Reviews

Review: Nutro Wholesome Essentials Cat Food

I received the opportunity to get a full bag of Nurto Wholesome Essential cat food for my girls to try. Although I received the bag for free, the following review is an honest opinion on the brand.

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I applaud the fact that chicken was the #1 ingredient and it appears they have removed a lot of the garbage that can be found in mainstream cat foods. My girls can be pick eaters at time, and prior attempts to get them off the “junk food” brands have failed so I was curious to see how they would like the biscuits.

I probably wasn’t the best to take on this food for testing due to the fact that both my cats have vet grade food that I couldn’t just simply eliminate from their diet, so I was adding this bowl to the collection of food that was already at their disposal….

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Overall, however, the food went over very well! Even with an overwhelming amount of choices on the floor, it was still eaten rather quickly. I wasn’t a huge fan of the shape of the food due to a slight comparison to .. maggots … but that was fine, in the end the cats don’t care.

I would recommend this cat food to anyone looking to be able to read and pronounce all the ingredients in their cat’s food. I sadly won’t be making this a regular purchase, again due to one cat having dirty teeth and the other having issues with UTI’s HOWEVER they did enjoy it, and we ever get to a place where those issues are managed- I will definitely consider this brand.

Review: Love Beauty and Planet Shampoo & Conditioner

I got the opportunity to sample Love Beauty and Plant Shampoo and conditioner for testing. Although I received the products for free, all the opinions are my own.

Review: Love Beauty and Planet

They are a cruelty free, plant sourced brand with lots of positive product points. The shampoo and conditioner made my hair feel soft and was easy to brush. I would definitely purchase a full version of this product.

My only true critique would be that it’s another in plastic product. To take it to the next step, a reusable container would really rise the company above the rest.

There are plenty of natural products on the line these days so now the challenge becomes putting the product in something that is biodegradable or refillable.

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Review: Hello Flavour Influenster Box

I got the opportunity to receive the Hello Flavour Sample box complimentary from Influenster for testing. All the opinions in this post are my own.

Lately, Influenster has been sending me make-up samples and with my decline of wearing makeup it was getting a little annoying reviewing things I really don’t use on a regular basis. So, getting a box of spices was a breathe of fresh air because I love love LOVE cooking and of course it’s no secret I am an avid baker.

Spices

In the box I got some kitchen staples: Cinnamon and Allspice, and some new things to try: Harissa and Black Garlic.

The box came with some recommended recipes, I decided to give the Harissa chocolate cupcakes a try. The recipe seemed like a pretty solid chocolate cake recipe just with the spice. I was curious to see how this spice that I would typically use on chicken will pan out in a chocolate cupcake…

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As expected, the batter was a nice texture that mixed and scooped well. It didn’t quite make the 24 cupcakes but I made a few of them a little big. After they cooled I decked them out with my own homemade icing and some red sugar to symbolize the kick in the cupcake.

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The Verdict: the initial bite isn’t bad, you just taste chocolate. However, then the aftertaste comes and it’s a disgusting sour mess. I made it through 2 bites of the cupcake and gave up. I thought that since I’m not a huge fan of eating sweets, it may have just been my taste buds so I got my boyfriend to try one when he got home. Same verdict, they were gross.

At this point it was a challenge for me to find someone who actually liked this cupcake. I brought them to work the next day and got all 6 of my coworkers to try one. Each person had one bite, and then proceeded to lick off the icing before disposing of the cupcake. (At least my icing is good baha)

To summarize: These cupcakes were gross. I tried to like then, I tried to find someone who liked them but the end result was these cupcakes ending up in the green bin.

I bet that spice in something appropriate would be delicious, it smelled great in the package. I’m disappointed that I wasted my sample in those cupcakes.

Next up I tried the Black Garlic Spice

I’ve cooked with real black garlic in the past, it has a very unique texture and flavor to it so I was very curious if this spice would be able to hold it’s own. The recommended recipe was to make a sauce for ice cream………………….. After the cupcake incident I decided to use one of my own recipes to try out the spice.

I chose one of my favorite cook books: The Bobs Burgers Burger Cook Book!

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I chose to make the “Bet it all on Black Garlic Burger” I’ve tried it with the real black garlic and it was indeed… Exceptional Mouth Feels…..

Bet it all on black garlic burger

Instead of using real black garlic, I substituted the package of spice in the mayonnaise. I also had to adjust the greens to kale just due to availability at the market.

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The Verdict: ……. Exceptional Mouth Feels. Now it’s definitely not as good as the real thing BUT for a dried spice it did capture the unique smell and taste of the black garlic without the mess of dealing with the actual garlic.

I will buy this spice, this is definitely a new staple in my spice cabinet.

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I didn’t go into depths for the Cinnamon and Allspice because I think we all know what those spices are like and what recipes they work the best with. I am so relieved that I used my own recipe to test the black garlic as opposed to the recommended one because I would have been quite disappointed if both samples were wasted.

I get it that Hello Flavour is trying to have innovative and different recipes… But I would think they would make and test out a recipe before promoting it? Just my thought on it.

Review: Bap House Korean Kitchen

I snuck away from my kitchen over the weekend to check out one of Halifax's new restaurants with some good friends. We tried out Bap House on Quinpool Rd. 

It was a little tricky to see at first, Quinpool can be a little congested but once you know what you're looking for you can distinguish it from the busy street.

Immediately when we walked in we were greeted by a very enthusiastic woman, I'm assuming she was the owner. She took the time to tell us about the menu, how the food is prepared and even how to eat it in an authentic Korean manner.

The menu is short and sweet. They serve Bibimbap as the main course, however due to the nature of the bibimbap you could easily have a different dish every time you visit. The dish is completely customized to your pallet. 

Bap House Menu

This restaurant takes a lot of pride in their food, they don't use any MSG, the veggies used are the ones locally in stock for the season and it's all made fresh.

The presentation of the meal was right out of a magazine, all 4 of the dishes we ordered were arranged just like this.

The presentation of the meal was right out of a magazine, all 4 of the dishes we ordered were arranged just like this.

I ordered the noodle Bibimbap combo which came with Miso soup and I got the dish with beef, egg and spicy sauce- we were instructed to mix it up with the chop sticks and consume it with the spoon (thank goodness I am terrible with chop sticks)

Everything about this meal was delicious, the spice wasn't overpowering so you could genuinely enjoy the taste of every ingredient and the woman came back to check on us a number of times.

She was even generous enough to make us a set of dumplings for free to sample. Let me tell you I could easily eat 20 of those things- Delicious.

My sole critique was that my ahem... hearty North American tummy was not filled by this delicious dish, I could have easily eaten 3 more bowls however for the $14 before tax and tip price tag that really wasn't a good idea. I would recommend coming to this restaurant if you need something to get you between lunch and dinner, around 2PM when you need a snack. Since the food is preservative free and fresh there's no guilt for having a mid afternoon snack here.

Review: Benefit Mascara

I received a sample size of Benefit mascara in the mail! Kay so... I don't remember being advised the sample was coming.. It just kinda showed up haha but hey I'll never complain about free stuff!

All the opinions in this review are my own.

Benefit cosmetic review

I was very impressed with this mascara. It's smooth, didn't clump, and gave my lashes a nice little boost.

Benefit mascara

Overall" I was pleased with this sample. It had all qualities that you want in a mascara so it's no wonder it's among the top mascara going right now. A plus as well, the products sold in Canada (according to the internet) are cruelty free! I would purchase this product again.

Review: Quaker Overnight Oats

I got the opportunity to test out Quaker's new overnight oats for free to test out from Sample Source, although I got the products for free all the opinions are my own.

Sample Source sent me a coupon so that I could pick out my preference of flavor- I chose the Walnut, Raisin & Honey flavor as it seemed like the least sweet out of the options.

Quaker Overnight Oats

I was a little hesitant to try this product as I'm not the biggest fan of oatmeal (just can't stand that squishy texture) but the crunch of the walnuts balanced out the texture quite well.

Ingredients:

WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, SUGAR, WALNUTS COATED WITH ROSEMARY EXTRACT (TO HELP PROTECT FLAVOR), RAISINS, QUINOA, FLAXSEED, SALT, HONEY, NATURAL FLAVOR

I'm always a fan of products that you can read and understand all the ingredients.

Quaker Overnight Oats
Quaker Overnight Oats

Overall this was a solid product, the convenience is certainly there with the service size and easy prep however it was way too sweet for my liking- plus I'm actually trying to reduce my plastic usage so these little cups really don't encourage that.

I personally wouldn't buy it again however for someone who enjoys sweet oatmeal and someone who is on the go this would be a perfect addition to their pantry.

Review: Lays Poppers

On Wednesdays I like to take some time to review a product to share my experiences and hopefully encourage my readers to try something different!

I got the opportunity to try out Lay's new snack food for free for testing purposes, however all of the opinions are my own. I am so lucky to be a part of so many campaigns by Influenster, it's a great opportunity to try new products on the market.

If you want to get free stuff as well, it takes a little effort to remember to review products and interact in conversations online but it's SO worth it!! 

Click here to join!

Lays Poppables

These snacks were interesting... I received the Honey BBQ in my box. The flavor wasn't overly strong and had a very sweet after taste. I prefer more savory snacks- I do look forward to trying the other flavors available however, I do enjoy Lays as a whole so I'll give this product a second chance.

It's a great use of potatoes that don't have what it takes to be chips. The first ingredient is potato flakes.

Ingredients:  POTATO FLAKES, VEGETABLE OIL, POTATO STARCH, SEASONING (SUGAR, SALT, CORN MALTODEXTRIN, SPICES, ONION POWDER, YEAST EXTRACT, BROWN SUGAR, TOMATO POWDER, NATURAL FLAVOUR, HONEY SOLIDS, MOLASSES SOLIDS, PAPRIKA EXTRACT, VEGETABLE OIL, GARLIC POWDER, CITRIC ACID, PURIFIED STEVIA LEAF EXTRACT), SEA SALT, ASPARAGINASE, TURMERIC.

You know whats nice? Being able to recognize all the ingredients in a snack!

Lays Poppers

The other flavors available are White Cheddar, Sea Salt and the Honey BBQ.

Review: Nescafe Coffee Products

On Wednesdays I take some time to review a product, place or experience in hopes I'll inspire someone to try something new! 

This week is all about one of my favorite things in life: COFFEE. Nescafe sent me a few new products to try. Although I received these products for free for testing all the thoughts and opinions are my own.

The package included:

- A coupon for a free Coffee Mate bliss

- 2 packs of instant coffee

- 1 pack of instant cappuccino 

Free Samples

The instant coffee was a dark blend- honestly these were nothing to write home about- they tasted just like every other instant coffee I've ever consumed- bitter and a sad alternative to real coffee. As much as instant is sometimes convenient I plan to stick with my beans for now.

The cappuccino was a delightful treat, closer to a hot chocolate blend than a coffee blend this mix was a sugary delight. As much as it was good, you couldn't drink one of these everyday- far too sweet. But after a nice dessert this would be the icing in the cake.

Lastly I redeemed the coupon for the Coffee mate. I picked up the hazelnut flavor to try, from Atlantic Superstore. Ironically I almost didn't get it, even though the coupon was chopped full of security features to prevent duplication the cashier that checked me out was very critical of the purchase... I guess she doesn't see those kind of promotional coupons very often.... After a good 5 minutes of staring at the glossy security stickers I think she finally realized there was no getting around me getting this product for free. She wasn't happy about it (maybe a little jealous who knows) but she finally applied the coupon and I was on my way.

Coffee mate review

This stuff was delicious! I really enjoyed a little pinch in my coffee to sweeten it up. Quite awhile ago I eliminated the sugar in my coffee all together so it was a nice treat to try this stuff (as it's a trio of flavoring, milk and sugar). My only critique was when I washed out the bottle to recycle it there was some not so appetizing chunks than fell into the sink. It certainly wasn't curdled so I can only assume it was settled sugar at the bottom of the bottle.

Coffee bliss review