Opal Apples Review

You Can’t Compare Apples to Opals

Disclosure – I wrote this review as part of the BzzAgent campaign. As a BzzAgent I received this product for free.

They may not be available year round, but from November until March, bright yellow Opals are the apple of our eye. We love them for their flavor and texture (sweet and tangy, with just the right crunchiness), but the fact that these non-GMO apples are naturally non-browning is what makes Opals truly incredible.

Opal Apples

Opal apples can’t be compared to an everyday apple. These sunny fruits are like none other — with a beautiful appearance, distinctively crunchy texture, floral aroma and a sweet, tangy flavor. But one of the most incredible and natural features of this apple is that it does not brown after cutting. So an Opal a day will keep your salads — and your kids’ lunchboxes — crisp and fresh.

The Opal brand apple was discovered in Europe in 1999. This new apple-flavor stems from a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Topaz. Over the last 12 years, Opal brand apple has been tested in 63 orchards throughout Europe and the Mediterranean. In March of 2010, Opal brand apple made its debut appearance in the United States grown exclusively by Ralph Broetje, Broetje Orchards in Washington State. Opal Brand apple is being marketed and distributed exclusively in North America by FirstFruits Marketing of Washington.

Opal Apples

For the past few years we are looking forward to Opal apple season. These apples are one of our favorites and when opportunity came to review them we were excited to share with our readers these yummy treats. Why we love them? It’s very simple, they are delicious, sweet, small, perfect for snacks, in salads, in school lunches, recipes…

Opal Apples

Our daughter loves apples, but she doesn’t like to take them to school because they brown when cut. That is why she loves Opals that naturally don’t brown, are sweet and perfect for school snack time or in the lunch box. I personally love a quick healthy snack I can share with my family anytime, anywhere and Opals are perfect non-GMO treats. As a fit and active family we eat lots of fresh fruits and apples are always among our favorite choices. This year even our youngest family member (8 month old baby boy) approved Opals as his favorite snack.

Opal Apples

While Opals are amazing in any kind of recipe, we prefer them raw (why mess with a good thing?)

Known as the apple with a purpose, a portion of Opal Apples’ sales goes to their Youth Make a Difference grants, which support youth-led non-profits involving food, nutrition and agriculture.

Click here to find Opal Apples in a grocery store near you!

Disclosure – I wrote this review as part of the BzzAgent campaign. As a BzzAgent I received the above mentioned product for free. SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) by the above mentioned company or their PR Representative to complete this review. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.

Taylor Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale Review

Taylor Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale w/ 400 lb Capacity and SmarTrack App

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) to complete this review.

The ultimate, affordable Bluetooth scale from Taylor! The Taylor 7222F uses the latest Bluetooth technology to transfer your data wirelessly from your scale to a tablet/iPad or smart phones, IOS and Android products with Bluetooth 4.0 or higher. There is no longer any need to keep logs, notes, or journals of your statistics, the scale and the app do all the work for you. The mobile devices that are compatible with many IoS and Android phones and tablets!

Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale from Taylor

As someone who has been on the weight loss journey before and now is trying to keep the weight off and gain muscle I know how important it is to have a good, reliable scale to keep you in check and motivated to continue towards your goals. The last time I worked with EatSmart I introduced you to the scale that I call my best friend for the past two years (EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Body Fat Scale). Now you can tell how excited I was to work with them again and test their new product. My old scale still has a place in my bathroom, but now a new, more modern and with more features scale is added to my daily routine.

Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale from Taylor

While both scales can tell you your weight the other features are a bit different. My old scale was able to measure body weight, body fat, body water, body muscle and bone mass where the new Taylor Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale one is measuring body weight, body fat, body water and muscle mass along some new features like setting a goal weight which lets the scale tell you how much weight you need to lose or gain to reach your goal and it will also tell you how many calories to eat doing the day to reach it. But the biggest perk of the Taylor scale is obviously the Bluetooth technology that allows the scale to communicate with your phone/tablet trough the app.

Personally I love lists, writing down my goals, keeping track of my weight, the progress I’m making and so on… With all that said I love the app being connected to this scale and how easy it was to set up and use. It saves you time, it keeps everything in one place, you can even share your charts on social media or email them.

Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale from Taylor

I tried the app on both my Android phone and the iPad and it worked perfectly on both, but I of course prefer my phone just because it’s always with me. The app lets you add in your specifications and once you set up your scale (the gender, age, height, activity level) it will automatically sync with the app. The only thing is don’t forget your device when you weigh yourself, because the phone/tablet should be in the same room as your scale and turned on for it to be able to sync.

Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale from Taylor

I love how the app shows graphs and it tells you the ranges like if your body water level is normal or above… It really helps you see the progress that you are making and honestly reaching your goal will be more easy. When I got this scale I had a goal to lose about 7 pounds and doing the time I was testing the scale and all of the features I was able to reach my goal (as you can see above). Now more recently I went a bit below my goal, but that is where Taylor scale comes in great and helps me get back on track and towards my original goal.

Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale from Taylor

I also love that the scale is sensitive enough to recognize who is on it (of course if you have same/similar weight/measurements as someone else in the house this may not work). My husband and I have different goals (I’m working towards losing/maintaining weight where he is working towards gaining and bulking) and this scale has been perfect addition for both of us.

If you are looking for a great gift for someone on your holiday list this season, or for yourself you will not go wrong with this scale!

Product Information:

  • Bluetooth® technology transfers user data wirelessly to tablets/iPads or smart phones, iOS and Android products with Bluetooth® 4.0 or higher (see below for device list)
  • Utilize the free SMARTRACK app or connect to other well-known health & fitness apps list)
  • Tracks weight, and estimates body fat, body water and muscle mass, and has a goal setting and tracking feature
  • Daily Calorie feature calculates maximum calorie intake needed to maintain current weight
  • 11.8″ x 11.8″ durable, tempered glass platform
  • Dual-line 3″ x 2″ readout
  • High capacity up to 400 lb. / by .2lb increments (lb/kg switchable)
  • Supports up to 8 users
  • Bluetooth Technology

Key Features: The Taylor 7222F estimates body fat, body water, and muscle mass. In addition, the scale has a daily calorie feature, which calculates maximum calorie intake needed to maintain your current weight. This scale comes with a goal setting and tracking feature. The goal setting feature allows you to set a definitive weight goal that you want to reach. The tracking feature will track all of your statistics every time you step on the scale.

What’s in the box? Inside the box you will find the 7222F scale, the instruction manual, quick use guide, and 3 brand name AAA batteries.

You can purchase Taylor Bluetooth Body Fat Smart Scale on Amazon for $59.95 + FREE Shipping!

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) by the above mentioned company or their PR Representative to complete this review. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.

Top 5 Items for Runners & PRO Compression Review

Top 5 Items for Runners This Holiday Season Featuring PRO Compression Socks

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) to complete this review.

PRO Compression socks deliver maximum comfort and speedy recovery times. The science is complex, but benefits such as improved blood flow, stability and comfort are universally understood. The moment you put these socks on your feet, you will feel the difference.

Pro Compression Logo

Fitness is a big part of my life and while I enjoy running outdoors most of the year, winter in Midwest is not one of the times. Between cold temperatures, snow storms and it getting darker earlier, I’m not so thrilled to hit the trails. I would much rather snuggle up with a blanket and wait out the winter. During the cold months I prefer running on the treadmill, but since I don’t have one at home and can’t always make it to the gym I have to be brave and go outside.

Pro Compression

With cold in mind to have a good run you need to be prepared. You need quality items to keep you warm and keep you going. Plus with holidays and gift giving around the corner what better time than now to have some gift ideas for the runners on your list. Some of these make good stocking stuffers as well for others or yourself. Here are items that make a big difference to me and make my runs perfect even in cold temperatures!

Top 5 Items for Runners This Holiday Season (in no particular order)

Pro Compression

  1. Nike Racer Long-Sleeve Half-Zip Top ($45.00) – Nike long-sleeve half-zip top is perfect for running and layering in the cold weather. Feminine side seams and a back mesh panel help with comfort and breathability. Reflectivity at center back. Contrast color on sleeve seams for a pop of fun color. It will keep you warm without feeling too heavy.
  2. The North Face Winter Warm Tight ($85.00) – Supportive, fitted tight keeps you warm and comfortable on cold days on the trail. Stretch elastane in fabric promotes unrestricted leg-turnover, with knit panels at sides and behind the knee to increase breathability where you need it most. Petite zip pocket at center-back accommodates keys, credit cards, or other small items you need on-the-go.
  3. Nike Dri-Fit Lightweight Running Gloves ($15.00) – Keep your hands warm and protected from the cold while making sure you still have mobility and stay dry. They provide much-needed comfortable coverage.
  4. Adidas Aria Headband ($15.00) – A women’s-specific shape for a snug fit and contoured to completely shield your ears, this headband is ready to keep you warm and protected from the cold. Mid-weight ClimaWarm thermal fleece insulation maintains warmth while a moisture wicking mesh lining keeps you feeling fresh as you start to warm up.
  5. PRO Compression Marathon Socks ($50.00) – First off I have to say how in the world did I ever run before without these, or for that matter recover from a long run??? Experience maximum benefit with the Marathon full-length, graduated compression sock. True graduated compression technology improves blood flow, resulting in better, more consistent performance with less fatigue and faster recovery. In addition to improving vascular performance, Marathon compression socks support critical areas, muscles and tendons and help reduce inflammation, swelling and soreness. Put it all together for the perfect sock for running, training, racing, recovery and travel. I recently received the Marathon full-length in black socks from PRO Compression and I love wearing them while running outside, on the treadmill or just after a long run/day. This design requires more effort to put on than standard socks. But it’s that extra effort and much-needed compression that make all the difference. Be patient and your feet will thank you. True graduated compression promotes circulation by pushing fluid up from your feet and ankles to toward your knees. This design also helps reduce swelling and inflammation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons. I absolutely love them and definitely think they should be on your holiday running wish list no matter where you live (hot or cold).

And to make your shopping extra special visit PRO Compression website, grab a pair (or two) for yourself and/or someone on your holiday list then enter code PINK2 at checkout for a 40% discount (valid until December 15, 2014)!

Pro Compression

About PRO Compression Socks:

  •  MADE in the USA
  • We always have a super fun Sock of the Month! A new sock designs every month with a discount! (so make sure you are on our email list). Can sign up on the home page under: Receive Monthly Specials.
  • One of the few compression socks companies that makes a true graduated compression sock (the ones that work!).
  • We sell direct, what does that mean to you? Bigger discounts and more focus on the customer. Our goals is to make sure everyone is in the correct sock or sleeve that is best for them!

Key Features:

  • True Graduated Compression
  • Arch support with just the right amount of compression.
  • Stabilization zone threw the sides to mid foot. Helps provide foot bed comfort.
  • Open toe box so it will not keep your toes to tight.
  • Wide cuff for added comfort.
  • Moisture wicking materials.
  • No blisters!

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) by the above mentioned company or their PR Representative to complete this review. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.

Dr. Cocoa Relief with a Smile Review

Dr. Cocoa Relief with a Smile Chocolate Cough and Cold Medicine

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. However, all opinions, text and experiences are my own.

Dr. Cocoa for Children is the first-ever chocolate flavored, over-the-counter liquid cough and cold medicine line for children ages 4-13!

With school back in the full swing and always unpredictable weather changes in the Midwest we go trough at least one cold during this season. This year winter colds have come to us too early and while dealing with low 11 F temperatures we also went trough a tough cough and cold with our 9 year old last week.

Although she is tough little girl, when it comes to colds and being sick she is like every other kid. She wants to rest, cuddle, watch movies, eat homemade soup, cookies and avoid her medicine at all costs. She is not a fan of any flavor of the medicine available for children. That is until now!

Dr. Cocoa for Children is the first-ever chocolate flavored, over-the-counter liquid cough and cold medicine line for children ages 4-13! The great chocolate taste, made with real cocoa, combined with trusted, effective ingredients, means kids are happy to take the medicine and moms are happy that their children will get cough and cold relief.

Why does the taste matter? According to Dr. Cocoa’s new national Harris survey of U.S. parents of school-aged children (ages 4-13), almost 40% of parents said it isn’t easy to give their children over-the-counter liquid cough/cold medicines, with one third of parents believing the taste of the medicine impacted how easy it was to give their child the recommended dose. Dr. Cocoa for Children was developed with its real chocolate flavor just for this reason.

At first she tried avoiding it, but she quickly changed her mind after the medicine was open and the real cocoa smell filled the room. After taking a recommended dose she exclaimed “Wow this was different, it did not taste like medicine at all.”

Dr. Cocoa medicine comes with a dosing spoon in ml which makes giving and taking the medicine more simple than when using a cup. I also noticed that it’s a lot thicker than other medications we used in the past. We used both the daytime and nighttime ones and still didn’t have a need for the cough relief one. But, winter is yet to come and with the amount of the snow we have had already I’m sure we’ll go trough a persistent cough as well… not that we want to!

But in reality school age kids get eight to twelve colds per year. And those colds can last anywhere between six days to two weeks. Not to mention that common cold accounts for approximately 22 million missed days of school and 20 million absences from work, including time away from work caring for ill children. Maybe you didn’t know, but cold season is considered to last from September to April, like I said before plenty of time to get a few more colds no matter how hard we try to avoid them!

Dr. Cocoa Cough and Cold Medicine come in three great formulas (Daytime Cough + Cold Relief, Nighttime Cough + Cold Relief, Long-Acting Cough Relief non-drawsy 8 hours)​ to relieve a variety of cough and cold symptoms. Patented formulas combine trusted, effective ingredients with 10% real cocoa for a rich, soothing chocolate taste that kids like. All Dr. Cocoa products are dye-free, gluten-free and alcohol-free.

Dr. Cocoa products are available nationwide at stores, as well as online. For more information about Dr. Cocoa, including where to buy, visit Dr. Cocoa website where you will be able to print a valuable $4 coupon as well. And don’t forget to connect with the brand on their Facebook Page and check out this fun TV spot on YouTube!

Dr. Cocoa products are FDA regulated medicines and should be used only as directed and kept safely out of reach of children.

Visit www.drcocoa.com for a $4-off coupon offer.

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. However, all opinions, text and experiences are my own.

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) wrote this sponsored post on behalf of the above mentioned company or their PR Representative. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way. SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) by the above mentioned company or their PR Representative to complete this review. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.

Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle Book Review

Riddles Key to Fighting Evil in New Tween Novel by Award-Winner George Hagen

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) to complete this review.

From Homer to the Bible, Norse Mythology to the Mad Hatter, the allure of riddles — as games, signs of intelligence, humorous word play, and a trickster’s tool for challenging an opponent, has been part of our culture. Data shows riddles going back nearly 4,000 years to the culture of Sumaria.

[*Can you solve this Sumarian riddle: “There is a house. One enters it blind and comes out seeing. What is it?” – answer at the bottom of the post!]

Gabriel Finley & the Raven's Riddle

But for award-winning author, George Hagen, it was the Mad Hatter’s so called unsolvable riddle about why a raven is like a writing desk that inspired the first of what will be a series of books about a new avian world set under the streets of Brooklyn. Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle has been called “a vivid, compelling fantasy,” by Norton Juster, author of the classic The Phantom Tollbooth, and “a first-rate fantasy,” by Booklist in their starred review. Like the riddles that populate the book, Hagen’s captivating fantasy has the power to intrigue as readers endeavor to quickly solve the plot-based puzzles.

The story begins with Gabriel’s wish to find his father who has mysteriously vanished. His determination to succeed and innate curiosity lead Gabriel to link up with a colorful cast of characters – some he knows he can trust, and others who he is forced to ally with despite suspicions about their motives. His brave efforts to vanquish challengers and unlock the riddle mysteries that fill the book, lead him to the underworld prison where his father is captive.

Throughout this fast-paced adventure, Hagen explores universal themes of honor and betrayal; greed and compassion; and the complicated bonds of family and friends all the while weaving the familiar sites of Brooklyn into a fantastical avian world where ravens (good and evil) duel, and winged predators and friends shift sides to survive. Gabriel Finely is a story about the nature of trust and how it often requires large leaps of faith to move forward in a complex world.

We recently got a chance to review this book and both my 9-year-old daughter and I found it quiet interesting and a bit scary at times (for young readers at least). We loved the riddles and the story was interesting for both of us, making it a fast paced read we enjoyed together. If you have a middle grader that enjoys mystery, fairy tales, riddles and myths than this book is perfect for them. Keep in mind that not all kids like scary books and this one has some parts that could be too much for some youngsters. We do recommend reading it and can’t wait to read book two when it becomes available.

About the Author: George Hagen is the award-winning author of two novels for adults. The Laments—a Washington Post bestseller and recipient of the William Saroyan International Prize for writing–has been compared to the work of John Irving and Ann Tyler and described by Publishers Weekly as “a funny, touching novel about the meaning of family.” Tom Bedlam was called “a Victorian three-decker novel [that] shines with contemporary clarity and moves at the speed of ‘The Sopranos'” by the Los Angeles Times. Hagen had lived on three continents by the time he was twelve. The father of three children, he now lives in Brooklyn. This is his first book for tweens.

Gabriel Finley & the Raven’s Riddle is perfect for ages 9 to 12, with 384 pages, costs $16.99 and is available September 2014.

For more info and to order this book visit George Hagen’s website!

[Riddle Answer: a school]

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) by the above mentioned company or their PR Representative to complete this review. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.

Uncommon Goods Holiday Gifts Review

Perfect Holidays Gifts from Uncommon Goods

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) to complete this review.

Whether you are looking for Christmas gifts, personalized gifts or last-minute stocking stuffer there is something for everyone at Uncommon Goods!

Uncommon Goods Fox Clock

It’s that time of the year again. The time to decorate, celebrate and make someones holiday extra special with that perfect gift. This year think outside of the box and take a look at the highly unique and creative products available at Uncommon Goods. Recently we got the opportunity to work with them and check out first hand some of their products that we feel would make great gifts this holiday season.

There are so many great gifts available that it wasn’t easy narrowing it down. But with kids in the house, especially with a girl who loves books and stories I knew this storybook style Fox Clock would be a perfect gift.

Uncommon Goods Fox Clock

Fox Clock by Kerri Lee $54.00

The Story: Fox On Clocks – Sweet, sly, and full of colorful flair, this charming fox keeps the time in storybook style. Beautifully hand painted, this inquisitive timepiece is perfect for a child’s playroom, kitchen, or anywhere your imagination may roam. Handmade in Long Eddy, NY. Due to the handmade nature of this item, each is unique and will vary. Made from: Wool Felt, Birch Plywood, Clock Movement. Measurements: 11.5″ L x 9.5″ W x .5″ D Notes: Requires 1 AA battery (not included).

My daughter absolutely adores this clock and it fits perfectly with the style of her room. I love that it’s big enough, yet super stylish and it makes a perfect focal point whether you choose to have it in your child’s room, playroom, library or even classroom. The clock is well made, the handmade and hand painted uniqueness makes it a gift to be loved and treasured even more.

Uncommon Goods Zenguin Mugs Set of 4

After picking something for kids I wanted something we could all enjoy. Something that would fit with our personalities and motivate us. That’s when I saw these adorable Zenguin Mugs Set of 4. They are super cute and just perfect for coffee, tea, hot chocolate… definitely a gift for everyone.

Uncommon Goods Zenguin Mugs Set of 4

Zenguin Mugs Set of 4 by Patricia Carlin $48.00

The Story: Cool As A Cucumber – Waddle towards Nirvana with Patricia Carlin’s charming mugs. Four meditative penguins find their own sense of calm on white ceramic, then encourage you to do the same with a different zen proverb printed on the inside of each vessel–a “tongue-in-beak” way to send your stress to the South Pole. Made in Tucson, Arizona.

Be: Do not fear the shark if your feathers are dry.
Breathe: If the ice cracks and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
Fly!: Flight is not confined to the sky.
Meditate: What s the sound of one flipper flapping?

Exclusively at Uncommon Goods. Unfortunately, this item cannot ship outside of the United States at this time. Made from: Ceramic. Measurements: 3.5″ H, 3.5″ dia.; 10 oz. Notes Care: Dishwasher and microwave safe.

I love coffee and each morning since receiving these they brighten it up… I don’t know what I like more, the shape, the simple white/black design, the penguins or the sayings, but they work, they make me smile and enjoy my coffee that much more. Plus they are easy to care for, work well with different beverages and they are easy for kids to handle as well.

Uncommon Goods Nesting Storage Containers

I can never have enough of plastic storage containers. We use them for leftovers, to meal prep, to pack school lunches, pack snacks on the go… you get the picture. That’s why I couldn’t pass these Nesting Storage Containers when I saw them. Especially when I saw how easy they are to store. And if you are or know a foodie this holiday season don’t be afraid to get these.

Uncommon Goods Nesting Storage Containers

Nesting Storage Containers by Richard & Anthony Joseph $35.00

The Story: Chromatic Containers – Stow chopped fruit and vegetables or safely pack leftovers for lunch with these airtight nesting containers. This set’s clever design has compact and convenient storage, featuring snap-together lids and nesting bases. Each piece is highlighted by a rainbow of coordinating colors, making it easy to find a lid for every dish. Made in China. Unfortunately, this item cannot ship outside of the United States at this time. Made from: TPE, Polypropylene. Notes: Freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe.

Measurements:

XS: 4.5″ L x 3″ W x 1.5″ H; 8 oz.
S: 6″ L x 4″ W x 2″ H; 18 oz.
M: 7″ L x 5.25″ W x 2.5″ H; 37 oz.
L: 8″ L x 6.25″ W x 3.25″ H; 63 oz.
XL: 9.25″ L x 7.25″ W x 3.75″ H; 101 oz.
XXL: 10.25″ L x 8.25″ W x 4.25″ H; 152 oz

Super easy to store, easy to clean, they go to freezer and microwave, and they look pretty. I’m very happy with them and love variety in sizes which makes them perfect for storing different things.

Over all we are satisfied with all of out Uncommon Goods gifts and highly recommend them. The items were shipped quickly, arrived to us in a few days and in an excellent condition. So don’t forget to give them a go this holiday season, you never know maybe that perfect gift is waiting for you at Uncommon Goods!

Disclosure – SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) was provided FREE product(s) by the above mentioned company or their PR Representative to complete this review. All of the opinions are strictly of the SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) and SCM (SocialCafe Magazine) staff and no one else. The opinions are honest and not influenced by the monetary compensation in any way.