Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Posts tagged ‘healthy’

Homestyle Ragu Sauce

My latest review comes courtesy of the Moms Meet Blogger program.  I am able to receive certain products for free in exchange for an honest review. It’s a great website to discover new and healthy products that can benefit the whole family!

This time, I was selected to try Ragu Homestyle Pasta Sauce.  I received free coupons to purchase the product on my own as well as a recipe to go along with the sauce.

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I didn’t care for the supplied recipe, so I just made spaghetti with vegetables along with the sauce all in the crockpot (because the crockpot is the only thing in my house that doesn’t need my undivided attention.)

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The sauce is available in five different varieties, but I went to a small Vons near my house in Southern California and only found these two flavors.  I did also look for this sauce at my military commissary, but they didn’t have it in stock.  So with a little chopping and mixing and simmering, a pretty easy dinner was in the works.

The sauce had an Italian aroma and a fairly thick and chunky consistency. I was really excited about this sauce because it is supposed to be healthier than other sauces. I like that it doesn’t contain artificial colors or high fructose corn syrup and it is only 100 calories per half-cup serving.  So another hour passed by and BAM – spaghetti!

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Then it was the moment of truth!  Was this new sauce everything that my dreams were made of?  Healthy sauce in a jar?  Could it be? Welllll….yes and no.  I liked everything about it, except I wasn’t quite sold on the taste.  It almost had too much Italian flavor, to the point that it took away from the vegetables and sauciness of the meal.  I typically add in my own spices and flavors when making spaghetti so I wasn’t quite ready to relinquish control of my spice levels to this new sauce in town.  But my one-year-old felt differently and totally embraced it all.

Overall, I wouldn’t proclaim this new product as awesome-sauce (get it?) But, I like where Ragu is going with this new line and perhaps the recipe could be slightly tweaked.  I would be even more excited if they came out with a less-flavored version of this healthy sauce.  I can’t wait to see if this new Ragu gains popularity!  What do you think of the new sauce?  Have you tried it?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Can’t wait to try out the next product! *As a reminder, I was given this product for free in exchange for an honest review.

~SM

 

 

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The Mardi Gras Run!

Last weekend I participated in the Mardi Gras run (a Wiz Event) and it was definitely a fun, but smaller event.  This race had 4 options: 15k, 10k, 5k run, and 5k walk – I chose the 5k run.  The 5k was $40 and I used a $5 off discount code which brought the total with tax back to about $40.  I don’t normally spend this amount on a race, but I love Mardi Gras (I’m from Southern Mississippi) aaannnd the medal is pretty dope.  Wait til you see 😉

The race was advertised as a “big celebration with jazz music and more great tunes”.  I would say it was more of a mediocre get together with a retired DJ.  You tried your best Mr. DJ, I give you a gold star. 🙂  The event was held at Hospitality Point in the Mission Bay area.  Parking was free and it was fairly easy to find a decent spot.  The venue was a bit smaller than expected, but the course was scenic and easy to follow.  Much to my surprise, however, there were only three Porta Potties along with one women’s bathroom and one men’s bathroom.  I really anticipated more bathrooms given this was expected to be such a huge celebration.

 

The course had nice support from the volunteers and water along with beads and leis were offered at the halfway mark.  The DJ kept up the energy as each finisher crossed and we were met with medals and water as well as bagels, peanut butter, and bananas.

There were a few vendors, but again I expected a bit more…and there was a photo booth along with a food truck offering authentic New Orleans cuisine. Some participants dressed up in festive costumes so I really enjoyed the vibe of this race, but was definitely expecting a bigger celebration.  I felt that there could have been a bit more energy (this is supposed to be Mardi Gras after all) and maybe even some activity stations for the kids.  I didn’t order anything from the food truck because I wasn’t really craving fried food at 9am after running 3 miles and food was not included in the registration price.

I did try a sample of the Arctic Zero frozen dessert.  I tried the salted caramel flavor and was surprised at how tasty it was since it was…are you ready…lactose free, gluten free, GMO free, fat free, and Kosher.  Basically it was made from swan saliva and unicorn blood, but it wasn’t bad.

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Also, let me just say…the organizers of this race clearly have never been to an actual Mardi Gras celebration as there was not one drop of alcohol in sight! Overall, I would say it was a well-organized race with a decent attempt at recreating a Mardi Gras party, but sadly it fell short in the celebration area.  I do feel that it could be improved and I hope to see a much bigger celebration in future years.

So what was the SWAG?

Your eyes are not deceiving you…That is a light up jester hat!

Shirts were offered for an extra $10 so I passed on that one.

A string of beads and a lei.

Free professional pictures.

Beautiful scenery cause I always count that as swag.

And a rad medal.  15k participants received the same medal, but with a fancier ribbon.

I would mostly likely do this race again because I’m a sucker for unique medals…but maybe they will at least have Daiquiris at the next one.

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

~SM

The Color Run! (San Diego)

Well, I experienced my first Color Run (not to be confused with Color me Rad) last weekend and it definitely exceeded my expectations! I wasn’t sure what to expect exactly as I don’t typically participate in gimmick runs, but I thought I would give this one a shot as it’s a pretty hyped up event.  If I only had one word to describe this run, it would be: FUN! It pretty much combined two of my favorite things: running and celebrating.  Just imagine going for a run and then ending it with a big party!  I have run several 5k’s and this was by far the most laid back race with the most energy.  Now, if you are super competitive and like to see your race time published all over the internet, then this race might not be your cup of tea.  But if you are just looking to go for an easy run and experience something new, then this race is right up your alley.

The race is started in waves including a runner’s wave (for the more competitive folks) and a DJ keeps the energy flowing in each corral.  Then you are released and off to each color station where volunteers are more than thrilled to cover you in as much dyed cornstarch as possible.  This particular race included a “shine” station at the end, which was basically just silvery, shimmery cornstarch.  Once you cross the finish, you are given a medal, granola bar, water, and more color packets to keep the fun going.  Then you can head over to any or all of the backdrops for many excellent photo ops.  One of the most exciting parts of the race is the stage that is manned with a DJ and encourages dancing and more color bombing.  Heart-jumping, fist-pumping music is played loudly to provide a great club experience and it almost makes you forget that it’s only 9:30 in the morning.  I ran with my toddler and somehow she managed to sleep through the entire thing!

This is definitely a family-friendly event and I recommend running it with friends (which is what I did) as this is an event that you will not want to experience alone.  I also recommend bringing a towel and keeping your phone and any other precious belongings in a ziplock bag or other protective covering.  Now, with every pro there is a con.  One thing I did not like about this race was the location – Qualcomm Stadium.  It sounds cool because it’s where the Chargers and other college teams play, but running around a pot-hole filled parking lot isn’t exactly ideal.  Also, according to my Garmin, the race was only 2.6 miles which as a runner kind of irked me because it is not a true 5k…but, it’s a “fun” run so I’ll accept it.  I’m not sure if I will do any more gimmick runs as they are not as rewarding for a runner as chip-timed runs; however, I would probably do this run again!

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P.S. The color washed out of my clothes easily and came off the stroller with a quick rinse from the hose.

So, what about the SWAG?

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  1. Color Run shirt – which was very comfortable and I plan to wear it again
  2. Foil tattoo
  3. Sweet colorful headband – (not pictured cause I didn’t want to take it off)
  4. Super awesome medal-for you bling-lovers
  5. Extra color and shine packet
  6. Post-it notes with a coupon
  7. Crystal light packet for water
  8. Kind bar
  9. Water balloons
  10. Various coupons and discount codes for future local races
  11. Reusable clear plastic bag – which could be used to protect your belongings during the race.

Run Happy, my friends! 😉

 

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