Welcome to HBHL! Inspiration for Living Your Healthy, Fulfilling, Beautiful Life

Welcome to HBHL! Inspiration for Living Your Healthy, Fulfilling, Beautiful Life

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Agua Fresca GIVEAWAY & Mango Passionfruit Green Tea Chiller Recipe #momsmeet #KeepOnCruzin

Keep On Cruzin this Summer with refreshing Agua Fresca from Santa Cruz Organic!
We received the Agua Fresca for FREE from the sponsor of the  Mom's Meet  program, May Media Group, LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer.  I received them FREE to facilitate this review and giveaway. All opinions in this post are 100% mine and may not reflect those of Moms Meet, the May Media Group or of the manufacturer.

We were recently able to try out Santa Cruz Organic's NEW Agua Fresca beverages.  Gotta say. . . . we all loved them!  In fact, I liked them so much I didn't even want to share them with my kids!  I did let them have some though! I mean, it would have just been rude for me to hide it from them.
All gone!

 Maybe next time I'll keep it all to myself. . . . . . .   can you see my conspiratorial grin??? Mine, mine, mine. . . . all mine!  Just kidding. . . . I'll share.

The Agua Fresca is so light and refreshing.   It's absolutely perfect for Summer time.  Here's a green tea chiller that I made with my Mango Passionfruit Agua Fresca.

6 oz. of Agua Fresca Mango Passionfruit flavor
3 green tea bags
18 oz. of hot water

Boil water and let cool 5 minutes.  Add green tea bags to water to steep.  Steep 2 - 5 minutes depending on how strong you like your green tea.
Pour 6 oz. of Mango Passionfruit Agua Fresca into pitcher.
Add a handful of ice.
Pour green tea into pitcher with ice and Mango Passionfruit Agua Fresca.
Stir, to mix the yummy flavors of the Mango Passionfruit into the tea.
Add more ice if needed, to serve chilled.
OR, make your tea ahead of time and chill in fridge for a couple hours before you add the Agua Fresca.

The tea will have just a hint of Mango Passionfruit flavor.  If you would like a stronger presence of Mango Passionfruit, add more of the Agua Fresca!

Santa Cruz's agua fresca is inspired by traditional agua fresca.  From what I can find on the internet, agua fresca is a light, non-alcoholic beverage made with fruit, grains, seeds, sugar and water. . . and sometimes flowers!  Agua fresca originates from Mexico, Central America & the Caribbean.  They are traditionally sold by street vendors, but now you can have the Agua Fresca experience by going to the grocery store and getting yourself a bottle of Santa Cruz Agua Fresca.

Santa Cruz Organic Agua Fresca is made with organic fruit juice, sugar and a hint of lemon juice.  It contains only a handful of ingredients (all of  which you can pronounce!), including organic fruit juice/puree after the first ingredient, which is water.

One other thing that I love about the Agua Fresca is that it comes in glass bottles.  No worrying about whether there are petro-chemicals leaching into the juice that you and your kids will be drinking. Bonus! The Mango Passionfruit only has 60 calories per serving!  What a low calorie, refreshing way to hydrate yourself this Summer!

There are 3 flavors available:
Mango Passionfruit

I think the Agua Fresca would make great drink mixers in the Summertime too!  Can you say Summer Cocktail hour?  Or popsicles for kids. Or a base for a smoothie!

The price is reasonable, selling at $3.20 - $3.49 for a 32 oz. jar. 

Santa Cruz offers over 50 organic products.  You can see all of them at the Santa Cruz Organic website.  At the website, you can find all of the info about their products PLUS recipes, tips on living an Organic lifestyle, and a search tool to find Local Farmer's Markets near you! 


Moms Meet and Agua Fresca are offering to giveaway 2 Jars of Agua Fresca to One Lucky Winner. Giveaway is open to US residents only who are 18+.

Giveaway begins May 26, 2016 and ends on June 15, 2016 at 11:59 P.M. EST.

You can enter through the Giveaway Tools widget below.

Good Luck!!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Learning to Make Perfect Coffee with Chef's Limited French Press

I. Love. Coffee.  It's funny, really.  I never really drank coffee that much until I was in my 30's and had a child.  When I was younger, I couldn't even put enough cream and sugar in coffee to make it palatable.  Now, I drink it black.  And the stronger the better.  I salivate when I smell coffee grounds.  I just can not even tell you how much I love a strong, nutty dark coffee now.  Some people drink coffee for the caffeine and just put up with the taste.  I drink coffee for the taste.

I've always only had coffee made in a drip maker though.

Recently, I was given the opportunity to try out a French Press for the first time.

**I received this product for free or highly discounted in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions are 100% mine.**

 If you've never made coffee with a French Press before, the name of the thing itself might make you cautious.  It sounds so . . . . . . . intimidating . . . . . and fancy, right?  It's actually pretty darn simple.

To use a French Press, here are the steps:
  • Either heat water to almost boiling (not boiling) OR heat to boiling and allow to cool for 3 - 5 minutes.  I usually set my timer for 5 minutes.  
  • Grind your beans coarsely right before you're going to pour the water over them.  
  • Place the coarsely ground coffee in the bottom of the beaker.  Since the size of this French Press is a 34 ounce size, it will make 8 "regular" sized coffee cups or 4 larger mug sized portions. Therefore, you should use 8- 8 1/2 heaping tablespoons of coarse coffee grounds.  I personally got 1 coffee mug and then was able to fill my 18 oz. thermos to keep the rest warm for later.
  • Pour the hot water over the coffee grounds and let sit for 1 minute.
  • Stir the grounds with a plastic spoon or chopstick.  I used a bamboo skewer to stir mine.
  • Place the lid/plunger on, with the plunger pulled all the way up.  Let sit for 3 - 4 minutes longer.  
  • Then, slowly and evenly press the plunger down.
  • Pour your coffee slowly into a coffee mug.
  • Enjoy!

I am still working out some issues with my technique.  Supposedly, using a French Press will inherently have some coffee grounds issues because there is no paper filter.  But, having no paper filter is supposed to be one of the reasons that French Pressed coffee is supposed to taste so much better.

This glass beaker/carafe is made from heat resistant borosilicate glass.  The plunger has a little spring that goes around the outside of the stainless steel press that holds the filter screen in place against the edge of the inside of the carafe. 

Here's what I liked about Chef's Limited French Press:
  • It's very stylish. The beaker has a stainless steel carafe holder with handle.
  • As far as I can tell, all the parts that actually touch the coffee are either metal or glass.  There is plastic on the plunger, but I think it's only on the part that doesn't touch the coffee.
  • It's really easy to clean.  
  • You don't have to worry about hidden parts inside a regular drip coffee maker that can get moldy.  
  • It's easier to take with you than a regular drip coffee maker.  I had another blogger tell me that she took hers with her on a camping trip!  What a great idea.
 Some things that I need to work on:

  • Figuring out how to make it a little stronger.  It could be that I was using pre-ground coffee.  I bought some coffee beans to grind myself so that I can make it a coarser grind, which is recommended.  I also need to play with the times to see if I can get it stronger.
  • Plunging the plunger without letting coffee grounds escape.
Once you purchase the Chef's Limited French Press, they send a PDF file to explain how to get a perfect cup of coffee from a French Press.  The PDF is useful if you've never used a French Press before.

You're supposed to be able to make tea with a French Press as well, but I haven't tried that yet.

I'm going to keep working on the process.  This French Press seems to work pretty well.  I think all of the issues I'm having are user error on my part since I'm new to this!

You can find the Chef's Limited French Press at Amazon:
(affiliate link)

Have you ever used a French Press before?

I'm Loving Essa's Vita-C-Whip Whipped Vitamin C Serum

I've been extremely blessed to be able to try out several Vitamin C Serums over the last couple months.  This NEW to me Vitamin C Serum is totally different than any of the ones that I've tried!

**I received this product for free or highly discounted in exchange for my honest opinion.  All opinions are 100% mine.**

 It's a whipped Vitamin C Serum.  It's consistency is more like a lotion than a traditional vitamin C serum.  They actually call it a Whipped Vitamin C Serum Moisturizer.  You can use it either before your moisturizer or in place of your moisturizer.  I've just been using it in place of my moisturizer for now.   It is a 3-in-1 product.  It's a Vitamin C Serum, Moisturizer and gentle exfoliant all in one.

It is made to be used by all skin types.  There is a warning that you should start out slowly if you have sensitive skin.  I did have a little redness the first couple days because it had been a couple weeks since I had used any kind of vitamin C serum.  For me, the redness went away after those first couple days.

I LOVE the consistency of this whipped serum.

And it smells like oranges.  Mmmmmmmm. . . . . .
I honestly think I've found my new favorite Vitamin C Serum.

Here's some more info about the Essa Skin Care Vita-C-Whip:

  • It contains Vitamin C Ester, a form of vitamin C clinically tested to be 3X more effective than other forms.
  • Contains a patented delivery system called QuSomes (TM), which ensures you receive the maximum ingredient benefits. 
  • Has Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamins A & E
  • Also has Aloe, Green Tea Leaf Extract, Grape Seed Extract

The Vita-C-Whip does NOT contain: Sulfates, Pthalates or Parabens
The ingredients combine together to help boost collagen production, smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate and moisturize, heal and protect and brighten darkened spots.

After all of the years that I spent in the sun, I can use all the help I can get with all of those issues.  I especially have a lot of dark spots that could use a little fading.  This Whipped Vitamin C Serum has helped even out my skin tone.  With it's lotion-like moisturizing, it goes on perfectly under my makeup.  I am really enjoying using this Whipped Vitamin C Serum.

It comes in a 1 oz. pump-top bottle.  And guess what?!?!  The pump works every time. Every. Time.

You can find out more info at the ESSA website (Effective Skin Solutions for All).  All ESSA skin care products come with a No-Hassle 30 day guarantee.

You can find Vita-C-Whip at Amazon:
 Have you ever tried a Whipped version of a Vitamin C Serum before?
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DISCLOSURE: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or chemist. The things that I post to this site are usually experiments I do that may or may not work for me (I will always let you know which way) . Nothing I post is meant to treat any condition that you may have. You should always ask your own doctor's opinion on any condition that you may have. If you try anything from my site, you do so at your own risk. I'm an experimenter, always trying to make my own way. That's my thing. I'm happy if you find inspiration here. Life for me is always about creativity.