!

 I was given some Quest bars from Quest Nutrition to try and review.  All opinions are my own however.  The giveaway will be open until 10pm on Monday, August 18.  You can tweet once a day but all other entries are one time only.  

 

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Bondi Band Review and Giveaway

90% of the time I love my haircut.   I used to have longer hair and it always irked me.  It would get long and limp so easily, but at the same time I was used to it and afraid to change.  Somehow it seemed that long hair hid a fat face better.  However, I finally got brave enough (in stages) to get cut my hair shorter and shorter, until I reached the long shaggy pixie type cut that I have now.

June 2014

And like I said, 90% of the time I love it.  The other 10% is when I am exercising.  When I am exercising I hate my hair.  I cannot put it in a ponytail and my bangs hang in my eyes.  Most of the small narrow bands just slide through my hair and it is too fine for most clips.   I have tried many different options to try to find something that works for working out.

My favorite is Bondi Band.  I squealed when I was offered a chance to review them because I already knew that I loved the product.  They are a wide headband and they don’t slide off my head as I am working out.  They can get sopping wet and don’t drip sweat into my eyes from my hair.  Yes, I pretty much look like a fool when wearing it, but I am never going to be a fashion over function sort of girl.  Besides, I love the clever phrases on the Bondi Band.

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Crazy hair, I don’t care!

Bondi Band has a ton of styles, colors, sayings and even bling on their headbands.  You can even order custom ones!  (Note to self: come up with a clever saying, order cute headband, be more awesome).  Plus in a touch I love they donate 10% of all profits to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts.

Thanks to FitApproach #sweatpink and Bondi Band #bondiband I have TWO Bondi Bands to giveaway. I just love to give stuff away.  I was sent three total and chose to keep the one above.  It pretty much sums up my feelings about running to a tee.  But there are two more that you can win!
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So be sure to enter to win a new Bondi Band.  BUT, if you don’t win use the code SWEATPINK when you check out.  It is good for 10% off all items except Bargain Bin, Design Your Own, and Custom Items. It is good thru June 28th.
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I was provided the Bondi Bands from Bondi Band as a SweatPink Ambassador (with FitApproach).  As always, all opinions are my own!Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 6.27.06 PM

 

Congratulations Angie and Jill who won our Bondibands!  The giveaway is now closed.