Monday, July 14, 2014

Wellness Rhi-view: Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder from Kiss Me Organics



Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder from Kiss Me Organics


Product Details: 
**AMAZON EXCLUSIVE**
ALL DAY ENERGY & FOCUS: Lift your vitality and concentration with the slow release natural energy from Organic Matcha
CALORIE BURNING BOOSTER: Support your weight loss goals with an all-natural way to increase your body's metabolism
LATTES | SMOOTHIES | BAKING: Kiss Me Organics Matcha Green Tea Powder arrives in an easy-to-use airtight health grade packaging allowing for as much or as little use as you need for any occasion. Enjoy a relaxing latte in the morning, bake a dozen cupcakes or simply add a small boost to your morning smoothie
137x ANTIOXIDANTS OF BREWED GREEN TEA: USDA Organic Matcha Green Tea can only be used in a powdered form because, unlike brewed green tea, it contains the entire tea leaf which dramatically increases the nutritional content.
FREE MATCHA RECIPE GUIDE EBOOK WITH PURCHASE: 50+ Recipes All Yours - Emailed After Purchase.

Ingredients: 100% Organic Matcha
Source: Product of China


Verdant and versatile, I love it! (5 Stars)

If you've been a fan of the blog for a while you know that wellness and health are pretty important to me. That said, I am not a band-wagoner. Many health trends come and go as all fads should but there are some products that are time tested and have just flown under the radar. Often they're everyday substances used in other cultures that we just aren't familiar with. matcha is probably one of those for you.


While you may not have heard of matcha... you're probably well acquainted with green tea.

Matcha is a form of green tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony. I did some research in preparing to sample this product so if matcha is new to you I recommend you do the same. Its health benefits are awesome but if you're like me and tend to prefer tea and coffee over soda and juice you'll love it because it's delicious.

But let me tell you specifically about my experience with Kiss Me Organics' organic matcha. I giggled when I opened up my package from Amazon because there was a note attached to the bag to warn about the strong aroma to expect when I opened the pouch. This is very fresh and therefore the smell is very rich and verdant as soon as you open it. I love the scent myself so I had to resist sniffing lest I get it all over!

I've been experimenting with it since receiving my complimentary sample and I don't own a matcha whisk so my teas have been a little silty but I found a clever way to fix that by using my french press to prepare it. If you don't care for the taste of matcha it can be hidden in fruit smoothies or used in baking. Something to consider if you want to bake though is that high heat destroys many antioxidants so if you're focusing on matcha for its health benefits I'd recommend something delicious that doesn't involve boiling or baking like my Matcha Mint Magic drink or making popsicles if you're not into smoothies or teas.

Don't worry if you're not a matcha maven yet, KMO has got ya covered. They will email you a really helpful recipe book when you purchase their organic matcha. I expected it to be kind of slapped together but it's very nice, with full color photos and realistic ingredients. Not just smoothies, lattes, and teas but ways to incorporate it into pizza, frosting, dips, curries, and meat dishes. I really want to try some matcha scones!

What I've been really impressed with is the lack of an astringent aftertaste that I commonly find I have when drinking regular green tea. It's smooth and mildly sweet with a green flavor that's rich without being tart. I also have experienced a balanced and notable mental energy boost without the jitters and crashed-feeling coffee and black tea usually give me. I haven't noticed considerable differences in my skin or metabolism yet but it's still a new addition to my routine.

All in all, if you're looking for a budget-friendly way to introduce matcha into your health and wellness routine I would definitely recommend it. The quality is good and the benefits are well worth finding ways to make it part of your every day diet in some way.



Notes: 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.

Recipe: Matcha Mint Magic


It's that time of year again. I have mint coming out of my ears. I'm always looking for something lovely to do with it but you can only do so much garnishing cocktails and making hot tea before it's boring. One of the things I love most about mint though is that it's so invigorating! So recently when I received a complimentary bag of Kiss Me Organics organic matcha I decided I wanted to come up with something green and energizing to drink around that 2-3PM slump I get when the coffee wears off that paired the two.

The great thing about mint is that it grows like mad with very little care and almost anywhere. So if you want to try this out and don't want to spend $5 on a handful of sprigs at the store you might want to try planting some in a pot. (Be sure you read up on it beforehand because it's known for being the plant that will overtake your garden if not kept in check). I currently have three different varieties spearmint, chocolate mint, and plain ol' mint, which is what I used here but I think it'd be great to try it with other varieties.


Matcha Mint Magic 

• 2 quart pitcher
• several handfuls of fresh mint
• 2 cups of ice
• 1 tablespoon organic matcha powder
Layer half the mint followed by half the ice, then the second half of the mint and the ice. Place the matcha powder on top and then fill with water. Stir vigorously and refrigerate overnight for best flavor. Serve over ice with a teaspoon of honey and a squeeze of lime. 
Alternatively, you can serve it over ice with more water if you'd like more of a 'detox water' type beverage than an iced tea. You could add lemon or lime slices, even a few slices of fresh ginger root or another favorite fruit. Both mint and matcha pair well with citrus, berries, and stone fruits, as well as edible flowers like lavender.



After the initial overnight infusing of the mint you can remove it if you don't want it to continue infusing flavor. It will get kind of ugly looking after a couple of days anyway. You can serve it with some of the mint mixed in but I hate when leaves hit my lips so I use a pitcher with a straining lid.


I've been drinking this all week both as an iced tea and as a water flavoring and I love it. I'm going to try adding some lavender once my plant has more flowers to work with. I really recommend this as a nice alternative to energy drinks and coffee in the afternoon. If you add the honey it gives a nice kick of sweetness but you could probably add stevia or some other sweetener if you prefer something else.



Notes: This recipe features a product I received for free via Tomoson in exchange for an honest review. I liked it so much I decided to feature the recipe I created with it. ☺

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Rhi-flection: Some fun titles for Preschoolers!

I decided that this summer I was going to get a library card for myself and both of the kids. With Monk going into high school and taking honors English, he needs to become a more enthusiastic reader. Punk on the other hand, just loves being read to so much we were in need of a way to give her more materials for free. I love requesting books for her from publishers but there aren't a lot who approve me... I think they don't think you can read erotica and board books and enjoy both. *snort*

We've really enjoyed it so far and having not stepped foot into our local library in about 15 years I forgot how much I loved it when I was a kid. So I thought I might make a list of the books we've really enjoyed together and a little bit about why we liked each.
Sometimes, Katie loses her temper.Sometimes she uses her feet and her fists instead of words. When Katie is this mad, she's just not herself. Sometimes, she's BOMBALOO.
Being BOMBALOO is scary. But a little time-out and a lot of love calm BOMBALOO down and help Katie feel like Katie again!
Punk actually did not like this one for some reason but I really, really liked it. It was a really interesting take on being angry, how we sometimes deal with our feelings inappropriately, and how to resolve them. A great way to open a conversation about tantrums.

Lucy is good at drawing and making things at school. But there’s a bully at school, and he’s very mean to Lucy. She can’t tell anyone the bully rips her books and breaks her things, because he told her not to—or else! Now every day she comes home scared and sad. What can Lucy do? And who can Lucy tell? Claire Alexander’s simple story and bright illustrations will help young children talk openly about bullying. Best of all, it will reassure them that bullies can be stopped.

Punk was very interested in this one but it was definitely a little above her level of social understanding as an 'issue' story. Even though it wasn't really relative to her it was a great story for opening a conversation about how we treat others and what to do when someone isn't behaving in a safe or kind way toward us. I really liked (though I felt it was unrealistic) that the characters became friends.

It's the principal Mr. Slipper's birthday, and while the rest of the class gets busy writing cards for the occasion, Stan becomes frustrated when his letters come out all in a muddle. Stan is afraid to ask for help, until a friend assures him that nobody's good at everything. And after lots and lots of practice, Stan's letters come out the right way round and the right way up.This delightful book deals with a common childhood frustration and will remind readers that practice pays off and that everyone has to ask for help sometimes.

Another one from Claire Alexander set in the same school as LUCY AND THE BULLY. Punk loved this one and I thought it was perfect for her stage. Great for kids who are struggling with keeping up with their peers academically who are getting frustrated with learning. It encourages asking for help and practice/perseverance.



One day Oscar comes across a nest made of twigs and leaves, perfect for sheltering eggs. It makes him wonder about all the things we use — like glass, paper, plastic, and cloth. With the help of his friend Snail, the curious kitten learns why we choose specific materials to do different jobs, where the materials come from, and what useful qualities they have.

This was one that I picked out because finding science focused picture books that come across as a 'story' is difficult. I'm so glad I grabbed it because Punk really enjoyed it. It focused on materials and their properties such as how a feather is soft and how glass is made. Some pretty complicated concepts boiled down to a level a preschooler will get. I'll be looking for more books about Oscar for sure.

After quite an adventure, the smallest of six nesting dolls finds her way back to her sisters.
Punk loves the holiday themed matroyshkas that I bring out at Christmas time. So when she pulled this one off the shelf at the library I was crossing my fingers she would want it. It's a simple, sweet story with a cadence perfect for reading aloud at bedtime. I just loved it and I think she liked it pretty well too. It made me wish I had painting talent so I could buy an unfinished set and paint them up.


 We'd love your recommendations for books to look for if too! Does your preschooler have a favorite book? Recommendation for something featuring science? Please leave us a comment!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wellness Rhi-view: Playtex® Sport® Fresh Balance™ tampons #PlayOn

Playtex® Sport® Fresh Balance™ tamponsCompany Site: website
Product Details: Play without Limits. Introducing NEW Playtex® Sport® Fresh Balance™ with Odor Shield™ technology. It’s designed to neutralize odors for ultimate freshness on and off the field. Combined with a 360o® design for Sport Level Protection®, you can go the distance. Play On®.

Worth trying... (4 Stars)

I'll admit it I was really, really skeptical about the concept of a 'custom fit' from the complimentary box of Playtex Sport Fresh Balance tampons I received from Influenster. I have yet to find a tampon with claims of such that delivers... until now. It says someting that after giving these a try I was impressed enough to bother with writing a review but I was quite pleased. While I didn't have totally flawless usage—leaks seem to be inevitable with tampons—for the most part I was both comfortable and my experience with leakage was much less than with other tampons I have used. The applicator style is comfortable and easy to use one-handed.

Aside from the fact that I'm trying to go green with my period products the only other factor I didn't like about the PSFB was that it is a scented product. The fragrance is nice but I've always been offended by the idea that my vagina needs an 'air freshener'.







Want to try them yourself? Grab this coupon for $1 off!



Note: I received this product through Influenster's Voxbox program which provides members with free products in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions shared here are my own and not influenced by the freeness of the product. If you'd like to know more about how Influenster works please visit their website.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beauty Rhi-view: Kiss everlasting French Manicure


I've been a fan of Kiss' press-on products for a few years now so I was really excited to try their everlasting French Manicure kit when I received it as a sample from Influenster.

Since it was my first time using a glue-on style fake nail there was a bit of a learning curve but I managed to have both hands done in under 15 minutes and man did they look gorgeous! The main issue I was having was knowing just how much glue each nail needed to set properly. For the first few fingers I had enough to make them stick but you could see if you looked at them closely that there were parts where no glue was. This also became a problem the next day when my 4 year old had a tantrum in a store and as I went to pick her up she caught one and it ripped off right there in the store. Ouch!!!

After a day wearing them though, I found that because my natural nails are VERY flat my fingers were all very sore from the pressure of the nails trying to lay curved. So I went and bought some acetone polish remover and spent the better part of an hour (we were watching a movie and it took more than 2/3 of it to get them and all the glue off). It was not my idea of easy at all. Not to mention the fact that it was extremely messy.

So overall, while these are awesome looking and will last for days they might not be for flat fingered types or those who don't want to spend an hour getting them off. I would, however, highly recommend them for special occasions like weddings or as a budget friendly alternative to going to the salon for those who don't mind the removal process.

I also have one great tip I want to share! Make a note of what nail # (found under the tip of each) you wear on each finger so that the next time you want to apply Kiss nails you can find them quicker. Mine, for example, are:
Pinkie = 13
Ring = 12
Middle = 9
Index = 10
Thumb = 2


About Kiss everlasting French Manicure:

The timeless look that’s always in style, KISS everlasting French is the ultimate French manicure that never chips, guaranteed. Rich, white smile line is flawless and looks like you just left the salon—select from different tip thicknesses and lengths—file to any shape with no tip wear. Available in Flat and Regular nail arches with Flex-Fit Technology to ensure ultra-comfort and a perfect fit! 
How to Apply: 
Clean nails with acetone polish remover; select correct size nail for each finger and set aside in order. Nails are sized by number, noted underneath nail or in back of Easy-Apply Tab.
  1. Apply glue to back of artificial nail. 
  2. Apply glue to natural nail.
  3. Align with cuticle, press on & hold for 5 seconds.
  4. If kit includes Easy-Apply Tabs: Remove Tab by bending down, then up. 
KISS everlasting French Manicure is available for $6.49 at CVS, Kmart, Rite-Aid, Target, Walgreens and Walmart stores nationwide. For more information and how-to videos, visit KISSusa.com
  • Patented Flexi-Fit Technology for Ultra-Comfort 
  • Rich, White Tip That Never Chips
  • Length & White Tip Variations; Available for Toes
Want to know more about Kiss everlasting French and other products? Find Kiss on Twitter and Facebook or visit the kissusa website.



Note: I received this product through Influenster's Voxbox program which provides members with free products in exchange for honest reviews. All opinions shared here are my own and not influenced by the freeness of the product. If you'd like to know more about how Influenster works please visit their website.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Book Rhi-view: I Like You Just the Way I Am: Stories About Me and Some Other People by Jenny Mollen

I Like You Just the Way I Am: Stories About Me and Some Other People by Jenny Mollen

Biography, Entertainment, Humor
Ebook, Hardcover 
(272 pages, ST. MARTIN'S)
By the actress, writer, and one of the funniest women on Twitter, an outrageous, hysterical memoir of acting on impulse, plotting elaborate hoaxes, and refusing to acknowledge boundaries in any form Jenny Mollen is an actress and writer living in Los Angeles. She is also a wife, married to a famous guy (which is annoying only because he gets free shit and she doesn't). She doesn’t want much from life. Just to be loved—by everybody: her parents, her dogs, her ex-boyfriends, her ex-boyfriends’ dogs, her husband, her husband’s ex-girlfriends, her husband's ex-girlfriend's new boyfriends, etc. Some people might call that impulse crazy, but isn’t "crazy" really just a word boring people use to describe fun people? (And Jenny is really, really fun, you guys!)
In these pages, you’ll find stories of Jenny at her most genuine, whether it’s stalking her therapist (because he knows everything about her so shouldn’t she get to know everything about him?); throwing a bachelorette party so bad that one of the guests is suspected dead; or answering the eternal question, Would your best friend blow your husband on a car ride to dinner if she didn't know you were hiding in the backseat?
I Like You Just the Way I Am is about not doing the right thing—about indulging your inner crazy-person. It is Jenny when she’s not trying to impress anyone or come across as a responsible, level-headed member of society. With any luck it will make you better acquainted with who you really are and what you really want. Which, let’s be honest, is most likely someone else’s email password.



Fifteen Shades (errr... Chapters) of Funny (5 stars)

A funny thing happened a while back... I get a ridiculous number of magazines and one of them happens to be Cosmopolitan which I am so not the demographic for. I tend to skim it and snark on it and then toss it in the giveaway stack. During one such skim and snark episode I read a piece that was so hysterically funny I had tears streaming down my face and might have squealed out loud a few times. I literally set the magazine down and rushed to NetGalley praying I would find a review copy. I was pretty sure I would get turned down for it but I took a chance and thank the galley gods I got approved.

I had no clue who Mollen was but I am such a fan now. She has a voice that is so individual and crass and open and vulgar and maybe a touch unreal it works. These are some tall tales of self-absorbed parents, mental illness, sex, drugs, and failure. I don't even want to comment on any specific stories because I hate spoilers and I think you'll enjoy most of these stories enough it's worth giving such a vague review. Just know that Chapter 10: One Shade of Grey is the one that kicked off my crusade to find this gem.

If you've ever wanted to know how to find a Las Vegas hooker, how to stalk your boyfriend's ex, or had a relationship with a creepy German foreign exchange student that resulted in a proposal... Jenny can help you cope with the aftermath.



Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Check this book out if you liked:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Unboxing: Spring Fling Voxbox


It's that time again guys. Feels like it's been a while since I got a Voxbox huh? I've been crazy busy between the book blog and Spring cleaning type stuff IRL. Busy is good but I love trying new products and writing about them so much it's felt too quiet here on RhiAlistic.

But you didn't come here to hear that, you wanna know what was in the box!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Recipe: Feisty Oven-Fajitas


I still remember my first taste of fajitas. I was in Germany of all places. Back in our Army days we often got together with another couple that had three adorable little girls. They were great at getting folks together for movies and dinners and such. In recent years we reconnected over Facebook and they've divorced but I still look back fondly on the many weekends we got together and those grilled fajitas that made me realize just how good peppers and onions can be.

My Tastefully Simple business has been in a major slump up until this past month so I haven't tried as many of our new Spring-Summer products as I want to but one I have fallen madly in love with is our Feisty Fajita Dip Mix. It makes a wonderful dip but I knew right away that it was one product I wanted to play around with.

So I went to Pinterest—of course!—to get some fajita recipes to inspire me. After reading several I built a game plan for an easy weeknight dinner. Because if you're a busy mom like me chances are you need weeknight meals to save you time and still be delicious. It was a huge success and so I decided I had to make it again and share it here.
Feisty Oven-Fajitas
  • 1 ½ lbs. your choice of mixed peppers and onions, sliced (may use frozen)
  • 2 packets Feisty Fajita Dip Mix
  • 1 ½ lb. chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
  • 2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • lime slices (optional)
  • flour tortillas
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a 9"x13" glass baking pan spread your mix of peppers and onions, add chicken strips. Drizzle with olive oil. Add packets of Feisty Fajita Dip Mix and stir, making sure chicken, peppers, and onions are all well coated with oil and dip mix. If desired, squeeze a few slices of lime over mixture.
  2. Place in oven (uncovered) for 25-30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
  3. Serve with warm tortillas and if desired lime slices and sour cream. (Makes about 5 servings).


I'm all about the red and yellow peppers but buying fresh is super spendy so I've found that buying frozen mixes of green, yellow, and red peppers saves me money and the work of cutting and seeding them. I even found a great mix that has onions too.


The downside to using frozen is that they tend to make the fajitas a bit... juicier. So anticipate a lot of tasty 'juice' to be sliding down your chin. ☺


Originally, I was only using one packet in this recipe but I found that I liked the stronger flavor of two packets more. If you make a smaller batch (I have to go big with a teenager in the house) you could probably just go with one and be fine.

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