Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chocbite bar!

I recently won a Chocbite giveaway from Chow and Chatter!  I won my own custom made chocolate bar, and it was amazing!  Here's a picture:

My bar was dark chocolate with goji berries, blueberries, macadamia nuts, slivered almonds, and walnuts - it was to die for!  As you can see, I ate a chunk before I even took the picture...  and the rest of the bar didn't last much longer...  But hey, you only live once ;-).

I hope to be posting a YouShake review in the near future... so be on the lookout for that!

And if you haven't noticed, I've finally gotten the hang of embedding links into my posts so that I no longer have to copy and paste them all out - yep, I'm getting to be so tech-savvy ;-).

Here's a sunglasses giveaway by An Apple A Day!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Penny's Low Fat Desserts Review

Wow!  Spring has sprung in Iowa, and I am loving it!  I truly enjoy seeing green grass and no snow!

I recently received a complimentary package of goodies from Penny's Low Fat Desserts to review on my blog.  They have a variety of desserts that can fit into almost any diet plan.  You can check out the nutrition information here:

What I found even more interesting was the history of Penny's store, which you can read about here:

While you're at it, you can check out Penny's on Facebook here:

Before I review the actual desserts, here is some good information about Penny's products taken from the website:

"Unlike many manufacturers, we figured that if you wanted to be healthy, you are interested in what’s in your food and read nutrition and ingredient labels! That's why we use high quality ingredients, developed our products with a food scientist and lab tested with attention to nutritional accuracy. We have a long list of benefits...

* All Natural

* Low Fat and Calories

* No Sugar Added Diabetic-Friendly Selections

* Very High Fiber

* Rich in Whole Grains

* No Artificial Ingredients or Preservatives

* No Cholesterol in most products

* No Eggs in most products

* Some are Dairy Free

* No Transfats

* No High Fructose Corn Syrup

* Very Diet Plan Friendly

* Individually Wrapped in Generous Single Servings

Sounds pretty good, right?!  So here are the products I was lucky enough to try (all of which were between 100-160 calories!):

Orange Cranberry Muffin Top:

This flavor gets a 9 of 10.  It was very flavorful with a great texture.  I loved the sweet berries and the various spices.  It was good cold, but much better after I tried warming it up briefly in the microwave.  It was then very soft and basically melted in my mouth.  This wasn't too sweet, and it made a great little dessert!

Carrot Raisin Muffin Top:

8.5 of 10.  This flavor was sweeter, perhaps a little too much.  It was soft and moist again, and I loved the raisins and spices.  It was also airy, like a light version of carrot cake.  Good to satisfy a sweet tooth :-).

Chocolate Truffle Cookie:

9 of 10. This had a strong, rich cocoa flavor.  It was chewy, fresh, and moist.  I especially liked the oatmeal in it!  It wasn't too sweet, and it tasted great warmed up :-).

Toffee Cinnamon Cookie:

9 of 10.  Nice and strong cinnamon flavor.  Nice oaty texture.  It sort of tasted like apple with a hint of chocolate, which I wasn't quite expecting.  It was moist, fresh, sweet, and natural tasting - as in not having that artificial flavoring quality.

Almond Poppy Seed Muffin:

9.5 of 10.  Fabulously fresh with a nicely sweet flavor.  Loved the poppy seeds and the hint of almond. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie:

9 of 10. Lots of mini chocolate chips!  It was a bit too sweet for me though.  Great texture again, especially because of the oats.

Peanut Butter Cookie:

8 of 10. Very good peanut butter chips, though quite sweet!  The peanut butter flavor itself was decent, but not spectacular - probably because of the low amount of fat. 

Overall, these were all quite tasty treats.  They are all low in fat and calories if that's what you're looking for.  While some of the desserts are low in sugar, you should know that some are not, so that might be something to look out for if you decide to purchase these desserts! 

Hope you enjoyed the review!

Here are a few pictures I took of some recent flooding in Le Mars, IA - my hometown that I visited over Spring Break :-).  Luckily the flooding didn't really cause much damage.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Winners! and Blogger Awards

First things first, the winners of the Glee Gum Giveaway selected via RNG at are:

10 - Family Fresh Cooking
1 - Healthy Exposures
8 - Erica

Congrats ladies!!  Post your e-mail address in a comment below, and I'll e-mail you for your mailing address so I can send it on to Glee Gum!

I also recently received the following awards from Jessica at Healthy Exposures - thanks!

Instructions for the above 3 awards:

1. Thank the person who gave you the award
2. Paste the award on your blog
3. Link the person who nominated you for the award
4. Tell 7 interesting things about yourself
5. Nominate 7 bloggers or less
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominated.

My 7 interesting things are:

1. Last week I went on my first solo road trip to Indiana U, U. of Illinois, and U. of Michigan - 3 places where I may be going to graduate school in library and information science this fall!

2. I ran cross country and track all through high school and still love to run.

3. I adore animals and pets and can't wait to have a cat of my own :-).

4. I've lived in Iowa all my life and love it.

5. I don't like big cities - too much cement, buildings, and people.

6. I love horseback riding, though I very rarely get to do it.

7. I started practicing yoga this past January and will never stop!

The Rules and Regulations of The Sunshine Blog Award:

1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post
2. Pass the award on to 12 bloggers!
3. Link the nominees within your post
4. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award

I'm going to pass on all these awards to the following 12 wonderful bloggers:

Family Fresh Cooking
Healthy Exposures
Change of Pace
Endurance Isn't Only Physical
Prevention RD
Hungry Meets Healthy
The Candid RD
Peace. Love. Nutrition.
Simply Life
Fashion Meets Food
An Opera Singer in the Kitchen

And I could certainly go on since there are many more great bloggers out there, but I'll stop here.  I also have to let you all know that I won't be commenting on blogs as frequently for the next month or so because the rest of my semester is going to be very busy!!  I'll have much more free time during the summer though, and I'm looking forward to blogging more regularly!

I hope you're all enjoying some great spring weather!


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Clif Bar Review... Eat This, Not That

Spring Break is going well so far :-).  I need to be more productive though... so I'm writing a blog post ;-).  When I received the Clif C Bars a while back, I was also sent some regular Clif and Luna Bars.  I'll review the Clif Bars below.  You can find out more information on Clif Bar & Company on their website

Blueberry Crisp:

Blueberry Crisp: 9 of 10. Very sweet and dessert-like!  But full of vitamins and other good stuff :-).  I also liked the little blueberry pieces and almond chunks, and the chewy texture is awesome.  Still a fairly "processed" bar, but definitely a great treat with a good combo of carbs, protein, and healthy fat.

Banana Nut Bread:

Banana Nut Bread: 8 of 10It smelled just like banana bread, and tasted like it too!  It had a very strong, fresh banana flavor and some chocolate chips too - those surprised me since I've never had banana bread with chocolate.  I also liked the soy rice crisps and the little pieces of walnut.  I would have actually rated this bar higher if it didn't have the chocolate and instead had more walnuts :-).

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut:

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut: 9.5 of 10.  Yummy!  I loved the sweet icing, white chocolate, and the wonderfully sized macadamia nut pieces!  This bar is dense, chewy, and crunchy.  I also thought it had a hint of caramel flavor that I liked :-).

For your reading pleasure, here's a clipping from ISU's student-run newspaper, the Iowa State Daily, titled "Eat this, not that on Campus."  I thought some of the choices were obvious, and I also thought that some of the "eat this" options could have been better, but I suppose they were looking for "better" not "best".  (You can click on the pics to enlarge)


Sunday, March 14, 2010

NibMor Chocolate Review... and grits

I'm at home and on Spring Break - how fabulous!!  Before I give my chocolate review, I'd like to share a couple grits concoctions I came up with in the past week.  The first is grits and orange juice - quite delicious!

The second time I tried gritgurt (a spin-off of oatgurt!) made with AE vanilla yogurt and some slivered almonds and flaxseed.

I recently received two NibMor chocolate bars to review: an original dark chocolate and an almond dark chocolate bar.  You can check out their bars at their website here:  They're also on twitter :-).

Here's some information from their site:

At NibMor we believe that the food we eat should be as simple as possible. That means using ingredients made by Mother Nature, not someone in a lab coat.

What happens in our kitchen? We combine the best of it all. Our ingredients are All Natural and Organic, and our batches are handled with care to create perfection.

We kicked refined sugar, dairy, gluten and GMO to the curb (bye bye off you go!). The result? A chocolate bar that is simple, healthy and delicious.

Now for my review:

Original Dark Chocolate

Original Dark Chocolate: 9.5 of 10.  This is some good chocolate!!  I was sooo impressed by how smooth and creamy it was!  It truly melted in my mouth.  It wasn't too bitter either, as dark chocolate can occasionally be.  It was simply delicious :-).

Almond Dark Chocolate

Almond Dark Chocolate: 9.5 of 10.  Just as rich and creamy as the first, but this time there were wonderful bits or raw almond pieces.  I must say I was quite sad to be finished with these two bars!

And don't forget to enter my Glee Gum giveaway:


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Glee Gum Review and Giveaway!

Most people I know like to chew gum, and I'm no different :-).  It is a great treat that can sometimes satisfy your sweet tooth after a meal or can be a nice little snack to keep your mouth busy while studying or working.  Unfortunately, a lot of gum is full of unnatural ingredients and artificial sweeteners like sorbitol (which is linked to bloating, flatulence and diarrhea  Such ingredients aren't necessarily terrible if you have them every once in awhile, but some people I know chew A LOT of gum. 

Therefore, I have decided to investigate natural gum.  The first brand I came across was Glee Gum, and they generously offered to send me some samples to try and review for my blog.  Here is a link to their website:

Here is some general information about their gum:

Glee Gum is all-natural, gluten-free chewing gum with no artificial coloring, flavoring, sweeteners nor preservatives. Glee Gum is the only gum in North America made the old-fashioned way, with chicle! Chicle is a natural tree sap harvested sustainably from the rainforests of Central America. Once all chewing gum was made with chicle, but today most gum is made entirely from synthetic stuff. Not Glee Gum! Glee Gum uses chicle because it is an eco-friendly way to help conserve the rainforest. Chicle is also what gives the gum such great, long-lasting chewing texture! Glee Gum is a “green” gum right down to the packaging, which is made from biodegradable, recycled cardboard. So chew with Glee, naturally!

Very impressive credentials if you ask me!  So far I have tried 3 of their flavors (more reviews to come in the future!):

Tangerine: 9 of 10. Very sweet, fresh and chewy!  The only caveat is that the flavor wasn't that long-lasting.  Personally, I don't mind giving that up so I can have all-natural gum.


You can't go wrong with ingredients like that!!!

Triple Berry: 9.5 of 10.  Loved how I could taste all 3 berry flavors: STRAWBERRY, RASPBERRY AND BLUEBERRY!

Peppermint: 9 of 10.  Just like a peppermint candy, but in gum form!  Again, I just wish the flavor lasted longer.

So, where can you find Glee Gum you ask??  Check out their store locator here:

It's not terribly expensive - especially if you decide to buy it in bulk online :-).

You should check out Glee Gum on Facebook and Twitter while you're at it too!

Now for the Giveaway:

Glee Gum has generously offered to provide 3 winners with 3 packs of Glee Gum and a coupon each!

How to enter:

Leave a comment below and let me know what your thoughts are on sugar-free gum and why you want to try Glee Gum.

For extra entries:

Post a link to this giveaway on your blog and comment below with the link to the blog post in which you do this. (one entry)

Follow me on twitter AND tweet about the giveaway by stating: @gleeguy Glee Gum Giveaway on Food, Fotos, and Fun! at (one entry)

The contest ends on March 23, 2010. The winners will be chosen at random via generator and will be posted on my blog. Only one person per household may enter. The winners will have 72 hours to post a comment on my blog with their e-mail address.  I will then e-mail them in order to get their shipping address.  If a winner doesn't respond, another winner will be chosen. Contest is open to U.S. Residents, 18 yrs. and older only. Each entry must be submitted in a separate comment.

Good luck!

Oh, and you should really check out Glee's Fun Facts About Gum here:

One of their facts: Chewing on gum while cutting onions can help a person from producing tears.  Good to know!!

And my Spring Break is next week!!!!


Monday, March 8, 2010

Check out my Guest Post at Trading Up Downtown

Hello all!  I just did my first guest post over at Trading Up Downtown about NuVal scores for cereal.  Check it out here:

And, as for the "truth" from my last post, I did qualify individually for the State Cross Country and Track meets as a senior in highschool!  I ran both the 1500 and 3000.  As for the other ones, I may run a marathon someday (definitely a half!), I did have a 4.00 for my first two years of undergrad - but that obviously couldn't last ;-), and I really would like to give skydiving a shot!  The other lies were just random.

I'd also like to leave you with some pictures of construction that's going on outside my dorm at ISU.  They're constructing some new recreational facilities and are tearing up a parking lot.  Now there's a HUGE pile of dirt:


Friday, March 5, 2010

YouBar Review and Creative Blogger Award

I did a YouTrailMix review not too long ago, and now it is time for my actual YouBar review.  I must again thank Joel from YouBar for supplying me with the samples :-).  Here's a little info. about YouBars that I borrowed from their site at

  • You choose the ingredients and the bar size.

  • You view the nutrition facts of your energy bar while you are creating it.

  • Your box of bars is hand made fresh-to-order and shipped to your door with a satisfaction guarantee. If you don't love your bars, you'll get a new box free of charge.

  • Your customized nutrition facts and your chosen bar name are printed on each individual bar package.

  • Friendly telephone customer support is available to answers questions and provide helpful recommendations.
Sounds nice, right?!  Anyway, here are my reviews of the three flavors I was sent.

Honey Cashew

Honey Cashew = 8.5 of 10.  I loved the smooth creamy outside and the nice crunchy inside.  The inside was a little powdery (which I thought was a little unusual), but I liked how it seemed to melt in my mouth.  I was also a fan of the overall flavor and thought it was a nice sweet treat for only 7g of sugar.

Breakfast Bar

Breakfast Bar = 7.5 of 10.  This bar was a combination of date and chocolate flavor with a hint of coffee.  I must say that this bar was a tad too sticky and chalky for my liking.  I was impressed that it used egg whites for its protein though - truly a breakfast bar!

Great Date with Chocolate

Great Date with Chocolate = 7 of 10.  I didn't include a pic of this actual bar since it looked exactly like the other chocolate one.  Both bars were similar, but this one had fewer ingredients and lacked the coffee.  It reminded me of a sweet brownie, but again was a little chalky and dry.  I think I could taste the whey protein too, which made it more like your typical protein bar.

Overall, the chocolate flavors didn't quite meet my expectations.  Still, I didn't actually create these flavors, for they are examples of the standard flavors that you can buy if you're not feeling particularly creative.  They have so many options, so I really think anyone could create a flavor that would appeal to them.  You just need to know your preferences :-). 

And remember that you still get a 5% discount on your order at if you use my code “FoodFotos".

In other news, I recently received my first blogger award from Ally at Sweet and Savory :-).

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who gave this to you.

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3. Link to the person who nominated you.

4. Tell up to six outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth.

5. Nominate seven “Creative Writers” who might have fun coming up with outrageous lies.

6. Post links to the seven blogs you nominate.

Here I go, do you know which one is the TRUTH?

1.   I have been skydiving.

2.   I qualified for the State Cross Country and Track meets in highschool.

3.   I ran a marathon last year.

4.   I took a month-long cruise to Alaska.

5.   I can play chess blindfolded.

6.   I have a 4.00 so far for my undergraduate grade point average.

I'm sharing this fun game with:

The Candid RD

The Vegster

The Actor's Diet

Chow and Chatter

Une Vie Saine

I'll post my "truth" sometime in the next week!  Feel free to guess in the comments below - I'd love to see what you think!