F March 2011 ~ Critique of the Unique

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Welcome to Critique of the Unique

We are in the process of updating the format and will be making the big switch to a dot com address soon. Please be patient during our transition!

In the Kitchen with Amelia

Welcome Amelia to the Critique of the Unique! Join Amelia in the kitchen for great down-home cooking ranging from appetizers, to tasty main dishes all the way through to awesomely delicious desserts!!

"Winnie the Pooh" in Theaters this July

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood this July and revisit your old time favorite characters!

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Monday, March 21, 2011

Zarbee's All Natural Children's Cough Syrup Review

Product: Zarbee's All-Natural Children's Cough Syrup
Category: Health and Fitness
Distributed by: Honey Naturals LLC
Price: $7.99

My children had a great winter, hardly getting anything but a runny nose! I thought we had made it into the clear with the warmer weather coming soon, but low and behold, right before the onset of Spring, both of my kiddos come down with the cough. It started as soon as I woke them up for school and I would have thought it was their way to try to get out of going to school, but my son's coughing nearly had him choking as it was so continuous.  I thought about keeping them home, but then I remembered the cough syrup that I had been waiting to review called Zarbee's.  Zarbee's is an all natural cough syrup made by a pediatrician named Zak Zarbock who wanted to offer his young patients cough relief medicine that wasn't laden with drugs or alcohol. That is when he developed his natural remedy using antioxidant-rich dark honeys, Vitamin C and Zinc. 

My daughter is the worst when it comes to taking medicine and if it tastes bad, she'll spit it out (even though she is almost 12), so I gave her a dose first. I didn't want her brother influencing her idea of the taste. The sample that I received for review had a natural grape flavor. She did that little "poke test" first, sticking her tongue just barely on the spoon and pulling it back. Her eyes lit up... "more", she said, so I gave her the full teaspoon dose. She didn't spit it out!! When I asked her how it tasted, her response was "good". No drink afterwards either! Wow...that impressed me! Next was my son's turn and he didn't hesitate taking the full teaspoon dose. "Not bad" he said. Mary Poppins would have been proud! He was headed out the door to go to school, so I had to remind him not to go to the school nurse for "medicine" until after lunch as one dose is good for four hours! When they came home from school, I didn't hear one cough from either of them! I didn't have to repeat the dose at all. 

I was quite impressed with Zarbee's! Not only was it 100% natural but it is naturally gluten, dye and preservative free and contains no drugs or alcohol and it WORKS! It is safe and effective for children 12 months and older. With so many recalls of medicines on the market, I felt good giving my children an all natural product that did not contain the risks as other over-the-counter medications. I am a convert and won't be purchasing anymore alcohol based cough syrup for my children! 

Ingredients: Proprietary blend of buckwheat and other dark honeys, water, natural flavors, Vitamin C, malic acid, zinc gluconate and tartaric acid.

Where to Connect:
Zarbee's on Facebook
Zarbee's on Twitter
Zarbee's Blog

Where to Purchase: Zarbee's website

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Glee Gum: Make Your Own Gummies Kit Review

Product: Make Your Own Gummies Kit from Glee Gum
Produced by: Verve, Inc.
Category: Cooking 
Price: Approximately $13.00 (varies with retail outlet)

Need something to keep the kids busy on a rainy day? I've got just the thing!! My two kids had a blast with the Glee Gum "Make Your Own Gummies Kit", where they chose to make cute little gummy bears!! 

Glee Gum has been in business since 1992 when the founders of Verve visited a chicle-producing community in Northern Guatemala. It is here that they learned how chewing gum was made and decided at that point to help the economically depressed community by purchasing their main product- chicle (Chicle is the sap from the Sapodilla (pronounced "Sap-oh-dee-yah") tree, which grows in the rainforests of Central America. Chicle was the original basis for all chewing gum, until synthetic gum bases were developed...excerpt from website). Since then, Verve has been producing Glee Gum and the "Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kit" so that others can have an educational and environmental experience while having fun making their own Glee Gum. Not only is it fun, but it also provides a sustainable income to those in Northern Guatemala!

The product line soon expanded to include other kits, such as the "Make Your Own Chocolate Kit" and the "Make Your Own Gummies Kit".  When our gummy kit arrived in the mail, the kids were super excited! They could not wait to try it out!! We quickly learned that there was a little bit of process involved in making the gum, and we soon embarked on a chemistry experiment of sorts! It's all relatively simple. The ingredients come individually packed and labeled, so no messing up. Simply follow the included directions and in no time at all, you've become a master chemist...well, in a round about sort of way! 

Inside the kit is a "secret ingredient".....seaweed! The seaweed stalk contains special ingredients that make the gummies stick together (agar and carrageenan)! After a brief soaking of the seaweed stalk and a little mixing and heating in the microwave, the concoction is ready to pour into the molds! My kids found little erasers to use for their mold. The kit contains a mold base powder that you simply spread out on a plate or large pan. We found that it was a little difficult for my kids to indent the powder with the mold without messing up the one they previously made, so we put the powder into a larger pan and added a bit of cornstarch to the powder to accommodate the depth of the pan. This made it a little easier for them to make their molds! Once the mold is ready, simply drop the mixture onto the indentions and the gel fills the molded areas. Then, place in the fridge to let settle!  The kit also contains sour candy coating. All I can say is ....woah! This stuff is S.O.U.R. We put it in a plastic bag and the kids shook them until their little gummy bears were coated!! 

Click to enlarge
The last step is best!! Eating time! These gummies had such great flavor! My kids loved them and it was hard for mom to sneak a few for herself!!! 

I highly recommend these to anyone that has kids and wants an educational experience that is fun to boot! Word of caution--do not leave the gummies in the bag with the sour candy coating and then put in a hot backpack. They do tend to melt!! Store your finished gummies in a cool place!! 

How to Connect: 
Glee Gum Blog
Glee Gum on Facebook
Glee Gum on Twitter

Where to Purchase:  Store Locator

Winner's Circle- Check inside to see if you are a winner!

Cinch! Book Winner:  Nancy D! 

Nordic Omega 3 Gummies Winner: Susan V!

Cool Off Towelettes Winner!! Amanda S!!!

Congratulations Winners!!!! Come back soon for more great reviews and giveaways, and once it warms up.....more uniquities!!!


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