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Showing posts sorted by date for query tea. Sort by relevance Show all posts

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumblers & Travel Mugs Review

Image: Thermos Stainless Steel Travel Mugs & Tumblers for Home, Office and Travel - copyright 2019 Margaret Schindel
Today I'm reviewing my favorite Thermos insulated stainless steel travel cups. I use mine every day, whether I'm at home, at work, or on the road. Staying hydrated is important to everyone's health and wellness. If you're on a keto diet or low carb diet, you need to drink even more water to help avoid damage to your kidneys. So, to help me drink enough water daily, I keep a Thermos Stainless King Vacuum-insulated Stainless Steel Travel Tumbler and a Thermos stainless steel hydration bottle next to me so I can take sips of water and hot or cold decaf or green tea throughout the day and refill the containers as needed.

Several years ago, my husband and I decided to replace our motley collection of plastic and probably BPA-laden water bottles and travel mugs (most of them free swag from employers and trade shows) with high quality, vacuum-insulated stainless steel bottles and mugs that had the features we care about.

We really liked our new Thermos stainless steel hydration bottles, so we ordered two Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumblers to try out. We loved them so much that we ordered three more, one for my husband's office, one for my office and an extra for home. So, now have five of these wonderful stainless steel travel cups, in Electric Blue, Cranberry, Midnight Blue, Raspberry and Matte Black. (The Matte Black cup isn't in my photos because my husband keeps it at his office.)

Prefer a Travel Mug With a Handle?

The Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug is identical to the travel tumbler except it has a handle.

Thermos Stainless King Travel Mug 16 Ounces - Pine Green - photo courtesy of Amazon.com

Why I Love Thermos Stainless King Travel Tumblers and Travel Mugs

Large Capacity

Both the stainless steel travel tumbler and the travel mug version with the handle hold a generous 16 ounces of your favorite hot or cold beverage. Both the tumbler and the mug are 7.8" tall and 3.3" wide (excluding the handle on the travel mug), tapering down to 2-5/8" wide at the base so they fit in most cup holders.

Keeps Hot Drinks Hot and Cold Drinks Cold

I love being able to use my Thermos travel tumbler for hot or iced tea or coffee, hot or chilled apple cider, hot cocoa, cold milk or any other non-carbonated drink I'm in the mood to drink.

Thermos' Vacuum Insulation Technology

The most important criterion in choosing a travel mug or tumbler is how long it can maintain the temperature of whatever beverage you put into it. Thermos’s vacuum insulation technology and double-wall stainless steel construction mean that hot drinks stay hot for up to 7 hours and cold drinks stay cold for up to 18 hours if you preheat or pre-chill the travel tumbler with hot or cold water for 5 to 10 minutes just before filling it with your beverage.

Travel Tumbler Exterior Stays at Room Temperature

Whether you fill it with a hot or cold beverage, the outside temperature of the tumbler is not affected by the temperature of its contents. (Of course, if you take it outside on a very hot or very cold day, the exterior of any metal container will get hotter or colder, based on the temperature of its environment.)

No "Sweating" Even When Filled With Ice-Cold Drinks

Even if you fill it with ice cubes and a cold beverage, this stainless steel travel tumbler doesn't "sweat" — i.e., condensation doesn't form on the outside of the mug. So, I never have to use a coaster under this tumbler to protect my antique mahogany dining table, coffee table or end tables.

The DrinkLock sealing lid has two openings

Leak-proof Lid

Thermos' DrinkLock sealing lid makes this travel mug leak-proof (unless you don't close the lid properly or reassemble it correctly after taking it apart for cleaning).

Dual Openings for Easy Access

There are slots on opposite sides of the lid that are controlled by a single lever. Sliding the lever to the side opens or closes both drinking slots simultaneously. So, when you pick up this travel tumbler, one of the openings will be no more than 1/4 turn away from your mouth.

Built-in Tea Bag Hook

The underside of the lid has a clever built-in hook for wrapping a tea bag string around or attaching the chain of a loose-leaf tea infuser.

Attractive and Functional Design

This vacuum-insulated stainless steel travel tumbler's graceful shape not only looks good but also feels good. The narrower "waist" (where the Thermos logo is) makes it easier for my small hand to hold this wide cup securely. Hand-washing is recommended and the surface colors and finishes stay looking great for years if you don't put these mugs in the dishwasher. There's also a great selection of colors to choose from:
  • Electric Blue (AKA Royal Blue)
  • Cranberry
  • Midnight Blue
  • Raspberry
  • Stainless Steel (Matte)
  • Pine Green
  • Army Green
  • Cranberry
  • Matte Black
  • Smoke (Grey)


Follow the Care and Use Instructions to Enjoy Your Thermos Stainless Cups For Many Years 

We bought the oldest of our Thermos travel tumblers, the Cranberry and Midnight Blue ones, in 2015. As you can see, after four years they've held up extremely well. However, to keep your Thermos travel tumbler or mug looking and functioning well, it's important to follow the manufacturer's care and usage instructions.

Hand Wash Your Cup in Warm, Soapy Water

Although these Thermos stainless steel travel tumblers and mugs are top-rack dishwasher safe in terms of their function, the company recommends hand washing them with mild soap and warm water to preserve their attractive appearance.

Worn finish on bottom edges of Cranberry cup after
dishwasher vs. like-new finish on hand washed blue cup
A few months ago, I found out the hard way what happens if you wash one in your dishwasher. I was feeling lazy and decided to put our Cranberry tumbler in the top rack of the dishwasher as an experiment. After washing it in the dishwasher this way a few times, I realized that the shiny, colorful finish had begun to wear off around the edges on the bottom of the cup.

Fortunately, the finish on the sides of the Cranberry tumbler still looks fine and the bottom hasn't gotten any worse since I went back to hand washing it. You can see in the photo that the bottom of my Royal Blue cup, which has always been hand washed, still looks like it did the day it arrived from Amazon.

I hand wash my Thermos travel tumblers with mild yet effective sulfate-free Puracy Natural Liquid Dish Soap, a soft sponge and long-handled OXO Good Grips Bottle Brush.

Don't Use Cleansers That Are Abrasive or Contain Chlorine Bleach

Abrasive cleansers (including dishwasher detergents), scrubbing sponges, etc., can dull or even wear away the finish on your Thermos travel tumbler or mug. (That is exactly what happened to the bottom of my Cranberry cup after I washed it in the top rack of my dishwasher a few times.)

The company also says not to use bleach or any products containing chlorine on these containers. Over time, some beverages, such as tea, can stain the gasket and seal if the lid is not washed promptly and thoroughly. Fortunately, replacement gaskets and seals are available.

If You Disassemble the Lid For Cleaning, Make Sure to Reassemble It Correctly

I don't disassemble the lid every time I wash my travel tumbler, but I do so fairly frequently to make sure I've cleaned it thoroughly. If you don't reassemble it correctly, your travel mug won't be able to maintain the temperature of your beverages as well and the lid may leak. I highly recommend reading and following the Thermos Vacuum Insulated Mug and Tumbler Care and Use Guide.





Thermos Stainless King vacuum-insulated stainless steel travel tumblers and mugs reviewed by Margaret Schindel



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Friday, May 17, 2019

Aveda Tea Reviewed

 Aveda Tea Reviewed
Aveda is a name we normally associate with cosmetics, skin care and hair products.  However, did you know that Aveda also offers a fabulous organic tea?

Several years ago, my daughter gave me the gift of Aveda tea on Mother's Day.  I was hesitant to try the tea.  I thought there was no way a cosmetic manufacturer could possibly offer a good cup of tea.  After all, there are companies who have excelled in tea production for decades.  Wouldn't they be a better source for a great cup of tea?  Well, those were my thoughts until I actually tried a cup of Aveda Comforting Tea.  

Aveda Comforting Tea is easily my favorite herbal tea now! 


Aveda Comforting Tea ~ A Lovely Cup of Tea


 Aveda Comforting Tea Bags - 20x1.8g/0.06ozCheck PriceAveda tea is made from licorice root and peppermint.  I admit, hearing "licorice" turned me off at first.  It made me think of licorice candy which I am not fond of eating.  But, since it was a gift from my daughter, I wasn't going to be a jerk and not try it that Mother's Day long ago.  After all, she was standing there saying "Mom, you have got to try this tea!  You are going to love it!!!".  Well, she was right!  (of course)

Besides the delicious taste, there are several other reasons I would recommend the Aveda tea.

  • No Sugar Needed
  • Caffeine-free
  • 100% Organic 
  • Drink Hot or Iced   

Aveda tea is "my one weakness".

Won't you join me for a lovely cup of Aveda Comforting Tea?  You won't be sorry.


Note:  You may have recognized the phrase I used above, "my one weakness" as a quote from Lark Rise to Candleford.  Dorcas Lane uses that descriptive phrase several times in the movie which always makes me laugh.  She seems to have many "one weaknesses" and I guess I do too!


Related & Relative Articles


As you may already know, I am not the only tea loving Contributor on Review This Reviews!  



Manatea Tea Infuser and Mug Gift SetManatea Tea Infuser and Mug Gift Set
The Manatea Tea Infuser and Mug Gift Set is really cute - I love the casual look of the mug and the 'go with the flow' inscription


Why drink peppermint tea? As well as being delicious this tea has a myriad of health benefits.

Looking for good medicinal teas? You can't do much better than Lifestyle Awareness teas. Here's my review after trying them.

There are many great hot tea blends and hot tea recipes. It is often hard to choose a favorite hot tea, so we simply must sample them all!




Aveda Tea Reviewed by:
House of Sylvestermouse





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Review of Medium Partner Program: Should You Pay to Earn?

What is the Medium Partner Program?

Review of Medium Partner Program: Should You Pay to Earn?
Image by PixLoger from Pixabay, edited on PicMonkey


I joined the Medium blogging platform in 2016, before the beginning of the Medium Partner Program (MPP.) A blogging friend had said the platform was a good place to have a presence. I discovered it was a good place to keep some of my posts from sites that had died until I could post them elsewhere. So in 2016 old posts I'd republished were all I had on Medium, and only a few of them. I didn't post anything else because at the time there was no way for someone like me to earn money at Medium.

In February 2019, my HubPages friend Glenn Stok told me about the Medium Partner Program that now provides an opportunity for writers like me to earn money. But there's a catch.

It takes money to have that opportunity. One must pay $5.00 a month or $50 a year to join the Medium Partner Program. That link provides all the program details and everything else you need to know in order to join the MPP. Only you, though, can decide whether it's worth the money to get this opportunity.

Should You Join the Medium Partner Program?


I asked Glenn, "Is it worth the money to become a MPP member?" His answer convinced me to give it a try. No one gets any affiliate commission by recruiting members, so he had no reason to exaggerate his results and I don't think he would anyway. He wrote a comprehensive article on Medium and the Partner program so I see no reason to try to rehash it here. He did an excellent job. Here's the link to Glenn's article: How to Make Money Writing Articles Without Ads on Medium. I prefer to tell you my own opinions based on my results and the other opinions I found was I was surfing the web.

My Experience as a Medium Partner Program Member


February 2019


I joined the Medium Partner Program on February 5, 2019. At the time I had nine posts there left over from 2016. I put five of them behind the paywall. The other four did not meet the content guidelines for the program. The pay period ended on February 24, so my work was only behind the paywall for 19 days in February.

Here is a chart of my first payday on February 27, and the money did go into my account on time. Post titles are on left. Earnings for each post are on right. Red letters are for posts removed from dead or non-paying sites. Green letters show posts I removed from HubPages, revised, and reposted on Medium. Blue letters show the name of Medium publication where a post was accepted and now appears. You can see that not all my old posts made money, but some did. Articles published on Friday-Sunday of a week often don't start getting views counted until the next week. Pay weeks go from Monday - Sunday. Where there is no publication, it means I didn't submit to a publication or the publication didn't accept that article.

During this same period, with 44 featured hubs, I earned $5.10 on HubPages.


Review of Medium Partner Program: Should You Pay to Earn?

March, 2019

In March I revised and republished more of my old stories and added some new ones. Here are the results. Again, the blue script shows what publications accepted the articles. The red shows where the revised articles originally appeared if they weren't on the last February image. PP stands for Persona Paper. Bub stands for Bubblews. Some articles from either of those sites may have appeared on both and I can't always remember which only came from Bubblews. Green still represents hubs (HP) revised and moved here.

During this same period, with 44 featured hubs, I earned $9.27 on HubPages.

Review of Medium Partner Program: Should You Pay to Earn?

April 2019


I have not repeated the sources here, but I have included the publications that accepted my posts. I did not  repeat the publications for the articles that earned nothing this month. You can see that although I made more money this month, some of the articles that earned money last month earned nothing this month. Unlike sites like HubPages, an article may have a short earning life.

During this same period, with 44 featured hubs, I earned $12.45 on HubPages. (Note: I have not written anything new on HubPages for a long time and interact there rarely now, but I do publicize my Hubs on social media. )



Review of Medium Partner Program: Should You Pay to Earn?

Conclusions from My Results

Unpublished Posts Moved from Other Sites Can Earn On Medium

I currently have thirty posts on Medium. Twenty-six are behind the paywall. Four are not. Of those behind the paywall, only eleven were written just for Medium. "Starved for Attention," which made the most the first month, made nothing the next two months. It was previously on another site, revised, and moved to Medium. "Jason, I'll Always Love You" was picked up by a popular publication, P.S. I Love You, and earned only .18 in February. In March it was my highest earner. It still did well in April.

Articles Published by Publications Usually Get Seen by More People than Those Published Independently

In the second month, some of the articles were picked up by publications, some of which I didn't even submit. Articles that appear in popular publications with lots of subscribers are distributed more widely than those one self-publishes. However, inclusion in a publication does not guarantee more earnings.

Curated Articles Get Wide Distribution and Usually Earn the Most. 

My three curated articles have performed best for me so far. When you put your article behind the paywall you can also choose to have it sent to the curators for consideration. They pick which articles Medium itself will promote in its newsletters that go out to all Medium subscribers. Curation gives articles the best chance to be seen by lots of eyes. These are my curated articles so far.


Medium Earns More for Me Than HubPages on New Articles

On the other hand, older Hubs retain more earning power than older Medium posts. Working together Medium and HubPages give you the both of best worlds. Would I make more on HubPages if I kept submitting more hubs and interacting as much as I do on Medium? Possibly. The statistics I gave for HubPages above my earning charts are for my original account. My Squidoo transfer account makes almost nothing there, and it's those articles I plan to revise and transfer to Medium or somewhere else. 


Review of Medium Partner Program: Should You Pay to Earn?
Image by isuru prabath from Pixabay, edited in PicMonkey 


Medium Is a User Friendly Site for Readers and Writers

After a struggle with the quirks of the WordPress and even the Blogger editor, Medium's editor is simplicity itself. One can just concentrate on writing. It's the words and the images that are important. No quizzes, polls, videos, etc. are considered important post ingredients as they are on HubPages. The focus is on what you say. I  like not having to sell anything to make money. I would like to focus on stories and ideas as opposed to products. 

As a reader, I also like reading Medium posts because they're not full of affiliate links and ads. You can read all the way through a Medium article without encountering one pop-up asking you to subscribe to a newsletter. Readers can concentrate on content. I think many people subscribe for that reason. 

There is a wealth of interesting content on Medium. Many Medium members are not writers, but readers. They are not part of the Medium Partner Program, but they are the ones who read our work and help us earn for our writing. 


What I Like Best About the Medium Partner Program


Medium allows me as much freedom as I want. I can write in any genre. I can apply to a publication or not. I can write on any subject, though some subjects won't earn as much as others. As long as I follow the guidelines for the Medium Partner Program, I can put any article I want to behind the paywall. Of course, that doesn't mean it will earn anything. 

Medium treats me like an adult. It lets me take responsibility for my own work. I can publish it independently without submitting it to a publication editor and waiting for approval and publication. That means I am also free to publish inferior work that is less likely to earn than more polished work.

Proofreading is my responsibility alone. Publications want quality, so they do have editors to make sure what they publish is worth reading and is free of errors. But they don't correct it for you. They send it back to you or reject it outright. If a publication rejects your work, you are still free to publish it yourself. 

For an article to earn, other Medium subscribers need to see it, read it, and interact with it. Curated articles are most likely to get a kick start leading to more views on Medium. Articles in publications also get help from a newsletter the publication sends to its members listing new articles. 

Views from promotional links on social media don't usually bring in paid views. Traffic from Twitter automatically gets past the paywall for free. Most writers usually post a friend link when they post to social media so that readers can bypass the paywall if people click through. That means a well-promoted post with lots of traffic may not earn much if the readers aren't Medium members. 

Writers for publications often have their own Facebook groups for promotion. Koinonia is one of my favorite publications for Christian writers and it has an active Facebook Group. I know of three other active Facebook groups that are open to any Medium writers for discussion and threads for sharing posts. All these promotion opportunities and the support from other members is very helpful to new Medium writers. 

Most Medium publications encourage personal articles. They like authors to share what they've learned about  relationships, family life, work, mental health, business, and a number of other topics. Unlike HubPages, they prefer articles written in the first person rather than the third person, unless they deal with science or other very objective subject matter. Articles that speak directly to readers with a personal voice seem to do best.

Medium makes it easy to build your own following. You can even start your own publication on Medium if you don't find another that suits you or you want to keep your work in one place to make it more accessible to your followers.




The Downside of the Medium Partner Program


You are making an investment of five dollars a month or fifty dollars a year. There is no guarantee you will earn it back within those time frames. I'm on my eleventh week. If my earnings hold to their current pattern I will have covered my first year's membership by the end of the twelfth week and the rest will be profit. There is no guarantee that will happen. But I've never yet earned back with ads and affiliate links what it cost me to self-host a WordPress blog, and that was a far larger investment. My membership also allows me unlimited reading behind the paywall, and that's been worth the fee by itself.

You cannot include affiliate links or a call to action in a post that goes behind the paywall. You can, however link to another Medium post you have not put behind the paywall. In that post you may have an affiliate link or a call to action. You just need to make sure it's not interpreted as writing a post behind the paywall that only exists to point to another site.

If your posts aren't curated or promoted by a publication, they may not get much traffic. I have four posts that have received no fans or applause. Three were first published somewhere else between 2014 and 2016 and their original publishing dates followed them. If I publish older posts again, I will not use the importer which retains the original date. I will unpublish from the first site and revise for Medium.

The other unloved post was a rant published just for Medium. A few people read it, but no one liked it enough to applaud. That happens. I'm wondering if I should tweak the title and republish it.

If my current results on Medium hold up until the end of the year and my earnings keep growing, I will join again next year. A full year will help me see whether this is the direction I should go. But even if it's a wonderful year and I earn even more than I expect, there is that final downside. Medium can change the terms of the MPP any time they choose. They could stop paying. They could even close the site, though I think that's unlikely.

I have written the obituaries for many sites. One was What Can We Learn from the Fall of Bubblews? It was first published when Bubblews was still alive -- to answer questions about the living site. Some of the original predictions remain intact, but the post itself has been updated many times as things changed. I updated it once again and changed the title when when Bubblews finally died. Many of us who used to rely on Squidoo for income were crushed when it died.

We can never depend on any site we don't own for future income. It's always better to own your own site if you can make a profit. Meanwhile, as we build an audience, we can introduce ourselves to new readers on sites like Medium and  HubPages.

Possibly the biggest downside to writing for Medium is that you may be tempted to to neglect your own blogs. I have. I've also neglected other sites like HubPages. It's always a good plan to back up one's work on all sites, just in case, and not to put all one's eggs in one basket.





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Saturday, April 20, 2019

Reviewing the Green Ogre Drink

The Green Ogre Drink - a healthy alternative to your morning coffee
The Green Ogre, photo via LouannesNation
I came across a variation of this drink towards the end of 2018 beginning of 2019.  I adapted the recipe using products I was able to get here in Australia (where I live) and so was 'born' the Green Ogre Drink.   I should also mention that these products are also available in the US, Canada, UK, NZ & Poland as well.

If you follow me on instagram you would have seen me regularly post about this drink as I have it every day.

I would like to have everybody in the world replace their morning coffee with this drink for 30 days.  I think everyone would benefit from it.

Why Should I The Drink Green Ogre Drink?


I should mention here that I am not a doctor or a medical professional, but I believe it can do a lot of things for you such as -

What's the three ingredients in the Green Ogre Drink
  • increased energy
  • increased focus and concentration
  • improved skin
  • and it could even lead you to both time and financial freedom!
Let me break it down for you ...

The Green Ogre drink uses 3 different Arbonne products (this means it's cruelty-free, vegan, gluten free, kosher & non-GMO), the products are - Greens Balance, Mind Health & Fizz Sticks.

We've talked about Greens Balance before as a good way to get more fruit and veg into your diet.   Imagine being able to get 2 servings of your fruit & veg in place of your morning coffee!   Last year I was following a couple of people on Instagram as they did a shot of Greens Balance every day for their skin health and they were really happy with the results.  This was obviously not a controlled scientific experiment, but it does make sense that taking a supplement that includes 37 different fruit and vegetables would help make your skin clearer doesn't it?

Mind Health includes phosphatidylserine & vitamin B12 both of which helps improve your focus and concentration which is the reason so many people feel the need for a coffee in the morning.

Fizz Sticks are the third ingredient and they contain caffeine to give you a boost of energy along with B vitamins which also helps boost your energy levels.

Fizz Sticks also contain chromium which helps to balance your blood sugar levels.  If your blood sugars are balanced then it's easier to keep your energy levels balanced.

Not All Caffeine is Equal


Now some people say, but hang on why take another caffeine drink to replace one that I know I like?  This seems like a fair question, but not all caffeine is created equal.

Let me explain the differences and why you should be substituting the Green Ogre drink for your first coffee of the day (note I'm not saying give up coffee completely, it tastes delicious after all!)

When you drink coffee the caffeine you're ingesting is acidic which can lead to inflammation in your body (not a good thing), the caffeine also causes you to crash after a while which is often when you grab for another coffee or a hit of sugar, or both!

The caffeine in the fizz sticks is derived from both green tea and guarana and the difference is that it is a more alkalized version of caffeine aka it won't cause inflammation in your body.   I've also noticed that it sustains your energy levels much more effectively so that you don't get that 'crash' that has you reaching for another caffeine hit.

I can't speak for you personally, but I've found that I don't need a drink mid-morning to keep me going when I have a green ogre drink.   I do take a fizz stick in water in the afternoon however, usually between 2.30 & 3.30pm which is a long time after my 8.30 - 9.00 am Green Ogre fix!

Are You Up for the Green Ogre Drink Challenge?


I'd love to hear from anyone who's up for swapping out their morning coffee for a Green Ogre Drink for 30 days - I would love to cheer you on and listen to your thoughts.

I do have to close with a warning though - after 30 days you may find you don't want to go back to your morning coffee, I've found I just don't want to live without my Green Ogre drink in the morning!



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.


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Saturday, March 9, 2019

Did You Know That March is National Nutrition Month?

March is national nutrition month
Image courtesy of Pixabay
As National Nutrition Month, March seems a good time to review ways to increase your nutrition in your daily life.   Most people do not consume the recommended nutrients every day to keep their bodies running in peak condition, so let's look at ways we can fix this.

Of course you could use March as an excuse to give your body a reboot aka a spring clean for your body instead of your house!  This is a great way to start creating your healthy habits.

You may think that's a bit too much so let's look at other things you can do -

  • Reduce your caffeine intake
  • Reduce your salt intake
  • Reduce your sugar intake
  • Reduce your processed foods
  • Increase your fruit and veg intake


We've all heard these comments before haven't we?   The problem is how and where to start so lets's go through them all one by one.

How to Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

Now if you only drink one cup of coffee or tea a day then you are probably okay, but I know many people drink a LOT more than that.  The problem with drinking too much caffeine whether it's from coffee, tea, cola drinks or energy drinks is that caffeine can cause the depletion of certain nutrients such as vitamin B6.   Not only that but it also interferes with your body's ability to absorb essential minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

It can be had to cut back as a lot of the time we grab these drinks out of habit, one way that I've gone down from 10 mugs a day to 1-2 a week is by using Fizz Sticks.  Let me tell you more ...

I like to drink what I call a green ogre drink on my way to work and I find that it gives me the same effect as my morning latte that I used to grab on my way to work at my previous job.   If you start off by just replacing one coffee with this I think you'll find you won't need your next one as quickly because you don't get the espresso crash as the effects of the caffeine from coffee wears off.

If you enjoy having a cuppa when you get up or after dinner then try a few caffeine free teas instead such as these -

Why Drink Peppermint Tea?Why Drink Peppermint Tea?
I love the flavour of peppermint so I'm probably biased as to why you should drink peppermint tea! However it does have a lot of benefits from aiding digestion to helping with concentration.


Review of Lifestyle Awareness TeasReview of Lifestyle Awareness Teas
Lifestyle Awareness is a brand of organic tea and this review focuses on just two of the teas in the range - Immunity Now and Serene Slumber. These teas have medicinal benefits to them as well and we can all use help with boosting our immune systems!



Or I do enjoy a cup of Twinings Chamomile, Honey & Vanilla before going to bed on a cold night.

If you're more of a soda drinker or you feel like you need an energy drink to keep you going then Fizz Sticks are definitely something that you can substitute for them.   You will find that the effects last a lot longer so that you don't need to drink as many. They come in four different flavors and contain a lot less sugar as well as being a lot healthier in other ways too.

How to Reduce Your Salt Intake


Too much salt can adversely affect our sodium/potassium balance and let's face it everywhere you turn you're being told to cut down salt aren't you?

Salt is one of those foods that are often in hidden in the foods you eat, one product that is usually high in salt is commercial stock (especially the convenient stock cubes).   A simple way to deal with this is to make your own vegetable stock, it's very easy as you can see here - how to make veggie stock - and you can make big batches to freeze down.   Using this you can monitor exactly how much salt you add to your food.

Reducing the amount of processed foods will help a lot (more on that later) and reading labels to build your awareness will be quite a shock to you.

How to Reduce Your Sugar Intake


Sugar is empty as far as nutritional value goes and it's also addictive.   I would try and use other products to sweeten things for example when my daughter was younger I would half the amount of sugar a recipe called for to make sweet muffins and throw in a mashed banana to use for sweetness instead.

If you or your children like using flavored drinks instead of water then why not look at putting cubed watermelon in your water pitcher as this fruit contains electrolytes.  Berries or citrus are also great ways of  adding flavor.

Looking on sites such as Pinterest can help with ideas for sugar free or low sugar recipes and I find myself using dates, bananas, apples and even maple syrup in my cooking as a way to keep the sweetness while raising the nutritional value of a dish.

How to Reduce Processed Foods


Processed foods can be devoid of many nutrients as well as containing high amounts of sugar and/or salt - this is especially so with low fat processed foods.

Now I'm not saying you have to totally embrace the whole food movement (although it's really great!), but being more aware of what you're eating is a good place to start.   The best way to reduce processed foods is to start cooking a few things from scratch.

Now with our busy lifestyles it can be hard to imagine cooking everything from scratch so I would recommend starting with one meal a week and cooking double quantities, one lot for that meal and one lot for the freezer which means the next week you have your 'new' meal plus the frozen meal from the previous week.

Snack foods can be the biggest fall down for many households when it comes to processed foods so I like to make sure I have fresh fruit available and have vegetables such as carrot sticks prepared and ready to eat.   I also find making protein balls or bliss balls a great idea.

How to Increase Your Fruit & Veg Intake


We're all told to increase our fruit and vegetables, but how?  If you're starting to cook more from scratch and having it as snacks as well you will find that you start to increase your intake.

I try to throw extra vegetable into my meals when I'm cooking them for example when I cook a lamb or beef satay I will always add green beans.   I also add diced zucchini (courgette) to a number of dishes as it takes on flavors really well.

Another easy way to add vegetables into your diet is by using it to substitute some of your other foods for example use a spiralizer to make vegetable 'pasta' or using cauliflower or broccoli in place of rice.

Another thing that I do is I have a scoop of Greens Balance every day - this contains a rainbow of fruit and veg - and this can be taken on it's own, popped into a protein shake (or the green ogre shake above) or even added into something when you're cooking such as bolognaise.

I did see someone added the greens balance to banana muffins for her fussy child and he ate them because he was told they were made from monsters!

If you don't like eating breakfast or you have a child that doesn't like eating in the morning or at lunchtime then why not try a shake or a smoothie bowl - it's a great way to add in berries and other fruits as well as spinach, kale or a good old scoop of greens balance.

Reviewing Smoothie Bowl RecipesReviewing Smoothie Bowl Recipes
Essentially a smoothie bowl is a thick smoothie served in a bowl with different toppings and it is delicious. You can have a myriad of different flavors and there's really no rules as to what you can pop on top


Tropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe ReviewedTropical Fruit Smoothie Recipe Reviewed
The tropical fruit smoothies taste really good and they are very easy to make. Simply gather your favorite tropical fruits and the blender and you have a quick and healthy snack for breakfast, lunch or after dinner!


Healthy and Delicious SmoothiesHealthy and Delicious Smoothies
Feel more energized and healthier by adding a smoothie to your day, from tropical fruit to green smoothies and so many other recipes in between.



baby step ways to improve your nutrition for national nutrition month and beyond


So, Over to You


What are you going to do to improve your nutritional intake this month?




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Sunday, March 3, 2019

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to All the Hype - Don't Hesitate to Get One

An Essential Oil Diffuser Lives Up to all the Hype
I've been waiting to review this Christmas gift. It's March now and since the holidays I've used it daily.

I'm ready to blurt out an all caps YES to this product.

Here on ReviewThis the essential oil queen is Lou16, so today's review of the HoMedics Diffuser is strictly from the non-expert, user only, perspective.

AND I LOVE IT.

Lou16 has written quite a bit about essential oils and I've paid attention.

Thanks to my kind Step Daughter's Christmas gift, I've not only tried it, but feel the need to use it every day! The operative words here are 'feel the need', because it's the first thing I do when I enter the family room now.

What I Love About It

The general consensus of essential oils is that they help with stress. In fact, you can read further detail about the benefits in Lou16's article, 'How Aromatherapy Can Enhance Your Life'.

I'm sure I'm using too much oil. I believe the box says to put 5 or 10 drops into the water. Honestly, I forget what it says. The aromas are so relaxing that I put as many drops as needed to fill the room with the gorgeous relaxing chosen scent.

Essential Oils DO NOT Smell Like Chemicals or Sprays

This was the main reason I avoided buying a diffuser - thinking the scent would be similar to an air freshener.

Was I wrong.

The essential oil drops go in a water compartment inside the diffuser. There's absolutely nothing chemical smelling about it. The aroma is magnificent.

My Favorite Essential Oils
My HoMedics Diffuser Beside the TV


Peppermint, Lemon, Orange and Eucalyptus. More than likely I won't try anything with a flowery aroma .. that's not up my alley.

AND yikes, I've used five bottles since Christmas. Yah I'm over doing it. Whatever, can't help it, love it.

The Most Aromatic Essential Oil Winner

Is …. drumroll ...Peppermint.

I use quite a few drops, maybe 15 or more. When people come into our house I usually hear "wow, what smells so amazing". Yep, it's the peppermint oil in the diffuser.

Get this, I hate peppermint, to eat it that is.

Apparently I was a colicky baby and mom used to put peppermint on my soother to calm me. Well thanks to that little solution, I grew up hating the taste of peppermint. Spearmint and wintergreen are fine, love to eat those, but still can't stand peppermint.

The subconscious mind is truly powerful, because strangely enough, the one thing peppermint I now love is it's aroma from essential oil. I don't even like peppermint tea (although I drink it from time to time), or to smell peppermint candies. However, in essential oil, I find it soothing, calming and I swear it makes my head feel clearer.

Guess what, I'm out of peppermint essential oil and am currently using 'orange'. It's really nice too, but for me, peppermint is king. I love lemon everything, and had anticipated loving lemon the best, but nope, it's my second fave.

What Kind of Diffuser Do I Have

The brand given to me was HoMedics. It's easy to use. The rotating colored lights gives the room a lovely ambience as well. The picture above shows it positioned next to our TV. That way, I not only smell it, I see the lovely lights when watching the tube.

Featured below are a few HoMedics Diffusers & Essential Oils

Scroll to see them all. The first diffuser featured is closest to the one I own.




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Saturday, February 23, 2019

Why Fizz Sticks Should Be Part of Your Emergency Kit


Energy Fizz Sticks from Arbonne
Earlier this week we were on Cyclone Watch which was the perfect time to review what was in our emergency kits and also got me reflecting on previous occasions when we've been without electricity.  There are the obvious things that can be added to your emergency kits and the not so obvious, but I am positive that Fizz Sticks should be added to your emergency kit if they're not already part of it!

What Are Fizz Sticks?


Fizz Sticks are basically a healthy energy drink.   They provide an alkaline form of caffeine which basically means you get the energy, but it's more sustained and doesn't cause the caffeine crash that you sometimes get after your double espresso has stopped 'working'.

Anyone who knows me knows I love my fizz sticks.  Every morning I have one in my Green Ogre Drink and I usually have another fizz stick on it's own in the middle of the afternoon.

Why Should a Fizz Stick be in an Emergency Kit?


Well firstly there should definitely be more than one!   The reason why I believe they are vital to most people goes back 12-15 years when we were without power for 4 whole days (we're usually very lucky and rarely lose power for longer than a couple of hours).   I remember that the house we lived in didn't have gas as there was no lines in our street at that time.  This meant we had no means of cooking ... or making tea and/or coffee.

In those days I was a 10 mug a day tea drinker and my next door neighbour lived on coffee - we were very cranky!   We drove 30 minutes to a newer McDonalds as they had their own generator just to get our hot beverages of choice! 

Part of your emergency survival kit should always include 3 days worth of water for everyone in your family so you can simply mix your fizz stick with water and let caffeine induced crankiness stay away so you can concentrate on more important things!

What's in Your Emergency Kit?


Apart from water you should always have a first aid kit, flashlight, lantern, matches, chocolate (this article explains why), playing cards, radio, cash, important documents.

Read more about what to put in your emergency kit here - Best Emergency Survival Kits

Whether you live in an area that experiences earthquakes, cyclones, blizzards or other natural disasters or whether you don't you really should keep an emergency kit as you just never know.   Weather patterns seem to be changing globally so be prepared to keep your family safe and in all seriousness do keep a stock of fizz sticks on hand - they're available in four different flavors.


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Saturday, February 9, 2019

Reviewing Prepare & Endure by Phytosport - A Vegan Pre-Workout Supplement

Arbonne Phytosport Prepare & Endure - a non caffeine, vegan pre-workout drink
Phytosport Prepare & Endure
When you're training for an event or just working out the one thing you don't want to do is find your energy flagging part way through.

Enter the world of the pre-workout supplement, there are basically two different types of pre-workout those with caffeine and those without.

Arbonne's Phytosport Prepare & Endure is a non-caffeine pre-workout, so how does it give you energy?   

Basically this formula includes the amino acids arginine, glutamine and carnitine for optimum performance as well as B12 for energy and their own patented botanical formulation of cayenne, ginseng and tumeric.

My Personal Thoughts on Arbonne's Pre-Workout Supplement


I do like the Phytosport range although I didn't initially use the Prepare & Endure, but I have decided to take up running at the age of 49 (yes, probably a little crazy!) and so gave myself 5 weeks to go from not running to doing a 5km event.   I thought it was time to see what the Prepare & Endure was all about.

After 2 weeks I can honestly say that the day I forgot to take my Prepare & Endure was the only day I didn't manage to finish what was on my program to do.

As an Arbonne consultant I have held a couple of taste testings of the Phytosport range at my gym and the Prepare & Endure is a popular choice as far as the flavor goes.  Personally the flavor isn't my favorite as it's orange and pineapple, but what I do like is that it doesn't taste overly sweet like some of the pre-workout drinks are.

It does include some sugar in the form of cane sugar and there's a very good reason why cane sugar is used as it contains electrolytes.   

I mix my sachet up with 500 ml of water (it's recommended to use between 250 - 500 ml) and I usually start sipping it about 30 minutes before I start working out and continuing to drink it throughout my run.

More Details on How Prepare & Endure Works


When you combine the amino acids arginine & glutamine in a pre-workout you'll find it helps to increase your performance if you're using weights and attempting to build muscle and strength.   There have been some detractors over recent years, but a study by the American College of Sports Medicine showed that not only were they able to train longer before becoming exhausted they were also shown to recover quicker between workouts.

As far as athletic performance (aka my running) carnitine is the winner in my opinion.   This amino acid has been popular with both athletes and weightbuilders since the 1980s and for lots of good reasons.  When I first heard about carnitine it was in the 90s when I managed a health food store and we sold it as a fat burner to weightlifters.

There are lots of different ways in which carnitine is invaluable as a pre-workout supplement - 

  • Fat metabolism
  • Increases athletic performance
  • Aids in recovery
  • Protects your brain from stress while also increasing adrenaline levels so that your motivation levels stay high while exercising
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Improves your skin
  • Burns visceral fats
For more information about carnitine - Fitness and Power

More Phytosport Products


I use the Prepare & Endure in combination with Phytosports After Workout.   There is also a third supplement called Complete Hydration which I also love.

But I NEED A Pre-Workout with Caffeine!


If you feel that you really need to have a caffeinated pre-workout then you can try what I used to use which was combining Phytosport Complete Hydration with an Arbonne Fizz Stick in 1 litre of water.  I found this worked really well (although I'm now preferring the Prepare & Endure).   

The Fizz Stick contains caffeine derived from green tea and guarana, the added bonus with this is that it's a more alkaline caffeine (as opposed to the acidity found when it's derived from coffee beans) and it's more stable so that you don't experience the caffeine crash.





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Sunday, December 30, 2018

How to Clean Silver & Other Metals

An unexpected product that cleaned our silver
like nothing ever has!
For the past thirty-five years I've cleaned our silver using an electrolytic cleaning plate. I bought the plate in 1980's. It's a common and popular way to clean silver.

An electrolytic cleaning plate works with hot water and a water softener, Calgon. I've never used another water softener with it, only Calgon.

I wanted to clean the silver today and was out of Calgon, so thanks to google I tried baking soda and Borax with the cleaning plate. Neither worked very well. 

My husband, the car cleaning fanatic saw me struggle trying to clean the silver and jumped in and said, "I have a product that will clean that". When he demonstrated it, I was shocked at how amazing it worked!

Get this, he used Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish for All Metals. He uses it to clean many items, including the rims on the car wheels. He swears by it.

The best way to explain this product is to show you via the photos featured below:

Our Silver Tea Set was Severely Tarnished
(The photo is blurry because it's cropped from a larger photo)

Unfortunately I hadn't cleaned our silver tea set all year. By the time the holidays rolled around, the tea set was a mess. As mentioned above, I used the electrolytic cleaning plate but it didn't work well because I was out of water softener. However, the electrolytic cleaning plate has NEVER cleaned the silver like this.

Here's Our Tea Set after Hubby Used 
Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish on it!

This is not an exaggeration, our set has never looked this clean! It looks almost new now. Hubby didn't just do this quickly though, he was thorough. Check out the photos below for the steps to follow.
He Used a Toothbrush to Clean the Pieces
Where Intricate Areas Need Detailed Attention

I had already attempted to clean the above piece using the electrolytic cleaning plate, but it just didn't come clean without Calgon. So again, hubby used Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish on it. He detailed it using a toothbrush.

Here's the finished result! 

I'm shocked at how amazing the Mag and Aluminum Polish works! Our silver hasn't looked this clean for years.

Here's a Close-up of our Polish
Step by Step How-to Instructions:
  1. Apply polish on the surface with a microfiber cloth
  2. For detailed hard to clean areas use a toothbrush
  3. With the toothbrush work the polish into all the crevices and tight spots
  4. You can put a cloth over the toothbrush to help get into the tight spots
  5. Let it dry for three or four minutes
  6. Then remove the polish with a microfiber cloth, keep using multiple cloths if they get too dirty
  7. Repeat until the product is cleaned
  8. When done, give it a final polish with the microfiber cloth
  9. The final step is to clean the silver with a little bit of dish soap and water. Give it a quick wipe down, then dry it. You don't need to submerge the pieces in water. Just dip the cloth in water, wipe the silver piece, then dry it thoroughly.
Note, my husband cleaned our silver tea set and five other pieces in just over two hours.

If I had to choose between an Electrolytic Cleaning Plate and the Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish, it's the Mag and Aluminum Polish all the way!



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Saturday, December 15, 2018

Reviewing How To Reboot Your Body

reviewing how to reboot your body
The end of the year is often a time for reflection  and our New Years start off with  promises to ourselves of keeping good habits, kicking bad habits, taking time out for gratitude and other things.

This year I started my January by doing Arbonne's 30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond plan and I felt fantastic on it.   This plan is a great way to basically give your body a reboot!

I will be 'rebooting my body' again in January 2019 and I'm going to review the reasons why as well as the what, whys and hows of the plan.

Why I Love The Basic Principles of The 30DTHL Plan


There are three principles behind the plan as I see it -
  • First foods that are often allergenic, acidic or hard for the body to digest are eliminated - don't worry it's only for 30 days!
  • Second, you nourish your body with good, clean food and quality supplements.
  • Thirdly you support your body as it goes through it's rebooting process.
Doesn't that sound good?  This was what attracted me to this plan as I had discovered over 10 years ago that a certain food could cause my Rheumatoid Arthritis to flare up and yet other foods that cause other people to flare up didn't appear to affect me.

The idea of eliminating and then (this plan does include the words and beyond) re-introducing the different foods gradually so that you can see how they may or may not affect you, this idea is one that I think is brilliant.  Everyone is different, but I do think that everyone would benefit from a reboot at least once so that they can find out how different foods affect them.

I also love how the importance of nourishing your body correctly is handled.  This program provides you with protein powder to use twice a day leaving you to only have to prepare one meal a day (and snacks).  Initially I was a little unsure how I felt about this, however if I had to prepare three meals to the proportions recommended and not including processed foods I would probably not have lasted the whole 30 days.

We live busy lives and that's what Arbonne gets.   The protein powders are specially formulated (and by the way all of the products are vegan, gluten-free & kosher) and although I was skeptical about them filling me up they really do!   If you don't want shakes that's fine as you can cook with the protein powder too and there are recipes available for protein porridge, pancakes and lots more ideas.

Personally I love making up a shake in the morning as I find it quick, easy and filling.   On the weekends I will often treat myself to a smoothie bowl -

https://www.reviewthisreviews.com/2018/05/reviewing-smoothie-bowl-recipes.htmlReviewing Smoothie Bowl Recipes
A smoothie bowl is essentially a thick smoothie that is served up in a bowl with a variety of toppings. It is delicious and feels like a decadent treat while also being a very healthy choice.

Gently supporting your body in a delicious way with their herbal tea and body cleanse is also great.   If you live in the US, Canada or the UK you also get what they call Digestion Plus to take every day and this works wonders on your gut health which is really important.

Who Needs to Reboot Their Body?

I think most of us need to reboot our body at some point so that it's working efficiently.  I think of when my internet connection is dropping out or just seems to hang, the first thing I do is hit the reset button on my wifi router and 99% of the time that's all it takes.

So why would you need to hit the reset button on your body?  Well let me list a few symptoms that may show your body isn't working as well as it could be -


signs you may need to detox
  • Bloating
  • Bad Breath 
  • Feeling Tired
  • Dry Lips 
  • Insomnia
  • Sore Muscles 
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Low Libido 
  • Brain Fog
  • Skin Breakouts 
  • Headaches
  • Depression 
  • Gas
  • Skin Rashes 
  • Low Energy


What Do I Get with the 30 Day Pack?


When you order the plan you will receive 2 x bags of protein, 2 x boxes of herbal tea, 2 x boxes of fizz sticks, 1 x bag of fibre, 1 x box digestion plus*, 1 x box of Body Cleanse and 1 x tub of Greens Balance.

*Only available in the US, Canada & UK

You also get access to a private coaching group on facebook, a downloadable recipe book, 30 days worth of meal plans (both vegan and non-vegan plans) and you can message me any time.   I've actually done this plan a few times so can help with any questions you have.

30 days to healthy living and beyond - rebooting your body the healthy way
30 Days to Healthy Living and Beyond

Changes I Have Personally Experienced


When I did my first 30 days to healthy living I found that I had lost 5kg (11 lb), I had lots of energy, I wasn't experiencing any mood swings (I am menopausal and these had been quite bad), my hot flushes had stopped, my sleeping had improved, my energy levels were really high and (as a total surprise) I was no longer sore or stiff in the morning when I woke up.

Now that last point was a big surprise to me as I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis approx 16 years ago.  I had come off of my medications about a decade ago and had been managing my condition with diet & lifestyle.   I had accepted, however, that I would be stiff in the mornings and sometimes a little sore - a combination of RA and getting older.   I have discovered that while doing this plan that was no longer the case and hasn't been all year!

Now I'm not claiming that this will work for everyone, but I can't think why you wouldn't give it a try!

What Happens After the Reboot


Part of the health reboot is eliminating certain foods for 30 days, now if you want to maximize the effect of this plan you need to gradually reintroduce these foods one at a time over the following few weeks.   This way you can pinpoint which foods (if any) effect you.

Foods can affect you differently as you age as well.  When we get older our bodies produce less digestive enzymes and this is why when I was on an elimination diet over a decade ago only one food seemed to effect me.   I now know that I have to reduce how often I eat other foods too.

The other thing that will happen after you've been making your clean meals for one meal a day (most people have dinners, but you may have chosen lunch) is that it's much easier to make your second meal as well.   I admit that a number of people I know actually continue to have a smoothie for their breakfast after finishing the plan.   In my case it's because it's easy, yummy and keeps me full!

Interested in Learning More?


Contact me via messenger on my Facebook page or leave a comment below and I'll get back to you with more information including how to order it at a discount.





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