Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Popcicle & National Geographic Kids Giveaway **5 WINNERS!**

What makes Summertime great? Playing in the sprinklers and sitting on the porch eating Popcicles! Those are some great childhood memories for me. I love doing the same thing with my children.

This summer Popcicle is introducing Jolly Rancher Popcicles! I love Jolly Rancher candies so I knew these would be good! My kids and I liked the Cherry and Green Apple the best! The Jolly Rancher Popcicles come in 20 count boxes.

Enter the Anything's Possible with Popcicle promotion!Now through September 30th, Your family can enter to win an awesome family adventure! You pick which adventure you want a chance to win: Experience Space Camp, Swim with dolphins, or go on a dinosaur dig!

Now for the fun part! Popcicle has graciously offered to provide 5 of my lucky readers with 1 coupon for Popcicles and a copy of the National Geographic Big Book of Fun! The Big Book of Fun has all kind of puzzles, games, mazes, jokes, that will entertain and help your kids fight off summer boredom.

Mandatory Entry:

Please leave a comment telling me what is your favorite flavor of Popcicle!

Additional Enteries:

Follow Popcicle on Twitter
Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart with Google Friend Connect
Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Facebook.
Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Twitter.
Enter my Ecover giveaway

Please leave a separate comment for each entry along with your email address. Giveaway ends on July 16, 2010

Disclosure: I received no monetary compensation for this review. I was provided with free product for the purpose of this review. Review product and prize provided by the giveaway sponsor The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were in no influenced by Popcicle.

Ecover Review and Giveaway!

This year my family and I have been making an effort to go "greener". In our effort to become more green, we have been trying to find cleaning products that are environmentally friendly.

I was thrilled with the chance to try Ecover All Purpose cleaner. Ecover produces their washing and cleaning products in an ecological, economic and socially responsible way in a unique ecological factory.

The cleaner comes in a 32 oz bottle. The ingredients list is very short! Water, non-ionic surfactants, fatty acid, alcohol, citrate, lactic acid, glyceryl caprylate, fragrance (lemon).

As stated on the bottle, it is fast and complete biodegradility. The cleaner has minimal impact on aquatic life, and is not tested on animals.

I absolutely love the smell of the All Purpose Cleaner! When you open the bottle you are greeted with this amazing fresh lemon smell. It is like someone cut open a real lemon and left it sitting on the counter. The fragrance is fresh plant based. I am a sucker for a citrus fragrances, so that immediately had my attention!

1 cap full equals 1 fl oz. It is recommended you use 1-2 cap fulls in a half a bucket of water. I mixed mine that way, then poured it into a spray bottle. I used it to mop my linoleum floors and to clean my counter tops. I was very pleased with the overall cleaning power of Ecover.

At around $5 per bottle, I think it is reasonably priced and will last a few months. It is a versatile cleaner that can be used in the kitchen, bathroom, or just about anywhere. You will love the fresh clean smell when you are finished cleaning.

To learn more about Ecover, visit their blog. or follow on Twitter.

Ecover has graciously offered to give one of my lucky readers a free cleaning product!

Mandatory Entry:

Leave a comment telling me why you feel it is important to live green.

Extra Entries:

1. Follow EcoverUS on Twitter
2. Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart in Google Friend Connect
3. Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Facebook.
4. Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Twitter.
5. Enter my Popcicle Giveaway

Please leave a separate comment for each entry with your email address. I will select a winner at random on July 16.

Disclosure: I was provided with a bottle of Ecover's All Purpose Cleaner for the purpose of this review. The opinions expressed are my own. They were in no way influenced by Ecover.

TNT Fireworks coupon

This is a great coupon for this weekend!
save $10 off $50 purchase of TNT fireworks! You’ll have to register and then they’ll email you the coupon. This coupon is valid at any TNT Fireworks location (super centers, stands, or tents)!! Coupon expires July 5th.

Fresh Pineapple Coupon update!

Earlier in the week, I posted that had a coupon for .50/1 Del Monte Fresh pineapple. It is being reported that Walmart has a rolled back the price on fresh pineapple to 1.50. If you use the coupon, you could get a fresh pineapple for $1!!! That is an awesome price for fresh pineapple! Of course, prices vary, but it is worth checking out!

This is a link for the coupon!

Earth Fare Coupon- Free Watermelon

Earth Fare is offering a great coupon this week! Free watermelon for the 4th! That is a great deal! Plus they have 2 other coupons good for steak and salmon! Check those out too!

Welcome Wednesday

I currently have 1 giveaway

If you are looking for some new recipes to try, check out my favorite recipe for Basil Pesto Sauce

Join the discussion on Talking2sDay. The question is, What has changed since having kids? I was given the Versatile Blogger Award by Cheap Geeks Anonymous this week! I shared 7 interesting things about myself.

Thanks for following!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Don't forget to wash your reusable shopping bags!

I am a big fan of reusable shopping bags, but there can be a hidden danger. A new study says that "97 percent of the people interviewed never wash their bags". This can lead to the presence of bacteria. This study looked at 84 bags and more than half of them contained coliform and heterotrophic bacteria and E. coli was present in 12% of the bags. Don't panic!! The strains that they found aren't likely to make anyone sick.

Just like everything reusable, we just need to remember to wash our bags after use. I know I am guilty of not washing the reusable shopping bags. I empty them and stick them back in the closet. Now, I will have to put them into the laundry schedule.

Welcome Tuesday Tag Along Followers

Tuesday Tag-Along

I currently have 1 giveaway

If you are looking for some new recipes to try, check out my favorite recipe for Basil Pesto Sauce

Join the discussion on Talking2sDay. The question is, What has changed since having kids?

Thanks for visiting!

What do you do with Basil?

My husband works at an apartment community. He is forever finding interesting things that people just abandon. Yesterday, he came home with a planter box full of basil! I was thrilled because I am always talking about wanting to grow stuff.

The question is now, what do I do with it? I have like 2 recipe that calls for fresh basil. Fresh pesto sauce and a pasta salad with fresh tomatoes and ricotta cheese. Would my husband eat pasta salad? No, he doesn't eat anything ending in salad or casserole. Plus, he would rather be hog tied and drug through the streets naked then eat a tomato. The kids would eat the pasta and pick around the rest.

My little kitchen fairy helped me pick and wash basil so we could make fresh pesto this morning.

Here is the Pesto Recipe that I like.

* 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
* 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
* 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
* 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Makes 1 cup.

If you have a great recipe using basil, please share it! I am going to try drying some and see how that goes.

This post is linked to Crazy Daisy's Tuesday Taste!

Couponaholics- Don't forget to print your coupons

Couponaholics- Don't forget, the end of the month is near! print your favorite coupons before the end of the month!

Versatile Blogger Award!

Thank you to Cheap Geeks Anonymous for giving me the Versatile Blogger Award! I am still surprised that anybody reads my blog, but I sincerely appreciate it!

Seven things about myself:
1. I love Gumby! I have had this strange fascination over Gumby since I was a kid. I used to have a 6ft inflatable Gumby. It is probably still lurking somewhere in the dark recesses of my mom's attic. I recently found Gumby and Pokey flip flops at Big Lots for a $1. My husband thought I was nuts, but I was thrilled.

2. I dress up in Star Wars costumes. My husband and I both are members of costume groups. So we go out and do events for charities or family friendly events in the community. My favorite costume of mine, is Jedi Master Shaak Ti.

3. I love to scrapbook and wish I had more time to do it. I started scrapbooking after I got married. I don't think I will ever be caught up with it.

4. I love to bake, cupcakes especially! I would eventually love to learn how to make wedding cakes. My kids love to help out in the kitchen so I try to cook and bake with them as much as possible.

5. I love Mexican food! I would eat it everyday, 3 times a day

6. I will not fly! Let's face it, the airlines collectively do not have enough money to pay me to step foot on a plane. To get me on a plane, basically my family has to knock me out like they did Mr.T on the A Team.

7. I find jello to be creepy, fascinating, and delicious all at the same time.

I am still picking my blogs to pass the award to, I will come back and post those when I am finished.


What has changed since having kids is the topic today!

What has changed? Everything! First of all, I never wear white. My little girl for some reason thinks I am a human napkin. I end up with spots in the strangest places. The ketchup hand print in the middle of my back was great! After that, I just gave up white.

I have developed super human, almost canine like hearing. I can hear the slightest movement, inhale,exhale in the middle of the night. I am wide awake. I get up to check on everybody. Then of course, I don't go back to sleep. Which is another thing, I haven't had a full nights sleep in 5 years.

I told my son that I have eyes in the back of my head. He didn't believe me. But, I do. I know what they are thinking and doing without even turning around. I think it kind of freaks him out when I do that. He still can't quite figure out how I know what he is doing.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Free Lettuce Wraps from PF Changs

PF Changs is sponsoring the Briny Golf Challenge 2010. Each player hit 10 golf balls from the rooftop of a 40-story building at Waterside Plaza in New York City onto a floating bull's-eye target in the East River and THEY ALL HIT THE BULL'S-EYE! To celebrate the victory, P.F. Chang's is donating $100,000 to charity and providing America with a free order of Lettuce Wraps with the purchase of an entree!

Snapfish Freebie

I love using Snapfish! They are offering a free photo collage to their Facebook fans. Use the code FBFREEBIE offer good until July 5.

Small Shopping Trip

I had a small shopping trip today, divided between Target and Bilo!
My total OOP: $13.15

I took a quick picture with my phone, you can't see everything well. This is what I got:
1 PEVA vinyl reusable table cloth $3.48
1 can of bamboo shoots .68
1 bag of marshmallows .99
1 bag of White Wheat hamburger buns Free with coupon
1 box Kraft Mac and Cheese .90 (If it has Toy Story on it, my crew has been flipping out over it)
1 Lawyer's Marinade .67 (had a $1 off coupon)

Total: 6.72


1 package Arnold's Sandwich thins $2.99 ($4 off coupon)
2 Hershey Bars $2
1 bag of Flour $2.19
1 Marcel Small Steps facial tissue $1 (free after coupon)
Amy's Organic Kitchen Burrito 2.99 (.75 coupon)= 2.24
1 box of Grahm crackers 1.98
Total: $6.43

Fresh Pineapple Coupon

Check out for .50/1 Del Monte Gold Pineapple! I have been wanting to make some Hawaiian burgers with grilled pineapple ! YUMM

Admirer Monday


Welcome everyone from Admirer Monday. A little bit of everything goes into the squeaky cart. I currently have 1 giveaway

If you are looking for some new recipes to try, check out my cucumber & mango salsa or the maple banana bread. If you house is being overrun by Toy Story mania, check out the green alien cupcakes.

Have some overbearing relatives? How do you handle them? Share your advice!

Looking for something new? check out my SodaStream review.

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Extreme Toy Story

I can't put into the words the amount of love my children have for Toy Story. Our house has been caught up in Toy Story mania for weeks now. Today, I could hear giggles and the sounds of memorized dialogue coming from my son's bedroom. He and his sister were apparently recreating Toy Story 3. I have to applaud their ninja like skills for snagging a tortilla out of the fridge undetected.

For those of you who have not seen Toy Story 3, there is a scene where Potato Head transfers his parts to a tortilla.

Chic fil A Cow Appreciation Day!

Mark your calendar! Friday, July 9th, Chick-fil-A restaurants nationwide will celebrate the annual Cow Appreciation Day by offering a FREE
meal to any guest who visits the restaurant fully dressed as a cow!

My kids and I did this last year and it was so much fun!! We will definitely be doing this again this year!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Kelloggs Cereal Recall

Does anybody in your family eat Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Fruit Loops, or Honey Smacks cereal?
Kellogg Co. is voluntarily recalling about 28 million boxes of Apple Jacks, Corn Pops, Froot Loops and Honey Smacks cereals because an unusual smell and flavor from the packages' liners could make people ill, the company said Friday.

Sunshine Award

Thank you Foodie Mommie for honoring me with a Sunshine Award! That has really made my day! It has also given me a boost of confidence for my blog!

Overbearing Relatives

Normally, I keep rants off of my blog. I just don't feel it is the place to do that, but today I just need to. What do you do with overbearing relatives that can't or won't respect your choices as a parent?

My husband and I work really hard to teach our children how to make healthy food choices. It is something that my husband has had to work really hard at. He is a very selective eater. He would be completely happy with just meat and potatoes. Vegetables are a tough sale with him. But, I appreciate his effort to eat more of them. He tries to be an example for our children.

I do limit the amount of fast food and junk food I allow my children to have.
Do I completely outlaw it? No. I am very happy to give them a treat.

Do they need it everyday or after every meal? NO! I am not a bad parent for limiting treats!

I can not get certain relatives to understand this! I am met with comments like," ooh, well they needed a milkshake. It was hot." My children are 2 and 5. They both don't need medium shakes or whole ice cream sundaes. They could share, but that never occurs to this person. Or we go out to eat and I order water for all of us. This person says,"they don't need water, they need a sprite" NO, they don't need Sprite. Water is perfectly acceptable. It is continual, if I say no, we don't need (fill in the blank)right now. They go behind me.

My daughter loves M&Ms. But not all the time! I get comments like, "Well, I only buy the dark chocolate. It is good for your heart" It is still chocolate! It is still a treat! To teach them to make healthy choices, I have to teach them moderation. I feel like I am beating my head against a wall, because some relatives won't respect my wishes.

What do I do? I hate being around these people because I am constantly criticized over the choices I make for my children. I know I am not a perfect parent, but I try to be the best I can be for my children. What I need is support from those around us. Help me guide my children to make the best possible choices in all things. Don't undermine my best efforts.

Welcome Friday Followers!

friday-followMy Wee View
New Friend Fridays

Welcome everyone from Friday Follows. A little bit of everything goes into the squeaky cart. I currently have 1 giveaway

If you are looking for some new recipes to try, check out my cucumber & mango salsa or the maple banana bread. If you house is being overrun by Toy Story mania, check out the green alien cupcakes.

Looking for something new? check out my SodaStream review.

Thanks for visiting!

Aloha Friday

Welcome to Aloha Friday! My question for this week is:

What is your favorite sundae topping?

I would have to say mine is caramel!

This post is linked to Aloha Friday At An Island Life

Lowes Build and Grow Workshop- Monster Truck

Lowes Build and Grow Workshop is this Saturday (June 26)! This week the kids will have the opportunity to build a Monster Truck! The workshops are free and start at 10am.

Mentos Coupon on Facebook.

Today only! Become a fan of Mentos on Facebook and get a BOGO coupon. You can print 2 coupons. Limited to 500,000

Stock up! These are what are used for the eyes on the green alien cupcakes!

FREE McDonalds McCafe Frappes

McDonalds is offering FREE McDonalds McCafe Frappes in Caramel or Mocha
today and each Friday from June 25 – July 9th from 7am – 7pm. The offer is for a free sample size frappe. Check with your local McDonalds before you go to see if they are

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Old Navy Sale!

I love these Old Navy sales!
Old Navy is having a 30% off sale that applies to the entire store online and in-store. This sale goes from June 24-June 29.

Top Chef- School Lunch Challenge

Last night on Top Chef, their challenge was to create a nutritious, well balanced and low sugar lunch for 50 children. Their budget was $130.

Watching this challenge really shed a lot of light on how limited the school budgets are. It was really kind of sad watching these chefs try to plan meals, but ultimately some ingredients had to be cut out because they were over budget. No wonder we have an obesity problem among children. It is cheaper to get a meal at McDonalds then it is to buy 3 pounds of produce.

The winning team created an amazing taco lunch. Roast pork tacos, with homemade oatmeal tortillas, roasted corn and tomato salad, and a dessert that included chocolate and sweet potatoes.

The losing chef totally missed the mark. She created a banana pudding that had almost 2 pounds of sugar in the mix.

Did anyone else watch? What did you think of the challenge and the dishes the chefs made?

Upcycled Crafts

I recently found They have some great ideas for upcycled craft items. My kids and I have been trying out the craft ideas. This is a great one using broken glasses as picture frames.

We also enjoyed the recycled wallets. Those were made just using old cereal or cracker boxes.

Keepin Company & Buzz By Thursday


Welcome everyone visiting from Keepin Company and Buzz on By Thursday! I currently have 1 giveaway

If you are looking for some new recipes to try, check out my cucumber & mango salsa or the maple banana bread. If you house is being overrun by Toy Story mania, check out the green alien cupcakes.

Looking for something new? check out my SodaStream review.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Addicted to Bravo- Work of Art

I really have gotten into the new show on Bravo, Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. If you haven't seen the show, it is a group of artist ( much like Project Runway or Top Chef) that are given a challenge each week. The artist have a gallery showing and crit, then one is eliminated.

Last week's challenge was great! The artist went to an appliance graveyard. There they selected "junk" to make art. This week's challenge was to great a book cover for a classic novel. I am just so addicted to it now! Thank you Bravo!

Supreme Court ruled against Roundup Ready Alfalfa

The Supreme Court ruled that the selling of Roundup Ready Alfalfa is now illegal.

Welcome Wednesday

Welcome everyone visiting from Welcome Wednesday. I currently have 1 giveaway

If you are looking for some new recipes to try, check out my cucumber & mango salsa or the maple banana bread. If you house is being overrun by Toy Story mania, check out the green alien cupcakes.

If you are looking for something new, check out my SodaStream review.

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

OOOOOOO Cupcakes

If your house is anything thing mine, we are in the middle of Toy Story 3 mania. My kids have been hardcore Toy Story fans, practically since birth. So, when I saw these Little Green Alien cupcakes on Disney family, I knew this was something we had to make. They are soooo easy and adorable!

Tuesday Follows

Welcome all new followers from Tuesday follow alongs. I took the day off today to spend time with my children :) so this is a really late welcome post.

I currently have 1 giveaway

If you are looking for some new recipes to try, check out my cucumber & mango salsa or the maple banana bread.

If you are looking for something new, check out my SodaStream review.

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Are people just so miserable, that they have to be negative for the sake of being negative?

Toy Story 3 stood to propel the three films into history, becoming the only trilogy rated 100 percent fresh across the board on Rotten Tomatoes.

But 2 cranky ass critics broke that streak! Are these 2 just so miserable in their own exsistance that they had to get 15 minutes of fame by being the only 2 people on the planet to diss on Toy Story 3?

Take it one step further, Armond White (cranky ass #1) went on to insult adults and children who are fans of the movie! White's review deems the nearly universally acclaimed film "essentially a bored game that only the brainwashed will buy into" and posits the series is only fit for "non-thinking children and adults."

What is there to hate about Toy Story? Where these two potty trained at gun point? Did they not have special toys as children?

Sobe LifeWater Heads or Tails Game

Checkout Sobe LifeWater Heads or Tails game. Use the code on the cap to win prizes. If you don't have a code, you can still play. Just click on one of the characters to twist the cap for you.

The chances seem pretty good for winning. You can play once a day! I won a Timbuk2 backpack today!Give it a try, let me know if you win something!!

31 Top Secret Restaurant Recipes Free ebook download

RecipeLion is offering a free ebook download. It is called 31 Top Secret Restaurant Recipes! If you love PF. Changs, they have a recipe for the lettuce wraps in this book!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

I just want to wish all the Dads out there Happy Father's Day. I am going to be spending the day with my husband and family! Enjoy your day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Izola Shower Curtain Review and Giveaway!

For moms, our bathroom can be a place of refuge and escape from our busy days. The shower drowning out the shouting from the living room, while your husband tries valiantly to referee kids arguing over a favorite toy. Imagine yourself traveling to one of the World's most exciting cities like New York, Paris, or London. All this can happen just by looking at your shower curtain. Luxuriate in your moment of peace.

Izola Shower offers sophisticated designs with bold patterns and inspired by some of the most iconic destinations. Izola uses the blank canvas of the shower curtain to explore creative possibilities. Along with traditional vinyl shower curtains, Izola also offers eco-friendly PEVA curtains. PEVA is a biodegradeable and durable vinyl option. They also offer 100% cotton curtains as well.

Never being one who wants what everyone else has, I was immediately attracted to the Izola designs. They offer World Destinations, Maps, Patterns, and Artist Series.

Izola Shower sent me one of their eco-friendly PEVA curtains. I was thrilled when my new shower curtain arrived! Our previous shower curtain was shall we say, on the dull side. The new shower curtain is 100% PEVA, with nickel plated grommets. It measures 72"x72" standard format. I am very impressed with the quality of the shower curtain. I now have an amazing view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

My children have been fascinated by the photographic print. There is a woman riding a bike in the picture. We have had several conversations about what she was doing and where she could be going.

Overall, I am very impressed with the style of the curtain and eco-friendly options. If you are looking for something that will immediately elevate the design aesthetic of your bathroom then Izola Shower is the place to look.

Now for the fun part! Izola Shower has graciously agreed to give one of my lucky readers an Izola Shower curtain of their own.

Mandatory Entry: Visit Izola Shower's website and leave a comment telling me which shower curtain you would pick for yourself. Please leave a separate comment for each entry, along with your email address. The winner will be selected at random on July 2, 2010. Good luck everyone!

Additional Entries:
1. Follow Izola on Twitter.
2. Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart with Google Friend Connect
3. Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Facebook
4. Follow The Squeaky Grocery Cart on Twitter

Disclosure: Izola Shower gave me a shower curtain for the purpose of this review. I received no monetary compensation. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. They were in no way influenced by Izola Shower.

Outlast Hand Sanitizer

Today, the Fed-Ex guy delivered my MomSelect Outlast Hand Sanitizer party kit. We use a lot of hand sanitizer around here. But, I was not familiar with the Outlast brand until receiving this package.

Here is some information that was included with the product.
Outlast is an alcohol based hand sanitizer and works for up to 6 hours. Most hand sanitizers stop working after 2 minutes. It has a patented formula developed by researchers at Columbia University Medical School. Surgeons and healthcare professionals have been using Outlast Hand Sanitizer formula for year in hospitals.

What I found even more interesting was the information about purses. Did you know your purse can make you sick?! I never really thought about it. I am terrible about plopping my purse down wherever. In a study for ABC News, 50 women's purses were tested and half of them tested positive for coliform bacteria. This indicated the possible presence of human and animal waste. One out of 4 purses tested positive for E. coli germs. That is really scary to me. I am always very careful in public restrooms, but I never thought to consider some of the others places my purse lands.

I am interested to see how this product will work for my family. I am also interested in getting other mom opinions about this product. Has anyone used it before? What do you think of it?

Disclosure: This product was provided to me free of charge. I have not received any monetary compensation from Outlast Hand Sanitizer or MomSelect. The opinions expressed in this post are my own honest thoughts and have in no way been influenced by Outlast Hand Sanitizer or MomSelect.

Couple Appear in Same Picture 30 years before getting married

This is just the greatest story!

2 Food Recalls to be aware of

I have a couple of product recalls to share. First, Uh, Oh Spaghetti Os! Campbells Soup is recalling 5 million pounds of SpaghettiOs with meatballs because of under cooked meat.

The second food recall, Con Agra is recalling all Marie Callender's brand cheesy chicken and rice frozen meals after they have been possibly linked to a salmonella outbreak in 14 states.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Publix $1.50 off blueberries coupon

Publix Supermarket has a great coupon for 1.50/1 blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries. This is a great coupon! Offer expires June 23

Soda Stream Review

I was so thrilled when I was offered the chance to review the SodaStream Soda Maker. I received the starter kit

which included: the black and silver model, along with (2) 1-liter bottles, and 1 60-L carbonator. I also received 7 different soda flavors (cola, lemon lime, root beer, orange,diet cola, diet pink grapefruit, diet energy). The soda flavors contain NO high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. I also received a package of their MyWater which is an unsweetened, all-natural flavor essence for making lightly flavored seltzer or sparkling water.

My family was so excited when the shipment arrived, we immediately set it up! It is very easy to set up. No electricity or batteries needed!

You hook up the carbonator, fill your bottles with water,carbonate, add syrup (Be careful on this step! pour the syrup slowly, otherwise it will fizz over. And lastly, gently rock the bottle to mix the syrup. In 5 steps, you have made your own soda!

Our first batches of soda were not very successful. We found that we were not putting enough carbonation into the water. It also works best if you get your water really cold. Cold water holds the carbonation better then room temperature water.

Once we figured out the right amount of carbonation and water temperature, the soda quality improved! Press the button until you hear a loud buzzing noise. It is recommend doing this three times for a “standard” amount of carbonation.

I think the 2 favorites in my family have been the root beer and the orange soda flavors. My mom, who mainly drinks diet, enjoyed the diet pink grapefruit the best from the diet selections. For soda made at home, it really does taste like store bought soda! To me, the SodaStream soda stays carbonated longer. That is one complaint that I have with store bought soda. It just doesn't hold the carbonation long once opened.

I love the reusable aspect of the SodaStream. The average American drinks 55 gallons of soda each year. If you don’t recycle the plastic bottles, that bottle will stay in the landfill for 700 years! Using the sodastream, the plastic bottles are reusable.

The bottles have some specific care and handling instructions. You can’t wash them in the dishwasher, or with hot water. If the bottles have any damage, it is recommended that you stop using them and replace with new ones. Each bottle comes with an expiration date, and should be replaced at that time.

SodaStream is an "Active Green" product, meaning that consumers are actively reducing their CO2 footprint every time they make soda or sparkling water at home instead of buying it from the store. The more the system is used on a daily basis, the more CO2 footprint the user actively saves.

Since my family has been working on becoming more "green", the SodaStream has been able to help us cut down on the amount of cans and plastic bottles. We have also helped to reduce pollution caused by transporting beverages.

What happens when your carbonator is empty? SodaStream has a carbonator exchange program. SodaStream must receive an empty cylinder in return for each exchange carbonator that you order. Empty cylinders are cleaned, inspected and refilled with beverage-grade CO2 — and shipped out to other SodaStream customers. Or you have the option of finding a local retailerthat stocks exchange carbonators. The retailer will sell you a full one for the price of the gas contents only. Note that retail locations carry the 15oz. (60L) exchange carbonators only.

One SodaStream carbonator makes 60 or 110 liters, equivalent to 170 or 310 aluminum cans! When empty, the carbonator is refilled and reused, ready to make more fizzy and tasty soda whenever you want it.

Overall, I love this machine! My entire family has had fun making their own great tasting soda. We have not had the waste associated with store bought soda. We have also saved money. Being green and saving money make this product unbeatable, in my opinion.

Disclosure: I received the starter kit and soda flavor for free. I did not receive any monetary compensation. The opinions expressed in this post are my own and were in no way influenced by SodaStream.

WOOOHOOO! I have 100 GFC followers

Thank you everybody for following my blog. I am still trying to get the hang of blogging! I appreciate everyone who follows! I would love some suggestions for improving my blog, or things you would like to see more of