Crest Pro-Health Advanced Rinse is burn free

I received this item for free from BzzAgent in return for my honest review. Here’s what I thought:

The Pros: My favorite thing about this product is that it is burn free and effective. I have long avoided mouth washes because they were either too harsh or didn’t seem to have any effect. Crest Pro-Health Advanced Deep Clean is the perfect combination. It has a light cinnamon smell, but it doesn’t taste strongly of cinnamon. It does require an entire minute of swishing, but without the burn that is easier to accomplish. Even after 10+ hours, with eating, my mouth still feels smooth and clean. I’m not sure if it’s actually strengthening my teeth, but it makes my mouth feel extremely clean, and that’s really my top priority.

The Cons: The very first time I used this wash, it left a strong bitter flavor in my mouth. The flavor lasted through the night and into the next morning, even messing with the taste of my morning coffee. It was really yuck. I haven’t noticed the bitter flavor since the first time of use, but it does still affect the taste of things if you drink or eat within three or four hours of swishing. So, if I know I’m going to eat relatively soon, I skip the swish.

Confusing aspect: I love that the mouth wash is purple; it looks really nice sitting on my bathroom counter. However, I’ve had several people ask me what the difference is between the purple and the blue. It’s a neat idea to offer different color options, but if they are the exact same product, it leaves people wondering why it’s a different color, or if they are missing some difference between the two. However, they’re both the same, so pick a color you like!

Overall: I’ll keep purchasing this product. I really like how clean my mouth feels and for how long as well as the fact that I can swish without feeling like I’m torturing myself from the burn. The affect on taste is a downer, but the perks outweigh the bad. I’ll simply skip my mouthwash if I’m planning to eat soon, but normally I swish after my breakfast and right before bed, so it’s not a problem all that often.

Anyone else try out this mouth wash and notice the same after taste?

#GotItFree #BzzAgent

Verdict:

finishedworthitpdf

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Monterey Gourmet Foods’ ravioli is pretty great

So, I’m a BzzAgent. What that means is I get free items in return for an honest review. So, let’s get started.

You’d think these things are made of gold and kept hidden by the store associates by how hard it was to locate them in the grocery store. I finished my entire trip and spent another ten minutes searching. If they didn’t look delicious and free, I would have given up.

20150422_205606They were a little expensive, upwards of four dollars for a package that “serves about 2”. I’m not sure how realistic of a meal that would be for my household unless they were BOGO at Publix. Buy hey, if they’re serving as meat, that’s a little comparable.

I got two packages for free, but popped one in the freezer for later use. We’ll see if that affects the texture at all. For now, I’m reviewing Fire Roasted Mushroom.

I whipped up a helping of my homemade Alfredo sauce, boiled a handful of whole wheat thin spaghetti noodles, and then lightly boiled my ravioli. I know ravioli can stand on its own, but since there wasn’t many in the package, and my boyfriend can eat for three, I decided to serve them as the “meatballs” of my pasta.

You do have to be very careful while boiling/scooping. They’re tender little raviolis. The flavor? It did have a nice rustic20150422_211829 mushroom flavor. Mostly it was minced, but there were a few noticeable chunks. My boyfriend really loved it. He normally eats a few bowls of my Alfredo, but he only had one serving with five to six ravioli on top and he was stuffed. It’s definitely a great filler. This flavor isn’t my favorite, so I’d mix it up next time.

Overall: The ravioli were dense but tender. There was just the right amount of filling in each. They were quick to cook up with only 5 minutes of required boiling. The price is a little high, but definitely doable if a great sale is going on. Lastly, they’re quite filling. Eating on my own, I probably would have gotten at least three servings out of it.

Verdict:
finishedwaitforit

My favorite survey sites

Let’s face it, not all survey sites offer the same value. Some offer high-paying surveys with quick cash-out options, while other take an impossibly long time to receive a single reward.

I have been taking surveys for over three years now and have a list of the best ones I’ve found.

  1. Valued Opinions
    • This site never sends out surveys offering less than $1. Most of them offer more than that. Furthermore, this is the site where I am invited to the most product tests. They have limited cash out options but include Visa e-card, Amazon e-card, iTunes, etc. Unfortunately, they have raised the cash-out number. For example, you need $22 to claim a $20 Amazon code. This doesn’t really bother me, though, because they have such high-offering surveys. I can normally claim two $20 Amazon codes in a little over a month if I do every survey they send me.
  2. Mindfield Online
    • This site is another that offers cash instead of points. Each survey ranges from 50 cents to over five dollars. They have a low cash out minimum ($5 if done through facebook). You can also cash out through PayPal and have it transferred directly to your bank account. It’s a great service. In addition, Mindfield is partnered with Sam’s Club. If you have a membership, you could qualify for extra, high-incentive surveys related to your shopping experiences with Sam’s.
  3. GlobalTestMarket
    • This is the only site I know of that still has an actual check as a cash-out option. You can redeem your points for a check that they will mail to your home address. Each survey normally offers from 35-90 points (20 points equaling $1). Downside is you have to have 1000 points to redeem at all. Upside is, when you have 1000 points, that’s $50! They send out numerous surveys a day, so if you are trying, you could reach the 1000 point minimum pretty quickly. I have chosen the check option 3 times now. I also chose $25 gift cards to various restaurants. I have never had a problem receiving my prizes.
  4. BzzAgent
    • This isn’t really a survey site, but I love it. You sign up, complete a bunch of profile surveys, and when you qualify, they invite you to a campaign. A campaign involves a free full-sized product (or coupon for one) mailed to you for your personal use, and you don’t have to keep is a secret. In fact, that’s the point. They want you to use the product, tell them about the product, talk about the product online, to your friends, etc. They also want your honest opinion. Just because you get it free doesn’t mean you have to love it. There are no points or rewards, online free stuff sent directly to you.

I am a part of many more survey sites, but most of them do not have as reward-able of a point system. To me, they are there for the occasional survey so one day I can sign in to find out I’ve earned $10. If you’d like the complete list of every site I am a part of, let me know!

Do you have a favorite survey site?

Survey pros and cons

Surveys can be a fun addition to your life, or they can be an added hassle. It really comes down to your personality and the amount of time you have.

I enjoy them, but I do find myself stressed at the amount of surveys in my inbox when I forget about them for a few days. When that happens, I simply remind myself that I am under no obligation to complete every survey that comes my way.

Here I will list all of the pros and cons I can think of. If you aren’t sure about giving surveys a shot, take a read and see how you feel about it.

Cons:

  • Screen outs
    • Sometimes you will answer one question, sometimes 2o, before it tells you that you aren’t qualified. This can be disheartening and frustrating. The longer you wait to take a survey, the higher a chance you will be screened out.
  • Cash-out Minimum
    • Most sites reward you in points, requiring you to reach a certain amount before you can cash out. This could take a while, meaning hours of surveys before seeing any real reward.
  • Cash-out Options
    • Certain survey sites only offer gadgets and items for your point redemption. This isn’t preferable because most of the items are at a point level not matching the amount of effort required to get there.
  • Time
    • Some surveys take longer than others. It’s up to you to define the value of your time. If a 30 minute survey isn’t worth a dollar, don’t do it. Most high-money surveys take a while to complete. You aren’t going to get something for nothing.
  • Amount of surveys
    • A few really good sites will only send you a survey a day, while others send you 2o+. I currently have 126 in my inbox and I do 5-10 surveys a day. It can be overwhelming. My personal rule: delete anything with a generic title that is over a week old; it’s likely the survey is closed. If it is a specific survey, or a high paying one, take the chance and take it no matter how old it is.

If you have read the cons and aren’t running from the computer, continue! Maybe the pros will outweigh the cons. They do for me.

Pros:

  • Extra “Cash”
    • In a month, I can get about $50 in Amazon codes or gift cards. That isn’t going to pay my rent, but it helps my buy small things or have a night out with my significant other. It’s money I didn’t have before, that I don’t really notice the work I do to get it. Extra “cash” in your pocket, or paypal, is always a good thing.
  • Behind the Scenes
    • Often times, I will receive a survey about a product that isn’t even out yet. It’s a fun experience knowing you are a part of the design process, especially if it is a topic you are interested in.
  • Product Tests
    • Many survey sites will occasionally have product test surveys. If you take the survey and qualify, they will send you a product to use and then report how you liked it. I have participated in tests for items like toilet paper and shampoo to salad dressing and yogurt. You get a free item, you get a high reward for taking the review survey, it’s a win-win.
  • Community Invites
    • Sometimes big companies with put together an online community of consumers to talk about their brand, new/old products, improvements, etc. They normally have a set monthly payout with bonuses for extra content. You get invited through a survey.
  • Raffles, Drawings, and Giveaways
    • Normally if you disqualify from a survey, you will earn a entry into a random giveaway/raffle. Sometimes there is also an option to trade in your points for more entries. This is more rare, but it does happen. You could win. About four months ago I won $75 from a survey site that I didn’t even know I had prize entries for. I received the check in the mail. It was awesome!

Overall, surveys can lead to exciting opportunities and fun prizes/rewards, but only if you put in the effort. I know you’ve heard the saying:

There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Surveys: Not a substitute job

The get-rich-quick idea pulls a lot of people in. It’s human nature; we want maximum payoff with minimal effort.

Making money from my own couch? Yes please. Be warned though, surveys are no replacement for a real job.

With that said, I’ll tell you why I love surveys. I’m personally a member of about a dozen survey sites. It is true, they do not provide an income to live off. They do, however, let you have a little fun. My favorite cash-out option is Amazon codes.  From there I can buy just about anything. It allows me to buy things that I normally wouldn’t splurge on, seeing as how I can’t turn it into cash and pay bills.

The things I’ve gotten with my Amazon codes include: games, electronics, flea medicine for my dogs, small household appliances, etc. I keep a wishlist on Amazon, and when I get enough gift codes, I pick one of the items to buy.

Surveys take patience and time, lots of time. However, if you can set aside an hour a day, maybe while you’re drinking coffee or watching a re-run, you may be able to turn your leisure time into spare fun money.

In my next few posts I will talk about the general pros and cons of surveys and make a list of my favorites. There are some great ones out there, but there are also some terrible ones. Be careful and try to have fun!

Foaming hand soap with Dawn

I keep my hands clean, but that also means my soap dispenser is always low.

The other day I found a webpage that talked about making homemade foaming soap with Dawn. It sounded super simple, so I gave it a shot.

Empty foam dispenser Goo Gone

I started with an empty foam dispenser from Bath & Body Works. It had a stubborn sticker on it that wouldn’t come off, so I used Goo Gone. Just pour a little onto a cotton ball, and rub directly over the sticker. Wait a minute, and the sticker should peel right off with no sticky residue left behind.

Next I started the mix. I’m not kidding, it really is simple. Just fill the dispenser mostly up with warm water and then squeeze your preferred soap directly into it, until the bottle is full. I also added a tsp or so of glycerin since Dawn isn’t supposed to be the best for your hands.

IngredientsAfter it’s all in the bottle, give it a shake and try it out!

This was my end result:
The final resule

I love it so far. It foams great and doesn’t cost much. I’m trying a homemade body wash later in the week. I’m excited!

Here’s the link to the page I followed:
Make Your Own Foaming Handsoap

Anyone have any great homemade soap/cleaner recipes? I’m always looking for more!

I’m trying

I have it all figured out.

I keep my apartment spotless and organized. I make my own natural cleaners and soaps. I make as many things as possible homemade. I avoid processed foods. I recycle. I exercise. I’m managing an 18 credit semester perfectly. I’m training two lab mix puppies to listen to every word I say. I have a perfect relationship. I find time for my hobbies. I’m creative and have no worries.

Actually, I don’t do any of those things, but I’m trying to do every single one of them.

Life gets hectic. Sometimes the days are so long that a sink full of dishes will just have to wait until tomorrow and a fried sandwich from the nearest fast-food chain hits just the spot.

Lately, those days have seemed to pile up, but I won’t give up. I strive for a healthy, balanced life, and the first step is understanding that it’s not a one day process. I simply have to keep moving forward and not give up.

I’m trying.