Posts Tagged ‘giveaway’

Stellar Review: Betty Crocker Molasses Cookies & Giveaway

In the interest of full disclosure, “The product, information, and prize pack has been provided by Betty Crocker through MyBlogSpark.”

I was recently contacted by MyBlogSpark about trying out the new Betty Crocker Molasses. In the past, my experience with MyBlogSpark has always been positive, because in addition to trying out some new food, I usually get some type of new kitchen gadget or gizmo, too. This time, in addition to the cookie mix, I received a mixing spoon/paddle, a cookie sheet, and an apron. Woo hoo!

I didn’t think I had ever tried Molasses Cookies before, but I was certainly intrigued. When I was given the chance to try this product out, I jumped at it. After all, who doesn’t like a good cookie?

Yes, this is a healthy living and weight loss blog, but I am a firm believer that anything is allowed in moderation. These cookies contained only 90 calories (for two, if you use the same size as called for in the directions) each. For those of you following Weight Watchers Points Plus (like me), they come out to 4 points for two cookies. I consider that an affordable indulgence.

In the interest of further disclosure, I must admit… I didn’t make these cookies. My lovely wife Tina did.

She said they were remarkably easy to make. Now we didn’t follow the directions exactly. Rather than make 36 cookies, we made 18 larger cookies. You’ll notice 15 fit on the cookie sheet. The other three were made in a different batch.

Tina placed them on the cookie sheet, stamped them with a fork, and baked them. How did they turn out?

Oh my gosh. I could not BELIEVE how amazingly soft these cookies were. Melt in your mouth good. They were soft, chewy, and they have a wonderful spice cookie flavor that makes them one of my very favorite cookies now. (White chocolate chip macadamia nut is still my absolute favorite, though.) They seriously taste like autumn.

I had one fresh out of the oven and figured they wouldn’t be nearly as good the next day.

Wrong. Just as good, still as soft. This is definitely a mix that we will be buying again.

In addition, anyone who would like a 75 cent off coupon for these cookies can go here (http://bit.ly/cookiescoupon)!

And… one lucky reader will win the same prize pack I won! You’ll get the cookie mix, a mixing spoon, a cool apron, and the baking sheet! (Winner must live in the U.S. Sorry non-US readers!)

You have several ways to enter below! For each entry, please leave a separate comment. (If you do everything but post it in one comment, I’m afraid that counts as only one entry.)

1. Leave me a comment here, answering the question, “What is your favorite occasion to bake spice cookies for?”
2. Like the Betty Crocker page on Facebook here (http://on.fb.me/molassesbcfb)
3. Like Stellar Path on Facebook.
4. Follow me on twitter!
5. Tweet this… uhm, tweet. “@stellarpath is giving away a @bettycrocker prize pack #myblogspark #giveaway http://bit.ly/q2a4ih”

This giveaway will run until September 21, 2011 at midnight, so hurry and get your entries in! The winner will be selected via random number generator at random.org and announced next Thursday, September 22nd.

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Another Castle Weigh-In & The Scale Winner!

Before I get into this week’s weigh in, let me reveal the winner of the EatSmart Giveaway!

First of all, I am extremely thrilled with the number of entrants in this giveaway! This is, by far, the biggest giveaway Stellar Path has ever hosted.

I went to random.org to determine the winner, and the winner is…

Entry #30! Amy Rouse! Congratulations Amy! I hope you enjoy your scale as much as I do. Amy, please contact me at jeremy@stellarpath.net with your mailing address and I will forward your contact information to EatSmart.

Again, I do hope to continue hosting more giveaways here at Stellar Path. For those of you who did not win, I will again say that I am extremely impressed with this scale and I am happy to have them as a sponsor. Consider purchasing one of their products; I feel confident you won’t be disappointed.

And now, on to the weigh-in…

I’m labeling this one Another Castle Weigh-In. If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, I’m sure you get the reference. If you don’t, then I’ll explain in a bit.

September 2, 2011
Weight: 375.8
Change from Highest: -27 pounds
Waist: 54”

As can be evidenced from the picture, I have lost 3.2 pounds since my last weigh-in with my EatSmart Scale. Due to the discrepancy between scales, I’m going to restart my running total at my highest again (402.8, from several years ago), but I decided I am also going to start measuring my waist again.

No, it isn’t my true waist where non-fat men where their pants. This is basically below my gut where my pants actually sit. In addition to weight, I want to track my inches lost as well.

Also, I am switching my weigh-ins to Friday again. I believe in being fluid with my weigh-in schedule to match my life, not the other way around. Now that the fall semester has started (and I’m teaching five sections), I’m busy on most days except Friday. Therefore, Friday is now a good weigh-in day again.

And on the plus side… Weight loss is clicking! I’ve had losses pretty consistently for a few weeks now, and I feel success is going to stick around.

The course I teach at WKU is called Analysis and Critical Reading. It’s a literacy course designed to help students be successful in college reading. Most high schools have grossly unprepared our graduating seniors for the rigors of college, and this course exists to help bridge that gap. (Trust me – it’s extremely needed.)

This is my point. One of the textbooks we use in my class is about the human brain. In chapter one, there was a section about how our brain does and believes that it experiences over and over. In other words, if we spend all of our time eating brownies and watching “How I Met Your Mother,” we are training our brain to be excellent at eating brownies and watching reruns of “How I Met Your Mother.”

It’ll be legen- wait for it…

It’ll be legen- wait for it…

However, our brain can be retrained. Even if I have spent several of the past few years NOT eating healthy and learning bad habits, I can get out of it. I obviously knew this, but seeing it in print… It was like a message from God.

I am doing this. I feel extremely confident that I have this in the bag. I expect there will be momentary setbacks here and there. I’ll continue to eat brownies and watch “How I Met Your Mother” reruns in moderation. But I’m also going to keep tracking all of my points. I’m going to stick to my workouts.

I’m training my brain to be a weight loss machine.

Dary!  Wait, that’s not right.

Dary! Wait, that’s not right.

I feel so amazingly good right now, I can’t even express it fully. I literally have my whole healthy future ahead of me. I’m going to continue fueling my body with real food and doing workouts (and God help me, even running, which I’m starting to enjoy a tiny bit) and turning this body into the temple God meant for it to be.

I built my temple (aka castle – see what I did there) once before. Almost finished building it, in fact. I was within sixty pounds of the finish line. I got stupid after a break up about five years ago and gained most of it back. My princess wasn’t in that castle.

I’ve found my princess. Now it’s time to build the healthier, permanent castle and live happily ever after.

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MyBlogSpark Giveaway: Green Giant Prize Pack

Disclaimer: I am a member of MyBlogSpark, which recently provided me with the opportunity to review this product and conduct a giveaway. I was not told to make any certain recommendation. All thoughts contained within are my own. Other than getting to keep what they sent me for myself, I am making no profit off of this giveaway.

I was pretty excited to have the opportunity to review this product. I am a big fan of veggies, especially when they are covered in cheese. To my surprise, not only was I sent a box of veggies to review, I also got this nice little assortment of goodies.

In that photo, you can see a really sturdy mixing bowl, a great spoon that has become my favorite to use in the kitchen (flexible and super easy to clean), and a pretty standard pedometer. I would honestly have paid for the bowl and spoon (and would not be opposed to having more of each in different sizes, honestly), but the pedometer is okay. It works as it is supposed to, but it is certainly nothing to write home about. (I also received a pretty nice insulated tote bag, which I do not have a picture of for some reason. The photo below is what it all looks like.) One reader will get the opportunity to win this very same prize pack, so please, keep reading for more details.

The veggies came in a separate box, which was HUGE. As soon as we saw it, we immediately suspected that instead of getting one box to review, I must be getting at least six. (Seriously.)

It did not. I got the box I was told I would receive, a bag of dry ice (to be discussed at the end of the post), and a LOT of styrofoam padding. I guess it was necessary to ship a box of veggies to me without it thawing out, but dang… that was a lot of box for one tiny box of veggies.

The nutritional information, including the extremely odd 2 and a 1/2 serving size…

And the cooking directions…

The frozen package of cheese and broccoli…

I cooked mine for 5:30 (right in-between the 4 and 7 minute suggested cook time), and it came out nicely hot. After letting it sit for a minute, I dumped it out of the package, stirred the cheese around, and took a bite (and a picture.)

So the verdict? Really good. My only complaints – there were too many broccoli stems and not enough florets. The pros – the cheese sauce tasted like cheese. It didn’t have an overly fake velveeta taste. It was actually VERY good. Depending upon the price, this is definitely something I would try again.

I would not call this box, however, two and a half servings. It would be a generous single serving (this and a grilled chicken breast would make an awesome dinner) or a rather scant two servings.

Oh, and before I get to the giveaway, let me also share something else they sent me…

Dry ice!

I must immediately disclaim – MyBlogSpark sent me very detailed directions on how to dispose of the dry ice.

Pfft. That’s no fun. I’m married to a scientist. What did we do with it? We filled the sink with hot water and I pretended I was a mad scientist for a few minutes.

Now, on to the giveaway portion of this post – if you would like to win this prize pack for yourself, MyBlogSpark is going to make that happen. (Please note that you will get a voucher in place of the actual vegetables, but everything else will be the same.) They have generous agreed to give one reader of Stellar Path this exact same assortment. You have four opportunities to win.

1. Leave a comment here, answering this question – “What is your favorite way to eat broccoli?”
2. Post this comment on twitter. “I’m entering a giveaway @stellarpath for a Green Giant Prize pack #myblogspark http://bit.ly/fXQb97” Leave a comment here saying you have left this on twitter (and please give me your twitter handle so I can follow you!)
3. Friend me on Facebook (see link in top right side of page) and leave a comment here saying that. (Or if you already do, do that, too.)
4. Mention this giveaway on your blog, and post the link in a new comment.

I’ll be doing a random number drawing on Monday, February 28th, at 7 p.m. Central Time to announce the winner. If you are entering all four ways (which is GREAT!), please make sure you leave four separate comments so you’ll have four chances.

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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)