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My review of Waterloo sparkling water & Sipp craft soda: Cheers to some bubbly happiness!

At the end of a busy day, when my feet are swollen and my breath is thirsty, what can be better than a glass of bubbly non-alcoholic drink? Answer: nothing! The sparkling freshness of these drinks provides fun, hydration, and makes the end of the day truly enjoyable and rewarding. Plus, they’re perfect if you’re expecting and you have to steer clear of caffeine or alcohol.

This love of carbonated drinks goes back all the way to my childhood. With no Coca Cola, Pepsi or any other branded product in sight, my family relied on a good-old carbonator cylinder, which my dad would go and refill from time to time. We would mix the bubbly fresh water with natural, organic fruit syrups made by my mom and my aunt, and we would drink these instead of the less appetizing, chemical-laden soft drinks which were produced locally (you should have seen those – they were truly horrible!).

The years have passed and my passion for fizzy drinks has endured, and so has my interest in enjoying natural, healthy bubbly beverages. This is why I was very excited when I was contacted recently by Waterloo Sparkling Water and Sipp Sparkling Organics to review their products. The first company makes flavor-infused sparkling water, while the other makes organic craft sodas. Good options to enjoy by any mom-to-be! 😉 Keep Reading

Cooking nights made easy: serve breakfast for dinner once a week, with help from Krusteaz

Looking for ways to make dinner exciting? Fear not, I’m in the same boat πŸ™‚ Putting dinner on the table every night can be stressful and time consuming. In my case, I leave home early and get back late most days, and when I do come home I don’t have the energy to accomplish even the most basic kitchen-related tasks. I would love to be able to cook lavish dinners for my family every night, but this is unrealistic. So, what can I do to change things?

Thankfully, recently I discovered a clever way to sort out my cooking dilemmas: serve breakfast for dinner every once in a while! A study carried out in 2015 has concluded that America loves breakfast for dinner and that Breakfast Night is now a weekly occurrence for 30% of families. Eating pancakes for dinner is a lot of fun and a great time-saver, and adequate preparation can turn dinnertime into an authentic feast. Being a big fan of pancakes – and dinner! – I was very excited when I was contacted by Krusteaz to review their recently launched Breakfast Night campaign and to develop recipes using some of their pancake and waffle mixes. Keep Reading

National Today holiday website review: Make every day a celebration!

The ice cream I served last July, when we celebrated National Ice Cream Day

How often do you take the time to celebrate those little things that make your life more comfortable, or pleasant, or downright delicious? A bowl of ice cream, a slice of pizza, a cup of coffee – these are among life’s simplest pleasures, yet we savor them in a rush, in-between meetings, plane flights, and daycare pick ups. As a foodie, I know I should consciously appreciate everyday flavors and textures more often, but “real life” always gets in the way. My family and I look forward to the big celebrations like Mother’s Day, 4th of July and Christmas, but there are many other holidays on the calendar just begging to be commemorated, and quite a few are food-related – and most of the time, I forget all about them. How to keep up with the celebrations and how to make every one of our busy days special?

Enter National Today, a viral holiday website whose founders believe that nothing beats a day of celebration – except 365 of them! Their goal is to gather special holidays and moments from around the world and to help everyone celebrate with events, helpful tips, discounts, deals, and plenty of fun. As someone who has commemorated many holidays featured on the National Today website, I was very excited when I was contacted by National Today and was asked to partner up in sharing the ultimate 2018 holidays celebration calendar 😉 Keep Reading

Book reviews: Give the gift of quality reading this holiday season!

Writing a book is like running the marathon – or at least this is how I remember the experience. It is intense. For months on end you worry about every single detail in the upcoming book, sometimes obsessively so. You wake up in the middle of the night and think of pics or sections (will the cover pic really work? Does my argument is strong enough in that chapter?). You constantly recheck your writing despite having editors on hand to help you with the job. In the end however, the stress and trepidation are so worth it: the book you hold, fresh off the press, is a labor of love and a work of art. It is your heart writ large on every page and picture πŸ™‚

I read a lot of academic books during the school semester, but during the break I like to switch gears and to focus on books which satisfy the other half of my self: cooking!Β Recently I came across two cookbooks which would make excellent holiday gifts for foodies and non-foodies alike. The detailed explanations, stunning pictures and overall exquisite mixture of style and substance make these cookbooks stand out from the crowd in the best possible way.Β  Keep Reading

My review of the Krusteaz Holiday Cookie Helper: the story of my cookie swap success!

At no other time does the magic of baking become more tangible or appealing than during the holiday season. To me, this is a blessed time, when memories are made and cherished forever. The smell of freshly baked sweet delights, the cozy heat emanating from the oven, the impatience in my daughter’s eyes as she builds miniature castles out of cookie dough leftovers – these are moments that will stay with me despite the passing of time. What can I say? I just love the holiday season!

While I am more of a cake person, my daughter is a big cookie fan, who thinks a cookie a day keeps the boredom away πŸ™‚ Lately, I have been using my time off to bake cookies for her and to give them away to friends and co-workers. What kind of cookies should I share during the holiday season? I often have trouble answering this question: I want to impress and to bake something that represents me, but time is short, I get impatient with my old recipe book, and my daughter is still too young to help mommy answer these sorts of questions 😉

Thankfully, recently I came across a quick and fun way to find the perfect cookie recipe to share: the Holiday Cookie Helper by Krusteaz. Keep Reading

Chef inside the Box review: fully cooked delicious dinners ready in minutes!

I just love Thursdays. Why? Because Thursdays are cooking days! Utensils on hand and spice rack at the ready, every Thursday morning I go into the kitchen and labor for hours, and this enchanted day passes by quickly, like in a dream. Still, with the schedule being as busy as ever, finding time to spend with friends & family or to research very particular recipe ideas can be a luxury: week after week is spent doing projects for work and cooking “standard” food, with very little else to report. Wouldn’t it be great if I got more time to do the things that matter to me the most?

Thankfully, there are dinner solutions for the busy professionals out there. No more worrying over what to cook for dinner, no more scheduling conflicts, no more missed opportunities to free up time for your own personal/family projects! Salvation has a name: Chef Inside the Box 😉 Launched in August 2017, Chef Inside the Box claim to offer “the most affordable meal kits in Chicagoland” and want to save their clients time in the kitchen so they can get back to doing the things they love. I was recently contacted by Chef Inside the Box, who offered to send me a set of 4 meals of my choice to review. Always in need of free time, I said yes, of course πŸ™‚ Keep Reading

Gourmia spiralizer review: Ring in the New Year with kid-friendly and stylish appetizers!

Can eating veggies be a challenge? Well, sometimes it can be, especially when you have children who need extra convincing to get their “5 a day.” We’ve had our fair share of struggles with our daughter. She seems to go through phases: Some days she can’t get enough of carrots and potatoes, while other days she doesn’t want to eat veggies in any shape or form.

If you’re looking for solutions to make veggies more fun for kids and your food more stylish overall, then a spiralizer is the way to go. Spiralizers are among the hottest kitchen gadgets of the moment, and I was lucky enough to try out several models at the latest edition of the International Housewares Show, back in the spring. Knowing how fashionable they were and how competitive the market had been lately, I was very excited when Gourmia contacted me and asked me to test and review their electric spiralizer. Enter the Gourmia Curly Q spiralizer! πŸ™‚

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