Harvard Sweet Gluten Free Goodies Review

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Harvard Sweet Boutique, Inc. sent me some so very delicious samples of their gluten free goodies back in December. The package they sent me was a special one, made just for me, so it is not a combination that they normally sell on their website. They did this so that I could have variety of flavors to try. And OH, MY! I don’t think I have ever had such a good tasting ready made gluten free brownie since I started eating gluten free back in 2007.

All Wrapped Up For Christmas!

All Wrapped Up For Christmas!

When I took the samples out of the shipping box, it was so beautifully wrapped up for Christmas giving that I really didn’t want to open it up. They do a great job of presentation, don’t you think? But then, I did open the box, and the contents were equally as beautiful as the package:

Raspberry Brownie and Peanut Butter Brownie

Raspberry Brownie and Peanut Butter Brownie

I reeived a Raspberry Brownie, a Peanut Butter Brownie, a Mint Brownie, and a Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Cookie. All of them were really good. I mean, REALLY GOOD. Fabgrandpa ate some of them, and he said he wouldn’t know they were gluten free at all if I hadn’t told him they were.

From the Hardard Sweet website:

Gifts from Harvard Sweet Boutique reflect a sense of quality and care that makes giving one of our boxes of sweets feel thoughtful and personal — for both the giver and the receiver. Cookies, brownies and toffee are made by hand with the highest quality ingredients,and then lovingly tucked into fanciful boxes, adorned with designer ribbon and carefully — but swiftly — shipped to the lucky recipient. Gifts like this practically guarantee an “ooh” and an “aah” upon being opened.
I agree with that statement completely! I was wowed by the presentation of the samples I received.
Don’t worry about the Christmas packaging shown, though. They have lots of different package designs, making them perfect gifts for Valentines Day, Birthdays, Mother’s Day, or any other special day for which you’d send a gift.
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I think this is my personal favorite! Gluten Free Brownie and Cookie Gift: An assortment of six brownies and 8 cookies, and you get to pick which flavors to include! $45.
While these are all made with gluten free ingredients, and I personally had no problems with gluten contamination, it is important to note that they are baked in the same facility that also produces non-gluten free cookies and brownies.
If you have a gluten free person on your gift list for any occasion, you should really take a look at this website. They have lots of non-gluten free choices as well.
P.S. Danielle from Harvard Sweets sent me this in an email after she read my review as a reassurance that they follow guidelines to make sure their gluten free treats are free of contamination:

For reassurance on the gluten-free treats, Harvard Sweet Boutique takes multiple measures to prevent cross-contamination with the wheat in the regular treats to the gluten-free treats. This includes using separate mixers, separate ovens, and waiting a period of no less than 24 hours from when wheat-based treats are made to prep and bake for the gluten-free treats. This helps make sure there are is no wheat-based flour etc. in the air, as well as in the prepping/baking area.

 

 

 

Grandma’s Gift Guide: Pottery Barn Kids

Yes, you read that right. I have the cutest bag that I use all the time that came from Pottery Barn Kids. Mine is the MacKenzie Chocolate Owl Duffle bag. While the one I have is no longer available, Pottery Barn Kids still has a great selection of totes, backpacks, and duffle bags that any young at heart Grandma would love to get as a gift. Just look at how cute the backpacks are!

Mackenzie Chocolate Owl Backpack

And the duffle bag:

Mackenzie Chocolate Duffle Bag

While these bags are made for children, that means they are very durable, and they are just the right size to hold everything I want to take on a weekend trip! I can get my laptop, my iPad, two small cameras, all the accessories for all of those, plus some personal items packed in there, with room to spare. And the duffle bag has a padded shoulder strap to make it comfortable to carry. Here are the actual dimensions of the duffle:

  • 22″ long x 12″ wide x 12″ high
  • Made from rugged, water-resistant 600-denier polyester.
  • Features a double zipper on the main compartment and zipper pockets on each side.
  • Detailed with an adjustable, removable shoulder strap and padded handles.
  • Sized to fit in an overhead bin when used as a carry-on.
  • Personalization is available for an additional $7.00.

You can purchase these cute bags online at Pottery Barn Kids. The duffle bag retails for $49.50 to $55.50 and the backpacks retail from $29.50 to $49.50 depending on the size.

Grandma’s Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers

Not every Grandma is diabetic, but I am. So, I know that wearing the right footwear, and the right socks, is very important. But I have to tell you that not all “diabetic” socks are made the same. I have had some in the past that were not only ugly, but uncomfortable as well. And, if you’re like me, if something doesn’t feel or look good, you aren’t going to wear them and thus, aren’t going to benefit from them.

These Buster Brown Cotton Socks from Wearever are both comfortable on my feet, and look good, too. They are soft and smooth, and have no elastic to “strangle” my ankles. They would make a very good stocking stuffer for Grandma, or anyone else on your list who is diabetic. You can purchase them online at Wearever Incontinence for $8.95 per pair.

 

Grandma’s Gift Guide: Charitable Giving

share houseAs a woman who has lived through domestic abuse, I can tell you that there is a definite need for women’s shelters in every community. Domestic violence is usually worse during the holiday season. For whatever reason that is is elevated during this time, the increase puts a strain on existing shelters to provide a safe environment for abused women and their children. S.H.A.R.E House is the shelter for battered women in my community. I would ask that if you want to make a donation, I would love for you to make it to the shelter in your own community.

You never know who in your circle of friends and acquaintances will be the next to need their services. I used to volunteer at this shelter, but when I started seeing friends of my teenaged daughters come in for services, I could no longer do it. It just broke my heart to see such young women, ones that I knew, going through abuse at the hands of someone who they thought loved them. Please don’t forget to give to these organizations that provide such needed assistance in our communities.

There are many ways you can help. Volunteer your time, donate clothing, food, toys, toiletries. Make a monetary donation.

Domestic violence occurs on all social and economic levels, regardless of race or ethnic background, employment or education, relation, marital status, physical ability, age or sexual orientation.

Each year, more than 50,000 incidents of domestic violence are reported to Georgia law enforcement agencies.

More than 50% of all women are battered by intimate partners at some time in their lives.

A women is physically abused every 9 seconds in this country- an estimated 2 to 4 million women annually.

Nationally, 50% of all homeless women and children are on the streets because of violence in the home.

 

 

Grandma’s Gift Guide: Superior Nut Company Giveaway

When Superior Nut Company asked me to review their products, I was a little wary because I can not eat nuts. But, I soon found out they are more than just nuts.They sell dried fruits, chocolates, snacks, and baked goods, in addition to a wide variety of nuts.Whether your Grandma can eat nuts or not, there is sure to be something on their website she would love.

I spent my $25 gift code on Medjool Dates for my husband:

Chocolate Covered Dried Cherries for me. These are really delicious!

and some Dried Turkish Apricots for both of us:

Superior Nut Company has a wide variety of gift boxes and baskets from which to choose. If I could still eat nuts, I’d be getting this one for sure, the Deluxe Fruit and Nut Gift Tray:

One of my readers will win a $25 gift code to Superior Nut Company. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form.

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Grandma’s Gift Guide: Hickory Farms Giveaway

When my children were very young, maybe two, three, and five years old, I started a tradition that we kept for many many years. They were just too excited to eat dinner on Christmas Eve, so I made an hors d’oeuvres party for them. The girls wore their best frilly dresses, and my son wore his suit and tie. We played the radio and danced. I poured their koolaid and juice in my best wine glasses. But it was never ready until we got our box from Hickory Farms.

I didn’t realize just how much my children loved this tradition until the first year that my son was in the Air Force. He didn’t join until he was 23. Because we didn’t know if he was going to spend Christmas Eve with us or with his girlfriend’s family, I didn’t plan the usual party. The day after Christmas, he sat down with me at breakfast, and said “Mom, you didn’t make a party for us.” I just hope he now carries on the tradition with his own children.

Hickory Farms sent me a Family Favorites Gift Box like the one pictured above. It’s all gluten free except for the crackers, but my husband can eat those. The summer sausage is still just as tasty as it was all those years ago when I danced on Christmas Eve with my children.

One reader can win a Family Favorites Gift Box from Hickory Farms. Just use the Rafflecopter form to enter.

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