30 July 2018

New #OceanSpray #Mocktails: #Bellini #ProductReview #Beverages #FreeFridayDownload

A Review
Ocean Spray Mocktails

The Product: Ocean Spray Mocktails, 33.8 fl oz bottle

The Details: A while back (as in June of last year) Kroger featured the new Ocean Spray Mocktails as its Free Friday Download (free item offered via an ecoupon loaded to your customer account). Mocktails are "blends of fruit juice inspired by your favorite cocktails." There were 3 flavors available in my local store. I chose the Cranberry Peach Bellini.

Made with real fruit juice. No high fructose corn syrup. Non-Alcoholic Premium Beverage. Only 90 calories per serving. No artificial flavors or preservatives. Ready to drink …or mix. Serve chilled. Can add a splash of seltzer or soda water. Or mix 1 part with Prosecco or any sparkling wine.

$4.19 MSRP but was on sale for $2.79 at the time of ecoupon redemption.

The Verdict: I tried it over ice and chilled to a "slushy" and it worked well both ways, though the slushy was best. The product had a light, fruity flavor that was refreshing and not overly sweet. It would work well as a mixer, but was fine as a stand-alone beverage. I would likely buy it again, if I caught it on sale.

Disclaimer: I received this product for free due to a Kroger promotional ecoupon, but the opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

29 July 2018

My #Tester Philosophy #AlphaTester #TryB4UBuy #GotItFree #Couponer

I'm a curious sort. I enjoy trying news things and while I may not go out of my way to grab the "new-new" merely to say I've tried it, I do tend to be aware of new products and consumer trends --- so if I find a good deal that allows me to try something new or updated for free (or very cheap) then all the better.

A lot of new products and services don't rate a mention unless it's in complaint, but when you find something wonderful, you've got to share the information. We're all searching for things that work as they should (and we hope to be warned off when they don't).

I guess you could say I'm an adventurous consumer and an early adopter, but I will call companies out when they drop the ball. This is what makes me great at Quality Assurance and highly proficient as a tester/reviewer. I also like to break things to see how they work, then piece them together again.

18 July 2018

Thanks eBay for the $10.00 #Free #Coupon!

Yesterday, eBay ran a very short-lived Facebook promotion which offered a free $10.00 coupon (Save $10.00 Off any purchase of $10.01+) for watching a simple video advertising the service and clicking a link to "Get your offer." The promotion was limited to the first 50,000 redemptions, but luckily, I was able to get in on the deal before it expired.
Keurig Hot 2.0 My K-Cup (eBay Vendor Image)
Keurig Hot 2.0 My K-Cup (eBay Vendor Image)

I was able to get a NIB Keurig Hot 2.0 My K-Cup ($7.99) and a miniature white 18" Doll Scale toy iPad ($2.49). The order total was $10.48 as both items included free shipping. The coupon brought this down to $0.48. Also, I happened to have $1.17 left on an old eBay eGC that I'd earned via another promotion long ago. (I don't shop on eBay very often, so this poor e-gift certificate was merely sitting in the cloud idly holding its balance.) So I used this eGC to pay the $0.48 balance. I got two nifty items totally free! This little interlude made for a fun lunchtime.

I originally purchased some cheap plastic, made in China, My K-Cup knock-offs --- also on eBay --- so that I could brew my own coffee in my Keurig 2.0 machine, but unfortunately, as is generally the case with cheap shit, these lasted barely a few months. I drink a lot of coffee. So I decided to buy the official Keurig item and had been looking for a good deal on one. Deal done!

The 18" Doll iPad was just a fun filler item to reach the $10.01 threshold needed to use the promotional coupon, as the 2.0 My K-Cup turned out to be on sale (from the vendor I purchased it). The iPad is only a cute little toy, so the fact that it's cheap plastic, made in Hong Kong, won't matter much.

What did you do for lunch yesterday?

BTW, Alexa, enable the Rock 100.5 Skill. I'm rocking out today! (I'm actually listening to the radio right now as I type this.)

Get over Hump Day...
-- Θεα

17 July 2018

Building Castle Modern™

Castle Vianden. (CCO Public Domain Image by Libor Háček.)
Castle Vianden. (CCO Public Domain Image by Libor Háček.)

FYI: I have a lot of information that I've already gathered to add to Castle Modern™ (main site). It will take time to build up the encyclopedia with useful information, but bear with me. The goal is to create a resourceful guidebook chock full of data that aids in the human quest to "live well and live responsibly," which are not mutually exclusive ideas. In short, it's a quest to create a sustainable lifestyle beacon. The modern home(stead) must be both self-reliant and interdependent simultaneously in order for society as a whole to thrive. Humankind must remember our collective roots, while striving to evolve. No man is an island. So stick around and browse... or come back and browse again tomorrow... there's more of interest and of use in the pipeline.

May you never be required to say, "I wish I'd known... when I was trying to..." in relation to running your household, because Knowledge is Power. Truly.

Your home is your castle, but this ain't the Dark Ages.

-- Θεα, Editor-in-Chief and Author at Castle Modern™

16 July 2018

Did Your Grandpappy Bury His Money in a Jar in the Backyard?

Many people did not and still do not trust banks, and as an alternative chose to store their savings in odd places like jars buried in the backyard, or stuffed in attic trunks or under mattresses. Paper currency does not tend to fare well when left under such conditions for a long time and can be destroyed or ruined.

If you possess (paper) money that has been damaged due to a fire, or that was perhaps stored in the attic or buried in the yard for "safekeeping," but was ruined, you may be in luck. There's a useful FREE service offered by the US government which will examine and verify mutilated currency that you send to them and (if verified) will return a check to you for the value reclaimed.

This is actually a case of government working for the people.  So take advantage of it, if needed.

For more information, see the Castle Modern entry here.

Bombs Bursting in Air Redux (Thunder Shirt)

As I have mentioned before, my dog freaks out during thunderstorms and fireworks, so this time of year tends to be rough on her. I'd tried several remedies to help calm her, but had experienced limited success. As a concerned parent, I've kept searching for a better solution. Recently, a neighbor suggested tying a blanket snugly around my dog, but in the heat and humidity of July in Georgia, where the heat index often reaches over 100 degrees, this wasn't feasible. Instead I'd started researching pressure point methodology, like acupuncture, and compression technology, like "thunder shirts," to accomplish the same task as a security blanket without making my dog overheat or worse suffocate. I thought there has to be a simpler way to apply comforting pressure and help my dog relax without overtaxing her system. (I would resort to holding pup in my lap and hugging her during fierce storms, but again there's a body heat component added to this "solution," plus she's fidgety.) Browsing an online form, I came across a discussion of this very issue as the Fourth of July, one of the worst holidays for those sensitive to sound and light, was approaching. Someone posted a DIY method she'd found on another forum to wrap or cocoon your dog, complete with image. Glancing at the image, I instantly thought, "That's it!" I could see that the light-weight wrap style illustrated (using an elastic bandage) hit the all the right spots or pressure points, yet left most of the dog uncovered to be able to breathe freely. I expected it to work before I'd tried it, but as each animal is different, I didn't know how my dog would respond to it. To experiment, I got an elastic bandage from my local dollar store. I figured if pup hated it, it was only $1.00 and I could add it to my First Aid supplies.

This simple DIY wrap has worked wonders for my dog! The difference is very noticeable. She has gone from hyperventilating and pacing incessantly during storms to being able to sit down rather calmly and even nap. It's not "perfect" but nothing would be (except silence). Light storms are a breeze nowadays. Bigger crazy lightning storms and massive fireworks still cause some agitation, but not nearly as much as before.

I combined using the wrap with giving pup a vitamin boost during troubling events and she is handling things so much better now. I wanted to share our success story in case it could benefit another pup.

To see the instructions for a DIY Dog Thunder Shirt, go to this Castle Modern entry. I hope it works as well for your dog, if needed.