Product Review: Special K Cereal and Bars

I recently read an article (warning- there is some “language” if you’re sensitive to that sort of thing) about a guy who ate food marketed towards women for two weeks. The article specifically mentioned Special K products, so when I received these products to test out and review, I was reminded that these were food products marketed to women, so I should love them.

Keyword: should.

To be fair, out of the two products I received, only one was so horrible that I threw it away after the first try. Let’s start with the good before moving to the bad.

The product that I actually kept and am enjoying is the box of Special K Chocolate Almond Chewy Nut Bars.

Kellogg's(R) Special K(R) Snack Bars and Cereals

I will admit that I looked at the ingredients list and was a little horrified at how long it was, so if you’re pretty health conscious, go ahead and just tune out and join me next week. (Although I probably lost you at Special K, didn’t I?).

These were pretty good. They were a nice combination of chocolaty and nutty, and they kept me reasonably full (for a snack) for a couple of hours. Plus, my husband ate one, and since his stomach didn’t explode and he didn’t turn into a woman, I assume that men would enjoy them as well. Overall, I give these 3.5 out of 5 stars, based on my completely arbitrary rating system.

Now, for the not-so-good. I also received a box of Special K Protein Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crunch Cereal.

Kellogg's(R) Special K(R) Snack Bars and Cereals

I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say this is probably the worst cereal I’ve ever had in my life. It had barely any flavor, and I’m not sure if the protein is supposed to be more “filling” but after eating a serving, I was hungry an hour later. An. Hour. Later.

I’m not a delicate flower, so perhaps this cereal is marketed to those women with appetites the size of a hummingbird who actually forget to eat sometimes. I on the other hand have never, ever, ever forgotten to eat. In fact, I’m eating as I write this! Even our dog, who will always try to get a bite of whatever we’re eating, had absolutely no interest in this. Save your money and buy a container of oatmeal and a container of peanut butter to mix together instead. 0 out of 5 stars.

If you have a deranged interest in trying the cereal or a mild curiosity in trying the bars, leave me a comment with your contact info, and I’ll send you some coupons. I can’t remember how many I have or how much they are for ($1 off, maybe?), but I’ll send them out until they’re gone.

Note: I received both of these products from BzzAgent to try, free of charge. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own!

Short product review + Giveaway winner!

In my last post, I had a lot of products to talk about from Influenster and BzzAgent. I had so many products to review that I didn’t have a chance to try all of them! Over the weekend, I tried two more of the Influenster products- the PRFOOT Triad Orthotic Shoe Inserts and the Aqua Spa Relax Body Creme (Lavender and Chamomile scented).

I wore the inserts on Saturday to do an hour long workout at the gym. I also wore them for a 3 mile run/walk (definitely more walking than running!) afterwards. I didn’t affix them to my shoes because I wanted to make sure they would work well for me, and I’m also going to need new shoes in the next couple of months, so I wanted to be able to transfer them. Since they weren’t affixed, the left insert was a little uncomfortable because I moved it when I put that shoe on. However, besides that discomfort, I really liked the inserts! I liked that they didn’t cover the entire shoe but still felt like they supported my whole foot. They provided a good amount of cushioning, so my feet weren’t sore after exercising. I’ll be using these from now on!

I used the lotion before bed last night. It went on smoothly, and my skin immediately felt softer. I liked the scent, but I didn’t feel like it lasted long enough. I did have a hard time getting out of bed this morning though, so maybe I was more relaxed than I realized! Aqua Spa also makes a bath/shower gel with this scent. I may purchase that to use with the lotion to see if the scent lasts longer.

Now, for the fun stuff! There were two entries to the giveaway- thanks Lena and Clara! I let my husband act as the random number generator since there was a small number of entries. He decided to leave it completely up to chance by rolling a dice. He decided that if it was an odd number, then comment number one (Lena’s) won, and if it was an even number, then comment number two (Clara’s) won. He rolled, and it landed on….

(Building suspense…insert drumroll here…)

Three! Congratulations Lena! I’ll send you a message with the gift card code! If you buy something for that precious baby boy, send me a picture! =)

Summer Fun Products from BzzAgent and Influenster

[HEY! Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for a $10 Amazon gift card. No one has entered yet, so you’ll probably win! =)]

As a member of BzzAgent and Influenster, I receive free products in exchange for my honest opinion. Lately, I’ve received a few items that are going to help our summer be more fun!

From Influenster, I received the “Go VoxBox.” Here’s what it had in it (ignore the fact that I put everything on the stove to take a picture!).

PRFOOT Pedi-Rock
Blue Diamond Blueberry Almonds
PRFOOT Triad Orthotic Shoe Inserts
Vitamin Shoppe Fit N’ Full Shakes in French Vanilla, Swiss Chocolate, and Fresh Berries
Vitamin Shoppe Shaker Bottle
Aqua Spa Relax Body Creme in Lavender and Chamomile 
Playtex Sport Tampons
Coupon for Mueller yogurt
I haven’t used everything yet, but I’ve enjoyed everything I have used! The shakes tasted a lot better than I thought they would. I did notice that the chocolate blended better than the vanilla. I haven’t tried the berry flavor yet, so I’m not sure how well it will blend. The shaker bottle works well with no leaks or sweating. The lid is a little tough to snap down, but once it’s sealed, it keeps anything from spilling. The almonds were good, but they were a little sweeter than I expected. They may taste better mixed in with plain almonds or another unflavored food. I used another one of the products, but I’ll spare you the details of that! 😉 I’m planning to use the inserts the next time I run, so hopefully they’ll help me go lightning fast (ha!). 
Currently, I have four open BzzAgent campaigns: Silk Protein-Fiber Almond Milk, Bic Soleil Glow Razors, Coppertone Clearlysheer Sunscreen, and Summer Favorites at Kroger (which included Honey Mustard and Onion Pretzel Pieces and Rolled Guacamole Tortilla Chips). 
Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of any of the products when I unpacked the boxes. Sorry!
The first product I tried was the Protein + Fiber Almond Milk in Original flavor. I have been drinking almond milk instead of dairy milk since February, so I was really excited about this campaign! I usually add my almond milk to coffee, tea, or protein shakes, so I don’t know how this tastes by itself. However, it tasted great mixed in with all of my usual drinks. Plus, the added fiber helped keep me full just a little bit longer. And, not to be TMI here, but it didn’t do anything funky to my stomach (hey, that’s important info to know!). The only downside was that I couldn’t find this in Publix, so I had to go to Kroger for it, which can sometimes be a not-so-fun experience. I’ll definitely buy this again!
The second product I tried was the Soleil razor. Like most women, I find shaving a pain in the leg (instead of a pain in the neck…get it…heh). Now that it’s warm out, I have to shave even more often, so I’m glad I had the chance to try the Soleil razor because it lasts longer than the double blade store brand razors I usually use! The Soleil has three blades, which I didn’t think would make a big difference, but it does. It seems to give a closer shave that lasts just a hair (ha) longer than my other razors. It also has a lubricating strip with Vitamin E and aloe, so your legs get a little extra moisturizing when you use it. That’s never a bad thing!
The third product I tried was the sunscreen. I received two different types- Clearlysheer for Sunny Days and Clearlysheer for Beach and Pool. Since I haven’t had the chance to go to the beach or pool yet this year (BOOOOOO), I used the Sunny Days formula. It went on light and had a good odor; I was glad to have a sunscreen that didn’t smell like coconuts or that had a telltale “sunscreen smell.” I tend to break out a lot in the summer also, but this sunscreen didn’t make me feel like my pores were clogged. I’m not always the best about remembering to put on sunscreen, but I’m going to make more of an effort since I have a good one to use now!
The fourth and fifth products I devoured tried were the pretzel pieces and tortilla chips. Okay, here’s my confession. I’ve been doing a couple of challenges at the gym since the end of January, and I’m supposed to be eating cleaner. All of the clean eating went out the window during the three days it took me to destroy these snacks. Oops! There’s nothing healthy about these snacks, but they would make a great side for cookout food or a good afternoon snack. I also received coupons for Big K soda and Kroger Deluxe Ice Cream, but I haven’t redeemed those yet. 
I know this was a pretty long post, but if you’re still with me, take a moment to enter the giveaway and then take more than a moment to purchase one or more of these products!

Product reviews: Neutrogena Hair Care and Rimmel Lipstick

I don’t normally post on Mondays, but I wanted to blog about these two products before the Make Yourself Amazing in April series starts tomorrow.

I received two products to test: the Neutrogena Triple Repair Hair Care System from BzzAgent and Rimmel Moisture Renew Lipstick in As You Want Victoria from Influenster. I received both of these products for free in exchange for my honest opinion.

(Side note: After April, I plan to write more about the product testing and money making sites that I am a member of).

My first product was the Neutrogena Triple Repair Hair Care System.

The system includes shampoo, conditioner, and fortifying leave-in treatment. I’m not loyal to any kind of hair brand, so I was excited to try something new, especially a hair care system that is supposed to strengthen my hair and protect it from damage from styling tools. The Neutrogena website says that it’s supposed to make hair three times stronger and instantly repair the three leading signs of damaged hair in just one use.

The first thing I noticed was that the shampoo and conditioner didn’t have any scent. I know that some people are sensitive to smells in health and beauty products, but I would like the option of a scented product to make my hair smell fresher. I also noticed that it took two times with the shampoo before my hair felt clean. That could have just been because it was post-gym hair though.

After I used all three products, I let my hair air dry for a little bit before drying it. This is how my hair looked from just using the dryer:

Next, I flat ironed it. I used heat protection spray also, but after reading the product description online, it looks like I could have skipped it since the leave-in treatment is supposed to protect from damage up to 400 degrees. This is how my hair looked after flat ironing it:

Overall, I’m pleased with these products. My hair felt softer and smoother, and it seemed to be easier to style (relatively speaking since I’m kind of styling challenged!). It also still looked decent the next day without too much work, so that appealed to the lazy girl in me. I haven’t looked for these products in stores, but the website says they retail for $6.99 per product. I would recommend them if you regularly use heat to style your hair or if you just feel like your hair is looking a little frazzled.

The next product I tested was the lipstick. If you know me in real life, you know that I’m not much a makeup wearer, so getting a lipstick that looked like this:

was a little out of my comfort zone!

Here’s how it looked when I first put it on:

Please note the expression of horror. My lips were BRIGHT!
The Rimmel website says that the lipstick is supposed to make your lips feel up to 70% more hydrated and up to 60% smoother. My question is more hydrated and smoother than what? I felt my lips were dry and kind of cakey, but that could also be because I usually just wear lip gloss. 

However, once I got past the initial self-consciousness and fielded questions from people at work who asked if it was a special occasion (because I had on lipstick and fixed my hair…man, do I set some low standards…), I kind of liked it. The color held on pretty well too. This is how it looked in the afternoon, after I had been eating and drinking throughout the day:

Is it sad that I think the florescent lights at work are more flattering than the lights at home? Maybe I need better bulbs or to open the shades or something.
This is what the color looked like before I left work at 4:30 on Friday:

It had definitely faded, but you could still tell I had on lipstick.
I’m mixed on this. It might be fun to wear somewhere other than work, and I might try another color just to see if it makes me feel less “mouthy”. I haven’t looked for this in stores either, but the CVS website has it retailing for $6.99.
What do you guys think? Does the lipstick deserve its own spot in the Caboodles, or does it need to quietly go away? 

A Review of Dove Advanced Care deodorant

This post is going to be the pits…

Ugh, I know, I know.

(Well, how would you start a review of deodorant? Exactly…)

As part of the Influenster program, I was recently sent a full-sized Dove Advanced Care deodorant to review. Since I’ve been going to the gym a lot more lately, this was great timing!

The box grossed me out a little:

Displaying photo 1.JPG
36% of what you remove while shaving is SKIN?!? Ewww!!

But, thankfully, there weren’t any other disturbing facts on the actual deodorant container:

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The Dove website says that the Advanced Care deodorant can deliver 48 hour odor and wetness protection. Since I shower more often than 48 hours, I can’t verify that claim, but I can say that it does make me feel less gross during my workouts. Also, since I usually go directly to work after the gym, I’m always concerned about smelling funky, but no one has ran away from me in horror yet, so I’ve got to give Dove some credit here. 

The deodorant itself smells good. It’s not overpowering or overly floral smelling. It doesn’t go on clear, but I haven’t noticed any marks in any of my clothes. I’m not sure what the retail price on this is, but I’m definitely pleased with it and will be buying it when this tube is empty.

Disclaimer: I received this product free as a member of Influenster, but all opinions are entirely my own.