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Learn portion control with Slimware

 

Diet

When the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Day, most people are geared up to tackle their New Year’s resolutions.

Many people resolve to eat healthier, lose weight and exercise more. That had been my resolution for many years, but usually by the second or third week in January I an snacking on chips while sitting on the couch watching television. Sigh…

I no longer make resolutions. I also don’t consider going on diets. Instead I vow to make healthier choices. If I want a cookie I’ll have one or two and not five or six. I drink water all day long. I use seasoning instead of butter to flavor food. Simple, easy things like that.

One thing that I have a hard time with, and I think others do too, is portion control. As Americans we eat HUGE portions. When you go to other countries and see what they put on their plate you feel like you are going to be hungry because it doesn’t seem like enough food.

There is a deli across from where we live that offers “Take Out Tuesday” each week. Each week they offer two different meals, complete with a salad, for a family of four. It’s only $20 which sounds like a great option for dinner. It’s suppose to feed four people, but just looking at the size of the meal you can’t help but think it’s only for 1-2 people at best. Technically the meal is based on proper portion sizes for four people, but most people don’t eat those potion sizes, so it seems like there is not enough food. I have actually seen people walk out with two meals that would technically feed eight people, but they are buying them to feed 4-5 people.

Traditional Cuban dinner of black beans and rice, roast pork, and fried plantains, with a glass of iced tea.

Do you know correction portion sizes? Do you know what ratio of food should be placed on your plate (fruits/veggies, protein, carbohydrates)? Do you know what the correct portion sizes would be?

One way would be to weigh and measure everything you put on your plate. That might be fine for some people, but when you are a busy person who has to rush to get dinner on the table every night, that is easier said than done. I simply do not have time to do that.

What is there was a way to know the correct amount of food you are putting on your plate that was quick and easy? There is! It’s called Slimware.

Slimware is a line of portion control plates designed to be microwave safe, dishwasher safe and break-resistant.

Slimware plates look like casual dinnerware with exquisite designs. However, they are graphically designed with food placement areas, so the untrained eye would not know you’re being mindful of your portions.

Here is an example of a Slimware plate set.

Plates

As you can see they are beautiful plates. They don’t look like anything special that can help you control your portion sizes – do they?

If you notice on the design there are three flowers – small, medium and large. Those are actually the areas where you would place your food. Vegetable would go on the largest flower. Your side dishes (carbs) would go over the medium flower and your entree (protein) would go over the smallest flower.

You might notice the pretty butterfly too. That is actually the “extender area” where your protein can overlap. I often use that area for condiments, like ketchup.

Portions

As you can see it’s very easy to see how much a portion size is simply by looking at the design on your plate.

Here are a few other Slimare plates that are available for purchase. See if you can spot that portion size indicators in the design.

SLIM_002-2 SLIM_004-2 SLIM_007-2

Could you spot the areas in the designs where your food would go?

Here is a good reason why you need plates like this – even if you are not looking to lose weight or eat healthier.

With Without Slimeware Plates

Without Slimware plates it’s easy to over do it and load up your plate with either too much food or too much of the wrong type of food (for example, too much carbs and not enough vegetables).

I was sent a set of Slimware plates to try out with my family. I chose the Dandelion plate set.

Dandelion

Can you spot the portion spots?

First and foremost I adore this design. I love Dandelions. To this day I blow off the seed whenever I find one of the little while Dandelion “puffs.” It’s fun to do.

These plates are made very well. My kids are not exactly easy on our dishes. They tend to bump things a lot in the sink and in the dish rack. So far, so good. We’ve been using these for a few months and there is not a chip or mark on any of them (thankfully). They also wash very well, both in the dishwasher and by hand. There are no strange stains on them.

I work outside of the home Monday through Friday. There are days I literally have to race into the kitchen to get dinner started – even before taking off my coat and shoes. I literally don’t have time to weigh or measure things. That is why these plates have been especially helpful for me.

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My family honestly never noticed a difference in the portion sizes. They have yet to comment on not having enough to eat. If they feel like they need more they usually grab more veggies (I keep raw veggies to snack on) or some fruit.

Being more aware of my portion sizes has helped me to drop a few pounds. I lost some weight (but now I’ve hit a plateau). I am almost the lightest I’ve been in 17 years – if only I could lose two more pounds. I am hopeful I’ll be able to do so once I can get some exercise in.

Don’t just take my word for it. You can check out television spots that featured Slimeware plates including Good Morning America, Fox News and HSN on their website.

For more information about Slimware visit Slimware.com.

Currently they are having a 50% off sale. The sale ends on January 31, 2017, so if you are interested in the plates now is a great time to purchase them. In all honesty they are not that expensive to begin with. They range in price from $24.95 – $39.95 for a set of four.

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Kimberly

*I received free samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

 

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Product Review: Teasia Teas

 

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I grew up enjoying a cup of tea, almost daily. My mom was from the U.K. (Wales to be exact) and she enjoyed tea a few times a day. So did my great-grandparents. Tea Time was customary in our home.

Looking back on it I guess it was a it odd for a child to drink tea (caffeine) on a regular basis, but I enjoyed it and no one had a problem with it, so I guess it was OK.

Needless to say I am an avid tea drinker and I enjoy a good, hot cup of tea.

Tea (as well as coffee) relaxes me. I’m not affected b the caffeine at all.

If I’m having a rough or stressful day I find that a hot cup of tea really soothes me and makes me feel calmer. I also think that associating tea with my family also has a calming effect on me.

I’ve enjoyed tea many ways. Growing up it was always from a teapot. These days I opt for a tea bag since I’m the only one who will be drinking the tea and it seems like a waste to make an entire pot for one person.

Teasia "K-cup" tea in my e-Brewer that needs to be cleaned.

Teasia “K-cup” tea in my e-Brewer that needs to be cleaned.

That’s why I enjoy my e-Brewer and Keurig. They allow me to make a single serving of coffee… and tea. No more having to wait for the tea bag to do it’s thing. I can have freshly made tea in about a minute.

Have you heard of the brand Teasia? Teasia makes teas that are all natural and made from the highest quality ingredients from around the world. They believe that tea should be enjoyed in it’s purest form and not with added artificial ingredients. They are commitment to social responsibility and the well-being of others, our company strives for purity, integrity, and authenticity in all our teas.

Teasia makes a large variety of teas. Each one come in the form of a “cup” – the type used in Keurigs and other single cup brewers (like e-Brewer).

Teasia offers consumers two different lines of teas – the Floral Series and the Formosa Series. Each series offers a variety of teas.

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Some of the Floral Series teas. Chamomile Mint is missing because I used them all up.

Floral Series

  • Jasmine Green Tea
  • Rose Black Tea
  • Chamomile Mint
  • Rooibos Lemongrass

Formosa Series

  • Green Tea
  • Oolong Tea
  • Roasted Oolong Tea
  • Black Tea

Normally I would drink the teas found in the Formosa Series. I grew up on Black Tea, and I enjoy Green Tea. Oolong is another type of tea I enjoy.

The Floral Series does have some unique sounding blends. I was exited to try them out.

Teasia sent me two variety packs – one for the Floral Series and one for the Formosa Series. Each variety is also available on it’s own. I love variety packs because there is something for everyone.

My preferences leans towards the Formosa Series. I grew up on black tea and oolong tea, so they are most familiar to me. On the flip side, I find ALL the flavors in the Floral Series to be very delightful, especially the chamomile mint. That was my “go to” at night. It’s very refreshing. There was just the right amount of mint (not too much, not too little).

Variety Pack - Formosa

Variety Pack – Formosa. My kids drink tea. They mangled the box.

All of Teasia’s teas come in single serve “cups” to fit most instant brewers (Keurig, e-Brewer…). That means you can have a delicious cup of refreshing tea in minutes (less if your brewer is warmed up and ready to go). You don’t have to worry about steeping time like you would with a tea bag or loose teas. It’s very convenient and great when you have a travel mug and want tea to go.

I have tried all of the flavors, and so far I am pleased with all of them. And I enjoy the convenience of having my tea on the go. I often brew up some tea before heading out the door to work. It was helpful when I had a sore throat recently. I brewed the black and oolong teas and added some lemon juice to my travel mug to help soothe my throat.

If you are a tea lover, and you have a single server brewer, you should check out Teasia Teas. A box (or two!) would make a great gift for the tea lover in your life too.

For more information visit Teasia.com. The brand is also on social media. All of their links are found at the bottom of their website.

Are you a tea lover? Do you have a single cup brewer (Keuring, e-Brewer…)? Would you be interested in trying any o the Teasia teas?

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Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

 

 

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Gourmet Gifts from Omaha Steaks

 

We're big fans of Omaha Steak products.

We’re big fans of Omaha Steak products.

Are you familiar with Omaha Steaks? The company has been around for ages. My mom used to order steaks from them often. They were the “good steaks” which she served to the adults on special occasions. As a child, and later on, a young adult, I never had a steak from Omaha Steaks. My mom reserved them for the adults only. That’s OK. I made up for it later in life when I had my own Omaha Steaks.

The brand is called Omaha Steaks, but they are much more than that. Omaha Steaks offers consumers steaks, pork, bison, veal, chicken, burgers, frankfurters, seafood and more. They even carry side dishes (vegetables, potatoes…) AND desserts (cakes, cheesecake, ice cream…). They have come a long way since my mom used to shop with them decades ago.

As you are rushing around town trying to find the perfect gift, why not consider the gift of gourmet food? Omaha Steaks has a large variety of options to choose from. They even have pre-made bundles to make it easier to find the perfect gift. They also offer products in a variety of price points so that you can stick to your holiday budget.

Purchasing for my father and stepmother has never been easy. They don’t really have a want or need for anything. They are financially well off and can easily buy anything. So what do you gift people like that? A gift bundle from Omaha Steaks of course!

It’s just the two of them. They don’t need to make huge meals. The pre-made packages from Omaha Steaks is perfect for them.

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Take for example Omaha Steak’s Tasteful Gift Set.

The Tasteful Gift ($69.99 + ships free) includes their legendary Filet Mignons and Top Sirloins, Omaha Steaks Seasoning, juicy Pork Chops, delicious Potatoes Au Gratin and our decadent Caramel Apple Tartlets. It’s a gift that is sure to be treasured throughout the year.

I can tell you from experience, this is a great gift for people like my father and stepmother. It’s also a great gift for anyone who enjoys gourmet meals.

The Tasteful Gift set comes

  • 2 (5 oz.) Filet Mignons
  • 2 (5 oz.) Top Sirloins
  • 2 (4 oz.) Boneless Pork Chops
  • 4 (3 oz.) Potatoes au Gratin
  • 4 (4 oz.) Caramel Apple Tartlets
  • Signature Seasoning Packet

For a family of 2+ you would have to cook all four steaks. If it’s just a couple they can enjoy several meals out of this one set (at least three meals). Plus they can enjoy the creamy and oh-so-good Potatoes au Gratin and a Caramel Apple Tartlet with each meal too. All they would need to add is a side dish of some vegetables or a salad and they are all set.

Potatoes au Gratin

Potatoes au Gratin

All of the products are easy to make (they each come with cooking instructions). They are so easy that my teenage son can make one of the steaks or chops when we have “fend for yourself” night dinners (meaning mom and dad aren’t going to be home to make dinner – they need to fend for themselves). It sure beats mac and cheese or Ramen noodles.

Some people might be put off by the price, but if you can get three meals for that price, I consider it a good thing. Just ONE trip to the diner for my family of four (and we don’t buy expensive things) costs us over $50 – not including tip. With the Tasteful Gift you are getting three gourmet meals for under $25 each.

FYI… I’ve had the Tasteful Gift and it’s amazing. I LOVE the Potatoes au Gratin and the Applet Tartlets are DELISH!

If the recipient isn’t really into beef, Omaha Steaks has other combos that include chicken and pork. You can even put together your own package by selecting from all the available options.

Are you hosting a holiday dinner or New Year’s Eve party this year? Worried about what to serve guests? No worries, Omaha Steaks has you covered. They have a section specifically set up for holiday meals and New Year’s Eve parties.

I LOVE their apple tartlets!

I LOVE their apple tartlets!

Let me tell you a little secret… we don’t really cook on Thanksgiving. We order a meal per-made from the grocery store. On Thanksgiving it’s just me, my husband and our two kids. Our daughter doesn’t like many Thanksgiving foods. So why cook a huge turkey for hours on end for so few people?

The prepared meal we buy costs about $50 and includes a pre-cooked turkey, potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing and gravy. It’s good but it seems like it was make and frozen months ago.

Now… if we opted to buy from Omaha Steaks, for just $10 more we could have chose from a smoked ham or Prosciutto-Wrapped Turkey Roulade, and then selected our side dishes from several options including green beans, potatoes, and desserts like cheesecake or Lava cakes. Needless to say, next year we’ll look to Omaha Steaks for our holiday meal instead of the same old boring pre-made grocery store meal. And with Omaha Steaks we know the products are fresh, not sitting in a warehouse for many months.

If you are interested in checking out what Omaha Steaks has to over, visit OmahaSteaks.com. You can also check them out on social media. All of their links are found on the bottom left of their website.

Have you ever purchased food from Omaha Steaks? If so, how was your experience?

Do you think you’d consider gifting something from Omaha Steaks (or perhaps buying something for yourself)?

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Kimberly

*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Celebrate the season with the 12 Days of Bonefish Grill Daily Deals (awesome giveaway ends 12/12/16)

 

swordfish-pumpkin-ravioli

Are you a fan of Bonefish Grill? I am. So is the rest of my family. I am obsessed with their pumpkin ravioli and calamari appetizer. Sadly, the pumpkin ravioli is only a seasonal offering. For that reason I always make sure to visit Bonefish Grill at least once (if not more) when the pumpkin ravioli is available.

Just recently I was introduced to Bonefish Grill’s calamari appetizer. I don’t normally get appetizers (they tend to fill me up before my main meal) but our son requested it. Since I love calamari I had to try it. Oh my goodness!!! It was THE BEST calamari I have ever had. The tangy dipping sauce that came with it only made them taste even better. Now I’m totally hooked on them. I can’t wait to get back to Bonefish Grill so I can order it again – next time for myself. LOL!

If you follow my blog regularly you might recall that last year I posted about Bonefish Grill’s 12 Days of Bonefish Grill Daily Deals. In case you are not familiar with the promotion, each day for twelve days, Bonefish Grill offers a special ONE DAY ONLY deal. The daily deals help you to save big on the foods you love. It’s also a great time to try something new.

I would recommend checking the site daily to see what the day’s deal is. Once the day is over, so is that deal for the day. The deals can be found at 12Days.BonefishGrill.com. Bookmark the site so you can remind yourself to check it daily.

You are unable to see the daily deal until that day. That is why I recommend that you check the website every day (I do it first thing in the morning when I log on my computer while enjoying my morning coffee).

If you need to find a Bonefish Grill location near you, visit BonefishGrill.com. They are also found on social media (all of their links are found on the bottom right of their website). Also, check out the hashtag #BFG12Days on social media to see what others are saying about the 12 Days of Bonefish Grill Daily Deals.

Be sure to follow me on social media (Facebook, Twitter and Google+) where I’ll be sharing information about the daily deals each day.

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To get you excited about this years 12 Days of Bonefish Grill Daily Deals, I have an awesome giveaway for FIVE (5) lucky winners. Each winner will receive $50 in Bonefish Grill gift cards, compliments of Bonefish Grill.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on December 12, 2016. The winners will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winners will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me what your favorite Bonefish Grill menu item is?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kimberly

*I have partnered with Bonefish Grill to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Holiday Gift Ideas from the Popcorn Factory

 

Christmas shopping

Sometimes buying gifts for those on your holiday shopping list can be a chore. There is always that one (or in my case a few) person who is next to impossible to buy for. Either they don’t give you any hints about something they would like to have, or they simply buy what they want/need leaving nothing for anyone else to buy for them.

When you have a difficult person to shop for you need to think “outside the box.” Traditional gifts simply won’t do. Instead, you need something a bit more unique but none-the-less fun and appreciated.

The Popcorn Factory has a delightful selection of holiday gift ideas for those hard to buy for people on your shopping list. After all, most people like popcorn. The Popcorn Factory also sells other delicious products like cookies, pretzels and candies.

My husband is one of those hard to shop for people. He gives me very little hints as to what he wants or would like to have. That means I have to put on my “thinking cap” and look for things he would enjoy.

My husband is a HUGE Dallas Cowboys fan. He lives, breathes and sleeps football. For seventeen weeks (not including playoffs or the Super Bowl) it’s all about football in our home, most especially on Sunday. He watches football from dawn to dusk as well into the night.

I buy him a lot of Dallas Cowboys things for his birthday and the holiday. Anything related to the Dallas Cowboys he’ll enjoy.

The Popcorn Factory carries a line of NFL branded popcorn tins. In addition they have other sport teams too including baseball and college teams.

I was sent to review one of the NFL Tins consisting of three popular varieties of popcorn – buttered, cheddar and caramel coated (similar to Cracker Jacks).

dc-tin

lid

popcorn

My whole family enjoyed the popcorn. As you can see from the above photo the regular buttered popcorn was a family favorite, followed by the cheddar variety. I don’t know why the caramel popcorn isn’t further down the tin. I know I’ve been eating it and I even take some to work with me in a baggie.

The popcorn tins are really big and filled with a lot of popcorn.

An NFL popcorn gift doesn’t only make a great holiday gift for an NFL fan, but popcorn is a great snack to enjoy during the game or at tailgating parties.

The Popcorn Factory has plenty of other tin designs to choose from, including lovely holiday ones.

The popcorn tins come in a variety of sizes to suit your needs and budget. You can even have tins personalized with your own photo and a special message for the recipient.

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personalized

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During the holiday season I often see tins of popcorn available for gifts. There is no comparing the quality of the popcorn between those popcorn tins and a tin of popcorn from The Popcorn Factory tins. The popcorn from The Popcorn Factory tastes better and fresher.

The holiday tins you see in stores too are seasonal offerings. The Popcorn Factory offers popcorn tins (and other edible gifts) year round. They change the available designs depending on the season and holiday.

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thank-you

The Popcorn Factory also offers gift towers and other gift assortments that include cookies, candy and other sweet treats – many of which would be great for the holiday season.

My favorites are the popcorn balls decorating kits. Those would be a lot of fun to do with the family.

balls

popcorn-balls

stocking

If you would like check out all that The Popcorn Factory has to offer, visit www.ThePopcornFactory.com. You can also find them on social media. All of their links are found on the bottom of their website.

Have you ever tried popcorn or other edibles from The Popcorn Factory? Would you gift something from The Popcorn Factory? Would you like a gift from their site? Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.

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Kimberly

*I received a free product sample to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

 

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Hoboken Farms: A Comfort Food Season Staple

 

One of my family's favorite comfort food - stew

One of my family’s favorite comfort food – stew

Winter will be here before you know it. Here where we live in New York we’ve already seen our first snowfall. Thankfully it didn’t amount to much more than a dusting (towns north of us saw inches of snow). We were lucky, for now. We know that full blown winter will be upon us before we know it.

Now is the time that we switch from lighter foods, like salads and food grilled on the barbecue, to heavier foods like stews, soups and roasts.

Some might say the foods we enjoy during the long winter months are “comfort foods.” Comfort foods are foods that make us happy and satisfied, as well as evoke some kind of favorite memory or a sense of nostalgia. For example, every time I make scones I am reminded of my great-grandparents. Beef stew reminds me of my mom (I LOVED my mom’s stew). Even a grilled cheese sandwich and a side of tomato soup brings back great memories (especially if the soup has little Oyster crackers on top).

Another popular comfort food is a big, bowl of pasta. Not only is that a comfort food for me and my family, it’s also a family favorite. We have pasta at least once a week. It’s easy to make, inexpensive and delicious.

Ravioli - Yummy!

Ravioli – Yummy!

Funny story… My mother in law made everything from scratch. She was Italian and a fabulous cook. Sadly her recipes died with her. Try as I might I’ll never be able to recreate her recipes, including my favorite, “Wedding Soup.”

When we first moved into our home as newlyweds we invited my mother in law over for dinner. I made spaghetti and meatballs. The problem is I used JARRED sauce. Apparently that is the biggest “no-no” to a true Italian cook. She made everything from scratch – including her sauce (my husband calls it “gravy”). She would make gallons of it on Sunday and tell the kids (she has six children) to come over and get some. The idea of using sauce from a jar is probably the worst thing I could have done. My apologies to her, but growing up that is all my mom ever used.

I never attempted to make my own sauce. I prefer the convenience of pre-made stuff. Sadly, pre-made sauce often lacks that authenticity of real, homemade sauce.

I recently had the opportunity to try out some sauce from a brand called Hoboken Farms.

hoboken-farms

Hoboken Farms has a trio of sauces that will make you re-think what it means to eat sauce from a jar. With the simplest ingredients, this locally crafted sauce may fool you ­or your guests ­as being homemade.

There are three varieties to choose from – Big Red Marina, Big Boss Vodka and Big Basil.

Skeptical? The Wall Street Journal named Big Red Marinara America’s best tasting sauce in 2011.

I had to try these out for myself.

I received a jar of all three varieties to try out with my family. They were not kidding when they said they taste like homemade sauce – they do! My mother in law would have been thrilled if I made pasta using these sauces. They taste really authentic.

hoboken-farms

Of the three my favorites are Big Boss Vodka and Big Basil. The Big Red Marinara was OK. I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the other two varieties. Big Basil is especially flavorful. It tastes like something you would get from a gourmet restaurant. The basil tastes so fresh, like the sauce was just made.

I have only used them with pasta thus far. I haven’t tried them with other recipes. I am thinking about using the Big Basil the next time I make beef stew. I bet the fresh basil will really add to the great taste of the stew.

Even Buddy Valastro – aka “Cake Boss” – was blown away by Hoboken Farms sauces.

Hoboken Farms sauces can be purchased online. They can also be found in other retail locations. I found them at our local Shop Rite.

If your local grocery store doesn’t carry them you should speak with the manager and request that they offer their customers Hoboken Farms sauces.

I’m impressed. I know that I’ll be grabbing for some more jars the next time I’m at Shop Rite.

Visit HobokenFarms.com for more information. The brand can also be found on social media. Their links are found on the top right of their website.

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Kimberly

*I received free samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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