Starbucks Caramel Flan Frappucino Light Blended


Those of us folks who are coffee fans have been hearing and seeing the new Caramel Flan beverage line (available in both latte and frappucino) advertised.  I’d been looking into the drink online and was interested in perhaps giving it a try one day.  That “one day” came a lot sooner when I received a complimentary drink e-mail from Starbucks for a tall Caramel Flan drink for 1-day only.
Since I am a Weight Watchers member I hopped on the Starbucks website and looked up the different versions of the drink and was very pleased to find this drink is sold in light variety – which is different from their nonfat no whip version.  According to Starbucks website the drink is described as follows: “Caramel Flan Frappuccino® Light Blended Beverage is a creamy-cool indulgence. Along with our own caramel flan flavored syrup, we add a drizzle of caramel flan sauce.
I was sold.
While running an errand I popped into my local Starbucks and picked up my drink. I found this to be quite delicious. It’s undoubtedly caramel but there is that flan flavor lingering in the background.  It wasn’t overly sweet, actually perfectly sweetened, and was a great treat for the coffee and frappucino lover in me.
A tall is 110 calories and only 3 points plus values.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough QuestBar

I received this Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough QuestBar from QuestBar from their 2 free 2 bars promo with Hungry Girl.  As far as I can see the deal is still available (see here: http://www.questproteinbar.com/hungry-girl).
I’ve heard many great things about the chocolate chip cookie dough bar so I had high hopes. I’ve heard this particular bar is a lot better ripped up into chunks and baked as you would cookies.  The bar can also be eaten straight out of the package or after being warmed in the microwave.  Since I have yet to try any of the bars heated up, I opted for the oven method.
Opening the package, I found the bar was rather dry and not the same consistency of the other QuestBars I have tried. I ripped the bar up into pieces and popped my pan in the oven for a few minutes just to warm through. Taking them out of the oven, I tried them and I have to say … I wasn’t a fan. The flavor wasn’t tasty and it wasn’t nearly close to being reminiscent of cookie dough.  It had an awful aftertaste.  The crisping in the oven made them slightly crunchy as a cookie would be – but I couldn’t get past the flavor. My boyfriend tried it and said it was okay, but he didn’t eat anymore than the single bite he took.  I’m not sure if I had a bad bar, but it was just a complete miss for me.
I enjoy QuestBars because they are jam packed with fiber and protein, something that is typically missing from snack or nutrition bars.  So far, the Chocolate Brownie is the only contender in the slam-dunk category.
This particular bar is 190 calories and 5 Points Plus values.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any QuestBars? If so, what’s your favorite flavor?

FAGE Total Split Cups Review

I was invited to take part in a BzzAgent BzzCampaign featuring FAGE Total Split Cup Greek yogurt.  I was immediately interested because I LOVE Greek yogurt, but I don’t try all the brands on the market – because lets face it, Greek yogurt can get pricey especially if you find after a bite or two you don’t like it.  I have seen a number of people eating them along with their lunch, but I had never taken the plunge to try it myself.
The interesting and unique part of this yogurt is the fact that the flavors are split. There is no “fruit on the bottom” or “blended flavors” in this yogurt – it’s simply a plain Greek yogurt on one side of the cup and on the other is the flavoring of the yogurt you’ve chosen. The flavoring resembles a loose jam or ice cream topping that can be mixed into the yogurt (my preference), layered with the yogurt bite by bite, etc.  It really allows you to control how much sweetness and flavoring you include with your yogurt.
The one great thing about this yogurt is there is no room for boring. There are so many different flavors available that it would certainly shake your everyday normal yogurt up.  The flavors available under the Total 0% are as follows: plain, raspberry, strawberry, peach, cherry, blueberry, cherry pomegranate, blueberry acai, mango guanabana, strawberry goji, honey, apple cinnamon raisins, orange cinnamon, passion fruit Clementine and kiwi papaya passion fruit.  Granted, your local grocery store may not carry all of these flavors (mine certainly doesn’t), but I found there were a number of flavors available to choose from without it being the same ole staple “boring” flavors.
Out of all the flavors I purchased, I enjoyed the blueberry the most.  It was filling and packed with flavor. The cherry was a second runner up but I found it was a little tarter than I’d hope for. I do not like plain Greek yogurt simply because it’s too tart for me to eat on its own.  But I will say, the plain yogurt is great to use as a vegetable dip.  I took the plain and added some ranch powdered dressing to it for a delicious, filling veggie dip.
These were a nice twist from the norm staple greek yogurts in my refrigerator.  They calculate out to 3 points plus values (the plain is 2 points plus values), which isn’t bad in comparison to some of the other brands on the market.  Overall, I did enjoy these – but I will admit, finding a flavor to suit your fancy can be a little trial and error as it is with really anything you buy that’s new to your palette.
QUESTION:
What is your favorite greek yogurt flavor?

Quest Bar Protein Bar – Apple Pie


I’ve purchased Quest Bar’s at GNC because they’ve been all the rave on Instagram and YouTube.  I admit, I was intrigued – a protein bar that taste good, is high in protein AND fiber? Sign me up!  I originally purchased 4 (buy 3 get 1 free) at GNC and after trying a few I’ve found I enjoyed the ones I’ve eaten.
A number of weeks later Hungry Girl paired up with Quest Bar to offer 2 free favorite bars (the Apple Pie and the Cookie Dough) to any one who signs up for them.  The deal is still going, so if you haven’t tried them yet and would like to I’d suggest signing up before the deal is gone (sign up here: http://www.questproteinbar.com/HungryGirl/).
This particular bar is 4 points plus values and it contains 20 grams of protein and 18 grams fiber. Perfect. The flavor is definitely apple while the texture is chewy.  I did find this particular bar was sticking to my teeth (reminder: only eat these when a toothbrush is handy).  I also want to point out that this does have a very mild aftertaste – it’s not bad but it’s there, so if you’re sensitive to flavors, you may not be in love with this flavor. Quest bars can also be heated up in the microwave or the toaster oven … but I just decided to eat it straight out of the package.
QUESTION:
Have you tried any of Quest Bars? If so, what’s your favorite flavor?

FREE Papa John’s Pepperoni Thin Crust Pizza


Right before the Super Bowl Papa John’s sent an e-mail out allowing recipients to vote as to what would be called at the Super Bowl during the coin toss.  The choices were, of course, heads or tails.  The stipulation was if you picked the correct choice the day after the Super Bowl Papa John’s would e-mail you a unique promo code for a free large 1-topping pizza of your choice.  Those that choose the incorrect side of the coin were still awarded, I believe, a 50% off your order coupon code.
I picked heads and heads was called so I received my promo code as stated, the next day.  Later in the week my boyfriend and I didn’t have dinner plans and decided to just order a pizza from Papa John’s.  We got our staple pepperoni (the boyfriends choice, I’d be happy with cheese or banana pepper ring!) but I requested a thin crust pie this time (mainly to shave the calories and points associated with a slice off).
The thin crust pizza was pretty good.  I find on the short commute home from the pizzeria (about 7 minutes) Papa’s thin crust never really survives the colder temperatures out doors (even in a warm car).  The pizza was rather luke warm when we got it home – but nonetheless it was free and dinner was served!
Each slice was 7 points plus – of course the point value would increase slightly depending on the amount of pizza you consumed.  I had 2 slices and it was 15 Points Plus.
QUESTION:
Did you win a free pizza from Papa John’s during this promotion?
Image is mine do not take or use. Thank you.

FREE 5LB hand weights @ Burlington Coat Factory!

 Last month a Burlington Coat Factory store opened and with their opening they sent out $10 off your purchase coupons/flyers to all area residents.  I received one of them in the mail, stuck it in my purse and decided I’d check out the store when I was in the area.  A few weeks later I popped into the store and browsed around.  Originally I was going to purchase a handbag, but the opening was rather small — well, small in comparison to what I was looking for.  I knew it was going to bother me over time so I decided to not get it — but instead found these 5 pound hand weights in the little fitness center.  I had been looking at hand weights at Target and Walmart and the 3 pounders were $8 each — this set for both was $7.99 so it made them absolutely free!  They’re made of good sturdy material  The hand surface is smooth, which after using may require me to handle with textured gloves (to avoid slippage and smashing my toes to smithereens).  But overall I’m happy with my purchase!

BzzCampaign: Green Mountain Coffee – Fair Trade

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I was invited to take part in a new BzzAgent BzzCampaign – this one centered around Green Mountain Coffee and Fair Trade.  The moment I saw the invite flash onto my phone (I have my e-mail synced to my smartphone) I went onto the website and officially opted into it.  I admit I was pretty excited to be part of this campaign because I am a HUGE coffee lover.  Coffee and caffeine run through my veins all day, every day, so needless to say I was looking forward to receiving my campaign introduction.  I received it the other day, took my photos of it, and went straight ahead to testing it out the next morning.
Fair Trade has started to get a big buzz as of late (and not just in this campaign) especially considering October is Fair Trade Month.  It’s being suggested coffee consumers purchase from Fair Trade suppliers because that ensures you can enjoy your own coffee, while also making sure to take care of the farmer who cultivated those beans you’re drinking.  By doing this Fair Trade ensures farmers get a fair price for their beans (meaning coffee manufactures aren’t nickel and diming the farmers), by doing this farmers working conditions can improve, there’s assistance in protecting the environment, while it also aids in supporting the community aiding in creating new schools, roads, drinking water, etc.  Green Mountain is largely known for promoting this and pushing for it.

There have been two musicians – Grace Potterand Michael Franti who have taken part of the Fair Trade act and traveled over to Colombia and Sumatra to visit the farming communities and get a better understanding of how Fair Trade significantly impacts not only the farmers of coffee beans, but the world and the individual farms communities.  The Green Mountain facebook page details the two performers trip, journey and the impact Fair Trade has on farming.  Make sure you check out Green Mountains facebook page to see Grace Potter and Michael Franti Fair Trade source trip which also includes a live stream of their concert: https://www.facebook.com/GreenMountainCoffee.&nbsp; One other thing you can get over at the Green Mountain facebook page is coupons off Green Mountain Coffee k-cups and bagged coffee.

In my campaign box, I received a stack of $1 off manufacturer coupons, a BzzGuide which details Fair Trade centering around coffee and 3 boxes of K-Cups. The K-Cup boxes house 4 K-Cups in each box and the 3 boxes have the same four flavors in it.  The four flavors provided were: Sumatran Reserve (Extra Bold), Colombian Fair Trade Select, Wild Mountain Blueberry, and Vermont Country Blend.
In closing, I can say drink responsibly

<img src=”http://img.bzzagent.com/image/GMCfairTrade.jpg?Type=activity&Activity=9081228831&Campaign=6979708601&Uid=1278590&token=e684856b50387fba967a7ffc16d33515&#8243; alt=””/>

BzzReview: Unreal Candy Bar

 
 
 


Being a BzzAgent I received a coupon for a free Unreal candy bar, but I decided to get a few of them to share with my boyfriend and to try out.  I picked up the following bars: Unreal 77 – Reese Peanut Butter cup dupe, a Unreal 8 Snickers dupe and an Unreal 5 Milky Ways dupe and Unreal 41 a M&M’s dupe.
Unreal candy bars are supposed to be a “healthier” alternative to sweets by eliminating some of the processed ingredients that typically go into candy bars. For instance there’s less sugar, there’s no corn syrup in the candy, no partially hydrogenated oil, no artificial ingredients, no GMOs, no preservatives and it has a low glycemic index.
I will say out of the four I (and my boyfriend) tried we both agreed the Unreal 77 (peanut butter cup) was the grossest.  It just was weird and had a funky aftertaste.  Maybe it’s the fact that Reese Cups are one of my all time favorite chocolates, but this just wasn’t comparable.  I realize it’s not made to be an exact “duplicate” but it was just … not yummy.  I wouldn’t buy this again, heck, I wouldn’t even pick it up for free if I had to again because I just plain did not like it.
The Unreal 5 was hands down my favorite.  It was nice and mildly sweet and I liked that the caramel wasn’t sickeningly sweet as most caramels in chocolates tend to be.  It had a nice flavor, it was smooth all around and just a yummy candy bar.  This was definitely my favorite out of the batch.
The Unreal 8 was my boyfriend’s favorite.  I found it was alright, but it wasn’t as good as a Snickers (at least in my opinion).  My boyfriend thought it was a nice, healthier alternative.  It was nothing spectacular to shake a stick at, but it wasn’t horrendous either.  I just wasn’t a huge fan but my boyfriend enjoyed it, more-so than the Unreal 5.
Now the Unreal 41 (think M&Ms) was the most surprising.  The color is very bland but that’s because there’s no artificial colorings in it.  But I felt these tasted like Cadbury eggs (you know the ones with the crunchy shell).  They had more “meat” to them in comparison to say an M&M but I think I like these more than M&M’s.  They were just yummy and I liked how they reminded me of Cadbury (one of my favorite chocolate companies!)
Disclaimer: I received a free coupon from BzzAgent to test out the new Unreal candy bars which market was “unjunking the junk”.  I purchased one bar for free, used a buy 1 get 1 coupon to buy the other two and while at CVS was given a coupon (from CVS) for a free Unreal candy bar – so I ended up with four to try out.  Please do note that even though I received these items for free, it in no way alters my opinion of the product as my opinions are nothing but my own.