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Disclosure: This site contains sponsored posts, affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale) and is part of the Amazon affiliate program, but all opinions are strictly my own.

SodaStream {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

My husband decided that he wanted to lose some weight, so he set some ground rules around here.  No pizza, no dessert except on Sundays, and especially no eating after hours.  He stopped bringing home delicious pastas and calzones on his way home from work around 9 or 10pm (he’s an investment consultant and the hours suck), and so I stopped eating them with him and we both lost quite a bit!  Charlie lost 20 pounds!  While I was going through greasy food withdrawals in late hours of solitude, I drank a lot of liquid to keep from snacking on high-calorie foods all night.  It sure helped!  I was buying a lot of diet soda and orange juice, and lugging it home weekly was getting old.  I never considered myself a big pop-drinker, so I probably didn’t really see the appeal of a Soda Stream machine until recently when I was taking an account of all the bottles in the recycle bin.  Sign me up, SodaStream!

SodaStream_logo_2010Our SodaStream Genesis arrived late one night and we were completely amazed with how many bottles of mixes were included.  This is the starter kit?  We were starting to catch caught the vision of how cool this thing really is.

IMG_9507Included in the basic starter box is the home soda maker, a reusable CO2 carbonator, two reusable carbonating bottles, and 12 mixes.  The set-up is easy to figure out, and honestly, anyone could get the hang of it after watching once.  The CO2 carbonator is super intimidating!  We were afraid something would explode while we were setting up, but everything turned out ok 🙂

ss1Simply fill the bottle with cold water, screw it onto the soda maker attachment, and press the top button in short bursts until you hear some LOUD squirt/noise, meaning its full of bubbles and ready to be tasted.

ss2Unscrew the bottle, dump in a cap of mix, then gently rock it and drink up!

ss3I think these 1-liter bottles are perfectly sized.  You can easily drink one of these throughout the day, or share a bottle between two of you in the evening.  The bottles store and seal well in the fridge, and the carbonation holds fine overnight.  We’ve had a blast trying a new flavor every night.  The root beer is perfect, the diet grapefruit is delicious, and the lemonade is my new favorite.  I chugged a whole liter and one sitting and I don’t think that’s the last time it will happen.

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SodaStream makes over 50 well-known and well-loved flavors.  I think I payed $5.99 for an additional lemonade mix at K-Mart, which makes 12 liters, or 50 servings, so you aren’t making pop for pennies, but you are saving a little on cost.  The HUGE benefits come in the effort you’re saving by not having to load and unload cases of cans and 2-liters from the store to home.  You also don’t have to get creative in how and where you’re storing all your nectar because one can of mix will last you days/weeks/months, according to how much of a drinker you actually are.  You are also avoiding the mass of plastic that needs recycling because you can reuse the 1-liter bottles over and over again.

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We also tried a few of these sampler packs.  They’re equivalent to a cap full of mix, so one of these samples makes 1 liter.  The diet raspberry-cranberry is delicious!  This is great for trying out a variety of flavors you didn’t even know you liked.  I’m currently on the hunt for more of that diet cranberry raspberry stuff!

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Now that you know what these are all about, look for them in all your retail stores!  I bet you’ll be surprised how many places carry these mixes and machines.  Hurry and get your own, and start drinking pop more efficiently!

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*The product(s) in this review was provided to me free of cost for the purpose of conducting this review.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own are not influenced by monetary compensation. 

Zevia Soda {Giveaway}–CLOSED

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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On these long, hot summer days, all I want is a cold (non-alcoholic) drink. I know soda is bad for me, but every once in a while I just want to indulge in an ice cold, sugar-free drink. I don’t like drinking my calories, so I have always been a fan of diet soda. But with new research coming out every day about how bad Aspartame and other artificial sweeteners are for us, I find myself shying away from even diet sodas. But some days I just miss the taste of soda! Sometimes I just want a cold, crisp drink instead of water! What’s a girl to do?!?

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Thank goodness for Zevia! Zevia was born in 2007 out of a desire to create a guilt-free, smarter soda. Zevia is a calorie-free soda sweetened with Stevia instead of Aspartame or other artificial sweeteners. Stevia has been approved by the FDA as a safe sweetener in foods, and all of Zevia’s Stevia is grown here in the United States. They started with just 3 flavors–Cola, Orange, and Lemon Lime Twist–and have grown to 15 flavors and counting! And they have come up with some really cool ways to create even more  drink flavors or to heighten the flavors of other foods and drinks in their recipe section on their website–check it out!

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I was sent a variety 6-pack with the following flavors: Grapefruit Citrus, Ginger Root Beer, Cherry Cola, Grape, Cream Soda and Ginger Ale. What a variety of flavors, and that wasn’t even half of what they make! I’ll start with my least favorite: Grape. I am not a huge fan of fruit-flavored soda anyway, so I knew this would be a hard sell for me, but I felt that it tasted like grape medicine. My hubby, who loves fruity soda, said “it tastes like diet soda,” which to him means it’s not sugary enough (he likes his sugar). At least the Stevia is a very comparable substitute for Aspartame if he couldn’t tell the difference. Ginger Ale was my next least favorite. Again, I’m not a fan of ginger ale anyway, so I just couldn’t dig it.  My hubby said, “Well, it’s not Canada Dry.” It had a strange taste while drinking it, but an okay after taste. Now let’s move on to my favorite flavors!

ceram soda

Cream Soda. Need I say more? I love Cream Soda, and this one did not disappoint! It tasted just like Cream Soda. Yum! Ginger Root Beer had a slightly different taste from regular root beer, but was still very good. It felt a little lighter than normal root beer, which I liked. Cherry cola was great, though I felt the cherry flavoring could have been just a bit stronger, but it had a good diet cola taste. And finally, Grapefruit Citrus. It was good; light and airy, not overly sugary, and definitely best cold.

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 Overall, I really liked Zevia and would definitely recommend it to people who like diet soda but want to avoid artificial sweeteners. The makers of Zevia recommend drinking it cold, and I agree with them; it’s best when cold, straight from the refrigerator, and straight from the can. Don’t even bother with a cup. Zevia is available in major retailers across the US and Canada such as Target, Whole Foods, Kroger, Vons, etc.  To find a store that carries Zevia near you, check out the store locator, or just buy some online. Be sure to check out their Coupon page for deals and connect with them on Facebook and twitter for fun, fast-paced weekly sweeps! Also, enter below and…

FIVE lucky winners will win a voucher for a FREE 6-pack of Zevia!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


** This giveaway is open to U.S. entries only.

** The winner of this giveaway will be drawn no later than the morning of  September 9th, 2013, and will be emailed within 24 hours.  If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

** This posting and giveaway were sponsored by Zevia, but all opinions are strictly my own.

SodaStream {Review}

Disclosure: This could be a sponsored post or contain affiliate links (which means I earn a percentage of the sale), but all opinions are strictly my own.

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 We try not to buy soda all that often — we always have water, milk, and lemonade, but rarely do we have soda in the house.  I might try to sell you on the idea that we’re really health-conscious and don’t want sugary drinks, but the honest truth is that my husband and I will completely DOWN soda in a heartbeat!  We can easily go through a 2-liter soda in a day, and it takes no time at all to drink everything in the 12-can form.  Whenever we have friends over for dinner and they ask what they can bring, I always tell them dessert and drinks (non-alcoholic!) because I figure that those go with anything I’ll be making and because I really don’t generally have special drinks (read: soda) on hand.

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I was SO excited to have the opportunity to review the SodaStream!!  A friend of mine showed me hers a couple of months ago, and I loved how quickly we could make lots of different flavors of soda for a large group of people.  While we’ve definitely been drinking lots of this homemade soda over the past couple of weeks so we can try out the different flavors, I’ve also been pleased by how much more water we’re drinking because we make it “sparkling”
water and add fruit or the MyWater Flavor Essences.mywater

There are lots of reasons to purchase and use a SodaStream home soda maker this summer!  Read on to find my take on these reasons listed on the SodaStream main website.

VALUE 

You might think that the initial cost to purchase the machine, the carbonator, and the flavors (and then to continue purchasing the carbonator and flavors) is a little steep, but it works out to just 25 cents per can of soda and just 25 cents per liter of sparkling water!  I like my soda pretty fizzy, so there have been a number of times that I’ve thrown out half a 2-liter bottle of soda because it’s flat — that’s not the case with SodaStream since you make only one liter at a time!  And, for those who pay bottle deposits (like we used to in California), you no longer have that added cost for the container itself.

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TASTE / NUTRITION 

Everyone in the family will enjoy their favorite flavor with SodaStream’s great tasting sodamix — over 60 to choose from! Enjoy traditional favorites such as Cola, Lemon-Lime, Orange and Root Beer, or mixers, including Ginger Ale and Tonic in both regular and diet. Also, be sure to try one of our delicious fruit creations, including Orange Mango, Diet Pink Grapefruit or Cranberry-Raspberry.  There are also Crystal Light and Kool-Aid flavors that add some pop (literally!) to these fruity favorites.  You can also mix flavors to create new soda flavors Regular flavors contain no high-fructose corn syrup, and diet flavors are sweetened with Splenda® brand sweetener, not aspartame.

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ENVIRONMENT 

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. Because SodaStream uses water straight from the tap, the system makes traditional store-bought beverage bottles obsolete. That means less plastic manufactured, less plastic waste is created, and fewer bottled beverages must be transported from manufacturers to distributors to stores to homes.

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 And, our favorite reason to purchase the SodaStream:

CONVENIENCE

Save space with concentrated Sodamix and reusable carbonating bottles, no more lugging and storing heavy, bulky bottles and cans, and no more hassles with empties in the trash or recycling bin.  The SodaStream doesn’t require batteries, electricity, or plumbing, so it also makes an excellent food storage item!  😉

We have loved using our SodaStream, both for our family and for entertaining.  I could imagine using it for barbecues and large group gatherings, or I can see myself pulling it out for baby showers and birthdays.  It’s a fun item to have, but I also love that it’s practical.  I would recommend trying out the SodaStream, especially just in time for the summer!

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**This post and review were sponsored by SodaStream, but all opinions are strictly my own.

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