Sunday, August 20, 2017

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Green Light- Naike

I feel so connected with nature and my environment says this eco-sista

How long have you been eco-friendly? I was always in tune with nature and mother earth while growing up. When I became an adult I really wanted to emphasize and apply everything that I learned from my mother. I can say that I have been seriously eco-friendly for more than 3 years. 

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? I grew up in an eco-friendly environment back home in Haiti. My mother and brother were really conscious about the importance of preserving earth and nature. When I moved to Boston, I wanted to make sure that my son grows up in a similar environment as well. I do it for the planet and all of us. 

What do you like about it? I love everything about living an eco-friendly life. I feel so connected with nature and my environment. I also like the fact that I'm contributing to make our planet a better place by sharing with one person at a time. It is a continuous journey of learning and there is always room for improvement. 

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? One of my biggest challenges is to find companies and products that I can really trust. Recently, I was shocked when I ordered a vegan hair product (with all the amazing labels) just to find out it was owned by a company that I would never buy anything from.

Another obstacle was learning how to eat more consciously while respecting the earth and the animals. Going plant-based and Vegan was not easy for me at the beginning. This is one of the reason I became a health coach because I wanted to empower and help anyone who decided to give it a try. 

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? In our era of technology the information is out there. You can find valuable resources in books, on the web, and even social media. Going green is a beautiful journey and I would suggest to anyone to take it one day at a time. You don't have anything to prove to anyone, therefore do it first for yourself and the planet and truly embrace that journey and transition.

Going green can be complex. This discourages a lot of people. There's really no "right" way it's basically trying to do something than nothing at all. I sometimes feel like a green hypocrite. Do you feel that way sometimes? I think it is all in perspective and it is a learning process. I always tell anyone who wants to try the green life to take it slowly and mostly not be too hard on themselves. For me, all that matters is the fact that we are contributing to the puzzle even with small changes. 

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? In 2008 when I moved to France, I realized that I could not find reliable hair salons who knew well how to apply relaxer in my hair. Therefore, I decided to give it a try and go natural. That was the best thing I did. I was finally after all those years accepting my true color and beauty. I feel like my hair showed who I was really.

A girl born in Haiti to a French mom and Haitian dad. No more trying to be more one or the other of any of the cultures. By embracing my hair, I embraced both cultures and made no apologies for it. And finally, I did not need any strong chemical in my hair to feel beautiful. Now after all those years being natural, I'm finally enjoying my natural curls. I do apply heat or blow-dry on rare occasions, but that is still a choice that I make. It is not based on other people's expectations.

Is there anything you like to add? The path to being health conscious and eco-friendly is not an easy one but it is worth it. Thank you so much for allowing me to share my journey with all this amazing souls. You can follow me on Instagram. If you would like to improve your overall health or wellbeing, feel free to contact me to schedule a free discovery session at simplynaike@gmail.com

Thursday, August 17, 2017

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Clueless Recipes- Ginger Chicken Salad


I made this salad when I was in Budapest. I had access to a full kitchen and I made sure to take advantage of it. It was a great way to save instead of going out to eat all the time. There was a grocery store close to where I was staying and I went to pick up a few items. As much as I love to eat, I know I can't be outta control 24/7 but I can balance it out. 

Going inside Publix Spar

This store reminded me of Publix back in Florida. They were in just about every corner in Budapest. I believe this company is from the Netherlands. It's one of those stores where you have to bring your own bags. No biggie, I wasn't getting a lot. Once inside, I turned to my tour guide and asked where the bread at?

We went to the bread aisle but they weren't the kind I wanted. I said nah, where the sliced bread at? My tour guide said this is what they have. I'll have to buy as is and slice them myself. Excuse me??? I gotta slice my own bread??? Where they do that at??? I was being problematic over some bread y'all. 😆

My breakfast and snack buddies

Anyways, I got what I needed especially fruits and vegetables. They came in very handy for breakfast and snack time. 

INGREDIENTS:
-Chicken Breast (cut in pieces)
-Lettuce
-Cucumbers
-Tomatoes
-Red Onions
-Ginger (fresh is best)
-Juice of 1 Lime
-Seasonings (the seasonings used was very similar to what I use back home *puts prayer hands together* Whew! I have something to work with)

Wash lettuce; cut, slice, dice all the veggies; put in a bowl and refrigerate; season chicken; add lime juice and diced ginger; marinate overnight (optional); the next day; heat stove on medium heat; add olive oil; add chicken pieces; cook until done; let cool down then add to veggie bowl. Enjoy!  

Ginger has a very unique flavor that is sweet and spicy. It is used to treat various ailments such as upset stomach, menstrual cramps, motion sickness, heart disease, and more.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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Green Light- Shamira

I like that I'm contributing to save our planet says this eco-sista

How long have you been eco-friendly? I started my eco-friendly journey a year ago when I became plant-based.

Why did you choose to be eco-friendly? When I began focusing on what I was putting in my body, I thought it was equally as important to focus and know what was going on my body. How we produce our foods and the resources we use to make products can adversely affect our environment and health. So, I wanted all of my products whether it was food, cosmetics, or clothes to be free of chemicals/toxins and contribute to helping the environment.

What do you like about it? I like knowing that I am giving my body good ingredients and contributing to save our planet. 

Did you face any challenges?If so, what was/is the biggest obstacle(s)? I believe the main challenge I had going eco-friendly is the limited amount of resources for women of color. Especially, when it came to eco-friendly cosmetics and hair care. There are not many eco-friendly brands that cater to women of color. I hope that changes. 

Any tips/advice for someone looking to be more eco-friendly? Do you research! Download the app "Think Dirty" and see what products you are using that are not eco-friendly. Join an eco-friendly subscription box to discover products you've never heard of. 

Going green can be complex. This discourages a lot of people. There's really no "right" way it's basically trying to do something than nothing at all. I sometimes feel like a green hypocrite. Do you feel that way sometimes? Yes! All the time! I think the important thing is to take each day at a time. Don't pressure yourself to be "green" overnight. This concept of eco-friendly has been around for awhile, but really only started being popular in recent years. There are so many new ways and methods coming out with how to be more eco-friendly. Just continue to educate yourself and be open to trying new things. It's a journey and that will look different for everyone! So, focus on your journey, stay true to your values, what eco-friendly means for you in your life, and always share what you have learned so others can continue to help keep our planet safe!

You know I gotta ask, How long have you been natural and how do you keep it so FLY? Haha, Thanks! I have been natural for 5 years. It's been a lot of trail and error and just learning how to love my hair. I try to keep it in protective styles most of the time. I have learned low manipulation is key to healthy hair.

Is there anything you like to add? Thank you for the interview! Ladies, stay true to your values and go green!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

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"Clueless" In Budapest


Szia! This summer I traveled to Budapest and I'm sharing my "clueless" adventures of what to see/do and where/what to eat. As for where to stay I won't have much to offer because....

Ha! I wished I stayed there

I happen to know someone who is from Budapest who asked a close friend if I can crash for a few days. As much as I love to travel I have yet to stay at an Airbnb. All the -ism's and the -tion's made me stay away completely. Especially, with the most recent one with the guest being thrown down the stairs for checking out late. 

My stay there was totally worth it. I was very thankful for having a place to stay even though my host didn't know me very well. It's true what they say... sometimes who you know can help you along whatever journey you're on. 

*Now back to my regularly scheduled program*

Budapest is the combination of once independent cities Buda and Pest. The two cities is divided by the Danube River. Buda is more of a hillside city, while Pest is a flat modern city. The two came together to form Hungary's capital and most populous city, Budapest. The history of this country goes back thousands of years. Budapest is also home to some of the most beautiful architecture in the world. You'll be gazing every step of the way.

There is so much history here. If you're into history you will absolutely love it here. To be able to see, touch, and feel some of the history here is a feeling that will never be forgotten. When nighttime falls, the city is even more beautiful. The Buda side is quiet while Pest is the spot for nightlife. Below I'm sharing some of my own top must see/do spots. However, it's not a full list because there's just so much to see and do here.

What To See and Do:
Hero's Square

Chain Bridge- This bridge served people who were crossing the bridge back in 1849 until it was blown up by the Nazi's then rebuilt to the beauty that it is today.
Central Market Hall- A gothic style building built in 1897 and offers the widest selections of goods.
Liberty Bridge- Constructed in 1894 was known as Franz Joseph Bridge then renamed Liberty Bridge after World War II and is the shortest bridge in Budapest.

On top of the Cave Church looking at the Liberty Bridge

Margaret Island- Named after Princess Margaret is a popular place to get away and just relax. Nature lovers will love this spot.
Hero's Square- History set in stone. This monument was built in 1896 to celebrate the anniversary of the Hungarian conquest. The seven statues are leaders of the tribes. The middle statute is of Arpad, who was the leader of the Hungarian tribes. Right behind them are statues of notable Kings and Princes during that time.
Parliament- A notable landmark where laws are made, passed, rejected, and more. In other words the gub'ment y'all.

Central Market Hall

Buda Castle- The history of this castle dates back to the 14th century and has gone through many restorations. It was badly damaged during World War II then restored and is now home to the Hungarian National Gallery.
St. Stephen's Basilica- The largest cathedral in the city. Named after Hungary's founder King Stephen. The holy right hand of King Stephen is also located inside the Basilica.
Szechenyi Bath- One of the largest and beautiful bath in Budapest. There's 3 outdoor and about 15 indoor pools , saunas, and other services such as massages. This place is dope AF.

Margaret Island enjoying the outdoors

I have to stop somewhere with this list. If I don't it will go on and on. I enjoyed them all but my absolute favorite thing to do was....


Szechenyi Bath. I've always wanted to do this and I finally got the chance to do so. This place is gorgeous and totally worth coming back to again and again. I did the thermal bath, sauna, and the fun pool area. *scratches off bucket list*

Skanzen Open Air Museum

I was invited to go on a day trip to Szentendre. Szentendre is about an hour away from Budapest and is a historic, charming, and colorful town. Before heading out there, we made a pit stop to an open air museum. The purpose of this museum is to share what life was like in the countryside during the 18th century. 

There were actors re-enacting their life from that time period. We explored and took a horse carriage ride around the museum. I got to pet the horses and tell me why I had the urge to give them a bomb twist out. 😝 Anyways, I was on my best behavior. Afterwards, we headed to the town for lunch. There's not a lot of traffic in this town because the streets are very narrow and can only be explored on foot. 

Goulash and Rakott Palacsinta with Red Wine as my drank

Where and What To Eat:
A spot all foodies will enjoy (plant based too)

Foodies where y'all at? I know every destination has their tourist traps with overpriced bland tasting foods. I've fallen victim to this trap quite a few times. I really hate when that happens. However, I was able to find some really good traditional Hungarian foods in and around the downtown area.

When I pointed out some of the signs advertising "traditional" foods, I was told that's how they get you. Thanks to my personal tour guide who knew what was crap and what was the real deal. I found that some of the better tasting foods were steps away from these tourist traps. The saying... go where the locals go is so true. When it comes to food my greedy self don't play. 😋

Goulash- Hungary's national dish is a stew of meat and vegetables loaded with paprika and other spices.

Palacsintas- Crepe like pancakes served with different types of fruit fillings and/or cream cheese. The most popular one is the Gundel Palacsintas filled with walnuts and chocolate sauce.


Toltott Kaposzta- Hungarian Stuffed Cabbage and it had me stuffed. LordT! It was so delish.

Szilva Leves- Plum fruit soup topped with almonds and served cold. I seriously thought I wasn't going to like it but my taste buds proved me wrong. There are several different fruit soups to choose from.

Langos- is a popular year round fried dough that is topped with sour cream and grated cheese. There are many different options to choose from, but I went with the traditional one. Yum!


My eating was *50 Cent voice* just a lil' bit outta control. Stay tuned for a follow up post on how I balanced it out. 


*makes way over to one of the most beautiful cafe's in the world*

New York Cafe 

You fancy huh? A visit to the New York Cafe is not to be missed. It is known as one of the most beautiful cafe's in the world. I walked in and saw no lies. I ordered from the dessert menu. I'm not much of a dessert person but... when in Rome Budapest. I ordered a desert cake with apricot ice cream then downed it with a lavender rose drink. Was that a good combo? Anyways, this beautifully decorated legendary cafe was a popular spot for writers, poets, and artists. 

Random Pics and Tips:
Subway Station

-Budapest is a very walker friendly city, but look both ways while crossing the street. These speedy drivers though.
-There's also a really good transportation system. However, some buses have AC others do not. The trams and subways don't AC at all.
-It was hot, hot, hot. But there was a cold from that lasted for about 2 days while I was there and it was nice not having to sweat for that time period. As a just in case, bring some chilly weather clothes.


A cast iron shoe memorial along the banks of the river (near the Parliament) for the victims that were asked to take off their shoes then shot by arrow cross militia men and drowned in the Danube River during World War II.


Saw quite a few of these arts on buildings. If you ever had and/or heard of the rubik cube, guess where it was invented?

FINA Budapest on Margaret Island

I just happened to be here while the FINA Budapest World Championship was going on. There was a FREE fan zone area for those who didn't have tickets to the arena can enjoy. I figured why not participate. It's not everyday I get to experience something like this. There was food and other vendors selling their goods. Fans were able to catch the water polo game on a jumbo screen. Musical band The Biebers (yes, I'm assuming they named themselves after Justin) performed. 

Once night time fell, it was time to watch the game on the screen. It was like watching a basketball game but in the water. Each time Hungary scored the fans chanted Ria Ria Hungaria! The exciting energy was felt throughout the zone area. Hungary played Greece and won to advance to the finals. 

Szimpla Kert

This was another one of my favorites. The ruin bar area is one of the hottest spots in Budapest. It's an old abandoned apartment complex that is now home to trendy bars, a farmer's market (Sunday's), sustainable restaurants, community garden, film screenings, and more. I'm having the hardest time trying to describe this area because it's just so different. I mean that in a good way. 

It's like a place that's supposed to be underground but it's not. There's an 80's graffiti vibe with some of the dopest street food and drinks. Once the sun goes down, it turns into one of the most popular nightspots. Even if you're not into the bar scene (I'm not) I would recommend checking it out. The Karavan food and beer garden is just steps away from Szimpla Kert. The whole entire block is a must do, see, and eat area. *Terminator voice* I'll be back. 

House of Terror Museum

The House of Terror building was once the headquarters for the Nazi's and then the Soviet's. Now turned to a museum to honor the victims. 

Crossing the Chain Bridge en route to the Hungarian National Gallery

My time in Budapest was coming to an end. I spent my last day touring part of the city solo. My tour guide had errands to run and it was the perfect time for me to practice what I preach. I got out of my comfort zone and was off to my adventure. I made my way over to the Buda side to treat myself to the Hungarian National Gallery located inside Buda Castle. Getting to the top of the castle ain't no joke but it was a good workout. The gallery is one of the largest collections of Hungarian fine arts. I went from floor to floor looking at the different exhibits. 


I saw and did a lot but I'm pretty sure I missed a few spots. I'm a slow traveler. I like to stop, look, read, and immerse myself in the culture. I got left behind quite a few times because of this. 😂

The Last  Supper

My last  Hungarian meal was Turos Csusza and Paprikas Csirke. My host said I have a good appetite but it doesn't show on my small frame. 😋 Apologies in advance for not having enough pics of this. I was never trained on how to eat and take pics at the same time. My greedy self was too busy focused on getting the food in my tummy.

Turos Csusza- Pasta with farmers cheese and sour cream topped with bacon pieces.
Paprikas Csirke- Chicken with paprika. It was full of flavor and other spices. Paprika is the national spice of Hungary. 

I know when most people think of European cities to visit London and Paris are at the top of the list. I have yet to visit and they are most definitely on my list. But, I'm here to say add Budapest too. You won't regret it. 


Shout out to my chargers. I got these all-in-one chargers several years ago and they kept me charged up. The one on the right is the real MVP. It hasn't failed me yet. I didn't really need the other one but as a "just in case", I brought it along. I love how I can easily switch to whatever country I'm in and charge away. The outlets are different in certain parts of the world, so don't forget to bring one with you while traveling. 

And that is the end of my trip to Budapest. Stay tuned for my next "clueless" adventure. The journey continues...







Monday, August 7, 2017

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Butter Be Ready- Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos


Say what now? I've had buffalo cauliflower "wings" before. But I never thought of having it taco style. Quin of Butter Be Ready did just that. She says the cauliflower has that bite/crunch that acts as a great meat/poultry replacer. Say no more. I'm always on the hunt for new dishes to try. Click here for the full recipe. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

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Black Green Beauty Influencers To Follow


There's a hand full of black beauty influencers, but not a lot of black green beauty influencers. I'm presenting my list of black green beauty influencers that I follow when it comes to green beauty. They've been pretty consistent with sharing their knowledge about what brands to try, what their favs are, and of course their own frustrations with some green beauty brands. I've transitioned to using all natural, clean, good for you beauty products. I shared my journey here: My Transition To (Almost) All Natural/Organic Makeup.

*Green Beauty Influencer, Keisha: Keisha has a blog post titled Representation Matters- Why I Refuse to Spend Money With Brands That Won't Diversify. I was in 100% agreement with that blog post.

I wanted to be more active in providing reviews on green beauty brands but a lack of representation has turned me away. I did review Shea Moisture Cosmetics last year and was looking forward to doing more reviews. When I recently walked into my local Target to get some products, I was extremely disappointed. They were no longer carrying their products. I went up and down the aisle to make sure and I couldn't find one of their cosmetics. That was the only Target in my area I was willing to drive the extra mile for. *Sigh* I didn't even bother asking what happened I just knew what the deal was.

*Green Beauty Influencer, Kaya: Kaya shares her own experience with some green beauty brands.

I'm a brick and mortar type. I like to know that I can walk in and touch, feel, smell, and taste (ok maybe not taste the beauty product, but you get my drift) my products. I also know that I can hop online and order these products but my experience hasn't always been that great. The product will look good online then when I get it, it's meh. Having to wait days for the product to arrive then if it's the wrong color/shade, gotta go back and deal with the "friendly" folks at the post office. I just don't want to deal with that.

*Green Beauty Influencer, Chelsea: Chelsea's telling her own story in why I'm Not A Purist. Oh... how I can relate.

Anyways, I have a stronger preference for green beauty products. It's 2017 and I should easily be able to find products that caters to my skin tone. *looks around beauty store, reaches for product, and throws it back on shelf* WHERE'S MY COLOR? It's getting to the point where I'm wearing less makeup but I don't want to scare nobody because I wanna look cute too. *batting eyelashes*

*Green Beauty Influencer, Monique: Monique has been sharing her green beauty journey for years. I don't remember how I found her but I'm so glad I did.

I've been making my own skincare products for years and haven't used commercial products since then. As a minimalist and DIY'er, I'm not in constant buying mode. However, I do get lazy sometimes and would love to try/review green beauty brands. Some of the prices though??? Some brands are worth it depending on the product. If I do buy and review, I want to make sure that it's a product I'll continue to buy again and again. 

*Green Beauty Influencer, Dawn: Dawn shares why Green Beauty Is The Best Beauty. No argument here.

Why is it so hard to get samples? If some of these brands offer samples.... gotta pay for it. I've done that before and was pissed with this one brand. I shared it on my Green Beauty Ingredients... And What It Means post. There's a green beauty movement going on. What we did with the natural hair movement was amazing. I'm very confident we can do the same with green beauty. A change is coming. New movement, who dis?

Who are your favorite black green beauty influencers?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

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Vegan Bruh- Brandon

I believe it is just about representation says this vegan bruh

How long have you been a vegan? I have been a vegan for three years now. Although there are times it's more like vegan-ish. You ever read the ingredients on chips (my weakness)? Then there is that once or twice I indulge my inner Homer with cheesecake. 😊

Was transition easy? At times yes and times no. I had a moment this weekend where I felt like the episode of Martin when he was eyeing the Thanksgiving turkey. I was in the barbershop and a brother next to me goes and gets wings and veggie rice plate. *mild with lemon pepper* I had to get up and take a quick walk and breath 😂. Good thing I had some nuts and dried fruits in the car.

My transition was over several years. Each year I would remove something from my diet for a year. The next year something else. I never really ate beef or pork. So I started with wheat and dairy.

Any tips/advice for someone interested in being a vegan? Yes, decide why you want to transition to being a vegan. When I first started it was strictly about health and my low-key fear of ever having to need Viagra. When I began more of my awakening with yoga my WHY transitioned more from being about my health to about not wanting to harm any living soul for my needs. There is not a need to do so. I still don't wanna ever need Viagra tho.

What's your favorite vegan recipe? Sadly, I am kitchen no bueno so I eat a lot of fruit and steamed veggies with pink salt. Extremely simple. Lately, I been on an okra and wild rice in veggie broth kick. I am also one of those interesting personalities that can eat the same thing daily.


Black male vegans/vegetarians are rare but seems to be growing in popularity. Why do you think that is? I believe it is truly just about representation and being authentic. The same things that keeps us grounded in this lifestyle, will attract other people seeking also. Each one reach one. 

Vegans are sometimes known for being extreme. What's the one thing you want people to know about vegans? They can be extreme! But you don't have to be extreme. They probably shouldn't be extreme either but I am sure this a conversation for my teacher. I digress. Often people are extreme about things they are passionate about. We all can find some growth, humility, and more tolerance for things that are opposite of somethings we feel passionate about.

Has it had an impact in other areas of your life? It has affected all areas of my life.

Is there anything you like to add? Yes! If you're thinking of transitioning to a vegetarian or vegan, sit and meditate for a moment. Listen to the most high, the I am, the all. Hear her sweet voice guiding your decisions. Decide and start eliminating things smoothly. It does not have to be a drastic change. It is perfectly ok if it takes you years. You can find me on Instagram

Monday, July 17, 2017

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Butter Be Ready- Vegan Cherry Coconut Popsicles


Summer's here! What better way to cool of with some popsicles? Can you believe it only took 3 simple ingredients to make this refreshing guilt free treat? I'm a sucker for simple ingredients and looking forward to making myself. What say you?


Head on over to Quin's blog for the full Vegan Cherry Coconut recipe.

Friday, July 14, 2017

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Guest Food Blogger- Quin of Butter Be Ready


I'm excited to introduce Quin of Butter Be Ready as a guest food blogger. In addition to being a food blogger, she's a recipe developer, photographer, and a fellow Floridian. I met Quin in Orlando while at the Blog Her conference (my recap is coming soon, ok maybe a little later than soon but it's coming) in June. We chatted about all things blogging and of course food. She told me the name of her blog and I thought it was the cutest thing. 

I quickly went to her blog and I was like.... 

Those pics had me drooling uncontrollably. At that point I KNEW I had to work with her. After the conference I reached out and asked if she wanted to be a guest blogger and here I am introducing her. Quin will be sharing vegan/vegetarian type dishes. Although she's not vegan, she likes to incorporate plant based meals from time to time. 

I'm always on the lookout for new recipes to try so this is exciting. Head on over to her site. But before you do, make sure you bring some napkins for all the drooling and gazing you'll be doing. 




Monday, July 10, 2017

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Product Review- GoodPop: Watermelon Agave


Good Pop is a company that started their humble beginnings at farmer's market. Their mouth watering treats are made with non-GMO, organic, fair trade and local ingredients that can be found in natural food stores. I just so happened to be shopping at my local natural food store when I came across their product. Watermelons have been a summer staple for me this summer. Although, there were 2 other flavors (strawberry and hibiscus mint) I went with watermelon agave.

Product claims to be made with real, wholesome, and natural ingredients. Also there are no HFCS or refined sugars with nothing artificial EVER. After looking over the ingredients, I was pleased that it wasn't a long list of hard to pronounced words. So I threw it in the basket and couldn't wait to try it. 

This treat was so good. It is the real deal. I tasted watermelon pieces as I was enjoying. There was nothing fake about it. The taste was very refreshing and not too much sweetness. Again, nothing fake just all natural goodness. 

Priced at $5.99 for 4 pops, I think is pretty decent. After trying, I'll be going back to get hibiscus mint.

*This product was purchased with my own money. Opinions expressed are my own. I will only recommend products I use and enjoy myself.*