Disclosure

* Disclosure: I often receive free or discounted products in exchange for unbiased product reviews. This in no way influences my product reviews. All opinions are based on my own personal experiences with the products. I always do my best to provide fair, unbiased reviews because I appreciate honest reviews. This page includes affiliate links.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

(Product Review) Pillsbury Moist Supreme Premium Cake Mix - Chocolate For National Cupcake Day

  • Looking over a calendar of October holidays, including a list of little known holidays, I decided to review several products to celebrate them. In addition to Halloween, I have included a few little known October holidays. I posted reviews for several products on another site before the site went bad. I am no longer affiliated with the site where I originally posted them, so decided to bring them to my own blog to share with my visitors.

    October 18, National Chocolate Cupcake Day
    Pillsbury Moist Supreme Premium Cake Mix - Chocolate, (Food and Drinks)


  • Pillsbury Moist Supreme Premium Cake Mix - Chocolate For National Cupcake Day

  • Review by kelly60
     in Home and Garden
     in Music, Home and Garden 
      October, 26 2011
  • Pros: Moist and delicious, inexpensive
    Cons: Contains calories
    National Chocolate Cupcake Day was on Tuesday, October 18, 2011. Even if you missed the official holiday though, any time is a good time for Pillsbury Moist Supreme Premium Chocolate Cake Mix. I usually buy several of these at a time when they go on sale because chocolate is a favorite around my house.

    Whether you are baking a cake or cupcakes, Pillsbury Moist Supreme Premium Chocolate Cake Mix is a quick and easy way to make it delicious. I can often find them on sale for around a dollar each. Even ordering them online and having them delivered to my door only costs me around a dollar and a half each, and it saves my time and trouble of running to the store.

    Making the cake is easy. In addition to the mix, all it take is 1 1/4 cups water, 1/3 cup oil, 3 eggs and you are ready to bake a great dessert at an affordable price. You can even make your cake cholesterol free by substituting egg whites or an egg substitute for the eggs. Because there is a full cup of pudding in every mix, they come out moist and delicious every time.

    To make your cake, you first need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, you need to mix up the ingredients. You can either use an electric mixer or do this using a whisk. Then either grease and flour, or spray your choice of pans with a nonstick cooking spray. If making cupcakes, you may opt to line your muffin pan with paper liners instead. Your batter should then be poured into the prepared pan or pans, then bake according to package directions. The package also includes directions for high altitude baking.

    One mix makes either one 9" by 13" pan, two 7" round pans, a bundt pan, or 24 cupcakes. Depending on which you choose, they bake in anywhere from 18 to 40 minutes. Check baking directions for specific times. You can also check your cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of your cake. The cake is done when the toothpick comes out clean.

    Once your cake is done, you should allow it to cool for around 10 or 15 minutes before removing it from the pan, and cool it completely before frosting. You can frost it with your favorite canned frosting, or make your own. I prefer the ready to spread types for convenience, but the choice is yours. Once frosted, it should be stored loosely covered.

    For those with allergy concerns, there is warning that says it contains soybean and wheat ingredients, and may contain milk ingredients. I have included the full ingredient list at the bottom for those who are interested. Keep in mind though, that ingredients can change, so you should check the label if you have a specific allergy concern.

    According to the package, one cake contains 12 servings, although one twelfth of a cake or 2 cupcakes may be more than many people will eat. According to the stated serving size though, the prepared cake contains 240 calories, 100 of which come from fat, not including the frosting. It also contains about 360 mg of sodium, which is about 15% of the recommended daily value for healthy adults.

    I recommend eating this product in moderation, especially if you are concerned about your calorie count. Eating a smaller portion such as eating only one cupcake cuts your calories down to 120 plus frosting though, and can often satisfy your craving for sweets.


    Ingredients
    sugar, enriched bleached flour (wheat flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), partially hydrogenated soybean oil, modified corn starch, cocoa processed with alkali, contains 2% or less of: baking powder (baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate), propylene glycol monoesters, cornstarch, salt, mono- and diglycerides, natural and artificial flavor, cellulose, cellulose gum, colored with (red 40, yellow 5, blue 1), polysorbate 60, xanthan gum, tbhq and citric acid (antioxidants), soy lecithin.

Originally published on Epinions.
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Monday, October 24, 2011

(Product Review) Learning Resources Pretend Sandwich Set - Celebrate National Bologna Day October 24

Looking over a calendar of October holidays, including a list of little known holidays, I decided to review several products to celebrate them. In addition to Halloween, I have included a few little known October holidays. I posted reviews for several products on another site before the site went bad. I am no longer affiliated with the site where I originally posted them, so decided to bring them to my own blog to share with my visitors.




  • Learning Resources Pretend Sandwich Set - Celebrate National Bologna Day October 24

    Review by kelly60
     in Home and Garden
     in Music, Home and Garden 
      October, 24 2011
  • Pros: Encourages pretend play in kids, sparks their interest in helping with food preparation.
    Cons: Not enough sandwich fillers, price is a bit steep for what you get.
    Monday, October 24 is National Bologna Day. Lets celebrate by making bologna sandwiches!

    A friend of mine recently bought the Learning Resources Pretend Sandwich Set for when her grandchildren come over to visit. I had considered buying this for my grandchildren as well.

    The set comes with 14 pieces including a sturdy shopping basket containing six slices of bread (two slices of whole wheat and four slices of white), two slices of cheese, one slice each of turkey, bologna, salami, lettuce and tomato.

    The Learning Resources Pretend Sandwich Set claims to contain enough food for your child to make 3 sandwiches, but all I can say is that it can only make 3 skimpy sandwiches. If your children want to make 3 sandwiches that are a bit more complete, they are sure to be disappointed. Providing you place only one slice of meat per sandwich, this leaves just 2 slices of cheese, and one piece each of the lettuce and tomato. This might be alright for just one child, but when multiple children tried to play together, there were constant arguments over who got the tomato, or who didn't get any cheese. Most kids like to pile on the toppings, so I think that this would be nicer if it included a bit more of the sandwich fillings.

    The basket size is approximately 10 inches by 8 inches by 4 inches and comes in assorted primary colors. The bread, meats, cheeses and vegetables are approximately the sizes of the real food items. It has a nice texture, is a bit flexible, and looks pretty realistic.

    The pieces are made of plastic, and wipe clean easily. Since the pieces are close to actual size, they do not present a choking hazard to even young children. They are recommended for children 3 years or older, but even younger children may enjoy playing with them.

    The kids enjoy making sandwiches for each other and for themselves, but like I said earlier, the lack of sandwich fillers can sometimes present a problem. Although they play with this set all of the time, there is often a problem at some point in their play because there just isn't enough fillers to go around. The problem was partially solved when we found a few stray play food items at a garage sale. Too bad we couldn't find a couple more tomatoes to go with the set because this is the one piece that they fight about the most.

    The Learning Resources Pretend Sandwich Set can be a fun learning experience, inspiring pretend play in preschoolers, but unless you have either more than one set or some additional items to use for sandwich fillers, I just can't recommend it. I think that they would have been better off to include a couple more filler items either in addition or in place of a couple of the slices of bread.

    The concept is good, and it is a good quality set, but considering that it doesn't have enough of the sandwich fillings to make the 3 full sandwiches, I feel that the price is a bit steep for what you get. 

Originally published on Epinions.
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Friday, October 21, 2011

(Product Review) Hershey Miniatures 2 lb Bag - Great for Halloween, Christmas and More

Looking over a calendar of October holidays, including a list of little known holidays, I decided to review several products to celebrate them. In addition to Halloween, I have included a few little known October holidays. I posted reviews for several products on another site before the site went bad. I am no longer affiliated with the site where I originally posted them, so decided to bring them to my own blog to share with my visitors.


Hershey Miniatures 2 lb Bag - Great for Halloween, Christmas and More

  • Review by kelly60
     in Home and Garden
     in Music, Home and Garden 
      October, 21 2011
  • Pros: Great tasting chocolate, good variety, something for everyone. Less than 50 calories per piece.
    Cons: All chocolate has calories...
    With Halloween and Christmas coming, it is time to think about what sort of treats to give to the monsters and goblins who come to your door, and what goodies to fill the stockings with. Hershey Miniatures are a perfect choice for both occasions.

    A 2-pound bag of Hershey Miniatures goes a long way. It has four different types of your favorite candy bars to satisfy just about everyone, and all this is in one bag. The Hershey Miniatures assortment includes: Hershey's Milk Chocolate, Mr. Goodbar, Krackel and my favorite, Special Dark.

    Hershey's Milk Chocolate is a deliciously creamy milk chocolate bar. Mr. Goodbar has peanuts, smothered in rich, creamy Hershey's milk chocolate. Krackel is filled with crunchy, crisp rice bits that are covered in smooth, delicious Hershey's milk chocolate. Special Dark is a delicious, mildly sweet dark chocolate. All four flavors are delicious, and the variety in this bag is great.

    A serving size of Hershey Miniatures is 5 pieces. Each serving contains 210 calories, 110 of which come from fat. They also contain 55 mg of sodium and 25 grams of carbs. I have added the complete nutrition information further down for those interested.

    Although I can't tell you that the Hershey Miniatures are good for you, I don't think that eating a few every now and then is too terrible. In fact, I like to think that the Special Dark ones may actually have some health benefit since studies show that dark chocolate contains antioxidants, and that antioxidants may help to improve your cardiovascular health.

    Healthy or not though, I know that it is delicious and has less than 50 calories per piece. That is not so bad when I compare it to some other snack foods that don't usually satisfy a chocolate craving nearly as well.

    I remember these as a kid. My sisters, my brother and I would return from our Halloween Trick-or-Treating and pour out our candy to examine. There were four of us and of course we all had our favorites. I always swapped with the others and ended up with all of the special dark bars.

    Years later, when my kids returned home with their treats, I often was offered a special dark or two from their collection. They don't seem to like the dark chocolate as well as the others, but that is okay since there are 3 other flavors in the bag and they all have their favorites too.

    I often buy a bag or two of these for Halloween, and sometimes for Christmas as well. We don't get a lot of Trick-or-Treaters because we live out of town, so one bag is usually plenty to last me through the evening. I sometimes buy a second bag though, and save it for later, once the candy from Halloween is gone.

    Nutrition Information from the Hershey website:
    Kosher Status: OU-D
    Serving Size: 5 pieces (43.00 g)
    Total Calories 210
    Calories from Fat 110
    Amount Per Serving %DV *
    Total Fat 13 g 20%
    Saturated Fat 7 g 35%
    Cholesterol 5 mg 1%
    Sodium 55 mg 2%
    Total Carbohydrate 25 g 8%
    Dietary Fiber 2 g 8%
    Sugars 22 g
    Sugar Alcohols 0%
    Protein 3 g
    Vitamin C 0%
    Calcium 4%
    Iron 6%

    *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
    Calories: 2,000 2,500
    Total Fat Less than 65g 80g
    Sat Fat Less than 20g 25g
    Cholesterol Less than 300mg 300mg
    Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2,400mg
    Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
    Dietary Fiber 25g 30g

    Hershey's goal is to keep each product's nutrition information up-to-date and accurate but please consult the label on the product's packaging before using. If you notice that something is different on a product's label than appears on our website, please call us for more information at (800) 468-1714. 


Originally published on Epinions.
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Saturday, October 15, 2011

(Product Review) Lifesavers Wint-O-Green

Looking over a calendar of October holidays, including a list of little known holidays, I decided to review several products to celebrate them. In addition to Halloween, I have included a few little known October holidays. I posted reviews for several products on another site before the site went bad. I am no longer affiliated with the site where I originally posted them, so decided to bring them to my own blog to share with my visitors.




Lifesavers Wint-O-Green - Great For Dry Mouth, Cravings, Breath Mints, Trick-or-Treats, Stocking Stuffers and More

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2011-10-15

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful


Pros: Fat-free, sodium-free, low calorie, tastes great, lasts a long time, easily portable

Cons: No nutritional value, but still a better choice than many other treats.

Summary: These are one of my favorites because they taste great, are easily portable, great for dry mouth, breath fresheners, or to satisfy a craving for sweets.


Whether you need a quick fix for a dry mouth, a breath mint, or to satisfy a craving for sweets with something that is fat-free, sodium-free, and low in calories, Lifesavers Wint-O-Green candies are a perfect, portable treat.

Each Lifesavers candy is individually wrapped in clear plastic to make then easy to take with you anywhere, and I rarely go anywhere without them. I keep some in my car, my coat pocket, my karaoke bag, my kitchen, and at my desk. This way they are always within easy reach no matter where I go or what I do.

I love that I can keep them in my car year around without having to worry about them freezing or melting and making a mess. The same goes for my pocket. I used to carry snacks for the kids in my coat pocket and ended up throwing half of them away because they would become crushed or melted after carrying them around for a while. I have never had that problem with the Lifesavers.

I'm obviously not the only one who likes to keep these around though. At one doctor's office where I used to take my son when he was younger, the nurse always had a jar of these on her desk and would quite often offer one to my son. He would always thank her and ask her if he could have one for his mom too.

Lifesavers Wint-O-Green candies have a mild wintergreen flavor. It is a pleasant taste that can be enjoyed by both children and adults. My granddaughters know that I always have them at my desk and in my car so when they visit, they often ask me for one. Even though they have no nutritional value, I would much rather give them these than some of the other treats around because they are fat-free, sodium-free and lower in calories than many other snacks. It's nice that this is the one they generally ask for.

They are a hard candy, so they last a while, rather than giving the girls a piece of chocolate that will be gone in a few seconds and they come back for more. Usually, just one or two pieces will satisfy their desire for candy, and they move on to something else.

Each candy has 15 calories, and often I only grab one piece at a time, so this isn't going to do too much damage to my calorie count. Four pieces is considered a serving, and even at 60 calories and 15 carbs, it isn't that bad. You can do better calorie-wise if you choose the sugar-free varieties, but for those of us who can't tolerate the NutraSweet, these are a good choice. I also prefer to give these to the kids because I don't like giving NutraSweet to them, knowing how it affects me.

Each bag contains about 12 servings, or 48 pieces so I often pick up more than one bag at a time or sometimes buy them in the larger bags where available. Since these are fat-free and sodium free they are a good choice if you just need a little something to satisfy a craving.

Ingredients:
sugar, corn syrup, artificial flavor, stearic acid

These also make a great choice for handing out for Trick-or-Treats for Halloween, or for dropping a few into stockings for Christmas. The kids love them, and because they are fat-free, sodium-free, and low in calories, they are much better for them than some of the alternatives.


Originally published on Epinions.
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(Product Review) Oscar's Trashy Songs by Sesame Street

Looking over a calendar of October holidays, including a list of little known holidays, I decided to review several products to celebrate them. In addition to Halloween, I have included a few little known October holidays. I posted reviews for several products on another site before the site went bad. I am no longer affiliated with the site where I originally posted them, so decided to bring them to my own blog to share with my visitors.

October 15, National Grouch Day:
Oscar's Trashy Songs by Sesame Street (Music)  




Oscar's Trashy Songs by Sesame Street (National Grouch Day Oct. 15)

Sesame Street: Oscar's Trashy Songs by Sesame Street (CD, Apr-1997, Sony Music Distribution (USA))

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2011-10-15

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful


Pros: Cute songs with clever lyrics. Good for cheering up your own grouches.

Cons: None

Summary: I recommend this fun CD filled with songs that any Sesame Street/Oscar the Grouch fan will love. Good for cheering up grouches.


In honor of National Grouch Day (October 15) I would like to share this an adorable CD full of trashy songs from Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch.

Oscar's Trashy Songs contains 15 songs by Oscar the Grouch, who in some cases is joined by Grundgetta, Telly Monster, the Grouche Chorale, the Grouchketeers and more. Any Oscar the Grouch fan will love hearing Oscar's familiar gravely voice singing these songs made popular on the Sesame Street show. Some of my favorites include Let a Frown be Your Umbrella, and I'm Sad Because I'm Happy and I Love Trash.

I remember a couple of these songs from watching Sesame Street with my now grown children. I guess maybe part of the reason I still enjoy them is that it brings back memories of time spent with my children when they were little. Of course, my grandchildren enjoy Oscar too, so now I can share these fun songs with them as well.

I think that both children and adults will enjoy Oscar's Trashy Songs, or at least I do. Whether he is singing about the wonderful trash in his can, or the honk, bang, whistle and crash sounds on Sesame Street, Oscar takes on a happy, upbeat tone that is sure to cheer you up. Something about Oscar's grouchiness can help with even the most disagreeable of moods.

Oscar's Trashy Songs was released by Sony Wonder in 1997, and is still a big hit with the kids today. The catchy tunes and the clever lyrics are fun for everyone. This is also available in cassette format.

1. I Love Trash
2. Oscar's Junk Band (featuring Grundgetta & Telly Monster)
3. Let a Frown Be Your Umbrella (Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella) (with Farley)
4. Rain Falls
5. Grouchelot (with Grungetta/Telly Monster/Stephen J. Grouch)
6. Noise
7. I'm Sad Because I'm Happy (with The Grouche Chorale)
8. Grouch Song
9. Wonderful Me
10. Hey Little Worm (with the Grouchketeers)
11. Oscar's Do Re Mi (with The Grouchketeers)
12. Swamp Mushy Muddy
13. Honk, Bang, Whistle and Crash
14. Little Grouch Music, A (Grouchy Music in the Night)
15. There's a Big Heap of Trash at the End of the Rainbow (with The Grouch Chorale) 



Originally published on Epinions.
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Friday, October 14, 2011

(Product Review) Sesame Workshop - Sesame Street Oscar the Grouch's Green Stickers

Looking over a calendar of October holidays, including a list of little known holidays, I decided to review several products to celebrate them. In addition to Halloween, I have included a few little known October holidays. I posted reviews for several products on another site before the site went bad. I am no longer affiliated with the site where I originally posted them, so decided to bring them to my own blog to share with my visitors.

October 15, National Grouch Day:
Oscar's Trashy Songs by Sesame Street (Music) 

Sesame Workshop - Sesame Street Oscar the Grouch's Green Stickers (Books)





Sesame Workshop - Sesame Street Oscar the Grouch's Green Stickers (National Grouch Day Oct. 15)

Sesame Workshop - Sesame Street Oscar the Grouch's Green Stickers

Reviewed by kelly60 on 2011-10-14

Product Rating: 5

Community Rating: Very Helpful


Pros: Fun for young children, educational

Cons: A bit expensive at $6, but I found mine for around $2 instead

Summary: Fun and educational for younger kids. My granddaughters enjoyed them, and they were well worth the $2 that I paid for them.


In honor of National Grouch Day (October 15) I would like to share this cute little sticker book with you. Sesame Street Oscar the Grouch's Green Stickers from Sesame Workshop is a 4 page sticker book for children.

This is a pocket size sticker book, and Oscar the Grouch will teach your children about all things green. The book contains 25 peel-and-apply green stickers. Some of the stickers include a turtle, dinosaur, grasshopper, caterpillar, frog, and of course Oscar the Grouch.

It is a paperback book and measures 5.8 x 4.1 x 0.2 inches so it can easily be tucked in your pocket, purse, diaper bag, or carried in your car. This makes it nice for road trips or those times when you have a little time to kill and need to keep your children or grandchildren occupied.

Although it is rated for children from 4-8 years old, even younger children can enjoy looking at the pictures and talking about them. My 2 year old granddaughter loves to look at the pictures and tell me what they are. Even kids who are too young to enjoy the stickers can still enjoy the book.

We spent a lot of time looking at the book and talking about Oscar and the other pictures before we actually played with the stickers. Once they were discovered though, she enjoyed them as well. They are a little hard for a 2-year old to put in place because the eye-hand coordination isn't quite as advanced as children who are slightly older. Still, she had fun and the peel-and-stick stickers make it easy to use.

While I thought that the $6 that I have seen this go for was a bit much for such a small sticker book, I was happy to find them for around $2 instead. I think that they are well worth the money I paid for them because the girls all love them.

Sesame Street Oscar the Grouch's Green Stickers was published by Dover Publications on September 2009. The isbn number for this book is 9780486330020



Originally published on Epinions.
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Monday, October 10, 2011

Real Shopping Help - Real Product Reviews by Real People



I've been writing reviews on various products for many years. Hopefully you will find some of these product reviews useful in helping you make informed buying decisions. I post only real product reviews from real people. These will usually be my own product reviews, but I may also include reviews from guest reviewers from time to time.

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