@Influenster Sent Me My Favorite Sugar Substitute @truvia !

Included in this months Influenster’s Love VoxBox was a cute sampler box of Truvia sweetener.  Influenster really hit the nail on the head with this months box.  I really did enjoy using everything, and was happy to see some personal favorites of mine– one being Truvia which I love to use already.  I actually been using Truvia over the past 2-3 years, while alternating with Splenda which my boyfriend prefers. I don’t like to buy both at the same time so we switch off until one is empty.

The whole reason I started using Truvia was because I got into a “healthy” kick and was just finding ways to go natural where I could.  I  think I was also reading skinny bitch at the time and was on high alert on what I would eat and drink.  My boyfriend is a diabetic and has converted me from drinking regular coke, to pretty much coke zero only just by the fact I always wanted to have something he could drink in the house.   Remember how I don’t like buying two kinds of something at the same time? Yea..so I would just get what worked for both of us.

influenster truvia sampler

 What’s so special about TruviaTruvia comes from stevia, or sweetleaf as some may call it.  Its an all natural substitute to sugar or artificial sweeteners.  I like the idea that it wasn’t all “chemically” sounding and that it just comes from a plant.  Splenda, is Sucralose, an artificial form of sugar — both Truvia and Splenda add no caloric value to anything you add it to; meaning calorie-free sweetener.  The difference is that one is chemically altered, and one isn’t.

 Real sugar, that comes from the sugar cane plant is pressed from the plant to extract the juice.    That juice is then boiled to thicken and then crystallize it.  After, its spun to remove all the liquid and dry it into a recognizable form of refined sugar we see in supermarkets today. This type of sugar is what makes us overweight and found is pretty much everything along with HFCS (High fructose corn syrup)

i used truvia in

 Splenda, or Sucralose is derived from real sugar, also derived from a plant– sugar cane. Its just been “chlorinated” into a different form.  Its said to be less natural because it went through a bigger process to get to its final product, unlike stevia. I know there is controversy on Sucralose, and even in the skinny bitch book they talk about how it even may be dangerous for diabetics and can cause diarrhea, problems with the immune system,  and reproductive system!  That is a lot to swallow. Thats a lot at risk for choosing one yellow packet over a green and white one.

 In a taste comparison, stevia doesn’t taste exactly the same as refined white sugar or Splenda, but it does the job and sweetens.  Instead of one sugar packet, I used two Truvia to get the same levels of sweet.  Over the past two weeks Ive been using them in my coffee and stash tea (another product sent through the Influenster program).  I even went and bought a whole new big box since I got a coupon for it and it costs more than the other stuff we buy.

truvia in my coffee

 I like Truvia alot, I just wish it wasn’t so expensive, much like any of the stevia sweeteners are.  I suppose until they are in higher demand they will remain more pricey than regular sugar or other artificial sweeteners.  However, I have noticed that some private labels at the supermarket are making a version of stevia derived sweeteners. I am also starting to notice them as an option in more restaurants and become more mainstream.

 I even noticed on the Truvia facebook page that now Truvia is being used as the sweetener in Sprite and Nestea Drinks instead of refined sugar.  It was kinda cool to see others asking the same thing:

 Why not in the U.S? When will this happen in the US?

Well?  We’ll all waiting to hear. When?

 What do you think guys?  Have you tried Truvia?  Or any stevia product?  How do you feel about chemically altered food?  And have you read skinny bitch and felt like you shouldn’t eat anything ever again? lol. Share in the comments below if your a Truvia fan!

The product was provided to me through the influesnter program for free in return for my honest review.

Want to find out more information about Truvia?

 Visit their website here.

Truvia’s Facebook Page

 Truvia’s Twitter Page

@Influenster Sent Me @Stashtea #lovevoxbox

As part of Influester’s March Love VoxBox, I got a sampler of Herbal Teas from the brand Stash; a brand I am already familiar with! Stash sells a huge variety of teas along with teaware and other gifts. I actually had no idea they did all of that, but after visiting their site I kinda want a catalog to look at now. Something about looking in a paper catalog brings me back to the days where I would flip through every kind we had sent to our home when I was a kid. It’s just fun!

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About the company: Stash started out as a loose tea distributor to

natural food stores, and has developed into one of the most widely know tea companies today! Since starting the company up in 1972, the company has expanded into a specialty tea company servicing grocery stores, tea and coffee shops, natural foods, and mail/Internet orders while continuing to keep a 5000 year old tradition of tea drinking.

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The product I received from Influenster’s (gratis in return for doing this review) was the Herbal Tea sampler which included two packets of nine different favors:

Acai Berry, Blueberry Superfruit, Chamomile, Cinnamon Apple Chamomile, Lemon Ginger, Licorice Spice, Mango Passionfruit, Peppermint, and Wild Raspberry Hibiscus.

stash herbal tea sampler

I wanted to try a flavor that was new to me so on the first night I decided to go with Licorice Spice:described as a naturally sweet dessert-like flavor of licorice root, cinnamon, Chinese star anise and clove bud oil. I know what anise and licorice taste like in other things and figured this would be a good combo flavor to try. Well, I was wrong. I actually did not finish the cup, I just didn’t like it. My boyfriend however tried the cinnamon apple chamomile and said it tasted really good, so I dumped mine and made a new cup.

Cinnamon Apple Chamomile almost tastes like a piece of pie and is described as : spicy cinnamon with juicy apple (yum yum) — now who isn’t going to love that! I’d happily have one of these after dinner instead of a fattening dessert that I’ll regret later.

I also drank the chamomile while I was at work and thought it tasted good– except I couldn’t say more than that? Not a really memorable flavor as Blueberry Superfruit which almost has a tart flavor to it. Blueberries are kind of an expensive snack for me to get at the grocery store all the time so it was nice to get all of its antioxidant goodies in a wake drink this time around. the website suggests trying this iced and I think it

would taste awesome that way too. it’s definitely a “fruity” flavor and doesn’t even need sugar ( I normally add 1 packet of truvia or sugar substitute to my tea and two to coffee.

I’m currently drinking Lemon Ginger while I write this review and taking it to the extreme. It’s 5pm and I have my lounging pants on, my dog is sleeping right next to me on the couch and no noise in the house. Do I have kids? No, but I do have a boyfriend that lives with the tv on for “background noise” and plays records in our dining room like its his own mixing. Studio. Sigh. So quiet 🙂

Taking another sip of Lemon Ginger, I can say that it smells lemon-y but tastes like ginger first and then the lemon taste comes at the end—-if that makes any sense at all! I would definitely drink it again if it was in another sampler pack, but probably not a whole box on its own. I honestly always go with a mint tea or even better, a mint green tea when I get a box of just one flavor. Mint may be simple, but it’s always the best in my eyes.

I also tried mango Passionfruit at work and really hoped I would like it because I like passion fruit, but I did t get past one or two sips before it was dumped. The mango flavor was too much for me and isn’t a favorite fruit of mine. I just hoped the passion fruit was cover everything, but oh we’ll, left in the cupboard for the coworkers! I only have 3 other favors to go: Acai berry, peppermint, and just discovering that both wild Rasberry hibiscus were gone! Hhhhmmmmmmmm…. Someone drank those without me noticing until just now. Haha must have been good to drink both. There are only two of us at this house. I think I know who the culprit is.

Overall, I love the brand. its sold at my supermarket and perhaps some other places I shop but don’t notice yet. I have yet to determine the price for this sampler but I suspect it’s around $6-7 which is fair.

Do you guys have a tea brand you like to use? Or go to a coffee or tea shop around you? what’s your flavor? share in the comments below!

This product was provided to me via the influenster program along with Stash .

Want to check out Stash Tea’s flavorful world of tea and tea accessories? Check out their site here:

Stash Tea on facebook Stash tea on Twitter

@GilletteVenus and @Influenster have got me hooked on this razor!

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If you are not familiar with the influenster program and like testing out goodies sent directly to your home; than I suggest you visit their website for more info.  The influenster program sent out an assortment of products to test in their themed “love voxbox” , which included ghirardelli chocolates, kiss nail stickers, truvia natural sugar substitute, stash herbal tea, and last but not least, A Gillette Venus &Olay disposable razor.  Today, I want to review the razor because I fell in love with it after the first try.

influenster love vox box contents box

We are all familiar with razors, from the cheapies to the fancy ones, and I’m pretty sure I’ve tried them all and eventually ended up epilating because I hated dealing with shaving.  I am now actually testing out the Tria Hair Removal Laser but still need to shave in the meantime until the hair falls out on its own.  I’ve always hated shaving because the results don’t last as long, and I would get lazy about buying new replacements which meant a dull blade and a bad shave.

influenster venus olay razor 2 goddessskin

The Gillette Venus & Olay razor features 5 blades for a closer shave with less swipes, Olay skin conditioners infused into the bars, and a handy hook to hang your razor while it air drys. The rubberized grip handle also helps in maneuvering the razor over knees and underarms so no slips or nicks. Another nice thing is that no shaving cream or gel is required. The moisturizing bars do all the work once they’re wet, making the process quicker and will less products to buy.

influenster venus olay razor goddessskin

I immediately loved how well the razor worked with 5 blades. “The more the merrier”‘, doesn’t just apply to party’s, it includes razor blades as well. Lol. I ran the razor under the shower for just a second and suction-cupped the hanging hook to my shower door. Once the water hits the bars, the skin conditioners are activated and will feel like a silky /creamy film develop that helps glide the razor over your skin.

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I did still need moisturizer after the shower but my legs didn’t dry up immediately after stepping out of the steamy bathroom, which is what usually happens if I don’t cover my body is cream or lotion from the neck down. But at least it prevented that dry and tight feeling that stems from why my boyfriend calls “boiling” showers. Psshhh…. Boiling? If I could make it get hotter I would so whose he kidding? This coming from someone who showers in 5 minutes or less…..

The only downside I can see to this razor is that the Olay bars will wear out quickly because the water really activates it into the silky film.  I was able to use the razor for about 4 days and noticed that the bars were wearing down— however, I still plan to get these babies next time I go to target. I just checked my Ralph’s super market and their beauty and toiletries area is seriously lacking.

 My only other issue may be the price? It all depends on what your normal comfort price level is. If you usually buy a buy of store brand double blade razors, this may be a bit ” high” for you. But if you run into problems with dry, tight, itchy skin you may want to rethink what you’re using and save yourself the discomfort.  note 3/19/2012: NOT AVAILABLE IN STORES YET! OMG  went all over this weekend to only find out I got the sneak peek! So I have no idea what the cost is….

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 A tip to anyone who gets this razor. USE THE HOOK provided to hang your razor to dry after use. If you accidentally leave the razor face down on the bathtub the pads will not dry out and will stick to the bathtub and ruin it from future (comfortable) shaves. And try different sides of your shower if one side doesn’t work. The razor wouldn’t stick to the glass door because of the texture on it, and neither the plastic wall to the tub, so I have it stuck to the metal frame of the glass door –keeping it out of the waters spray area and my flailing arms. ( yes, I said flailing, you can get clumsy sometimes in the shower)

What do you think of this razor? I’m going to be checking in on fellow blogger Patricia, from A Diva’s Perogative, who also participates in the influenster program and see how she liked the razor. If you have already tried this razor do you agree that you have #goddessskin?

Want to know more about this razor?  You can follow GilletteVenus on facebook and twitter or visit their website here.