Thursday, July 29, 2010

Omnibalm Review

Earlier I posted my first ever blog win of Omnibalm from Sweeps4bloggers.  The prize pack included a 3 oz Daily Foot Therapy cream, Skin Relief Cream and lots of little samples of both to share the love.

I've been using the Daily Foot Therapy on my poor feet.  I wear heels at work, leave a mini heater on underneath my desk and walk around barefoot the rest of the time.  I will spare you photos of my tootsies (although they are pretty cute from the top).  Omnibalm is a natural product featuring tea tree oil.  I can even pronounce all the ingredients!  It has a scent that I can't really place.  It's not medical and it's not overtly sweetened by perfume.  It's unique, and I like it.  It's a non-greasy cream that's really thin so it spreads easily.  Even though it's for feet, it's working on my fingers as well that I've used to work in the cream.  My feet started to crack and toughen from all the hardship I've been putting them through, but after the first night I noticed a difference.  My feet are actually softer.  Even with continued abuse, I think with regular application, Omnibalm will turn my feet silky smooth.

The other great news is that this cream is supposed to be great for diabetic foot care.  Unfortunately, I have a lot of diabetics in my family from unhealthy eating.  This will make a great gift for them.  I'm saving the Skin Relief Cream for my friend, but keeping a sample for myself.  I have poison ivy in my backyard that I need to tackle and I imagine this might come in handy!

I heartily recommend giving Omnibalm a try.  I'm happy to send out a 0.1 oz sample of both the Daily Foot Therapy and Skin Relief Cream to the first four followers to email me.  So since I only have three followers at the moment you have a pretty good chance if you're interested.  :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Overdue Update

A lot of things have been going on...I'm just a little pressed for time so this will be my brief attempt to catch up.

Electrolux and Kelly Ripa have teamed together to bring a sweepstakes and a cause together.  Kelly Confidential supports the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund each time you 'create' a banana split.  It takes less than a minute.  How easy is that?  I was inspired to make a real split for myself!  I love Blue Bell ice cream and put together Butter Crunch (like Butterfingers), Pistachio Almond (the green one) and Cookies n' Cream.  YUM!  That's not all - for helping out a good cause you get a chance to win awesome prizes so go check it out.

Up next is Minute Maid's new Natural Energy drink in Strawberry Kiwi.  I got this and Pomegranate Berry as a free hand-out at the Taste of Dallas food expo.  If you look on the right you can see this is a brand of Coca-Cola.  If you're into myCoke rewards then this counts.

It was incredibly hot at the expo and exhibits were inside and out of buildings.  I brought water and quickly finished it off.  By the time I got this drink I was getting dehydrated but refused to pay $3 for a bottle of water.  My verdict: this drink is absolutely delicious.  Here's some things to consider - this is a juice blend.  It says 27% juice blend, mostly pear juice from concentrate.  While pear is pictured on the drink it's barely peeking out and not even in the flavor name.  There's less than 1% of: Strawberry and Kiwi juices from concentrate.  I liked the flavor so I'm not too bothered by how much is made up of what fruit.  It contain 37-43 mg of natural caffeine (from coffee beans) so I suppose that might explain the energy part.  At 12 oz it has a similar calorie count to a soft drink and 24 g of sugar.  For me, this would be a good replacement for a soft drink to reduce carbonation, but I still have to watch it for the calories and I'm not entirely sure how it compares to a typical glass of juice.

My great friend, C, gave me a package of venison sausage since she's leaving town for work and didn't want it to go to waste.  I'm no stranger to venison since my uncle is a hunter, but don't cook it too much. I decided to slice it up, put it on the "Foreman" grill and seasoned with Lawry's Seasoning Salt.  Venison is a great alternative meat since it's low in fat.  I tried one after it had cooled and it was perfection!  I also love Lawry's seasoning salt.  Let me tell you how much I love it.  When I was living abroad I took some with me.  And I used it all the time.  And I tried to convert the locals to using it.  I still love it although it's salt and I really should watch my sodium intake (but it's now got less sodium so it's okay, right?).  I can't wait for lunch tomorrow!  My neighbor gave me some fresh tomatoes and I cooked up some long grain wild rice.  Sounds like a feast!  Thank you, C!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Omnibalm Win!

Sweeps4Bloggers (check out her button on the right!) was the gracious host of the Omnibalm giveaway.  You can check out the giveaway for more information here.  I'm very excited to try out the Daily Foot Therapy.  I wear heels at work nearly every day, and combined with my mini heater to combat the arctic office air, it does a number on my feet.  I'll be sharing the anti-itch cream with a friend with allergies.  She gets serious welts from bites!    

Thank you, Valerie!  If you haven't been by Sweeps4Bloggers yet - go right now!  Theres a lot of great reviews and giveaways.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Ultimate Soup Bible - Pasta and Chickpea Soup

Yesterday I decided I'd had enough sandwiches and tuna salad on crackers for lunch.  I wanted something easy to make and in a big enough portion it could last me for several meals.  My local library is in a new location, but with some rather old selections.  I checked out the few shelves of cookbooks (yes, you can check them out - and for many, many weeks!) and wasn't too inspired until I came upon The Ultimate Soup Bible.

This book is a stunner!  It has some of the most beautiful food photography I've seen in a long time.  The best part is those photos include a few prep steps so you know what your dish is supposed to look like as it's coming along.  There's a robust selection of recipes to choose from: chilled, light & refreshing, hot & spicy, one-pot meals and everything in between.  It covers a few food basics like certain types of ingredients and cleaning methods, as well as the occasional tip.

I flipped through the heartier soups so it could stand alone as a meal and decided to go with the Pasta and Chickpea Soup.  The photo reminded me a bit of a Tunisian stew I absolutely love so I had high hopes for this soup.  The one drawback I've found so far is the ingredient list for this recipe.  This is partly my fault for not looking up cannellini beans and partly the book for choosing what I would consider as an obscure ingredient.  I expected it to be in the canned bean section with the chickpeas (Garbanzo), but ended up confused and frustrated.  Recalling the photo, I went with a substitute - the large butter bean - and went on with it.  Update: it is a white navy bean also known as a pea bean or haricot.  I don't recall seeing it in the store, but I'll check it out next time I'm there.  I was also confused by the bottled strained tomatoes and ended up with canned diced tomatoes.  The extra touch of grated Parmesan cheese swayed me back into a positive mood though.

This is really an easy recipe to follow, as most of them appear to be.  I made this up after dinner so I only tasted it reheated today, but it was still a fantastic soup.  I love pasta and this is a great way to sneak in more vegetables for myself.  Even though I didn't chop the veggies as small as they probably should have been, they were still tender without being mushy.  Chickpeas are a great source of protein and make up for a lack of meat.  Overall, this is a great dish and easy on the wallet.  I would highly recommend the recipe and the book.

Above photos are my attempt: the pile of veggies, tossing in rosemary, and the final product.