A Little Bit of This & That

The Random Things We Love to Make and Do

Gluten Free Friday – Magic Milk Straws September 16, 2011

Welcome to Gluten Free Friday!

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I have a fun little thing to share with you today.  I recently came across a fun new(ish) way to drink milk.  Magic Milk Straws!

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So what’s so magical about straws?  Well, these straws have a little surprise inside…they actually flavor your milk as you drink it!  So fun!

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I had found a ton of 6 packs in a wide variety of flavors (including some I would have never thought of like wild berry and chocolate peanut butter), but I loved the idea of this family pack, which offered us 4 basic flavors: Chocolate, Strawberry, Vanilla, and Cookies & Cream.

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I couldn’t wait to get these home to share with Skylar.  And, as always, she didn’t disappoint.  She jumped around and immediately asked for a glass of milk.  You want a little dairy?  No problem!!

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We opened the box, and got a nice surprise: they are all individually wrapped.  That could be so nice for lunches or traveling.  Then we got to inspecting.  We found that the straw is filled with little flavored balls, and it has a sort of valve at each end to keep those in while the milk goes through.

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(oops…forgot to use a vanilla straw for this pic!!)

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I could go on and on about how cool I think these are, but really, there’s just one person’s opinion that matters.  So, Skylar, what do you think?

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Ha!  She really does love them, but drinking out of a straw is one of two things that I think nobody looks cool doing.  (the other is running with a backpack on)  What does look cool?  Magic Milk Straws in a muffin tin meal!  Did you see this one from last week?

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(If you want to check out all of our muffin tin meals, *click here*)

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So why did I use an entire Gluten Free Friday post to talk about straws?

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See that?  Gluten Free!  Right on the package.  As Skylar and I now say, those are our favorite words to see.

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Have you found a fun GF treat you would like to share?  We would love to hear about it!

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Thanks for stopping by for Gluten Free Friday!

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Have a wonderful, yummy, chocolatey/strawberry/vanilla-y/cookies & creamy/wild berry/chocopeanutbuttery milky day!!

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Lizz

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Review and Giveaway!! – Fiber One 80 Calorie Cereal August 15, 2011

Filed under: Food,Product Reviews — Lizz @ 7:20 am
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I have a little (not shocking) confession to make:  I don’t really care for dieting.  I like to eat good tasting food, and I really like to be full.  When I think of dieting, I think of small portions of mediocre tasting food.  And I’ve been waiting for someone to prove me wrong.

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When I was given the opportunity by BlogSpark to review the new Fiber One 80 calorie honey squares cereal, I jumped at the chance.  I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and really try something new.  They were saying this cereal is not only tasty, but filling as well.  I was up for the challenge!  Here’s the package they sent me:

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I received:

  • 1 box of Fiber One 80 Calories Cereal
  • 1 sensor pedometer with USB connector to chart walking progress
  • 1 neoprene iPod/smartphone holder with armstrap

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I was so excited to get my package in the mail, and immediately played around with the pedometer.  (How do those things work?!?!)  Then it was down to business.  The next morning I poured one serving of cereal for myself, and gave it a shot.

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I was surprised to find that I actually really liked it.  It had a nice sweetness to it, and was a nice filling breakfast.  I even tried eating it dry as a snack, and it was good that way too.  I might try to use it in one of my trail mixes, like *this one* or *this one*.  Amazingly, someone may have started to change my mind about diet foods.

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Do any of you love Hungry Girl as much as I do?  If you don’t know who she is, her imensly popular blog and new HGTV show introduce ways to cut calories without sacrificing a full belly (another one responsible for changing my dieting attitude).  Check out the video below to hear what she has to say about Fiber One 80.

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Now that you are all hungry, and ready to run to get a box for yourself, I have a surprise for you!  Fiber One has generously offered to send a Prize Pack to one lucky This and That reader!  The winner will receive the same package as above, (1 box of Fiber One 80 cereal, 1 pedometer, and 1 ipod/smartphone armband holder).

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Here’s how to enter:

Below are all the different ways you can enter.  For each entry you choose to do, leave a separate comment telling me what you did!

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1) Leave a comment below and tell me: What is a typical breakfast for you, and does it keep you full until lunch?

2) Follow A Little Bit of This and That by either email subscription (located in the right side bar), or RSS Feed.

3) Follow us on Facebook! *Click Here*

4) Follow Fiber One on Facebook! *Click Here*

4) Post this giveaway on Facebook.

5) Follow me on Twitter! I’m @lizznlittlebit   *Click Here*

6) Tweet about this giveaway.
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Please leave an email address (either within the comment, or in the comment sign in area) so I can contact the winner.

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This giveaway will close on Friday August 19th at midnight, so don’t wait!  Enter now!

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Lizz

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P.S. If you can’t wait to get yourself a box of Fiber One 80 cereal, you can *click here* to get a coupon for $1.75 off!

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Disclosure: Fiber One 80 Calories cereal, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.  I was provided with a prize pack for myself and one for my winner in exchange for my review, but my views and opinions are my own.

 

Review: Charbroil at Naperville Ribfest August 2, 2011

Filed under: Food,Product Reviews — Lizz @ 7:25 am
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Those of you that know are probably raising your eyebrow and thinking…Uh, Lizz, wasn’t this festival a few weekends ago.  And yes, you would be right.  I know I am sooooo late getting this posted, but I’m sure you can all tell that posting around here has been few and far between over the last few weeks.  I really want to share what we found out in Naperville.

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Jenn over at Eating Bender asked me to write a review on one booth that would be set up at the Naperville Ribfest.  As if I needed more than the smallest nudge to go!  Once I got more info I realized what I was getting myself into.  Charbroil!!  Yeah, uh huh!!  Apparently, they have partnered this year with Flatout, and are traveling around the country, hitting up all the awesome summer festivals they can find.  Alright, count me in!  Plus, Mara was going, so meeting-up plans were made.

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Here’s the gist of my day (in miles)

  • 16 miles – Distance to the morning meeting/pool party I needed to attend in the early afternoon.
  • 40 miles – Distance from the meeting to the Naperville Ribfest
  • Eleventy thousand miles – Distance wasted driving around lost, after getting directions to the wrong park, and stopping to buy tickets at a local jewel.
  • 50 Miles – Distance South my heart sank when we arrived and were told by the parking attendant that the fest was at capacity.  Closed.  No More.  =(
  • 3 miles – Distance spent driving around looking for a parking spot, determined to get into fest somehow.
  • .1 miles – Distance of parking spot we found near the North Gate.  Yeah!!
  • 36 miles – Distance home.
  • For a Grand total of…approx 105.1 miles actually driven!!

Whew! So yes, we had tons of trouble.  It took us so long to get there, that Mara and her hubby Adam had left by the time we found parking.  Boo.  Thankfully though, our little getting lost adventure paid off.  Since we had purchased our tickets already, we were allowed to wait in line to enter the park.  They let in 1 person when 1 left.  Thankfully, it really didn’t take as long as we thought, and in no time, we were in!!

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You probably can’t see it, but that’s STYX playing up there!

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We counted our blessings a little too soon though.  It took us so long to get there, and to get in, that when we found the booth…

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…It was closed!!  Oh No!!

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Thankfully, those heads you can see at the top of the trailer there were, in fact, the same heads I was supposed to be talking to.  They were very sweet about my ridiculous drive in, and were kind enough to share a great big bag-o-goodies with me.

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My mom and Skylar were with me, so we decided to take advantage and have some fun at the fair.

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We took in the sights…

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…Skylar and I rode the Ferris Wheel… (check out that crowd!)

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…and Skylar rocked at the fish game! Now we have pets!

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And of course, we ate…

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And I taught my mom, who is blind in one eye (and apparently mostly blind in the other!), how to use the fancy camera

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Love it!

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We knew we had one more booth to hit up…

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The crazy carnie food booth.  But wouldn’t you know it…just as soon as it was my turn to order, the festival closed, and they were “unable to serve” me.  Hmph.

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What a day!!  All I kept thinking about all the (very long) way home, was how bad I felt that I couldn’t do a proper review, and that I felt I had missed some things by getting there so late.  What’s a girl to do?…

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GO AGAIN THE NEXT DAY!!

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Yup, I’m crazy.  This time it was Steve, Skylar, and I who ventured all the way back south to enjoy the festivities.  This time we were much more successful.  We knew exactly where to park (wink!), and were able to buy tickets right at the park.  And guess what?!?!

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The booth was open!! Hurray!!

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I easily found my contact person, Jenn, who told me all about what they were trying to accomplish there.  They wanted to create a casual backyard feel.  Between the Bags Game…

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…the grills everywhere…

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..and the smell of meat cooking, we felt like we were hanging out at a backyard barbeque.

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Jenn offered us some food, and we were very willing to try out what they were grillin’.  I had a Bubba Burger on a Flatout Foldit (amazing flatbread!).  Skylar munched on some chicken andouille sausage, while Steve went for the chicken apple sausage, also wrapped in a Foldit.  It was all hot off the grill and delicious.

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I took a chance to walk around and check out all the activity going on at the booth.  There was a large area with grills, and all of the Charbroil people were answering questions left and right about their products.

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There were a few computers set up to sign up and win prizes.

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Skylar’s favorite part was the giant wheel you get to spin if you win the bag toss game.

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I see a promising future on The Price is Right!

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My impression?  This booth was great!  I think they achieved exactly what they wanted to: A casual backyard bbq party.  Well done Charbroil and Flatout.  We really enjoyed “partying” with you!

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We then visited quite a few other booths to get ourselves some serious ribs.

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And those carnie treats we missed out on?  Not this time!

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Chocolate Covered Deep Fried Bacon (delish!)

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Deep Fried Snickers…I don’t know how I can eat a regular candy bar again!

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We finished the day with one last ride.

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(I love this picture…what do you think?  Is it artsy, or just blurry?)

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Wow.  This was one heck of a post.  If you are still reading, I thank you.  And I’ll thank you by giving you a heads up…I will be hosting a giveaway tomorrow, completely related to this post, so come back to enter!.  I’ll see you tomorrow!

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Lizz

 

Purex with Zout – Review and Giveaway! May 3, 2011

Filed under: Product Reviews — Lizz @ 12:36 am
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*****THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED*****
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I do a lot of laundry.  I don’t like to do it, but it must be done.  When given the opportunity to try a product that might take one step out of my laundry routine, I jumped at the chance.  I was fortunate to try a new product: Purex Complete with Zout.

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Yup, that detergent has a pre-treater mixed right in!  I was a little skeptical that it could actually clean stains that my 5-year-old creates, but I’ll try (almost) anything once.

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I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.  I really threw some tough stuff in those loads, and they all came out great.  I didn’t pre-treat a thing, and still those grassy jeans and yogurt splattered shirt came out looking like new.  Well done Purex, you’ve made one of my many mom-jobs just a little bit easier!

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Want a little more information on Purex Complete with Zout, and a free sample?  *Click Here*  Those of you who read the title of this post know there’s more than just a free sample at stake here.  I have a giveaway for you!!

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2 lucky readers will win a coupon for a free bottle of Purex Complete with Zout!  Hooray!

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Here’s how to enter:

Required: Leave a comment below and tell me: What is your least favorite or most unruly stain?

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Lots of possible Extra Entries: (you must leave an additional comment for each additional entry, letting me know what you’ve done)

1) Follow this blog by either email subscription (located in the right side bar), or RSS Feed.

2) Follow us on Facebook! *Click Here*

3) Tweet about this giveaway.

4) Post on Facebook about this giveaway.

***UPDATE***  5) Follow me on Twitter!! I’m @lizznlittlebit   *Click Here*
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Remember you must do a separate comment for each entry, and don’t forget to leave an email address either in the comment, or in the comment sign in area, so I can contact the winners.

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This giveaway will close on Saturday, May 7th at midnight, so don’t wait!  Enter now!

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Good Luck Everyone!

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Lizz

 

My First Product Review and Giveaway! March 4, 2011

Filed under: Product Reviews — Lizz @ 6:31 am
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*****THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED********

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I cannot tell you how excited I am to finally have a chance to do a product review!  While I wasn’t expecting the direction of this first product, it’s still perfect because it definitely relates to a family centered blog: Laundry.

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I’m sure the vast majority of you moms and dads out there just let out a huge groan, and believe me, I hear ya!  Laundry is something we all have to deal with, but kid laundry is a beast all its own.  If you don’t have kids, just wait.  You have it so easy now!

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The one part of laundry that I never really quite got a handle on was using liquid softener.  Since you couldn’t put it in at the beginning of the load, I would never remember when to add it.  So I just didn’t.  I stuck with using dryer sheets, but I don’t like that I was throwing it away after each load.  It seemed like unnecessary waste.

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When I became a Purex Insider, I had a feeling I was going to get to try out some really interesting and new laundry products, and boy was I right.  A few days ago, I got a package from Purex with a sample of their new Purex Complete Crystals Softener and a coupon for a free bottle.  Yeah!!  Since I’ve been home sick, there’s nothing around here to do but lots of laundry.  Mission Accepted!

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Before using it, I did a little research on the Purex Crystals Website.  Here’s a few things I learned about these crystals and traditional fabric softeners:

  • Purex Crystals is a new form of fabric softener that goes in at the beginning of the wash cycle.  No more running to the washer mid-cycle!
  • They are 92% natural crystal
  • The crystals spend more time with the clothing, but will wash away completely by the end of the wash cycle.
  • Traditional fabric softeners can contain up to 20% oil, which is flammable.  This is why it is not to be used on children’s sleepwear.  (What?!?  That one blew me away!)
  • That same oil also coats fabrics, preventing towels and performance sportswear from absorbing moisture.

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After getting all that information, I was really interested in giving these crystals a try.  Here’s my experience with them:

  • First of all, the bottle is really esthetically pleasing.  The little round cap on top is also used for measuring, but those lines can be a little hard to see if you are in low light.
  • Even with my stuffy nose, I could smell the crystals.  It was strong, but not overwhelming.
  • Adding the crystals was as easy as adding detergent.  It goes right into the wash at the same time.
  • There were no little pieces left over after the wash.  It had completely dissolved.
  • Even before putting the clothes in the dryer, they smelled amazing.
  • The real test for me was if they would be as soft as when I used dryer sheets.  Consider that test passed!
  • Not only were they soft, and fragrant, my clothes were also almost totally static free.

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My overall assessment?  These crystals are amazing!  Since they are priced to compete with all the other fabric softeners, I don’t see why I would choose anything else.  Well done Purex!

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It feels unfair for me to go on and on about how great these crystals are without giving you all a chance to try them too.  Thankfully, Purex has provided me with 3 coupons for a FREE bottle of Purex Complete Crystals Softener to give to 3 lucky Little Bit of This and That readers.  And here we have my very first giveaway!!  I am giving you each 5 chances to win, so here’s how to enter:

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******You are welcome to still comment on this post, but the giveaway is now CLOSED******

  1. Leave a comment on this post telling me why you love/hate doing laundry. (one entry)
  2. Visit the Purex Complete Crystals Website (click here), and tell me something you learned in a comment on this post. (one entry)
  3. Subscribe to this blog via email, located on the right sidebar. Leave a comment on this post that you have done so. (one entry)
  4. Subscribe to this blog via RSS feed, and leave a comment on this post telling me which one you use. (one entry)
  5. Like us on Facebook. Leave a comment on this post that you have done so. (one entry)

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Please include an email address so I can contact the winners.  Winners will be selected randomly from the comments on this post, so please don’t forget to come back here and make separate comments for each one of your entries.  Entries must be received by Wednesday, March 9th at 11:59pm cst.

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Want to try these out, even if you don’t win a free coupon?  You can also get a $1 off coupon.  Click here and find the link to the Purex Facebook page.

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Thanks for checking out my first product review.  Good luck winning some free stuff!!

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Lizz

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Disclaimer:  I was asked to write this review as a Purex Insider.  Purex provided me with a sample of Purex Complete Crystal Softener and coupons for a giveaway, but I was not additionally compensated for a positive review.  The opinions stated in this review are my own.  If you are interested in becoming a Purex Insider, click here.