Monk Fruit In the Raw

monk fruit in the raw, #intherawparty

As a mom who is extremely health conscious of sugar intake in my kids diet I am always on the look out for healthy alternatives. Plant based sweeteners and naturally occurring sweeteners like honey, agave, and maple syrup are a go to with my recipes. I recently signed up to review Monk Fruit in the Raw sweetener as an alternative to sugar.

monk fruit in the raw, #intherawpartyI really had no expectations for the product. To be honest I am out of touch with a good portion of mainstream so I was okay going into this totally blind. More so were my guests who were also blind to the fact I was having a party featuring the product. We held a dinner party where Monk Fruit in the Raw was the guest of honor, showcased without a tremendous production, that’s how we roll.

My honest opinion was that it resembled Splenda. Light, fluffy, not very sugar like, with the exception of the white color of standard bleached sugar and I didn’t get that feeling that this was a solid sugar alternative. While the packaging indicates that it is a plant based, my opinion wasn’t that this was “all that” for plant based sweeteners. The ingredients are monk fruit extract and dextrose which is grape sugar.monk fruit in the raw, #intherawparty

Even though this is not a “Splenda” or sugar alternative like saccharin, the overall consistency reminded me of Splenda, saccharin, not anything I would probably use on a consistent basis. I am a texture person and if the texture looks processed and unnatural I just cannot get behind it.

The product overall was great and easy to use. Measuring spoon for spoon like sugar.

monk fruit in the raw, #intherawpartyMy guests were ever gracious and asked the same questions I did about the Monk Fruit and were willing to give it a go. The packaging was great and the men had a blast tossing it around like a football. The Monk Fruit in the Raw branded bags were also a hit for my party goers to take home with their sample, recipe cards and coupons.

Overall the party and product was a hit and definitely room for conversation with the fact this is a plant based product that resembles Splenda. I want to thank In The Raw for the great samples of Monk Fruit In the Raw to share with my party guests and family.

Disclaimer: The Five Fish was not compensated for this post, while product was received opinions shared here are my own or were obtained at the permission of those who attended the event. This event is not administered, sponsored, endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, Google, Pinterest. Contact if you have additional questions or concerns.

Breathe Easy Purolator Car Filter

Copyright of The Five Fish & CKH Enterprises

Automobile owners generally think of basic maintenance to the vehicle to consist of lube, oil, and filter replacement. By filter I mean the air filter that feeds air into the engine for better performance. What most car owners do not think of for basic maintenance is the intake filter in the cabin of the vehicle. Much like a homes intake filter for the central air unit, a vehicle has a cabin air filter to keep the air clean and fresh.

The Purolator Breathe Easy Car Filter is just the ticket for your vehicle’s cabin intake air system.

I received my Purolator Breathe Easy Car Filter and immediately began to read the instructions. The packaging indicated that the install would be rather simplistic. However upon reading the instructions I began to doubt the “ease” of this installation.

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Enlisting my husband who has been working on cars as long as he can drive he immediately began to dive in and reading the instructions thought to start disassembling my dash to reach the cabin air filter. Being a mom I had a gut feeling something was not right and that breaking any factory seals would be a strict “No-No” for this job. Furthermore, the product would not boast the ease of use installation as a selling point for this product.

So I did what any woman, girl, and or female would do and I snatched the Owner’s Manual from teh glvoe compartment and sought out in the index “cabin air filter.” VOILA, there was the entry and the picture page to help walk through what to do.

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The instructions indicated to start unlocking screws and clips in the instrument panel in order to access the air filter. Whereas the manual stated to push in two tabs in the GLOVE COMPARTMENT of my 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan in order to access the air filter. Wouldn’t you know it, the installation took all of three minutes where the included instructions stated 28 minutes total installation time. As a busy mom, I don’t have that kind of time.

Copyright of The Five Fish & CKH Enterprises

Sadly I also saw how neglected my poor people mover has been treated due to my lack of knowledge about cabin air filters. Look at all the gray and black nastiness that is caught in this air filter. Clearly I have not touched this filter since the day my car was bought at the dealership. More so I am saddened that vehicle maintenance shops INCLUDING dealerships do not mention this awesome and inexpensive fix for better cabin quality while riding in the car. Imagine all the particulates and agitates in the air that wreak havoc on your allergies and overall breathing in the cabin. Especially if you are one who uses the re-circulate option on the air in the vehicle, just breathing in all the extra dirt that was NOT caught by the filter. I know that the product stands by it’s name with breathing easy now in my car and knowing my kids will breathe easier as well. Do not take my word for it, take out your owners manual and take a look at your filter yourself to see the difference and then replace to feel the breathing difference. You can find Purolator retailers on their site where the filters are offered at a variety of auto centers and general merchandise stores.


Busy Moms Plastic Surgery

It’s no big secret that mothers have a lot to worry about. Raising children is tough, constant work that entails far more than anyone could possibly imagine without having been through it. Even with children who spend most days in school, the responsibilities of keeping up with them and raising them right in the home are endless…. You want to make sure they’re happy, safe and healthy, make sure that they’re working hard on school and learn senses of responsibility, etc. With all of these concerns, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. For example, many busy mothers find that it is hard to, literally, keep up appearances – with all of the time spent on your children, you may let yourself go a bit, and find that you no longer look as good, or as youthful, as you once did. But with not enough time in the day for very much exercise, you may have to look into other options – such as some of those offered at

The decision to undergo plastic surgery is a big one that involves a number of different factors, but it is also something that you should definitely at least consider, if you find that you are becoming less happy with your body or physical appearance. Not all plastic surgery entails drastic changes or obvious fixes; in fact, modern methods and experienced surgeons are able to bring about very subtle, yet still very effective results. You may want to look into a procedure like liposuction, if, for example, you feel that you are having a harder time keeping weight off due to the fact that you’re too busy to find much time to exercise. Or, if you’d like to regain something of a more youthful form, you may want to look into some different breast augmentation procedures, which, again, can be performed quite subtly, but can still help you with your body and image.

If you do a bit of research in this field of medicine, you will discover that there are large numbers of procedures that may appeal to you. Plastic surgery has come a long way, and is now used more frequently than you might think. This is not to say that you should rush into a procedure, or that one is entirely necessary. However, if you have seen yourself “slipping” physically due to all of your responsibilities at home, this is definitely an option that you should at least give a bit of thought to.

The Next Mini Chef

Are your children adventurous in the kitchen? Do they offer to help cook dinner and or other meals for the family? Are your kids interested in trying a variety of foods that are both healthy and tasty?

My mini chefs definitely favor homemade quesadillas with a variety of cheeses and meats. In fact two out of three love making and choosing what is for dinner they end up wearing it! We even began experimenting with different sauces, vegetables, and textures for different flavors. They especially like mom’s homemade salsa with fresh tomatoes.

As they have begun to experiment with various tastes and recipes they have expanded their taste for great healthy food that will foster healthy eating habits for a lifetime.

Allowing children to create their own recipe can benefit them even further than the brain power and healthy living power but they can yield even additional brain power with the chance to win a $10,000 scholarship.

Barilla and their line of fiber rich pasta Piccolini are offering the opportunity to enter to win a $10,000 scholarship. But time is running out! You only have three days left to submit your favorite mini chef recipe with photo to be eligible to win.

For more details about the contest check out the Barilla site for your chance to enter to win the scholarship and other great prizes by boasting your favorite magic food moments from your little chef.

Encourage good eating habits and enter to win a $10,000 scholarship! Enter Now

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Barilla, I was compensated for my time by posting this information and in no way were my personal views compromised or altered.

Healthy Holiday Travel

This week marks the official beginning to traveling the week of Christmas. While most of us have already been traveling for the holidays with
Thanksgiving under our belts, literally and physically, we sometimes are not alone in our jaunts to visit family. Fall and Winter mark when reduced temperature and the gathering of people, and of course the conception of the cold and flu season with all the germs cohabitating such a rich environment. So what can we do to ward off, prevent, or even be proactive in the holiday travel season to reduce the spread of germs that cause the cold and flu?
My helpful hints when traveling in confined spaces for hours at a
time and to help prevent the spread of germs that cause the cold and flu viruses:

  1. Wash, wash, wash. Washing
    your hands is the single most important thing to do no matter what.
    Including after restroom use, after a sneeze, after anyone else
    sneezes or coughs. The saying, cleanliness is next to godliness is
    no joke when warding off or preventing the cold or flu.
  2. Carry tissue. Tissue can catch a sneeze, boogars for the
    kids, and this tool is such a simple item. Not to mention if you
    are stuck on a plane or train for your holiday travels, offer up
    one to your neighbor who might already be fighting a cold, cough,
    or the flu. Carry a box in your car, you never know when the kids
    may need a quick tissue.
  3. Carry disinfecting
    gel. Travel and pocket size are great for purses and on the go for
    busy moms, dads, and anyone else. Especially if you are again in a
    plane, train, or automobile for your holiday travels and are unable
    to get to the nearest restroom to wash your hands. Hand sanitizer
    is a great tool when used properly.
  4. Disinfecting wipes. I love disinfecting wipes. I have
    them strategically placed all over my house and a travel size in my
    purse for those not so clean moments, especially while traveling.
    Who knows when the last time that seat or upright tray was cleaned,
    so why not give it a good wipe down. Clorox
    offers some great products for disinfecting wipes to store around
    the house and even on the go.

Don’t forget that Clorox offers a great hard surface spray as well for cleaning those stingy
items that harbor germs and bacteria long after the holiday cheer. For a full list of helpful household hints to keep your family healthy through the holidays and while traveling this holiday season, visit the Clorox site for more details. Happy Holidays!

Healthy Home for the Holidays

The cold and holiday season has arrived. With the arrival comes lots of indoor time, lots of visitors, including family, and when I mean visitors I am suggesting the invasion of germs that carry the cold and flu viruses among many other immunity invaders.

Now I am a huge proponent for what some may call home sterilization. At least once a week I soak my kids most played with toys in a mixture of one cup of Clorox bleach and water, these are generally their Lego’s and bath toys, this helps to keep them clean, germ free, and I feel good knowing their toys are clean. Additionally I add one cup of Clorox bleach to the toilet bowl to keep the bowl fresh, clean, and free of the nasty germs that lurk.

But I also like to add some Clorox bleach in a mixture in my kitchen sink to dunk my sponges in as I go about wiping down some of the high traffic areas for germs. Door handles, light switch plates, drawers, cabinets, floors, and handles for appliances are especially focused on. The bathroom is one of my largest areas because I like to associate my bathroom as a haven for cleanliness and if you have a room that is riddled with nasty cracks and crevices that harvest germs some may find that washing your hands in the trash is more sanitary than using the actual bathroom. The toilet and flushing handle are scrubbed as is the door handle, faucet at the sink, and fresh linens are placed carefully to suggest to my house guests that the bathroom is clean, warm, inviting, and promotes hand washing to further prevent the spread of germs.

However, some areas of the home are bit more delicate and require a softer touch which is why Clorox offers awide array of cleaning products other than their flagship product of bleach that are less harsh, may not cause discoloration to household products, and are great for quick touch ups for germ prevention. The Clorox wipes and sprays are a great way to keep up with touch up cleaning and germ prevention around the house. How do you prepare for your holiday guests, do you power clean your house? How do you disinfect and keep your home germ free? Do you think keeping too clean of a home may be inviting for germs, do you feel that “a little dirt never hurt?”

This is a sponsored post and while I was compensated for this post in no way did the compensation deter or influence my use or opinion surrounding the use of Clorox products.”

Babies The Movie

Last weekend The Chad and I went to see “How to Train Your Dragon” in 3D, which by the way TOTALLY ROCKED! Well while we were amped for the movie we enjoyed the trailers for the newest releases, and if you ask me, that is generally the BEST part of any movie.

As the trailers were moving along, the best film that is sure to touch many hearts, as well as the hearts of mothers across the globe popped onto the screen. BABIES. This documentary captures the moments of four children from San Francisco, Tokyo, Mongolia, and Namibia during all their firsts during their first year of life. Here watch the trailer:

The Chad and I were ooh’ing and ahh’ing at this super feel good movie of the year. Heartfelt, unique, and positively breathtaking capturing all the sweet moments of humanity during a child’s first year of life. Be sure to check it out, maybe take your mom or any mother in your life to the movies for Mother’s Day to enjoy a feel good film.

*I wrote this post as part of being a BzzAgent.

Sip and Seed Bird Feeder


This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of All opinions are 100% mine.

Spring has definitely arrived in Arizona. While the temperatures are starting to scorch into the high 80s this week, the flora and fauna are alive and bursting with color, scent and energy. This means that the wildlife are out and enjoying the wonderful weather as well.

This time of year in Arizona is also a very popular time of year for cardinals to be mating, hummingbirds to be pollinating and feeding on the spring blossoms, and citrus groves are pungent with fragrance. Early mornings are so wonderful as you can enjoy the sounds of birds chirping, the fresh cool breeze and occasionally you will see a visitor if you happen to have blossoms around your home.

Our home is decorated with honeysuckle but at times the evergreens are late to bloom and I love to watch the hummingbirds zip around, especially for the kids to enjoy. So our home recently received the sip & seed birdfeeder that allows birds to both sip and eat. I immediately pulled it out of the box and filled the water tank portion of the feeder with hummingbird water mix. Such a lovely bright red color.

We did attempt the seed feed for the other birds like the cardinals and finches, but with toddlers, they managed tools to knock the snacks out and scare away the larger birds that we were enjoying on our patio. Nevertheless, the hummingbirds were a sight to see and the kids enjoyed watching our feathered friends.

In addition to the fun they had, I enjoy the feeder for it’s stylish design. Other bird feeders arebirdfeeder rather bulky and unattractive while the sip & seed bird feeder is attractive in design and appeal. The neutral decor of the product would fit into any home. Set up of the feeder is easy and requires no instructions. Each silo can house seed and water, water and water, or both can house seed making this feeder multi-functional with the interchangeable bases.

Hanging the feeder was simple as well. I hung the copper trellis first and then the silos to avoid spills and splashes. I enjoy the look of the feeder as well off of my back patio as it is not an eye sore or an obstruction in any way. The sip and seed bird feeder can be used to feed and water birds of all sorts. Simple and functional and the birds enjoy the pit stop.

Verizon Wireless Palm Pre Plus

Palm Pre Plus, Verizon Wireless, Palm, Palm Pre, Karie Herring, mommy blogger,

Palm Pre Plus, Verizon Wireless, Palm, Palm Pre, Karie Herring, mommy blogger, thefivefish.comFor the last several weeks I have shared the options, features, and capabilities of the Palm Pre Plus from Verizon Wireless and how much I have enjoyed the multi-functional use of the phone. I began to compare the phone to the ever popular iPhone as my husband is looking to upgrade and we wanted to be able to compare side-by-side the iPhone to the Palm Pre Plus. We did the comparison because of the options, pros and cons each of the phones carries and as a consumer, you always want to have educated decisions based on available information.


Our comparison started first and foremost with service. I am with Verizon and he is with AT&T. Need I say more. All joking aside, we did compare service coverage and while AT&T boasts a “nationwide network,” we felt their coverage is spotty at best. The Chad can be outside in his office and have a terrible signal and reception, whereas I can be in the latrine, by the pool, in the car, and never lose service with Verizon. Service was also compared when we made  a road trip to California. On Interstate 10, 85, and 8 I had complete service, except for a brief moment when we passed the Federal prison. Whereas his service was cutting in and out as he was making business calls from the road, resulting in dropped calls, returned calls, or resorting to text only. The final result is that Verizon Wireless has a superior coverage area and the drop rate is nil.

Calling Plans

Side-by-side the calling plans between AT&T and Verizon are comparable. Each offering a 10 person calling plan (the 10 most dialed people in your network or out of network), data plans, unlimited calling plans, minutes and unlimited text, so on and so forth. Pricing is obviously comparable and variable based on the level of service (minutes desired), phone, etcetera, but again comparable. The calling plans will differ based on the phone options and here is where: AT&T offers mobile WiFi for laptops (only) with a WiFi data connect card, Verizon Wireless offers mobile WiFi with a data connect card, but Verizon Wireless offers the “Mobile Hot-spot” function with the Palm Pre Plus (for the same fee as a data connect card) thus eliminating the need for the card for WiFi anywhere, in theory you just need the phone. While the iPhone does offer a “router” of sorts for WiFi connectivity on the phone to your computer, the phone itself is NOT mobile WiFi, where the Palm Pre Plus is a true WiFi hotspot anywhere.

Capabilities, Functions, Creature Features

Now this is where the Palm Pre Plus is dead even, if not surpassed by the iPhone. CurrentlyPalm Pre Plus, Verizon WirelessPalm offers a 16GB phone where Apple offers a  8GB, 16GB, and 32 GB. The amount of applications available is hundreds of THOUSANDS for Apple, where Palm has only a few thousand. While still offering a vast amount, the iPhone is far superior. The touch screen for each phone is also fairly comparable, however, whereas the iPhone offers the landscape touch keyboard, the Palm offers a true slide out Qwerty keyboard to handle true style typing, where the touch keyboard may be cumbersome and annoying on the iPhone. Multi-tasking is another upgrade for the iPhone that is comparable to the Palm Pre Plus. The 3G networks are offering so many options with the ability to handle a call, read an email from said caller, toggle between the two tasks and open another if need be, a true smartphone. However, while the iPhone and Palm Pre Plus are neck and neck in options, the brass tax is the operating systems.

A vast majority of smartphone users have been accustomed to Microsoft based operating systems due to their personal computer operating systems, which are largely Microsoft based. When deciding on a phone, one might consider that differences encountered with the iPhone and Apple based operating system as opposed to the Palm Pre Plus and the ever user friendly Microsoft based operating system.

Music. Music is another factor as the iPhone also doubles as an iPod to play music. Have no fear…the Palm Pre Plus is designed and programmed to sync with iTunes so you can download your favorite music, videos, pictures and more. Windows Media Player is also installed on the Palm Pre Plus for those who prefer the Windows based player.


My personal feeling is I LOVE, yes I LOVE my Palm Pre Plus. I have been with Verizon Wireless for over five years,  I have yet to drop a call due to lack of service area, I have yet to have a problem with customer service (I have had faulty phones, I walk into the store, I am helped in less than 30 minutes, problem resolved, no money out of my pocket, no hassles), and my calling plan price is fixed. I am not worried about hidden fees, extra charges, or hiccups. If I were faced with the option to choose a new plan with AT&T and or choose Verizon, my choice is clear, as was my choice in phone. I could not be happier with the ease of use, the multi-tasking abilities, fun, the clarity of the screen, video, and pictures of the Palm Pre Plus. The Palm Pre Plus from Verizon Wireless is definitely mom (and Dad if you ask my husband) approved!

To see how easy the Palm Pre Plus is to use you can check out my quick YouTube video on how easy the Palm Pre Plus is to navigate.

Thank you Verizon Wireless for the opportunity to review your newest phone.

The Phone is Secondary Palm Pre Plus

Palm Pre Plus, Verizon Wireless, Palm, Palm Pre, Karie Herring, mommy blogger,

Palm Pre Plus, Verizon Wireless, Palm, Palm Pre, Karie Herring, mommy blogger, thefivefish.comLet the title speak for itself. The Verizon Wireless Palm Pre Plus is a phone. Hard to believe considering all the capabilities, functions, and amazing wonders this handheld device has to offer.

Talking about the phone with my husband he mentioned how speaking on the phone is truly a secondary operation of the Palm Pre Plus. I have to agree with him. Most of my conversations are done via email, Twitter, Google Talk, text, and Facebook. I can keep up with my family, send quick messages about plans we are making and Google Talk my husband from the car that I need help with the groceries.

Speaking on the phone is difficult. Not the act of speaking itself, but the microphone acts as a megaphone for the person on the other end of the line. One feature that Palm was very superb in creating is a microphone that is very sensitive and responsive. My child can cry from down the hall and when I am on the phone with an automated attendant listening to my options from the prompts, that when my toddler yelps I am directed to some department and line I did NOT choose.

While some phones report complaints of a poor microphone, the Palm Pre Plus is FAR from complaints in poor reception. I bet a spider could fart and the phone could catch it. I kid, I kid. Noise reduction could be an upgrade option for the second generation Palm Pre. However, I firmly believe that verbal conversations are almost null and void on the phone because of the multi-functional, communicative options. An easy to use option exists for a touch screen dial-pad making dialing, phone calls, and connecting simple. But something is truly insatiable about connecting on so many levels through various facets.

As I mentioned I can instant message my husband at any time on Google Talk or text, I can message my sister on text or on Facebook, and I can quickly and swiftly respond to a recent email about my Whrrl posting. With all the options to stay in touch electronically, and considering that many of our schedules are pressed for time, who really has time to talk on the phone anyway?

*I received the phone from Verizon Wireless as part of their campaign to promote the Palm Pre Plus. In no way was my opinion of the phone swayed in exchange for this review. My opinion is honest and mine alone, free of influence.