Product Recommendations- Lindt Fruit Sensation V Haigh’s Chocolate Berrychocs

Fruit-centred chocolate balls verses fruit-centred chocolate balls!

Ah Christmas! Don’t you love it when people gift you premium chocolates which you otherwise wouldn’t buy for yourself, as you’re too cheap!

This Christmas my sister gave us a hamper, which included a packet of Lindt Fruit Sensations- Mango & Passionfruit.

While my wife’s boss gave her a Haigh’s Christmas chocolate hamper, which included a packet of Berrychocs.

Thus with 2 types of balls in my hands, what better than to facilitate a Chocolate ball V Chocolate ball head-to-head battle!

Lindt Fruit Sensations- Mango & Passionfruit

Out of the blocks, Lindt’s chocolate stands out due to its dark chocolate flavour – the pairing of a bitter dark chocolate with a sweet fruit centre, definitely grabs your attention due to the opposing sweet and bitter flavours. The Lindt balls are a bit on the small side, being almost as small as a large pea? So it’s actually hard to tell if the fruit centre is genuine dried fruit covered in dark chocolate (this was my original expectation), or if it was merely an artificial jelly which happened to be flavoured like mango and passionfruit. Priced at $4.00 (100g), it’s more affordable, but it also tastes more commercial/mass produced. **Note: The fruit centre is a fruit puree incorporated with other binders.

Haigh’s Chocolate Berrychocs

When you pull one out of the pack, it’s obviously larger than the Lindt ball – easily the size of a macadamia nut? Biting into it, the Haigh’s chocolate is definitely creamier and more premium tasting than the Lindt. Whereas if the Berrychocs were coated in a darker, more bitter chocolate? The Berrychocs would have easily won hands down (Haigh’s Berrychocs are a mixture of both milk and dark chocolate). The fruit centre is very soft, and when I was trying to work out what the fruity centre reminded me of, Cadbury’s Cherry Ripe came to mind. According to the Haigh’s web-site, the Berrychocs are:

“Strawberry and raspberry flavoured fruit centres with a white chocolate layer then pan coated in milk or dark chocolate”

With that description alone, it spells out artisan chocolatier! And how it justifies a more premium price of $10.50 for 200g.

So in this chocolate ball head-to-head, I do believe the Haigh’s chocolate Berrychocs has it! My measure? If I could only have one more choc-y ball, I’d reach for the Haighs! But if you’d like to check out either of these tasty chocolate products, click HERE for the Haigh’s Berrychocs, and HERE for the Lindt Fruit Sensations!

Product Recommendations- Pauls Bundaberg Rum Egg Nog

The festive season, brought to you by Aussie brands Pauls and Bundaberg!

Egg nog is such an American thing! Put up your hands if you’ve ever tried egg nog before? Not many raised hands right? But admittedly I’ve tried making it once, like more than 15 years ago. And I was serving up this thing, not having tried it before and not even knowing what it ought to taste like (I just remembered it being really creamy and alcoholic).

But if you want to purchase a piece of American season’s greetings! – dairy producer Pauls for Christmas 2019 has introduced a range of festive products including Pauls Bundaberg Rum Egg Nog 1L.

To tell you the truth, it reminds me of Baileys – as it’s milky, creamy, and alcoholic! Yum! Granted, it has an eggy flavour to it, and it is nice and frothy. But all that was running through my mind when I was consuming it was:

“It’s just like drinking Bailey’s, for a fraction of the price!” We bought ours for only $3.50 for a 1 litre carton.

So if you want to add some extra Christmas cheer to your next year’s (2020) Christmas party, or if you just want some cheap and tasty alcoholic beverages- check out Pauls Bundaberg Rum Egg Nog at your local grocery store! That is, if Pauls and Coles/Woolworths haven’t been done for selling alcohol to minors. Haaha.

Product Recommendations- What Arnott’s had never intended

Ok, I’m starting to realise that it’s probably impossible to discover a new and noteworthy product each fortnight- as I’m all out of new product recommendations for you. *Sad look*. So I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel here, recommending this product to you, and what to do with it.

But the one product which I’m loving right now is Arnott’s Tim Tams. Yeah, for sure everyone knows about Tim Tams, even international markets know about the Aussie chocolate coated cookie! But have you tried them frozen?

We hadn’t either, until a friend insisted we try them sub-zero and literally took the Tim Tam packet  off the coffee table and placed it into a freezer, before we actually gave it a go.

Of course, there is some hesitation in trying a frozen Tim Tam- some don’t even like placing them in the fridge! Let alone the freezer! But don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

My initial response was “I don’t want to break my teeth”, when offered a Tim Tam straight out of the freezer. But it’s actually not all that hard when frozen. Sure, you’d probably want to use your canine teeth rather than your front teeth to bite into it. But I have to admit, it’s not all that bad – quite good actually! The key difference when frozen, is that the cookie is drier and denser which results in a more crunchy and satisfying bite, and the chocolate remains solid throughout the entire experience! Not like when it comes out of the fridge, and by the time you get to the final third and the chocolate is getting all melty on you.

If you’re still umming and erring, not convinced…..Just give it a go! It’s def worth the experience even if you try it only once! Just chuck it into the freezer, and if anything your Tim Tams last longer! As it’s more substantial when frozen, and it’s out of direct sight and out of mind, thus you don’t demolish them as quickly compared when they’re always just under your nose in the fridge.

And contributing to the theme of doing what Arnott’s had never intended? I had a box of Arnott’s Jatz crackers in the pantry, but no dip at home. But I did have a tub of yoghurt though? So you’ve guessed it……..In went the Jatz, and I ended up with a savoury and sweet combination, again not all that bad, I’d def do it again when confronted with a similar scenario. Haaha.

Product Recommendation- TuneIn Premium

Now who in their right mind pays $14.95 per month for free to air radio?

Well, the answer to that question would be……An overseas (non-American) sports fan! That’s who!

I think for an American to properly appreciate how fortunate they are as sports fans, is to try and live overseas for a year or two, and see for themselves how difficult it is to obtain access to live NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL games. The reality is that close to no games are shown on free to air TV outside of the United States, and if it is? You’re forced to watch 2 teams play a match which you’ll probably not care for, as they’re not teams that you like/support. And let’s not even go there with the time difference, as that can’t be helped.

But here is where a paid radio subscription makes sense. TuneIn Premium gives you access to every live radio broadcast of sporting events- from professional to collegiate; from mainstream to the obscure; from the US, UK to your local radio stations- I wouldn’t say it has it all! But there is so much content, your first world problem is……. There just isn’t enough time in a day to listen to a fraction of what’s on offer!

And not only do you get sports radio, but there’s Music, News, Talk and all the usual radio stations you receive on your local radio dial, all in this one single app. The total cost per month is $14.95, you can cancel your subscription at any time- but you are limited to only one device (on iOS, your account is linked to your iTunes account).

Right now as we’re in the business end of the NFL season, I study the upcoming week of games on the Wednesday, highlighting the games which I want to listen to at the given timeslot by requesting a notification to be sent to my phone at kick-off. And on game day, I’m buckled in for the next 9 hours listening to 3 games live! Pretty cool hey? Considering I’m half way around the world! Obviously this can only occur because I’m currently not working (time difference in Australia equates to NFL games being played between 5am – 4pm on a Monday). And if you find a team’s broadcast is too biased or you just feel like a change? You can simply switch over to the opposing team’s broadcast of the event! Or if you want a completely unbiased broadcast, switch over to the National broadcast if it’s a prime time event! And if the game is a blow-out, or too slow? Then you can switch to another game! There’s just so many choices!

And although paying for a premium subscription doesn’t excuse you from sitting through radio ads, but it’s kind of interesting listening to another state or country’s advertisements- it gives you a glimpse into the lives of others around the world.

Admittedly as soon as I go back to work I’m going to cancel my TuneIn Premium subscription, as the real value of TuneIn is its live events. And with the time difference, it’ll be impossible to get your money’s worth if you’re meant to be at work during the majority of live broadcasts. But while my career break lasts, TuneIn Premium has been a great companion app!

So why not at least give the free version of TuneIn a go? And if you’re curious to explore the differences between the free and the paid offering? TuneIn provides you with a 7 day free trial! For more information and details, click HERE!

Product Recommendation- Pro-Live Mango Lassi

I’m sure there is a time and place to consume Lassi – the tasty thick yoghurt drink found at most Indian restaurants. Methinks it’s usually consumed as a drink to cool your burning mouth when you’re having a particularly spicy curry? But we’ve taken to drinking it whenever we’re looking for something sweet, and when we want something healthier and less guilt-ridden then with ice creams and other guilty pleasures.

Australian producers Pro-Live stock their Mango Lassies to Costco Australia, known for its bulk purchases, although a 1 Litre bottle of Lassi didn’t seem like such a bulk buy? But I’ve been told, compared to the usual volume in which Lassi is usually sold in, 1L is quite a lot of tasty drinkable yoghurt. But being us, 1L is never enough so we always get 2 bottles when we’re at Costco.

To be honest with you, the taste of Pro-Live Lassi Mango Drink reminds me much of the mango flavoured tubbed yoghurt by Nestle. So it’s a very common, pure taste, which I’m sure appeals to all tastebuds. It’s creamy and smooth (be sure to shake well before pouring), while liquid enough to quench any thirst. And it’s quite filling as well, so if you’re in a rush a 250ml glass of Lassi could easily serve as a light breakfast on the go! For $4.50 Australian dollars for a 1L bottle, it’s much more economical to buy in bulk and consume at home, than to purchase when out. The only philosophical question which is left unanswered, is….. Which came first? The tasty yoghurt drink? Or the popular American TV show which aired from 1954-73? 

If you’re interested to purchase the Pro-Live Mango Lassi drink and not a Costco member, click HERE!

Product Recommendation- Google Home Mini

I love Google Assistant so much, that we’ve invited it into the private sanctity of our bedroom!

On the weekend we invited a new member of the Google home assistant into our lives, that being the Google Home Mini (chalk), at $55 AUD, it was truly a no-brainer decision!

The justification for this purchase was that I’m now on a 2.5 month career break, and the plan is to spend a lot more time in bed. Haaha. And being able to get Google to play my music, news updates, podcasts, and radio  stations is all and fine in the living room, but being totally unconnected and devoid of our Google assistant when in bed felt like we were stepping back in time each time we left the living room. Like, what the?

So a quick stop to our local JB Hi-Fi and after handing over $55, we quickly resolved this first world problem.  The advantages I’ve seen thus far with Mini in the bedroom has been:

Music throughout the apartment– with more than one Google speaker now, we have grouped them together so they both now sing from the same song sheet, and with a small apartment the entire home is now filled with our beats wherever we go! Not to mention our music sounds more stereo now! And positioned correctly (in a corner), the sound quality of the Mini isn’t that bad actually.

Declutter– now that I have a versatile device like the Mini on my bedside table, I was able to decommission my old school bedside alarm clock/radio. So now my bedside table is very spartan, maybe too spartan…

Bluetooth speaker– in the past to listen to my audiobooks and podcasts in bed, I had to remember to take my portable Bluetooth speaker with me to bed. And there has been many times when I had to jump out of bed in winter, as I had forgotten to bring it with me (the portable speaker still sitting on the shelf in the living room). But now with Google mini always there, I just have to ask Google to turn on Bluetooth- within seconds it’s paired to my phone, and magnifies the volume of whatever I’m listening to in bed. And when I’m done with it, I just have to ask Google to stop playing and to disconnect the Bluetooth. Too easy!

Night mode– And when it’s time for bed, I just have to say “Good night Google’, and it’ll put in place all my pre-set night time rituals, e.g. inform me of tomorrow’s weather, ask if I would like to set an alarm, and then turn on the ambient noise (chirping crickets- which I currently have on, I’m curious to hear when do the insects pack-up shop and they too call it a night- 40 mins on, and they’re still chirping…)

Randomness– and of course when my wife is almost asleep, and if you’re a funny bugger like me, you can now ask Google to tell you a joke and wake her right up! Haaha. Now that’s an example of 2’s a company, and 3’s a crowd! 

Say hello to the home of the future!