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IdealShape, LLC provided me with product for this review and giveaway. This post contains affiliate links and I will make a commission if you click one of those links and make a purchase.

Let me tell y’all: Today was a great week. I finally hit one of these goals that SO many people I know find very trying to achieve: I’m now under 200 pounds, and since tracking my weight loss last year, I have lost 52 pounds!

I want to say it has been super-easy, and considering the circumstances, it has – but it’s a lot of work to control your cravings when you develop an addiction to tasty food. I truly advocate counting calories as the way to do it – and there are so many mobile tools that allow you to these days. But one of the greatest ways to help count calories AND curb your hunger is through IdealShape’s amazing line of products.

I already told you about the IdealShake Meal Replacement Shake a few months ago, and I’m happy to say I still purchase this product! But in the past month I’ve been trying out a new product called IdealBoost Raspberry Citrus.

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It’s a powder, similar to any sugar-free drink mix, that you add to water. Other than the drink mix being colorless, the only difference from those drink mixes is that in addition to being a great substitute for soda or juice, it also has Slendesta, a protein made from potatoes that – I swear – really is filling!

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What I love about it is that it also has caffeine to keep your energy up. I have a lot of problems getting up and going in the morning, and I can say that IdealBoost has really helped a lot! I enjoy an IdealBoost with an IdealShake or other light breakfast in the morning, and it usually tides me over until a mid-morning snack (The box says it will curb hunger for four hours; I did not find this to be the case.)

In addition to the Raspberry Citrus, they also have IdealBoost Pineapple Strawberry! I’m very eager to try this flavor!

Weight loss is not easy. I believe I was close to 280 at my heaviest. And now, at 199.8, I feel a lot more confident. I know I still have a way to go and it will only get more difficult, but with products like those from IdealShape, I know that I can reach my goals, and hopefully prevent continuing a family history of heart disease, diabetes and kidney failure. Because above all, health is the most important thing here.

Please consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.

And now, the giveaway! Please follow the instructions in the form below for a chance to win!

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Win a $50 Gift Card to AMI Clubwear!

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I received product from AMI Clubwear for this review and giveaway. All opinions are my own.

Party season is here, and so is AMI Clubwear! Yes – we are headed for three months of celebrations – Halloween parties, Holiday gatherings, and, of course, New Year’s Eve! So you will definitely need to get some great clothing and accessories for your good times! Read on to see how you can win a $50 gift card to AMI Clubwear to help you get your party on!

AMI Clubwear sells a variety of clothing, swimwear, shoes and accessories. AND they carry plus sizes AND costumes! Yay!

AMI Clubwear sent me this AMAZING Red faux leather printed tote handbag to test out. I LOVE IT! I take it everywhere – it’s great for shopping at the grocery store or toting to a party. And it’s definitely an eye-catcher (seriously, no pun intended).

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What a fun design – and it’s an AMI Clubwear original among many of their really awesome items. For faux leather, it’s a really great material. It feels smooth to the touch and is quite durable.

It also has a strap long enough to wear as a crossbody.20141009_120450

You can also unhook the strap to use the bag as a satchel.

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The bag is very basic on the inside; no compartments with the exception of a zippered pouch in the lining. The lining is also faux leather, which makes it easy to clean! Also, the purse is roomy, and it’s wide enough to hold my Kindle Fire!

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I love this purse so much I had my manicurist give me some matching nail art.

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AMI is constantly bringing in new items, so there is a rotation of  LOTS of amazing designs to check out.

And now, the Giveaway! Simply follow the instructions in the form below to enter for your chance to win a $50 gift card to AMI Clubwear!

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This is a sponsored post for Storyline. All opinions are my own.

So, there are many things I love: A hearty cup o’ Joe if I have to get up before 10 on Saturday morning; local food; a delicious mimosa; and TACOS. I had no idea I would enjoy such things all together in one place, but thanks to Downtown Bentonville Inc.’s final Farm to Table event of the season, I was able to do this. AND HOW.

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The event was held September 20 at Airship Coffee – which is actually a coffee wholesale producer! Yep, they process the beans right there. I was so happy to be told about how my cup of fair-trade coffee came from growers in places like Ethiopia, Brazil, Venezuela, Guatemala and El Salvador, and the process of how it ended up in my hands.

 

Learning one of the many ways coffee is processed from green bean to my cup.

Learning one of the many ways coffee is processed from green bean to my cup.

I was so excited to see Airship Coffee Owner Eric Bray, because I’d actually met him in my reporter days several years ago when he was a Benton County Extension Agent, just starting to work on the side with growers in other countries to produce and distribute fair-trade coffee. We had a small chat, got to catch up, and I truly am amazed that he’s been able to transform his talents in working with and distributing from workers to a full-time career with a warehouse full of coffee beans and grounds from countries where growers need a sustainable income in order to survive and thrive.

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Airship Coffee Owner Mark Bray chatting with Nicki Dallison of Downtown Bentonville Inc.

Airship Coffee is sent to brewers across the country; and the only place where you can buy it locally is at the Bentonville Farmer’s Market. Bray told me it was part of the company’s aim to connect consumers with those who produce their food. Regardless, you only have a few weeks left to go and pick up some grounds!

In addition to the coffee, we had some AMAZING mimosas served to us (see the pic at the top of the page). The Trickdilly food truck was also there to serve up some amazing tacos. Trickdilly owner Troy Walker said they create gourmet tacos that are different than those you’ve conventionally heard of; they like to combine Arkansas tastes with the handy, portable food.

Check out these Watermelon and Brisket tacos. Now, I’m not a Watermelon person, but my friend Jasmine assured me that they were absolutely delicious. I do believe that’s goat cheese in there. Yum!

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But THESE were the tacos that made me want to get a megaphone and tell the entire region about: The Chicken n’ Waffles tacos. I mean, I cannot begin to describe how incredibly tasty these things were. If you love home-cooked food and the sweet and savory combination of chicken and waffles, you will LOVE these.

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Stare into the depths of the Taco.  These were going fast, and I had to keep my eye on the table to see when the Trickdilly folks were going to bring them out next. I originally got this one one to split with Jasmine, but she lost by chatting with someone else and, well, I am a firm believer in No Taco Left Behind.

I’m really excited to see the exciting things that Downtown Bentonville Inc. is doing to bring the community with local businesses and local food. I have seen this area of the city completely transform since I moved here in 2005, and I’m sure in another ten years it will look completely different, and there will be much more to offer.

Be sure to like Downtown Bentonville Inc. on Facebook to see what they’ll be cooking up in the future! Especially be on the lookout for the First Friday events.

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This post contains affiliate links, and I will receive compensation if you make a purchase after clicking them. 

Shiver me timbers, it be Talk Like A Pirate Day! Mabel’s Labels is offering two great 50% off promotions! For today only, Mabel’s Labels is offering 50% off Pirate Ship or Skull ‘n’ Crossbones Sticky Labels in honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Plus, on 9/20, Mabel’s Labels is offering 50% off Plane Sticky Labels for their second year of Talk Like a Pilot Day, created by Mabel’s Labels. Don’t miss your chance to shop these great offers!

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This post was created in partnership with Harvest Snaps. I have been compensated for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Have you heard of Harvest Snaps? Well, they are just about the most wonderful snack I’ve tried lately. They’re low-calorie, tasty as all get-out, and there are six varieties – which I want YOU to try! Read on and see if you want to win a gift pack of these tasty, smarter snacks!

Harvest Snaps are varieties of crispy Lentil and Snapea crisps that come packed full of surprisingly good flavor and texture. Every one of these flavors is delicious, light, and crispy.

I tested these out with my mom, who is a very traditional snacker, and she loved them – the sneapea crisps AND the lentil snaps! Color me amazed.

 

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I thought these would be similar to the texture of the dehydrated vegetables found at health food stores. I was surprised that these baked snacks are extremely light! They remind me of the texture of Cheetos Puffs or Funyuns, only they’re a LOT tastier AND a LOT better for you!

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Harvest Snaps come in six different flavors! The Snapea Crisps come in Wasabi Ranch, Lightly Salted, Black Pepper and Caesar. The Lentil Snaps come in Onion Thyme and Tomato Basil. ALL flavors are yummy – but I’m partial to the Caesar and the Black Pepper. I especially love that the Black Pepper really packs a punch! My mom was a fan of the Wasabi Ranch, which totally surprised me as she is not a fan of sushi or strong-tasting foods!

I prefer to eat these alone, but they’re also great as an alternative to croutons on salads, they’re amazing with cream cheese and I imagine they’d be delicious in soup, too!

I love the Tomato Basil Lentil Snaps – excellent with some sundried tomato cream cheese on a rye cracker!

Give these a try! Everyone I know who has tried them has LOVED them!!! Be sure to check out Harvest Snaps’ Lunchspiration page for more great ideas on how to serve these goodies!

And now, here’s the giveaway! Be sure to leave the mandatory comment in the comments section! Good luck!

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