This is our Element Rice Cakes video review. What are Element Rice Cakes? Well, as the name suggests, they are rice cakes. The ones we received for this video are topped with dark chocolate. The real question is, are they any good?
Tommy and I each received one coupon for a free sample of Element Rice Cakes from Swaggable in exchange for an honest review. In this video, we each give one a taste test and tell you what we think of these imported snacks.
Watch and hear our reactions when we each take a bite into an Element Dark Chocolate Rice Cake for the very first time.
When I got a free sample of Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 in the mail, I was pretty excited. Free chocolate mix? What could be better? After I tried it, all I could think of was that I now know just why they were giving it away for free. It’s not worth spending money on. Actually, I wouldn’t even drink it again if I was paid to drink it.
Ok, let’s start with what it says on the packaging. It says on the back to “put in a tasty drink, mix, and enjoy!” If you read the first paragraph of this review, we both already know that there won’t be any enjoying here.
The instructions say:
Now, for this review, I used milk, since the package did say “your favorite non-dairy or dairy beverage”. Maybe it just doesn’t mix well with milk or something, because I did the exact instructions on the box. I added into a thermos and shook well. Keep in mind that 4 tablespoons of Hemp Pro is basically the whole package, which apparently serves 2-3 people and shouldn’t be a challenge to make. The real challenge is finding 1-2 people who would be willing to drink this stuff with you.
When I tasted it, I was surprised to find that the drink didn’t taste anything at all like chocolate. Sure there was a hint of it there, but otherwise it just made my milk somehow thinner, don’t ask me how. It was like drinking one of those Kool-Aid packages you put in water, except it wasn’t water, tasted worse, and didn’t even have a fun mascot on the packaging. I ended up finishing it not because I wanted to, but because I had nothing else in the house to drink.
In short, I would not recommend Hemp Pro 70 Chocolate. It’s not enough to make you want to spit it out (though it depends on how high your level of tolerance is) but it really adds nothing worthwile to your drink. It’s not “BLECH” per say, but more of “meh”.
Then again, if you like Hemp, you may like this. If you want to try it for yourself, fill out this Free Sample Request Form. Note: this is not an affiliate link.
Recently Tommy and I each received one coupon for a free sample bag of Bil-Jac Super Premium Dog Food through Swaggable in exchange for our review. During the holidays, we fed the first bag of Bil-Jac to Tommy’s dog. Cosmo. As it turns out, Cosmo seems to enjoy freebies as much as we do. But what do we think of it?
In this video, we find out what’s really in the bag and how it compares to the leftovers and table scraps dogs like Cosmo crave.
Recently I received a free bottle of vitafusion™ Men’s gummy multivitamins. I tried the Centrum MultiGummies Multivitamins from Centrum previously and gave them a good review, so when the opportunity came along to try these, especially at no cost, I was more than happy to oblige.
These were quite different from the other gummy vitamins. First, these multivitamins are specifically intended for men. I am not sure exactly what makes them uniquely a men’s vitamin other than a general assumption that the selection and amount of each vitamin supplement is formulated for adult males. According to the label, it is also gluten free.
Unlike the Multigummies, which contained a mix of three flavors, this product only has two, both a “natural berry flavor” in two colors. The serving size was two gummies, and since took them together at once, I really couldn’t distinguish which berry flavors they were supposed to be, but based on the colors alone, my guess was raspberry and blueberry. Overall, they tasted fine, and like the Multigummies product I tried previously, I did not detect a “vitaminy” aftertaste.
These gummies are have a sugary-like coating similar in style to sour gummy worms and bears in a candy store, but these didn’t seem taste too sugary and and they certainly weren’t sour. I presume the crystalline coating was added to prevent the gummies from sticking to one another in the bottle, which was my only real negative about the previous Centrum gummy I tried. I think this change was a real improvement on the gummy vitamin concept.
Each serving of 2 gummies contains the following:
I like gummies anyway, so not surprisingly I liked the vitafusion™ gummies a lot. I liked them more than the previous Centrum gummies I tried. If you would like to give them a try as well, you can Get $1 off when you purchase a bottle of vitafusion™ Men’s Gummy Multivitamin.
For a chance to get other freebies like these, join Smiley360!
I was never a big fan of the electric toothbrush. I considered it an extravagance, one that made people who were too lazy to practice good oral hygene even lazier. I viewed it as just another unnecessary convenience that did little more than increase the budget on batteries or add to the electric bill. Besides, all of the ones I tried were considerably bulkier and heavier than a standard, hand powered model and usually had a heavy duty price tag to match. Most of them offered some good vibrations, but when it came to brushing, they didn’t seem to really clean as well as I could do it manually. Or so I thought.
Recently, Oral B offered me an opportunity to try theirs, a premium priced electric toothbrush called the Pro 5000. Since they offered to send me a unit free for my honest review, I accepted. After all, it was free, and you can’t beat free. So, after over a decade of brushing my teeth by hand, I decided to give the electric toothbrush another try.
I was very pleasantly surprised.
The toothbrush I received was the Oral B Pro 5000 SmartSeries Electric Toothbrush with Bluetooth. First, of all, this is not one of those battery powered toothbrushes you can get at WalMart for under $10. I shopped around and discovered the median retail price for Pro 5000 averaged from $140 to $160. This is definitely a high end product, and it shows in the results. More on that later.
Second, it isn’t just battery operated, it’s rechargeable, which means that it’s a lot more cost effective to operate in the long run and more environmentally friendly, since I don’t have to constantly replace alkalines as I do in the $10 “disposable” battery operated toothbrushes my wife and kids use. According to the manual, the Pro 5000 can last up to ten days of brushing on a single full charge, based on use twice a day for two minutes each session. Since it automatically recharges as soon as I set it back on its charging base after brushing, I can’t verify the claim, but the sealed NiMH rechargeable battery does seem to maintain ample power during my cleaning sessions, so I have no reason to dispute it, either.
Finally, this toothbrush is different because it is equipped with Bluetooth® technology. Think about it for a moment. It’s a toothbrush with Bluetooth. Aside from the obvious association to the word tooth, the first thought that comes to mind is, well, that sounds really cool. And it really does seem cool, for about a minute or two. Then a second thought emerges. Why?
Well, I’ll tell you why. It’s because it isn’t just a toothbrush. It’s essentially a toothbrush system. This electric toothbrush is only half of the brushing experience. The other half is a smartphone. More specifically, a smartphone with an Oral B toothbrush app.
Yes, I said an app. It’s an app for brushing your teeth. Believe it or not, there really is an app for that. When paired with a smartphone running this app, the Pro 5000 uses its built-in Bluetooth to connect to the smartphone and communicate with the app to help you manage your tooth brushing session.
More on that later. First, let’s talk about the toothbrush itself. This is a well designed, solidly constructed device. The handle is comfortable and easy to hold without being too heavy. It’s also waterproof, which should be a given, since it is, after all, a toothbrush. Since it is waterproof, the battery is completely sealed, which means that once the battery has reached its end-of-life, so has the handle, and the entire thing gets tossed. However, it should provide at least a few years of service before that happens, and considering Oral B gives the Pro 5000 2 year limited warranty leads me to think they expect it to last at least that long, so it’s somewhat encouraging.
The Pro 5000 is equipped with a Triple Pressure Sensor, which lights up an indicator on the handle to alert when you brush too hard. It lit up a lot the first time I used it, simply because I was attempting to apply the same amount of pressure I normally exerted when brushing manually for the last ten years. I’ve often heard that elbow grease doesn’t work when it comes to brushing your teeth, but I didn’t realize just how little is required to get the job done until I finally had a brush that told me so.
The Pro 5000 has five modes of operation. They include the following:
There is a brush head available for use in each mode (sold separately).
The Pro 5000 also includes a timer, which I think is its best feature. Let’s be honest, who actually brushes their teeth for a full two minutes each and every session? I didn’t. But now I do. Not only does the Pro 5000 time your session, it tell you how long to spend on each quadrant of your mouth. Every fifteen seconds it stutters and flashed a green light to mark 30 second intervals so you can move to the next quadrant. In Deep Clean Mode the time is extended to 45 seconds. At the end of 2 minutes in Daily Clean Mode (3 minutes in Deep Clean Mode) the Pro 5000 will stutter four times and the green light will flash on to indicate the end of the session. Of course, if you want to keep brushing, you can, but knowing human nature as I do, most of us probably will be satisfied when the session times out. All of the other features are nice, but idea of a built-in timer is definitely a winner for me.
I’ve only used the Pro 5000 in Daily Clean Mode, so to be fair, I really can’t comment on its performance as a teeth whitener. However, I can say with great satisfaction that I really like the way this toothbrush. The first time I used it, my mouth felt almost as fresh as it did after my last professional cleaning session from my dentist. And it feels that fresh every time. I really like this electric toothbrush.
Then there is the second part of this cleaning system, the Oral B app.
When I first saw it, I thought the entire concept of a toothbrush syncing up with a smartphone app to monitor brushing was just plain silly. However, since Oral B sent me a free Pro 5000 for my honest review, and to be completely fair and honest about it, I had to review the entire package, including the app. so I downloaded the app and gave it a try.
As with most smartphone apps, it was a pretty straightforward installation, and pairing the the device with the app was quick and easy. I had already used the toothbrush a couple of times before the install, so when I started them together for the first time, Pro 5000 immediately uploaded my previous brushing sessions to the app, which monitors and logs all brushing activity for review and offers guidance for improvement. The app features a graphic representation of a timer that syncs with the built-in timer on the toothbrush, Once the app is loaded, I can either start the timer by touching the start button on the screen of the app or just turn on the toothbrush and the timer on the app will start automatically. From that point the two are synced and data on my brushing session flows from brush to app in real time.
I must say that although I first thought it was silly, I was very impressed with the results. I had no idea how much data I could get from a toothbrush until I connect one to my smartphone. However, after about two sessions, it seemed silly again.
My wife thought it was silly, too, right from the start. She also had a concern. This app was collecting all this data about my brushing habits, presumably to evaluate them and help me brush better. What else was it doing with this data? Good question, and I didn’t have an answer. I still don’t, because I really don’t know. Probably nothing, but it is a cause for concern, because so many apps do phone home, and without the user’s knowledge. I am a bit wary though, especially since the app does have a live ticker on the bottom of the screen that displays news, weather, random photos and trivia facts in real time. Maybe it’s just something to read while I’m brushing my teeth. But it is unnecessary and seems a little weird. So far, there are no ads, unless I count the menu option in the app called Shop that is essentially a catalog of Oral B products and accessories. Ads or not, the app is just silly. It adds no real value to the package, in my opinion, and isn’t really needed. I think the Pro 5000 is a highly effective product on its own.
Aside from the app, the Pro 5000 is a solid product. It seems to be well made, it’s easy to operate, it cleans well. One more plus is the assortment of replacement brush heads available. It is compatible with the heads used for many other models of electric toothbrushes in the Oral B line, one for each cleaning mode on these models. The typical Oral B brush head is good for about three months of use, so one could expect to purchase a two pack about every six months. They are generally sold in two or three packs, and while somewhat pricey, they can be purchased at a substantial discount from places like WalMart and Amazon. While considerably more expensive than a disposable battery operated toothbrush, and certainly more than a manual $3 model, The Pro 5000 does seem to clean a whole lot better. It sure sold me.
Is it a good value for the price? The Pro 5000 retails for around $160, which does make it a rather pricey product for brushing your teeth. It does clean very well, so it is definitely a high quality toothbrush worth more than a typical electric toothbrush. However, The Bluetooth connectivity is unnecessary and frivolous, and the only reason to have Bluetooth technology in the brush at all is to connect to the Oral-B app, which is completely unnecessary and only serves to make the daily chore of dental hygene more involved and complicated than it really should be. There are other models of Oral-B toothbrushes in the series that do the same job without Bluetooth, and for considerably less. Unless you really, really want to micromanage your oral hygiene, Spending the extra money simply for Bluetooth in a toothbrush isn’t worth the price point.
In summary, I really like the Pro 5000. It certainly won me over, and I was formerly a staunch supporter of the good old manual toothbrush. The Pro 5000 cleans really well, and the built-in timer makes it a whole lot better. The Bluetooth technology is a nice idea, but isn’t needed on a toothbrush. The app is completely unnecessary. Unless you are totally bored with your life and need to be constantly entertained, don’t even bother with the app. I think it’s just dumb. The toothbrush itself, however, is very, very smart.
I think Oral B has a winner.
For a closer look at the Pro 5000, watch our Oral-B Pro 5000 Electric Toothbrush unboxing video!
Now, Cosmo is a little Cockapoo who is somewhat of a picky eater, and there are some brands and types of dog food he won’t readily eat. He does love people food, however, and will practically demand to be fed samples from our table. Cesar markets their Home Delights as a gourmet dog food that is as close to home cooked human food as one can get. This made our samples that much more interesting to try.
The first sample we gave him was the Slow Cooked Chicken with Vegetables. He really went for this one, and it was clear he liked it a lot. He liked it so much, in fact, that he kept going back to the empty tray to find out if we had added more. He licked the tray clean and then some. We had a winner on the first round.
The next morning we gave him the Beef Stew. He liked this one a lot as well, eating it with almost the same enthusiasm as the first sample. Another winner.
That evening we set down the Pot Roast with Spring Vegetables. This one he didn’t seem as excited to eat. As it turned out, he was not really all that hungry to begin with, so we put it in the fridge to save it for the next morning.
The following morning I set it out for him again. This time he went for it and, like the other samples, he did like it, however he didn’t lick down the tray as he had the others. He left a few morsels behind. Instead, he came back to our breakfast table looking for other handouts, an indication that the Pot Roast wasn’t his favorite.
In all, he did like the Cesar Delights, especially the Chicken. Although Cesar is more expensive than his regular dog food, it is packaged in portions that are more appropriate for small dogs like Cosmo than a big can that has to be portioned and then refrigerated for multiple servings, which makes Cesar more convenient and easier to distribute to him. This is especially useful when we travel, as we often take Cosmo along with us.
Plus, he likes them, especially the Slow Cooked Chicken with Vegetables, which makes Cesar Delights a nice treat to give him a break from his routine diet.
I don’t like to swallow pills of any sort, and the larger they are, the less I want to swallow them. Although I feel the need to take a vitamin supplement at my age, I don’t do so consistently because most of the multi-vitamin supplements I’ve tried in the past are rather large, so I usually wind up settling for chewables.
About a month ago I received a free bottle of Centrum MultiGummies Multivitamins. I’ve tried gummy vitamins in the past and I like gummy bears and gummy fruit snacks, so the I gave them a try.
The bottle contained a mix of three flavors, berry, cherry and orange. My preference was the cherry, although they were all good. According to Centrum, there are no artificial flavors, which probably explains why each flavor wasn’t particularly strong. They didn’t seem to have that slight vitamin flavored after-taste that I get from some other gummy vitamin products I’ve tried, and while soft with a tendency to stick to the other gummies in the bottle, they didn’t stick to my teeth. As gummy vitamins go, they weren’t bad at all.
As for the vitamin content, each serving of 2 gummies contains the following:
Overall, I liked these gummy vitamins and would try them again. If you would like to give them a try, you can print this coupon for $2 off Centrum Gummy Multivitamins.
For a chance to get other freebies like these, join Smiley360!