Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Product Review: Frontier Soups

        As the cold weather starts to kick in (We just hit the 30's earlier here in NJ), I'm sure you and your family are also craving for a nice big bowl of soup to warm up. There's something so comforting in it that can make any tough day better right? 

        Though I do have quite a collection of well loved soup recipes here, I can't deny that I do stock up on instant soups as well.  Yes, you read that clearly. This food allergy mom does not make everything from scratch.  So, when I was contacted by Moms Meet to review this unique line of products from Frontier Soups, I agreed without a doubt.  

        Above are the 6 varieties of the Frontier Soups in Minutes mixes.  With the exception of the Little House Alphabet Soup, all are gluten free, no added salt, preservatives and MSG.  In fact, they offer 28 varieties that are certified by the Celiac Spruce Association. A big plus for me. The rice and corn used in the mixes are also certified non GMO.  Another thumbs up.  

          Of the 6 varieties, our family tried, the Chicken Noodle is hands down the kids' favorite.  I like it was ready in 30 minutes.  That included the boiling of the chicken broth and heating up the leftover cooked chicken strips.  Oh did I mention that each package has 4-5 servings?  That's enough for the hungry kiddos.  

      Above is my version of the Red Pepper Corn Chowder.  The package suggested to add heavy cream.  Since we are dairy free at home, I decided to use a can of coconut milk.  The end result was amazing.  Coconut and corn goes well together after all.  It reminded me of my favorite Thai Coconut Soup.   The best part, this was ready in 30 minutes.  

          Here's my version of the Kale and Quinoa Soup.  The instructions asked for cooked butternut squash, tomatoes and chicken broth.  Since I don't have fresh tomatoes on hand, I decided to use a few pieces of sun dried tomatoes instead.  With the addition of a little bit of salt, the soup was perfect.  
         I was so glad to be introduced to Frontier Soups in Minutes mixes.  Not only are they food allergy friendly and healthy, they are delicious as well.   Each soup variety is also easy to customize using the ingredients I have on hand.  With the help of Frontier Soups, tasty semi homemade soups are always ready in 45 minutes or less.  

           Sounds good?  Well, it gets better.  The people at Frontier Soups wants you to taste the soups I just mentioned above.  They are now offering a special discount for a 6 pc. variety pack.  Click here for details.

- Roz

(Note: I received this product for free from the sponsor of the MOMS Meet SM program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a MOMS Meet SM blogger, I agreed to use this product and post my opinion on my blog.  My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of MayMedia Group LLC or the manufacturer of the product.)  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Freebies: Ebooks on Halloween Crafts, Clean Food Diet and more

        It's Friday once again!  By now, I'm sure you're already waiting for some freebies. Right? 

       Today, I have quite a selection of free to download ebooks.  From tips on organic living, to gluten free recipes to Trick or Treating story book for kids, I'm sure you'll be excited to see my latest finds.

        Download one or all of them now before the prices go up.  

       Have a great weekend!

- Roz

(Note: I am a member of the Amazon affiliate program. See my full disclosure here.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top 8 Food Allergy Friendly Treats to Give Out this Halloween

      Are you ready for Halloween?  Whether you are a food allergy mom or not, I'm sure you will agree with me that the next few days will keep us busy.  From costumes to decorations and food, October 31st is exciting for the young and young at heart.

       Even food allergies haven't stopped my kids from having fun.  Yes, we also go Trick or Treating.  With a little twist though.  You can see how we do it here.
        Though there are so many candies to choose from, it is quite a challenge to find something that is free of the Top 8 allergens (wheat/gluten, dairy, egg, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, fish and shellfish). I think the last two are easier to avoid. Anyway, here's our family's top pick.

1. Yum Earth Organics
          This brand has individually wrapped lollipops, candy drops and even gummies. Aside from being free of the top 8 allergens, their products are also do not contain artificial flavors and colors. It's also organic.

2. Dum Dums
             A childhood favorite.  Who knew these are food allergy friendly as well?  If you have a soy allergy, please check out their disclosure. (see the Saf T Pops description below)

3. Enjoy Life Decadent Bars
         These bars are a real treat!  Not only for the kids but for the grown ups as well.  If you're the type who gives the regular size candy bars, these are way better.  

4. Surf Sweets
        Who doesn't like Jelly beans and sour gummies? These are also organic, without corn syrup and vegan.  

5. Saf-T-Pops
            Also from the company that makes Dum Dums, these lollipops have a unique handle that makes it friendly to younger children.  Though it is labelled Top 8 allergen free, the company website declares that  "the product may contain traces amount of soy oil, a processing aid in making candy. The soy oil has been refined, bleached and deodorized, a process that removes the protein that can cause an allergic reaction. But individual sensitivities vary, however, we have chosen to list soy oil."


6. Smarties
           Another all time favorite candy that's also food allergy friendly.  Their factory is also free of the top 8 common allergens. Since the company also sells their products to other re-baggers, their website says that "As consumers, we should check the UPC number on the packaging to be sure that the candy we are buying are not at risk for cross contamination.  Specifically, we should look packages with a UPC that starts with "0 11206" to make sure that it was packaged in their manufacturing facility.

7. Tasty Brand Organic Fruit Snacks
         I found a big box of these at Costco.  It's also vegan (doesn't use gelatin) and made without artificial colors and flavors as well. 

8. Home Free Cookies
             Made in a dedicated tree nut, wheat, dairy, egg, peanut and gluten free facility.  While some cookies such as mini vanilla, mini double chocolate, big oatmeal and the new gluten free large chocolate chip are soy free, their other varieties contain soy lecithin.  

         Do you have a favorite food allergy safe candy that did not make it on the list?  Please let me know so that we can check it out.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Product Review: The KUPP' Challenge

        Managing a family with 4 young children is quite a challenging task. I remember the days when I only have my eldest.  Everything was in tip top shape  around the house.  My husband even jokes about living with Monk (remember that detective show?).

        After Child #4 came, I have to accept that the OCD in me will not be able to keep up with the gang if I don't look around for help.  One of the places in our home where I need tons of help is the kitchen.  As a family of 6, can you just imagine how much plates, utensils and cups we use in a single day? Oh, did I mention that I also don't have an automatic dishwasher at home?  So, when I was contacted by MomsMeet to do the TheKUPP challenge, I immediately said "YES".


 What is KUPP'?

  • The Kupp' is a 6 oz glass outfitted with a colorful silicone sleeve.  
  • It is is specifically designed for children ages 3-10.
  • The firm grip and silicone sleeve helps to protect the glass from damage while providing a safe  toxic free vessel to drink from.
  • It is made in the USA using imported glass, all materials are sourced from environmentally friendly manufacturers that adhere to EU and US standards.
  • The glass is recyclable, certified lead and cadmium free, and is made from a pure soda-lime formula.  
  • It is dishwasher safe.
  • The grip-friendly silicone sleeve is BPA/BPS free and made with medical and food grade silicone. 

The Verdict

         When I first saw The KUPP', I was glad that it came in 4 different colors.  That meant that each child was able to pick his/her own and we can all tell which is which.  This helped lessen the "That's not mine." statements and arguments.  Have you ever tried marking your glass drinking cups with permanent marker?  I've done that quite a few times!  

        Three out of the four kids really enjoyed using their new KUPP'.  My two younger ones (both boys) in particular, felt more confident because of the attached handle.  According to them, their fingers nicely fit inside the silicone grip.  It is comfortable and it makes the glass not slippery especially when it contains very cold drinks.  Child#2 liked her red one because the silicone protects the bottom of the glass.  She's no longer worried about it breaking easily.  The handle also helps her have a good hold on the glass when she's washing her cup.   

        One of the things I liked about the KUPP is the size. When I trained the kids not to throw the drinks they can't finish right away,  I didn't know that my refrigerator and even freezer will be filled with  half filled glasses.  Six ounces, I realized was perfect for my 5, 7 and 9 year old children.  This helped eliminate the growing two-sips cup collection in the fridge.  

         As for Child#1 who's 11 years old, she's not as crazy about The KUPP' as the others. First, she says the handle is a bit too small for her fingers.  Also, she feels that it is not big enough to hold her drink. Maybe an 8 or 10 ounce one will do the trick for her.  (hint)  Aside from the size issue, she liked the convenience offered by the silicone sleeve.  She's even a fan of the design as it is not too childish.  

       The  kids have used their own KUPP for two weeks now and I have to say, it did help us keep the fridge and sink clear of clutter.  They learned to take care of their own glasses and drinks.  Most importantly, there are no more "That's not mine." excuses whenever I ask who's cup it is.  "Who made the mess?" though is a totally different story.  

      Anyway, to sum up, our family had a great experience with the KUPP' challenge. This kid friendly product is not only cute but very practical as well.  A simple change yet great solution to a common problem.  Where have you been all this time?  

         Want to learn more about the KUPP'? Check them out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for updates and insider deals. 

          So, are you ready to do the KUPP challenge too?     

- Roz

(Note:  I received this product for free from the sponsor of Moms Meet program, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my opinion on my blog.  The opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of May Media Group LLC or the manufacturer of this product.)

Saturday, October 4, 2014

October 2014 Reading List

        As the temperature starts to cool down and the nights get longer, there's nothing more relaxing than curling on the couch with a nice book.  Do you agree?

        For this month, I decided to ask for recommendations (special mention to my Librarian friends). Guess what?  I have not one but two heart warming novels in the list which I hope to finish in 30 days.  Wish me luck.  


The Daniel Plan: 40 Days to a Healthier Life by Rick Warren, Daniel Amen and Mark Hyman
             - A weight loss plan with inspirations from the Bible.  Not only is it filled with recipes but with emotional support as well.

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

       - A novel about the challenges of living in America from the eyes of young Asian girl.

We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride
         - Described as "A book that will break your heart and put it back again."  I can't wait to read this novel about a child's fate and family.    

         - Of course, I can't pass another gluten free cookbook.  Though most of the recipes aren't suitable for my multiple allergic kids, it is always nice to look at pictures and get inspired.  

         How about you?  What are you reading now? 

- Roz

(Note:  This post contains affiliate links.  See my full disclosure here.)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Schar Gluten Free Hangout with Dr. Anne

        Are you in a gluten free diet?  Do you have wheat allergy, gluten sensitivities or with Celiac disease? Whether you are newly diagnosed or has been in this G Free lifestyle for years, I'm sure there are still so many questions that are swirling in your minds about it.  

       Schar, the world leader in gluten free products since 1922, in it's efforts to help support people who are living this restrictive diet, has started a series of live online video event called Gluten Free Google Hangout with Dr. Anne.  If you don't know her yet, Dr. Anne Lee is the Schar's resident dietitian and gluten free expert. 

        For tonight's first airing, three special guest bloggers will join Dr. Anne in the panel.  These are Erin Smith of Gluten Free Fun, Reesa Lewandowski of Momma Lew and Rozelyn De Sagun of The Frugalista Mom's Allergy Friendly Home.  (Hey, that's me!)  From 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm,  we will be answering questions and discussing the following topics:
  • The benefits and pitfalls of the new Gluten-free labeling laws
  • How to get good grains in your diet
  • Preparing for the holidays, Gluten Free Style

       Sounds fun?  Oh yes it will be!  Prepare all our questions and join us tonight.  Simply click the link below and you're in.   It's that easy.        

         Hope to see you there.

- Roz

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Brothers All Natural Fruit Clusters Review & Gift Pack Giveaway

      Wow it's October 1st! What could be better than starting this month with a giveaway right?  I'm sure you'll be pretty excited with this new product I'm sharing with you today.

      As a mom of 4, I am always looking for better snack ideas to keep my children fed throughout the day. Even though I'm a big fan of homemade treats, I confess, I do rely on packaged products as well to help me keep up with my family's growing demand.  

       Though store shelves are lined with what seems like endless array of products, finding something that is food allergy safe, nutritious and the kids would actually eat is still a little challenging.  Did I mention that most organic snacks are even pricier too?  So, when I was contacted to try Brothers All Natural's new freeze dried fruit snacks, I didn't even winked.  

        One of the products that caught my attention on the Brothers All Natural's website is their line of Fruit Clusters.  I was quite familiar with freeze dried fruits but these clusters are something new. What exactly are they?  Brothers All Natural Fruit Clusters fruit snacks are made of best quality fruits picked at the peak of ripeness, cut into pieces, freeze dried and rolled into 1/2 inch bite sized clusters.

     These Fruit Clusters are 100% fruit and without added sugars, additives or preservatives.  It is free of the Top 8 common allergens such as wheat/gluten, soy, peanut, nuts and dairy.   Aside from that, it is Non-GMO Project certified, vegan and OU Kosher certified as well.  

      Among my 4 kids, Child #2 is the pickiest fruit eater. Unlike her 3 siblings who prefer fresh, dried or frozen fruits over any cupcake at any given time, Child #2 is the total opposite. Just how picky?  Well, if you ask her if she eats any fruit, she'll say "Yes!  I love apple pie, banana muffins, peach marmalade, mango Italian ice."  Mind you she's already 9 years old.  Do you get the picture?  

       Anyway, Child #3 who's a big fruit eater, (The one who says that the only reason he's not a vegan is me torturing him to eat meat for extra protein.), first tasted the Fruit clusters. He described it as apple cinnamon flavored popcorn. Crunchy and naturally sweet, I find these bite sized treats a way better option than a bag of sugar loaded caramel popcorn.  

       His non stop munching caused the other kids to be curious.  After my eldest and youngest each gave the Fruit Clusters a thumbs up, Child#2 eventually gave in.  She tried one which led to another and another and another.  Finally, she realized she finished a whole bag.  A big surprise from someone who's known as a non fruit eater!   

        When I asked her why she liked the Fruit Clusters.  She said that it is like eating popcorn that tastes like Apple Pie.  Not just a regular apple pie, a really good one. 

        Since the official tasting, Brother All Natural Fruit Clusters has become a staple in the children's lunch box.  It works well as a quick mid day snack for my Kindergartner and 2nd Grader.  The older ones like it as dessert that comes along with their lunch.  

       I like that each 1.25 oz resealable bag contains 6 servings of fruit.  It can easily be divided so that every child gets a portion or more. Plus it come in three flavors - the kids' favorite Apple Cinnamon, Blueberry Apple and my personal choice Raspberry Apple.

       Did I get you curious?  Well, our generous friends from Brothers All Natural has agreed to sponsor the prize for this giveaway.  One lucky reader (must be a US resident) will win his or her choice of 8 Fruit Cluster packs which will be shipped directly to his or her home for free. Isn't that cool? 

           What are you waiting for?  The giveaway ends on Oct. 13, 2014 11:59 pm EST.  

           Good luck!

- Roz

(Note:  I received free products to try and review for this post.  This however, hasn't affected my opinions about the brand.  See my full disclosure here.)

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