Sunday, November 29, 2015

Product Review: Sweet n Low cocktail creations - my favorite Mexican Coffee now easier on the figure!

 Through Crowdtap, I received a gift and sample pack containing Sweet N Low as well as some coasters and recipe suggestions. I wanted to try out how Sweet N low instead of regular sugar would gift my drink mixes. I prefer sweet coffees for a comfortable night in and so the calories, while not extraordinary high, are definitely something to consider, especially if the coffee goes with some pie. In my case, we had a night in with some Key Lime Pie and then adding some coffee was nit good for the figure.
I also made some other cocktails, such as a mix between cranberry orange that could have gin added or not - depending on how long you wanted your night to be. We opted for the fruit mix without alcohol and added Sweet N Low for extra sweetness - it turned out delicious!
 My personal favorite substitution was adding Sweet N Low instead of sugar to my Mexican Cinnamon Coffee. I prep some milk with cinnamon sticks to infuse a light cinnamon flavor into the milk and then add half and half milk to strong coffee to make cinnamon-flavored coffee. Because I like to add 2% milk, the calories saved with my Sweet N Low come in handy and the coffee still tastes like the original recipe.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - table set for a night at home comfortable and relax with some movies, dessert and beverages

copyright Durhamonthecheap - sweetening the chocolate coffee with some Sweet N low to keep the figure in mind!
Disclaimer: I received samples from Crowdtap for Sweet N Low as well as some coasters and recipe suggestions. The opinion expressed in the blog is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Crowdtap sampling: Splenda now available in granulated form - even closer to real sugar than before!

copyright Durhamonthecheap - my Splenda in granulated form, you can use it just like regular sugar
 I received through Crowdtap a new version of Splenda. Often when using sugar substitute, the texture is not quite that of sugar; the substitute always seems like a light powder in contrast to the very granulated sugar that has little crystals. Now Splenda comes in granulated form as well, making the switch to a healthy sugar substitute even easier. I received this box sample and right away started using it in hot beverage, like a really tastyy, but low calorie mocha beverage that was missing none of the falvor of the original, but a lot of calories (and guilt).
copyright Durhamonthecheap -use it in hot or cold beverages, like the mocha above
 I also used it on a mixed  salad, where Splenda gave an interesting note to the pastrami topping and enhanced the flavor.
copyright Durhamonthecheap - - add it to salads for some sweetness - a mixed salad with pastrami
 But of course the real test was a dessert such as the apple pie. Loved to include Splenda and especially since I was able to serve the sugar substitute in my little sugar server next to milk, which made for a very traditional and festive table setting, but the modern trend to healthy eating was present too!
copyright Durhamonthecheap - and of course dessert - like a guilt-free apple pie
Disclaimer: Through Crowdtap I received a free sample of granulated Splenda in exchange for a review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party or Splenda.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Book Review: The Four Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership by Jenni Catron

This book ties great leadership in with Christian belief. This is not surprising because the author is a church leader and so she feels that leadership theory can be found be interpreting in the commandment to love the lord with all heart and soul and mind and strength. It is these four legs listed in the commandment that she feels are needed for someone to become a great leader. And by extension, everyone that is a Christian and believes in the commandment can become a great leader.
She argues that leadership in relationship can be found through following your heart, while the soul should be followed for spiritual leadership and the mind for managerial leadership (or what I call rational leadership). Lastly, strength she argues is needed for visionary leadership.

While I believe that strength to be a leader and fight at times against the odds can be found through religion, I am not totally convinced by her arguments put forward in this book. To me, the theory shown in the book is too hard trying to make a case for these four different components of leadership and while I believe that a leader has to have strength, vision, a sound mind and can exceed at building relationships, the connection between leadership and this one commandment seems far-fetched.

I like the message of the book that everyone can be a leader, which I believe for the most part to be true. But this author is trying too hard in my opinion to make a case that the philosophy of leadership is found in the bible. Overall, the book is an interesting read for this wanting to learn more about leadership philosophies. but you have to keep an open mind when approaching this book. To me, it was too much interested in making a case for how important believing in the bible is rather than making a case for what makes a great leader. 

available for pre-order at

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this blog is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Crowdtap sampling event: AVEENO ULTRA-CALMING Nourishing Night Cream

 I received samples of the AVEENO ULTRA-CALMING Nourishing Night Cream through Crowdtap and started using my sample about two weeks ago. I also gave a sample to my mother (pictured below) and one of my friends to see how they liked the product. We all loved the product. Not only does it work, it does so in a way that even our quite sensitive skin does not suffer. We apply it once daily before going to bed and then wake up after only one week of use with a skin that feels and looks younger. The skin is more elastic, not as dry (something that especially my mother commented on) and it has a more healthy glow.

copyright Durhamonthecheap - my mother with her sample and she is happy with its effects.
 Overall, we all three can highly recommend this product. The product is available in stores right now, but can also be purchased online. The price is around $15 for 1.7 oz, but it truly worth it. It does calm your skin and contains all natural ingredients, which is important to me since I many chemicals simply prove too irritating on my skin for long-term use. Aveeno used oat and calming feverfew and no redness or any other irritation is visible.
The Aveeno product is, have a look and give it a try. We can only highly recommend it and keep enjoying our samples before we go out and purchase some more!

Disclaimer: I received a free sample to use and review. The opinion expressed in this blog is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Book Review: Churchill's Trial: Winston Churchill and the Salvation of Free Government by Dr. Larry Arnn

 As someone who has always been intrigued by Churchill, I was excited to find another book about this great and controversial statesman. While I think that Churchill was a great politician, who had a lot of foresight about developments involving the power balance between Russia and the USA and its effects on Europe, I do not think that he was the most important politician of the 20th century as the author states. Churchill was involved in politics long before WW2II and had a life that sought controversy from the Boer War through WWI and finally WWII. In some decision he was right, eerily seeming to know what the future would being, in other decisions he was wrong and cost many people their lives. He was a great leader, that I agree with the author, but like all great leaders he had to also learn from his earlier mistakes. I am setting up the review with this rather long statement because the author does focus on only one aspect of Churchill's work and life, so anyone not familiar with his life may want to take a step back ever so often and reread a section because this book tackles complex subjects using Churchill as an example.
As stated, this author is focused on one specific aspect of Churchill's life and work, namely his thoughts on free government in various times such as war and peace. This book is somewhat philosophical, but also historical because Churchill's view does evolve. This evolution of political thinking is expected because Churchill did make mistakes and what made him great as a politician was his ability to learn and adapt. Did his thought-process fundamentally change? No, but it evolved. I thought this author did a great job with this book. Not only did he pick a wonderful politician as an example (using Churchill's involvement in several wars and political action in peace times), but he also managed to lay out a clear image of how free government must differ between war and peace time and must consider treaties and changing nation states into account. Churchill not only lived through the experiences of a guerrilla war in South Africa through a traditional war in WWI to the advent of modern weaponry in WWII, but he also saw major changes in the British Empire happen that were independent of the war, but certainly influenced some of his decision in war and peace.
Overall, for anyone interested in Churchill, this book is a good add-on to have and have read. But also people who seek to understand how free government can work in various times, will find this book interesting to read.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this post is solely my own and has not been influenced by any third party.