Friday, July 31, 2015

Some Products that Take You (and your family) Back to School

GoMacro Bars
Having a few nutrition bars in my bag and carry-on is essential to my trips. I don’t want to always be relying on expensive, and often unhealthy, snacks. The problem is that most of these bars have chocolate in or on them. While chocolate is one of my favorite things to eat, it also melts all over everything when the weather is warm.

GoMacro Bars come in a dozen different non-chocolate flavors. They are also vegan and gluten-free. The minis – which are a decent size – are only 100 calories and have just 5-6 grams of sugar. My favorites are banana + almond butter and sesame butter + dates, but, honestly, I have enjoyed every single one.

You can purchase GoMacro bars here

WildKin Kids Luggage
These Wildkin Kids backpacks are fun and practical for kids to travel with (or bring to school). They are durable and clean easily. These twins, whom I travel with often, really enjoyed them and were ready to get them packed.

You can find Wildkin Kids backpacks and luggage on their website.

I confess that I am not a big proponent of vitamins and supplements. I take very little so I wasn’t too sure about these vitamins aimed at kids in a powdered form.

It turns out the kids love them and they seem to be healthy with no artificial flavors or colors, and no major allergens -- egg, milk, peanut, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish or shellfish. (I do have to say, though, that despite the fact that they don’t contain shellfish, they do contain quite a bit of Iodine so you might want to avoid them if you have a shellfish allergy, which I do.)

In addition to giving the flavorful packs to kids, you can sneak more vitamins into snacks, such as this yogurt pop recipe:

Packet alternaVites
Cup of Yogurt
Fresh Fruit
Popsicle Sticks

Mix alternaVites into yogurt along with fruit. Put a popsicle stick in the middle of the yogurt and freeze for at least one hour.

Experiment with different alternaVites and yogurt flavors, as well as your favorite fruits.

FlipStir Puzzle
Keep the younger ones happy and occupied with this self-contained puzzle while you are helping older ones with homework, or even carpooling.

Buy one here.

(Special thanks to my young product testers.)

Kudos to Dawn for creating StyleRx, a stylish way to carry your vitamins, supplements, and medications. The case is very attractive and can easily slip into your suitcase or carryon. It’s set up for a week’s worth of pills, but only for those that take a few a day. The only other downfall is that it is a little heavy for the purse. I’d stick to for travel.

StyleRx medication holders are available in a variety of designs.

And, for the end of the day, to remind you it’s still summer…
I did some reminiscing about my amazing Sicily adventure while tasting the latest from Donnafugata. These wines were even better than I remembered…

Lighea, Lemony and light

Sur Sur, tropical paradise, the perfect light white for sauvignon blanc lovers like me

Anthila, for lovers of chardonnays that haven’t been over-oaked

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Summer Fun Products to Add to Your Travels

The rain has finally stopped in the Midwest and the temperatures have started to soar. Summer is definitely here. With the season has come a lot of products I don’t usually get. So, pull up a chair and get ready to take some notes!

Timi & Leslie Bag
When I was first asked if I wanted a sample of the Timi & Leslie diaper bags – used by many celebrities – I was quick to turn it down. Then, on the PR rep’s urging, I took a look at the bags on the site and I was sold. They are beautiful and functional as both diaper bags and travel bags.

I recently took my Hannah Pastel bag on my Croatia trip and I loved it. It has a separate zippered sac and clutch purse, and lots of pockets. I loved the outside pockets for my water bottle and cell phone.

For those of you that actually need a diaper bag, it also has a changing pad, an insulated bottle tote, and a stroller strap.

Pick up your own Timi & Leslie bag here. I love the lilac and navy.

InsectLogic Natural Bug Repel Gel
Yes, this all natural gel appears to work. I had it on for two nights and did not get a single bite, despite it being a mosquito filled summer (thanks to the rain). The only downside is that it does smell slightly like bug spray, but much less than others and it’s gentler on your skin.

Blue Chair Bay Rum
Kenny Chesney's Blue Chair Bay has two new rums and they are well worth picking up. The Banana Rum Cream is a cocktail of its own and, in the lazy days of summer, it’s nice to just pour something over ice and not have to start mixing.

The Blue Chair Bay Vanilla Rum is also quite good, though I found it too sweet on its own. Pour in some soda – plain was fine for me – and you’ll be good to go.

Visit the Blue Chair Bay Rum website for more information.

Nolet’s Gin
I know many people say that gin and tonic is a summertime drink, but it happens to be my favorite cocktail any time of year. I had yet to try Nolet’s Silver Gin and was excited when I received the bottle. It didn’t let me down. It’s a nice combo of floral and fruit, but enough juniper that you have no doubt what spirit it is.

Oliver Winery Soft Red
If you are looking for an inexpensive ($7.50) wine for summer barbecues that will work on its own or fruity for sangria, look no further than Oliver Winery’s Soft Red. It’s a bit sweet and a bit fruity, but neither is powerful. It’s a very easy drinking wine.

Woodbridge Pinot Grigio by Robert Mondavi
Here’s the answer for those who prefer the whites. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi not only has a selection of low budget white wines, but they come in 1.5 leader bottles. The Pinot Grigio is a nice light one you can drink on its own, or mix into a white sangria. (I love white sangria with peaches and pears.)

Check out all the 1.5 liter Woodbridge wines available.

Cork Pops VinOice
I remember when the Corksicle came out. I thought it was a great invention and I still do. Now, I’ve got VinOice in front of me. It works in a similar method, chilling the wine from within quickly, without diluting it. The difference is that this product also has a pouring spot that closes to keep the wine fresher. I’ve also found that I can get more uses out of it than I did the Corksicle so at under $30, it’s a good deal.

ZeroWater Tumbler
One of the most important things I’ve learned about traveling is staying hydrated, especially when drinking wine. I confess that I’ve done my damage on the landfills with plastic water bottles. ZeroWater Tumbler has changed that for me.

This container is not only BPA-free and leak resistant, but it filters the water for me, an important step because I drink a lot of water and I’m choosy about the taste. At only $15 it will save you from purchasing many plastic water bottles.

ZeroWater Tumbler can be purchased on Amazon

As is always my policy, I don’t write about things I don’t like so not all products I receive will be featured.