Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Nutrience Pet Food Campaign from BzzAgent

Yes!  A BzzAgent Campaign for my furballs!  I love my cats and purchase high-end food for them, both because I love them dearly and because one of them has digestive issues (he's a barfer). Previous dry food brands have been Nutro and Royal Canin.

The campaign I was selected for is for Nutrience pet food.  It has both dog and cat varieties.  I have three cats.  Two are indoor, and one is outdoor.  The outdoor one is a feral cat who we eventually after 2+ years convinced to come inside at night when it is cold outside.  Of the two indoor cats, one has been a indoor cat all of his eight years (he's the barfer), and the other came to as a stray older kitten, now about three years old.  He is inside but does have supervised outside time on a harness and leash. 

Here is what my Nutrience BzzKit came with:

Nutrience BzzKit Contents September 2013

As you can see, a coupon for a full free bag for me was included!  Also five coupons of $5 off a any bag to share, two flavours of sample bags, and a French/English information booklet on all the varieties of Nutrience dog and cat food.

Our first plan of action was to mix the sample bags in with all of our cats' current dry food to give an adjustment period.  This lasted 10 days.  Both indoor cats seemed to like it, our outdoor cat seemed to LOVE it - not a kibble left in the bowl the first few times.  The indoor barfer cat was fine with the mixed days, and fine for about a week with only Nutrience.  He has had one big "sicky" recently and we will be watching him closely.

We are concerned about our second indoor cat and are seriously considered switching him back to his old food.  He seems to be having bathroom issues since the full switch - he'll be in the litter box with the "I'm-trying-to-go" stance/look for 10 minutes+ at a time, over and over.  There is only a tiny piddle if anything each time.  He does seem to be pooping at other times.  We are worried about crystals or something else as this is a totally new thing for him and there is no other change to his diet, litter type/location, or habitat. 

Now, in terms of finding a vendor in order to use the free bag coupon...

We started by first calling a private pet food store close to my place of work where we had recently picked up a bottle of Vetericyn for our outdoor cat's hot spots.  No luck there, but they did offer to order it in for us.  Since it was for a free bag, we declined otherwise we'd feel guilty.  We called our regular private pet food store and they did not carry it.  Next we tried one of the bigger chain stores, no luck.  Finally, the fourth try - PetSmart - had it.  I would have preferred to support a smaller local store, but no avail.  The flavour selection was limited, but we were able to get the big bag for free, almost a $40 savings.

After 10 days of mixed food and about 10 days of solely Nutrience the initial verdict is that it is good for our outdoor cat, but varying results for our indoor cats.  We'll keep monitoring the situation.

The indoor "barfer" cat eating Nutrience dry food

Monday, October 21, 2013

Final thoughts on Crest Pro-Health suite

The Crest Pro-Health™ BzzAgent campaign ended a few weeks ago and I want to share some final thoughts.   Overall, not a bad suite, just not as good as I was hoping. My review of the Oral-B CrossAction®toothbrush stands.   Its good for when I have a cold, that's it.

With regards to the Crest® Pro-Health® Multi-Protection Rinse (mouthwash), it DOES make a difference with morning breath if it is used right before bed.  I still can’t attest to during the day as the no-eating/drinking-for-30-minutes-after-use rule has prevented me.

The  Crest® Pro-Health® Toothpaste: I thought it was good.  Until I went to the dentist.  I forgot to take a picture of my teeth before my appointment, so there is no “after” shot to compare to my first short.  The reason I won’t be repurchasing is that for the first time ever my dentist told me I had coffee stains on my teeth!  She even showed me the brown marks with a mirror.  I have been drinking coffee every morning for six years.  I can only attribute this to the change in my toothpaste.  

I believe the problem is that the toothpaste I sampled was non-whitening.   I have since discovered that Crest Pro-Health™ does have a whitening type.  If the price is right when I run out of the whitening brand I returned to after my dentist appointment, then I will consider trying it out.  I did like the Cool Peppermint flavour.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Review of Crest Pro-Health Products

I forgot my blogger password so this is a little late, but here are some of my thoughts regarding the Crest Pro-Health™ products I received for free from BzzAgent.

Oral-B CrossAction®  Pro-Health™ Toothbrush:

     My mouth is on the small side, so at first I thought the toothbrush would be very awkward due to its size.  However, I found that it didn't matter much as I could get a comfortable grip on the brush handle at any point.  The toothbrush has raised bumps on the outside for cheek and tongue cleaning.  It also has flexible longer rubber bristles all around the outer edge for gum cleaning.

Back "Bumps"
Side "Rubber Bristle" & Pro-Health™ toothpaste

I used the toothbrush for about a week and thought it was really neat.  I liked the way my cheeks were cleaned and my gums massaged.  I should note that the Oral-B CrossAction®  Pro-Healthtoothbrush I received is the Soft variety.

    However after a week, my inner cheeks started getting sore.  By 10 days in, I knew I couldn't use the brush anymore - my inner cheeks had become too sensitive to the friction of the bumps and it hurt to use the brush.  I went back to my old toothbrush without the bumps, still using the Crest® Pro-Health® Toothpaste.   

    However, I am keeping the Oral-B CrossAction®  Pro-Health™ toothbrush, as when I get my first seasonal cold/flu I know I will love being able to scrape the inside of my mouth, cheeks, and tongue of all the sick goo from colds/flus until I get better.  So, although it is not for me for everyday use, the Oral-B CrossAction®  Pro-Healthtoothbrush does have a place in my oral health routine.

Crest® Pro-Health®  Toothpaste:

    The toothpaste is a blue gel with tiny darker blue dots within it.  It has a pleasant mild mint taste.  I received the Cool Peppermint flavour - nothing overpowering while brushing, and nothing really lasting either.  I like the cap on the toothpaste tube as you can stand the tube upright on your counter to save space and also let gravity do the work of getting the toothpaste to the open end of the tube and not rolling and squishing yourself.  I have taken a teeth smile photo of when I started using the Crest® Pro-Health® Toothpaste:
My crooked smile
and will post another after two months use.  I began diligently using it in the morning and the evening, however I have been a bit lax after four weeks with the evening brushing.  The instructions do say to use it twice per day for results. 

Crest® Pro-Health® Multi-Protection Rinse: (aka mouthwash)

    I like this stuff.  It is blue in colour and does not taste too strong.  I can sometimes feel the tingle stronger, and I guess that is because there are more germs in my mouth to work on at that time!  What I do not like is that you cannot eat or drink for 30 minutes after rinsing.  This sucks in the morning, as I sip my coffee on the way to work and of course, eat.  I rush getting ready every morning and having to wait 30 minutes to eat or drink - anything, including water - is a huge pain in the butt.  Thus, I do not use it in the morning, only right before getting into bed in the evening.  The Crest® Pro-Health® Multi-Protection Rinse instructions do say to use twice per day but I have only been using it once because of this.

    A different aspect of the rinse is that after swishing, gargling, and spitting out, there is a slight blue residue on my tongue.  Sometimes there is a bit of a thin blue glob on my tongue in places.  I can't really feel it or taste it, but I can see it in the mirror
Little blue streaks on my tongue
My guess is I have more junk in my mouth and the rinse is attaching itself to those bits of junk and not letting those bits grow into more germs and/or bad breath.  Since I am only using the rinse before bed, I don't know how long this lasts, but it is gone in the morning. 

Suite of Crest® Pro-Health®products

Friday, July 19, 2013

Crest Pro-Health BzzAgent Campaign

I'm doing awesome with BzzAgent this year!  The latest campaign I have been selected for is Crest Pro-Health® .  By BzzKit arrived this week in the mail and contained:
  1. 500ml bottle Crest® Pro-Health® Multi-Protection [Oral] Rinse (aka mouthwash)
  2. 85ml Crest® Pro-Health® toothpaste in Cool Peppermint
  3. One Oral-B CrossAction®  Pro-Health toothbrush in Soft
I am a wee bit disappointed that the kit does not include the floss from the line, and there are no coupons to share with friends/the-world-at-large this time.

So far all I've done is recycled the cardboard from the toothpaste box and read the instructions for the mouthwash, which are a bit intense.

The mouthwash instructions are to use twice per day, but to wait 30 minutes before eating.  A bit annoying as I brush my teeth and then have my morning coffee which I sip throughout the morning.  We'll see how this works out. 

The toothbrush looks really big and has quite a long handle as compared to my current one.  Good timing for me, though, as my current one its starting to look a little worse for wear.

I like how the toothpaste tube (not shown) will stand up on its cap, and then cap is a flip-top.  This makes it easy to keep at the sink and doesn't take up much room, as well as letting gravity keep the toothpaste near the opening so you don't need to roll down the end of the tube to squeeze it out. 

I'll report back after I've tried the kit contents for awhile.  

On a side note, I love the BzzAgent packing tape with their bee brand!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: International Delight (TM) Iced Coffee

With the free coupons I received from BzzAgent, I purchased two varieties of International Delight (TM) Iced Coffee.  I bought one Mocha which I brought home with me to try, and another Mocha plus a Caramel Macchiato flavour to take to work for the party I mentioned in my previous post.

My first selection was the Mocha at home. At first sip, I thought “Wow, this is really sweet”.  Then I looked at the ingredient list.  It contains both sugar AND corn syrup which explains why it is so sweet.   However I was pleasantly surprised to see that it did NOT list palm oil or any other non-dairy byproducts on the list.   Hooray!  I sipped some more, and liked it a little more – I thought “This would be great as a granita!”.  I drank more, ”Hmmm, this stuff is growing on me!”.  I shook the container up lots as per the instructions and poured over ice – holy smokes, now I am addicted!  

I still think it is quite sweet, so I would not have the same amount as I would a regular coffee, but I would buy the Mocha again.  To me, it tastes more “sweet” than “chocolate mocha”, so my suggestion would be to cut the corn syrup, leave the same amount of sugar, and up the cocoa content.  I did add some extra coffee and milk to my cold cup to cut down on the sweetness.  I don't normally add sugar to my coffee so others may not feel this is necessary.

I tried the Caramel Macchiato flavour at my work party.  Definitely too sweet for me – tastes like thin syrup.  Yuck.  But, to be fair, I do not usually like caramel.  I didn’t waste my coupons on the vanilla variety as I know I don’t like vanilla at all so it wouldn’t be right to review that one.

One of my co-workers gave me a review of both work party flavours.  She doesn't like the Mocha so much as she thinks it "tastes like chocolate milk".  On the other hand, she really likes the Caramel Macchiato flavour - the rest of the container is hers to finish!  This is a person who likes dulce de leche and caramel flavourings, so if you are the same, chances are you will also like Caramel Macchiato!

If anyone else I gave free coupons to gives me a review I will post it.  Here are our drinks from the party (creamo for regular hot coffee drinkers is blocked out):

Mocha & Caramel Macchiato Flavours

A sub-note: the International Delight TM cold cup/tumbler I received really does keep drinks cold!  I was impressed and will be using it throughout the Summer.


Friday, June 7, 2013

International Delight (TM) Iced Coffee BzzAgent Campaign

Hooray!  I got into another campaign!  This year is going well with BzzAgent, the word of mouth review company that sends free samples and coupons for people to give honest product opinions.  This campaign features International Delight(TM) Iced Coffees!

My campaign box has already arrived.   Inside were nine coupons for an entire carton FREE of any flavour International Delights (TM) Iced Coffee.  They come in three flavours: Mocha, Caramel Macchiato, and Vanilla.  They regularly retail for $4.99 and are on sale at Shopper's Drug Mart this week for $3.99.  Just shy of two litres, each carton should give about 7 - 8 "Tall"-sized servings.

Also inside the box were two plastic cold beverage tumblers with straws. They look like this:

They are a hard, clear plastic - definitely washable and reusable.  They look like they will be fun to fill with ice and then splash over a good serving of International Delight (TM).   My SO does not like drinking out of plastic, so the second one will be a gift - possibly to the person who gives me the most honest feedback of the different tastes when I bring all three varieties into work next week.  Lucky coworkers!

For myself, the flavour I will use my coupon on will be Mocha.  I don't like vanilla and only like caramel slightly more.  My SO will have the choice of which one of those two he would like to try.  That will leave me with four free coupons.  One will go inside the tumbler to give away, the other three - hmmm - how many should I save for myself and how many to give away to others?

*Photos are from bzzagent.com and International Delight's (TM) FB page.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Always Infinity Campaign Update

I was away for a bit and when I returned home I was happy to see a little brown box with my name on it had arrived from BzzAgent™!

Inside were a page of campaign directions, my free package of Always Infinity, three individually wrapped yellow regular Always pads, and eight $1.00 off Always Infinity coupons to share.

I am happy to report that the free package was this one:
It is the heavy with wings version, which is more appropriate for my personal cycle.

I am also happy to report that they are VERY comfortable and so thin I can't even tell just standing in my underwear that I have them on - the only giveaway is the wings on the outside of the crotch part of my underwear.  They also absorb quite a bit.  It is a great relief to not have to worry about running to the bathroom to change every hour during my heaviest days.  These ranged for me from being good from two to four and a half hours, depending on my level of flow.  This is very important so I don't get dirty or questioning looks at work about going to the bathroom often, and for my peace of mind that there will not be leakages.

It also makes me more comfortable in wearing a shirt that does not cover my bum (in case of leakages) during my period.

I like the "feel" of these against my "delicate parts".  It feels like a cotton fabric - not like any kind of a plastic.  I absolutely hate the comparison of pads to diaper by some not-so-nice women and men.  There is nothing farther than the truth and comparisons like that seek only to shame women for dealing with the natural cycles of their bodies.  For any woman out there who has felt humiliation, embarrassment, or any other negative emotion for their decision to wear pads during their period, I say that Always Infinity can alleviate that negativeness by being thin and fast/heavy absorbing.

The wrapping is fairly quiet for changing in public stalls, but the sides of the package do make some noise.  By opening them slowly less noise happens.  Again, if you are a woman who feels embarrassed by changing your pad in a public bathroom, you can open the package slowly,  but periods are natural and if someone says something or gives you a look, they are the ones who should be ashamed, not you.

The adhesive on the back of the pad is almost the entire pad in length and width in a solid strip.  No bunching happened for me!  The wings have adhesive on each rounded wing and they worked fine.  The wings are made of more tissue feeling material and for me, anchored the pad well and caught any drops from shifting.

I am planning to keep a couple of the free $1.00 off coupons for myself to buy additional packages (they also come in Overnight, so I am going to get some of those) and share the rest.

The three regular pads were put in the kit for me to film an absorption test and post it onto YouTube (you know, the famous "blue liquid" test).  I do not have a YouTube account, and I don't feel right creating one solely for the purpose of posting one video, so it is not likely to happen.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Always BzzAgent Campaign Status Update

Update for Always BzzAgent™ Campaign!

I received an email today saying that my kit has finally shipped after its loooong shipping delay.  Excellent news!  Sometime in the next two weeks I should be getting my sample pads and coupons.   Stay tuned for a personal product review!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Always Infinity via BzzAgent

I’m excited to finally have something else free from BzzAgent™ to blog about.  I have been selected for the Always Infinity campaign.  The kit status is “shipping soon” and here is what I will receive:

  •    A bundle of $1.00 off coupons for Always Infinity
  •   A full sealed package of Always Infinity pads – yellow colour (meaning moderate flow)
  •  Three individually wrapped Always Infinity pads

The idea behind the three individually wrapped pads is for me to rip them apart and make some infamous blue liquid, videotape an absorbency test with it, and post it to YouTube for comments.  Now, I do have a digital camcorder, but I do not have a YouTube account.  We’ll have to wait and see about that.

After years of trying different pads as a young teenager, I had settled on Always as the best in terms of fit, hold capacity, & unseen-through-pants score. 

 Infinity is Always newest type of pad, with a different top layer (Microdots™) and claims for higher absorbency (Infinicel™ = up to 55% more), more comfort, and shaping/tapering (dual Flexi-Wing® design) to fit a women’s body.  

Always Infinity comes in all the regular Always sizes (moderate, heavy, overnight) and with or without wings.  My preference has always been “with wings” as they stabilize the pad in your underwear and prevent underwear side elastic staining.