Thursday, January 12, 2012

::BzzAgent BzzReview:: Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat

Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat

As some of you may know, I am a member of BzzAgent and receive products and coupons, often for free and in return I express my thoughts, on these products, through Word of Mouth and also through Facebook, Twitter and Blogger.

  • 7lbs.; 71" x 26" x 3/16"
  • made from non-Amazon harvested, natural tree rubber
  • designed to provide the ultimate combination of cushion and grip
  • an eco yoga mat with no PVC or toxic plasticizers

Christmas came early for me when BzzAgent sent the Manduka eKO Yoga Mat my way via Fed-Ex.  I opened up the box and was so surprised. This yoga mat is a beast! I was expecting a quite a bit smaller mat. What Manduka claims is that the mat is lightweight and travel-friendly. When I looked at the Manduka website, I saw that I might have been sent the original eKO Mat instead. I am absolutely not complaining though, because I will be using this mat at home, only!
My New Years Resolution for this year is to lose the baby weight that I had packed on. I am currently needing to lose 45lbs in order to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I have already started to cut back on my caffeine intake and have been drinking more water. Just the other day, while my kids were asleep, I unrolled the Manduka Yoga Mat, laid it in front of the television and turned on Crunch: Super SlimDown, a workout video that combines Pilates and Yoga.
The Yoga Mat did its part really well. The natural rubber and grip kept me from sliding around, but gripped me so much that I had to lift my bottom up and off of the mat each time that I had to move to a new position.
I really felt the burn in my ab area and was so sore the next day.

Thanks to the Manduka eKO Yoga Mat, I don't have to workout on the bare floor. I hope to continue this exercise routine throughout the year and be able to say, at the end, that I have  successfully completed my New Years Resolution of 2012!

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Thank you for taking the time to read this BzzAgent Review of the Manduka eKO Lite Yoga Mat! 
Thank you BzzAgent for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful campaign!


I receive this product from BzzAgent for free. My opinions are my own. For more information on Campaigns like this one, please visit 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

::BzzAgent Review:: Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender 200w BzzCampaign

As some of you may know, I am a member of BzzAgent and receive products and coupons, often for free and in return I express my thoughts, on these products, through Word of Mouth and also through Facebook, Twitter and Blogger.

This BzzReview is about the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blend - 200w!

The unique stick design of the Cuisinart Smart Stick Hand Blender makes it easy to blend ingredients in pots, pitchers, bowls, or the clear beaker  that is included. The 200 watt motor operates with a simple one-touch button. Blends drinks, puree's soups, mixes pancake batter in a matter of seconds.

Hand Blender Tips and Hints

  • Cut solid foods into half cubes for easy blending.
  • For recipes calling for ice, use crushed ice (not whole cubes) for best results.
  • Using a gentle up-and-down motion is the best way to blend and incorporate ingredients equally.
  • To whip air into the mix, always hold the blade just under the surface.
  • The 2-cup mixing beaker is microwave- and dishwasher- safe. Designed for easy gripping and drip-free pouring.
  • The hand blender is perfect for frothing milk for cappuccino or lattes.
There are several recipes in the manual. the categories included are: smoothies and drinks, soups, sauces, side dishes, dressings, and desserts.

Kiwi Strawberry Smoothie
   This refreshing smoothie is high in fiber and full of Vitamin C.
Makes one 14-ounce smoothie

1  cup frozen strawberries, partly thawed
1  kiwi, peeled, cut into eighths
1/2  cup fat free vanilla yogurt
1/2  cup fat free milk
1  tsp honey

Place ingredients in the mixing beaker. Insert the Cuisinart Smart Stick, making sure the protective guard is submerged. Blend, using a gentle up-and-down motion until ingredients are well combined, about 30 seconds.

Nutritional information per smoothie:
Calories 286(2% from fat)  Carb. 63g  Pro. 11g  Fat 1g  Sat. Fat 0g Chol. 4mg  Sod. 133mg  Calc. 371mg  Fiber 6g


My thoughts
When I had first opened up the box to the smart blender, I thought it was huge! I was honestly thinking that this was going to be a small 'hand' blender.  First use of this blender I noticed there is no actual on and off switch. It has a toggle switch that allows you to blend or pulse by just a simple press of the button. 
One of the problems I found, about the smart stick, is that this blender is very loud. I would have never thought that this little thing would make such a big noise. I have found that most recipes on the internet call for more product that the beaker will not hold, so in order to make a great smoothie, I have down grade to smaller measurements to fit in the Cuisinart beaker.
After getting the ingredients into the beaker, I make sure the blade guard in underneath the liquid and started to blend with up and down motions. It is easy to do, but takes a little extra time to make sure that every piece was blended well. I blend for about 40 seconds, just to make sure.
After blending everything together, I pour the smoothie into a different cup. I then press the release button on the back and remove the blending shaft. Clean up is a breeze. What I have done, is just rinse the shaft off with hot water, then let it dry. I then clean the beaker with hot water and a soapy sponge.
Though there are a couple of problems I have with the Smart Stick blender, these problems do not outweight the easy to use, easy to clean and easy to store quality that the blender has and I believe that I will no longer use a traditional blender for a simple one person smoothie again.

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I received this product from BzzAgent for free and my opinions are my own.