Thursday, October 9, 2014

Instant Peppermint Hot Chocolate - Product Review

Instant Peppermint Hot Chocolate by Substance of Living
There are times that we just don't feel like messing with the stove to make homemade hot cocoa but still want something hot and tasty.  Today's hot chocolate solves that problem and more.

Instant Hot Chocolate - Product Review by Substance of Living

Pour milk (dairy or any non-dairy) into a microwavable cup, heat for about 1 1/2 minutes on high, open your favorite hot chocolate package, pour in cup, stir, and now add a 1/2 to 1 full shot of your favorite peppermint liqueur.

You're done and the sensational sipping begins within two minutes!

Swiss Miss "Create the Moment" Dark Chocolate Sensation
When you're hosting a gathering on a cold evening, try setting up a hot chocolate bar with instant as well as homemade.  Have hot milk, hot water, sprinkles, marshmallows, whipped cream, and of course alcoholic and non-alcoholic flavorings to add.

Adult Peppermint Hot Chocolate by Substance of Living

Notes:


Please be responsible when drinking alcohol and not drive.  Keep your friends and family safe by not allowing them to drive after drinking.  It goes (at least it should) without saying that if you aren't of the legal drinking age in your area to please refrain from alcohol and enjoy the non-alcoholic version which happens to be quite good.




P.S., This was not a paid advertisement.  I did not receive any coupons nor did I receive any of the products free.  Should you find yourself purchasing anything from the links provided, Substance of Living will receive a small stipend of which you will neither have to pay any additional charges nor will the prices be inflated.
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Monday, September 29, 2014

September Send Me Gluten-Free Box

Send Me GlutenFree Product Review by Substance of Living

Take a look and drool over everything that came in the September Send Me Gluten-Free box!  I'm telling you, these boxes of goodies each month are AWESOME!!!

Thanks to Pamela's, we enjoyed a pancake breakfast one morning.
Pamela's Pancake and Baking Mix - Product Review by Substance of Living

Had a romantic picnic, provided by gopicnic, Beanfield's, and Lovely, inside by the fire one evening.
Romantic Indoor Picnic by Substance of Living

Breakfast and a snack on the go by Giddy Up & Go and SoyJoy.
Send Me GlutenFree Product Review by Substance of Living

I'm telling you, these boxes are like a little surprise gift each month and the best way to sample all sorts of gluten-free items.  It's so much better and cheaper to enjoy new goodies each month than to go out and purchase items that you've never tried.  You and I both know how expensive a lot of gluten-free or specialty food items are to just to fill your grocery cart full of new items.
Send Me GlutenFree Product Review by Substance of Living

Take a look at last month's box of SendMeGlutenFree and you'll know what I've been going on about.  There are some products I've tried before, which are fantastic, some new items by brands I've enjoyed, and of course so many new brands and items to sample.  This month included, granola, chicken broth, spice collection, coconut oil, hand soap, graham crackers, licorice candies, soy and fruit bar, pancake mix, and a picnic box.




P.S., Your purchase through any affiliate links will provide Substance of Living with a small stipend and help its continued efforts to bring you quality posts such as this one.
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Substance of Living

Monday, September 15, 2014

Apothecary TeaTree Oil - Product Review


Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil - Product Review
Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil
I remember years ago, and I'm talking almost 20 years now, a co-worker friend of mine introduced me to Tea Tree Oil.  It's been so long that I don't remember which brand she used, and suppose that doesn't really matter.  What does matter is that she had been using it for a long time.  She used it to treat all kinds of skin problems including acne.  She also used it as a cleanser around her house.
Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil - Product Review

To my uneducated thought process, I couldn't fathom using an oil to clean anything in my house except maybe to condition my wood.
Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil - Product Review

Fast forward to 2014 and here I am ordering Tea Tree Oil from Amazon and loving it.  Besides the pureness of this product, it was really quite gentle on my skin.  It is recommended that another oil, such as coconut oil, be used if trying on your skin for the first time.

Upon ordering my Apothecary Tea Tree Oil, they also sent me a recipe / use type booklet via email in PDF format.

Besides fighting acne, this non-diluted/pure Tea Tree Oil also naturally fights "Toenail Fungus, Lice, Yeast Infections, Skin Tags, Cold Sores, Dandruff, Ringworm, Fleas, Warts, Psoriasis, and More.

"

Think of all the money you'll save with one 4 ounce bottle that lasts a little over a year with regular use.  Did you know that you can also make your own shampoo, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, body wash, face cleanser, and more?  Not to mention the opportunity to get rid of all your expensive household cleaners with their harsh chemicals and 

make your own natural detergents, shower sprays, bathroom disinfectants, kitchen sprays, dryer sheets, and room deodorizers.
Conditioning and Thickening Shampoo - Apothecary Extracts Tea Tree Oil - Product Review
Substance of Living Hair Thickening and Conditioning Shampoo

I combined a couple recipes together and came up with my own Hair Thickening and Conditioning Shampoo.

Thickening and Conditioning Shampoo

Recipe:

5 Drops Tea Tree Oil
1 Tablespoon Honey
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons liquid Castile Soap
1/2 Cup Distilled Water
Plastic Jar

Directions

Combine all the ingredients and shake well.  It will be fairly liquidy so when you use it, try about two single-hand amounts.  What I mean is cup one hand, palm up, and pour as much shampoo as will fit in your palm without spilling over.  You can make your shampoo a little thicker by reducing the amount of water you add to the mixture.

Another way to use this shampoo that might actually work a little easier is to use a spray bottle.

I have naturally fine hair but a lot of it but after the first application, my hair felt and looked so much thicker.  I've used this shampoo for three days in a row.  I'm not used to having such thick hair that used my store-bought shampoo for a few days.  I'd like to get where I can use this new shampoo and try some more recipes in the book and completely get away from store-bought shampoos and conditioners.

I also made my own version of a shower cleaner.

Shower Cleaner

Recipe:


1/8 cup White Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Tea Tree Oil
1/2 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Water
1/4 cup Liquid Castile Soap

Directions

Add the white vinegar, water, liquid Castile soap and tea tree oil.  Then EVER-SO-SLOOOOWLY add the baking soda.  The combination of the baking soda and vinegar will be extremely bubbly.  I tried using a spray bottle for this but it didn't work very well, so next time I will try a squirt bottle.  Something like a honey or squeeze mustard type bottle.  You know me, I'm into reusing and recycling whenever possible.

Best Value on Amazon. 4 Ounce Value Pack. 100% Pure Australian Tea Tree Oil. Free eBook 50+ Uses for Tea Tree Oil. We Have Tests that Prove Our Tea Tree Oil's Purity and Potency. Great for Face Wash, Aromatherapy, Household Cleaning, and More.
Now for the disclosures: I am so thankful for the opportunity to try this tea tree oil and would certainly buy it again in the future.  The company was super easy to work with and I like that they have kept in touch through email adding more recipes.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.




P.S., Your purchase through any affiliate links will provide Substance of Living with a small stipend and help its continued efforts to bring you quality posts such as this one.
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Monday, August 25, 2014

Send Me Gluten Free Introduction

Find Me Gluten Free

I'm beyond excited to introduce you to what I'm calling "The newest sensation in eating gluten free"!  You can now sign up to receive a box in the mail each month packed full of gluten-free items from Send Me Gluten Free

August 2014 Send Me Gluten Free box 
This is what my box looked like this much.  In addition to some full-size items, there were samples of tea, sweets, energy bars, lip balm, and coupons galore.  After your box arrives, you'll also receive an email with links to each of the products and if you complete a quick survey they'll send you additional discounts or coupons.

Another email will come giving you recipes and ideas of how to use the items in the box.  For example, this month there was Sevierly Good: Garlic Bread , TeeChia: Blueberry Date Quickbread , and other recipes.

Close up of some items in the August 2014 Send Me Gluten Free box
Close up of Items in the August 2014 box.

Close up of some items in the August 2014 Send Me Gluten Free box
Close up of Items in the August 2014 box.

Close up of some items in the August 2014 Send Me Gluten Free box
Close up of Items in the August 2014 box.
I don't know if I'm actually supposed to copy an entire page of information from the website, but it was so important that I didn't want to leave anything out.

"Our mission is to help the gluten free community by providing great resources and fun ways to try new products that are safe for you and your family. That mission is so important to us because we get it...we have families that live gluten free and most of our team lives gluten free too. We know first-hand how difficult it can be to find the best products and we’re here to make all of that easier with our monthly subscription box. We hope you’ll join us!

We know gluten free. While Send Me Gluten Free is shiny and new, we have been helping the gluten free community for a pretty long time. We’ve hosted the Gluten & Allergen Free Expos since 2007, helping thousands of people discover new gluten free products and learn how to make their lifestyle easier. In 2010, we launched the mobile app Find Me Gluten Free. It quickly became the #1 gluten free restaurant finder app, and has since added thousands of listings to help people just like you find safe places to eat locally and when traveling.

We wanted to do more. While we have seven cities on our expo tour, there are a lot of people in between that just can’t make it to one. We like to think of Send Me Gluten Free as an “expo in a box” for you to try new gluten free products right in your home. And while the Find Me Gluten Free app has been helping people find places to eat, and smartphones seem to be able to do just about anything, the technology just isn’t there yet to try out new products on your phone. So until that day comes, Send Me Gluten Free will have to do!

We send you cool stuff. Each month you’ll get to try 8-12 new gluten free products. You’ll get full-size and sample size food, personal care items, supplements and household products that support your gluten free lifestyle.

We’re not here to save the world, we just want to make yours a whole lot easier."


Some additional information, that is actually GREAT is that all the pricing includes shipping and handling so that means that shipping is FREE on all orders!!!  Here's the catch, at this time, they only ship within the Continental United States. 
 
One more last note; I received this box free for my honest opinion and to share with you.  I and my most handsomest husband have been enjoying the daylights out of this box.  It's been pretty hard for me to share but he is so worth it!!!

Stay tuned for additional posts about some of these delicious items.


It's time to try something new! Follow this link and use the code SMGF20 to receive 20% off any subscription.




P.S., Your purchase through any affiliate links will provide Substance of Living with a small stipend and help its continued efforts to bring you quality posts such as this one.
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If you enjoyed this post, please do a friend and me a BIG favor and forward this email (be sure to ask them not to unsubscribe you). If you received this email from a friend and you'd like to see more, please sign up today. Don't miss out on future articles. Have Substance of Living delivered directly to your inbox.  THANKS!

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Castello Burger Blue Cheese - Product Review

Castello Burger Blue Cheese - Product Review

This is a super exciting day for me.  Not only do I get to share with you the newest addition to Castello family - Burger Blue Cheese, but we are celebrating my fabulous husband's birthday and 4th of July!  (Although you've seen bits and pieces of him from time to time, he really does not like being in the limelight and yet he did an amazing job as Nathan Detroit in "Guys and Dolls" musical.

I can go on and on and on about how adorable and wonderful my husband is, but you really want to know about this new cheese that people are talking about.
Castello Cheese brand Spatula

"Transform your burger into an epicurean delight"

"Top burgers with a perfectly-sized slice of NEW Castello® Burger Blue cheese to give them a bold and sophisticated taste found in the kitchens of gourmet chefs across the country.
With perfectly sized and supremely meltable Castello® Burger Blue cheese, the messy, inconsistent coverage of blue cheese crumbles is a thing of the past. To the delight of your guests, you’ll easily complement savory grilled patties with creamy, tangy flavors featuring sweet and salty undertones.
It is no surprise that this culinary creation comes from Castello®, which has been crafting cheeses using impeccable attention to detail since 1893. They never shy away from incorporating amazing innovation into traditional cheesemaking."
Although Castello designed their sliced Burger Blue cheese to accompany a burger, we chose to top our grilled Mahi.
Soaking Cedar Planks
First, we soaked two cedar planks in a mixture of water and Merlot wine.  As you can see, we had to weigh the boards down with a couple glasses.

Cedar Plank Grilled Mahi by Substance of Living
The steam from the soaked planks flavored the fish and kept it moist without having to cover them.  The oven was set at 400 F, and each side baked for 9 minutes.

Castello Burger Blue Cheese - Product Review
Aww, look at all that marbling in the cheese slices.  The cheese came nicely packaged and was fairly thinly sliced with a rich and creamy texture.


Mahi topped with Castello Burger Blue Cheese by Substance of Living
Our cheese was fresh from the refrigerator so it was a bit crumbly, but with delicate handling, we were able to break the cheese slice in half and place on each piece of fish.

The cheese melted beautifully and each bite had the rich flavors enhancing the Mahi.  I don't know if other fish would pair as nicely but Tuna steaks or maybe Shark might be nice.  Salmon might be a little too delicate for the boldness of the cheese - unless the cheese was thinned out a little more and made into a sauce.

After we were chosen to be a part of the Castello Burger Blue campaign, we had some difficulty finding the slices in our area.  So, you can imagine our excitement when we finally found it at our local Harris Teeter Grocery Store and it came at a perfect time.  The cheese can be found in the specialty cheese section.
Mahi topped with Castello Burger Blue Cheese by Substance of Living

What we loved about Castello Burger Blue:
  1. Conveniently sliced
  2. No artificial ingredients
  3. Bold flavor
  4. Melts beautifully
  5. Great presentation (both packaged and served on food)

My first purchase was free thanks to BzzAgent and Castello. In my area, the Castello Burger Blue cheese retails for $8.49 but was on sale the day I picked mine up for $4.99.  Thanks to the additional $1.00 off coupons we received, several of our friends and neighbors were able to take further advantage of the sale price and enjoy their own package of cheese.
Gluten-Free Lemon Cake by Substance of Living

We topped my wonderful husband's birthday and the 4th of July with gluten-free lemon cake filled with a berry filling and dark chocolate frosting.  Yum!

Happy Birthday to my best friend and love of my life - my husband!  Happy Birthday - USA!




P.S., Your purchase through any affiliate links will provide Substance of Living with a small stipend and help its continued efforts to bring you quality posts such as this one.
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If you enjoyed this post, please do a friend and me a BIG favor and forward this email (be sure to ask them not to unsubscribe you). If you received this email from a friend and you'd like to see more, please sign up today. Don't miss out on future articles. Have Substance of Living delivered directly to your inbox.  THANKS!

Substance of Living

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Whole Latte Love (Contemporary Romance EBook) Review


Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Whole Latte Love by Rachelle Ayala - book review by Substance of Living
You might remember the name Rachelle Ayala from a previous book review Taming Romeo where we met the Sanchez family and heart throb Romeo Garcia.  This time we meet Carina Chen, fresh out of an ivy league school and interning through the summer for an investment bank in Berkley, California.  At the same time we are introduced to Carina, we have the pleasure of meeting the free-spirit Dylan Jewell who is the oh-so-yummy barista.  Did I mention that Dylan is also the lead singer and guitar player in a band?

Don't worry, I won't spoil the story for you, but want to tease you a little so you rush over to Amazon and purchase yourself a copy of Whole Latte Love (New Adult Romance).

Ms. Ayala has a way with words that truly pulls the reader into the story.  At first, I liked Carina Chen but as the story progressed, I found myself wishing she would grow up.  Guess I was frustrated with Carina because I didn't want to see her lose out on happiness.  See, Carina is all business.  When she moves in with Dylan (oops, there I go giving some of the story away) for the summer she comes up with a list of rules for their living arrangement.  Like I said, Carina is all business and doesn't need any distractions while she's competing for her career making position in banking.

Dylan, on the other hand, will melt your heart with his sultry voice, heart-laden lattes, warmth and caring, and let's not forget his smoking chiseled looks.  Can you imagine coffee in bed delivered by this guy?!  Hold on, there's a lot more to Dylan than meets the eye.  I'm not going to ruin it for you but he's got some major brains that make him a true catch.  He's also "damaged goods".

Okay, let's get to the meat of the story (I mean, a good story line and come-to-life characters is nice but we want good -make that- demand fricking fantastic love scenes).  The sex scenes do not disappoint.  They are explicit and continue in Ms. Ayala's tradition of satisfying our daydreams. 


Carina and Dylan, despite all their smarts, other people and obstacles, find happiness through inner strength.  This book is certainly about opposites attracting and learning to open our hearts and minds to how others live.  There's a Whole Latte Love with frothy hearts and steamy scenes to make your summer reading a little bit hotter!

"Steamy love scenes and language. Suitable for readers 18+."

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.




P.S., Your purchase through any affiliate links will provide Substance of Living with a small stipend and help its continued efforts to bring you quality posts such as this one.
Please share me with your friends!
If you enjoyed this post, please do a friend and me a BIG favor and forward this email (be sure to ask them not to unsubscribe you). If you received this email from a friend and you'd like to see more, please sign up today. Don't miss out on future articles. Have Substance of Living delivered directly to your inbox.  THANKS!

Substance of Living

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Book Club Reading Selection for June 2014

Welcome to summer or in some areas of the world, winter!  A lot happens this month; Father's Day, school's out (in most places for the summer), vacations, backyard parties, family reunions, and so much more.

Lavinia Esposito, a.k.a. Vinnie, wants answers when a box is mysteriously left on the front porch for her recently deceased aunt.  Vinnie can't let this mystery drop even after the cops find nothing amiss with the "gift".  Vinnie is a criminal justice instructor.
For Love of Livvy - J.M. Griffin
For Love of Livvy - J.M. Griffin
Jazmine Crawford wants only one thing from life; that is to be invisible.  Events unfold that disturbs Jazmine's world and she is forced to be in a school play, make friends, and learn the truth about her dad.
Invisible - Cecily Anne Patterson
Invisible - Cecily Anne Patterson

What would you do if you had a dilemma, dialed the wrong number and the man on the other end of the phone gave you sage advice in a sexy voice - only to be disconnected?

A lot is packed into this 30-page short story.

The Right Wrong Number - Barbara Delinsky
The Right Wrong Number - Barbara Delinsky


This next book in our reading selection is actually a new genre for our book club.  To learn a little more about this book and its genre, visit my book review.

I think you're going to enjoy this book as much as I did, especially if you're a gamer.
Misfits Trek - John Blackport
Misfits Trek - John Blackport


What did you think of this month's varied selection of reading?







P.S., Your purchase through affiliate links will provide Substance of Living with a small stipend and help its continued efforts to bring you quality posts such as this one.
Please share me with your friends!
If you enjoyed this post, please do a friend and me a BIG favor and forward this email. If you received this email from a friend and you'd like to see more, please sign up today. Don't miss out on future articles. Have Substance of Living delivered directly to your inbox.  THANKS!

Substance of Living