Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Sephora Haul 08.21.17

Over the weekend I received two packages from Sephora!  One was an order that I placed for 4x points and a GWP, and the other was a Rewards Bazaar point redemption.

I had the Burberry Beauty Box hanging out in my cart just waiting for a worthwhile promo, and I’m such a sucker for sample bags that I decided to go for it as soon as one was available . This beauty bag promo had a $40 minimum purchase, and since I was intrigued by the flavors of Coco Floss I added the Coconut to my order to get me just over.


I was fairly annoyed when I opened the Burberry Beauty Box to find a blush inside instead of the Pale Barley eyeshadow that was advertised when I ordered.  It looks like it might work for contouring though so we’ll see.  I’m very happy with the samples I received in the beauty promo and am especially looking forward to trying the GlamGlow Illuminating Moisturizer and Purity Made Simple Clay Mask!

Onto the Point Redemption!  Every time Sephora previews the Point Perks and I see something I actually want to spend my points on I end up missing out.  I’ll check in the morning and it won’t be available yet and so I’ll check a couple hours later and it’ll be sold out!  This has been going on for over year so I’m pretty excited I managed to snag one!


This point redemption from Tarte came with:
  • Beach Towel
  • Canvas Tote Bag
  • Blue Tooth Speaker
  • Water Bottle
  • Hair Goals Dry Shampoo (full-size)
  • Rainforest of the Sea Lipstick in “Colada” (full-size)
  • Park Avenue Princess Bronzer (deluxe sample)
  • Ready Set Radiant Mist (deluxe sample)
  • Lights, Camera, Lashes (deluxe sample)
Have you gotten your hands on any good promotions or point redemptions lately?  And, most importantly, is it still available for me to get in on lol?!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Target Beauty Box - August


Target's August's Beauty Box is full of products to make the most of your daily routine.  I don't grab one of these every month, but with 2 full-size products and every item being something either my daughter or I use, it was a great value!

The contents:


  • Dove Clear Finish Dry Spray Deodorant (full-size)
  • Up&Up 25-ct Facial Wipes (full-size)
  • Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips (1 count)
  • SpaLife Nourishing Facial Mask
  • Herbal Essences Argan Oil Shampoo
  • Garnier Clearly Brighter Daily Scrub
Did you grab one this month?  Which product were you most excited about?

Friday, August 11, 2017

August Birchbox

Easy Does It - "Effortless days call for an effortless routine."

My August Birchbox contained the following:


  • Acure Organics Day Cream
  • Benefit Gimme Brown Volumizing Fiber Gel in “3 Medium”
  • Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment
  • Marcelle City Multi-Protection Tinted Cream SPF 25 in “Fair”
  • Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo
I already know and love Thirstymud, Gimme Brow, and Oribe Dry Shampoo, so a big “Yay!” for travel-size versions to take on my next trip.  Acure Organics is one of my favorite brands for argan oil so I have no doubt I’ll love their Day Cream, and while Marcelle’s products have been hit or miss for me in the past, I have my fingers crossed on this Tinted Cream!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Cherry and Cream Cheese Overnight French Toast

The other day while having breakfast at Panera I decided to take home a French baguette to have with dinner.  The intention was to make a cheese board and wash it down with the obligatory bottle of red wine but for some reason this did not happen.  I don’t recall why but two days later I found myself with a stale baguette.

I took to Pinterest for inspiration on what to do with it and came across a recipe I’d pinned ages ago.  I had all the required ingredients on hand (with some minor modifications) including the leftover cherries I had frozen after finding them for such a great deal a couple of weeks ago!

First, tear your bread into chunks and place half of them in the bottom of a greased pan.  Normally I would cram more bread in there, but I had a small-ish loaf and was worried I wouldn’t have enough.


Next scatter some chunks of cream cheese and fresh or frozen cherry halves across the top.   Cover the cream cheese and cherries with the remaining bread chunks, whip up your French Toast mixture (eggs, 1/2 and 1/2, brown sugar, vanilla, and spices) and pour it over the top, thoroughly soaking the bread.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.  (If you’re blogging, forget to take pictures of those last 3 steps.  It keeps things interesting.)


The next morning, set your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and allow the covered casserole to sit at room temperature while the oven preheats.  Bake covered for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake another 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom isn’t a soupy eggy mess.

Cut a generous square for yourself and drizzle with maple syrup.  Unfortunately, what landed on my plate wasn’t exactly photogenic but it sure did taste good!  My husband commented that it was “absolutely delicious” and suggested that I use even more cherries next time.


Cherry and Cream Cheese Overnight French Toast
1 French baguette (day old or stale)
1 8oz block of cream cheese, cubed
1c fresh or frozen cherry halves
6 eggs
2c 1/2 and 1/2
1/2c brown sugar
2t vanilla extract
1t cinnamon
1/2t nutmeg
dash cloves
Maple syrup for serving

1 – Butter or grease a 9×13″ baking pan.  Tear the baguette into pieces and place half in the bottom of the prepared pan.   Scatter the chunks of cream cheese and fresh or frozen cherry halves across the top.   Cover the cream cheese and cherries with the remaining bread pieces.

2 – Mix together the eggs, 1/2 and 1/2, brown sugar, vanilla, and spices.  Whisk well and pour the mixture over the top,  thoroughly soaking the bread.  Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.

3 – Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.   Remove the casserole from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature while the oven warms.  Bake covered for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown and most of the egg mixture has been absorbed.

4 – Remove from the oven and allow to cool briefly.  Cut into squares and serve with maple syrup.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Adapted from Manila Spoon

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Cherry Almond Crisp

Yesterday while out grocery shopping I came across cherries for the practically unheard of price of $.99/lb!  I didn't have a plan in mind for what to do with them but figured I'd be able to whip up something with the basics in my pantry.  A simple crisp or cobbler crossed my mind and then I remembered making a Cherry Crisp from Iowa Girl Eats a couple years back, so I decided to go that route again!

The ingredients:

First things first - pit the cherries.  If you don't have a cherry pitter an empty beer or soda bottle and plastic straw works wonderfully!  Next, slice them in half and toss them with some sugar, flour, cinnamon, and vanilla.



Then, mix up the topping ingredients using a fork and knife or your fingers until it's all nice and crumbly, and pour it over the fruit.


Bake until golden brown and crispy! Allow to cool a little bit and serve with sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Cherry Almond Crisp
1 to 1 1/2lbs cherries, pitted and halved
1T sugar
2t flour
1t vanilla extract
1/4t cinnamon

Crisp Topping
1/2c old-fashioned oats
1/2c brown sugar
1/4c flour
1/4c cold butter, cubed
1/4c sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Combine cherries, sugar, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon and spread into greased baking dish or pie pan.

Recipe lightly adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

July Allure Beauty Box and Gift

This month the editors at Allure put together the summer essentials they use to look amazing despite the heat and humidity.  With it being 95 outside today the timing on this couldn’t be more perfect!  And…  I received an amazing surprise in the mail!

What I got:


  • Briogeo Rosarco Blow Dry Perfection & Heat Protectant Crème
  • Feel Brilliant Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sheet Mask
  • Redken Fashion Waves 07 Sea Salt Spray
  • Burt’s Bees Complete Nourishment Facial Oil
  • Wander Beauty Lipstick in “Barely There”
  • Cargo Swimmables Water Resistant Blush in “Bali”
  • Beauty for Real Lip Revival Exfoliating + Hydrating Lip Scrub


  • All products I haven’t tried previously and I’m not even sure which one I’m most excited to test first.  Maybe the facial oil.  I love argan oil and am interested to see if Burt’s Bee’s blend of rose hip and primrose oils is even better!  (Or if it will make me break out.)

    And the surprise?  Two full-size Marc Jacobs lip glosses that I received for being a long-standing subscriber!  The colors they sent me are “Hey You” which is a bright pink/cherry shade, and “Moonglow” which is a pale pink/nude.


    I’ve said many times that Allure’s Beauty Box is my favorite out of all the boxes I’ve subscribed to (both past and present).  It’s good to know they love me back!

    Friday, July 7, 2017

    Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Vanilla Sauce

    The rhubarb abundance continues and therefore so do the rhubarb recipes!  This is actually the third rhubarb recipe I've made in the last couple of weeks but only the second I'm posting about.  (The other recipe was a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, which while delicious, was not very pretty.  I'll try again on that one!)

    This is one of those recipes that sounds kind of fancy but is actually fairly simple to throw together! First, fold 3 cups of chopped rhubarb into a buttermilk batter.


    Next, spread the batter into a greased pan and sprinkle a simple streusel topping over the top.


    Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes and until the top is golden brown.  (Mental note to self:  use Windex on glass cooktop prior to taking and uploading photos for blog post.)


    It will look golden and beautiful and you will want to dig right in, but for the love of baking powder, please allow it to cool a bit!  Make the vanilla sauce while you wait.

    Once the cake (and sauce) have cooled to a not mouth-scorching temperature, pour over a generous amount of the vanilla sauce and serve!


    Rhubarb Streusel Cake with Vanilla Sauce
    Batter
    2T salted butter, softened
    1c sugar
    1 egg
    2c all-purpose flour
    1t baking powder
    1/2t baking soda
    1c buttermilk
    3c fresh rhubarb, chopped

    In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Beat in egg.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Stir flour mixture into creamed mixture, alternating with buttermilk.  Beat just until moistened - do not overmix.  Fold in the rhubarb and pour into a greased 9" square baking dish.

    Streusel Topping
    1/4c all-purpose flour
    1/4c sugar
    2T butter, melted
    Combine all ingredients.  Sprinkle over prepared rhubarb batter.  Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool.  Top with Vanilla Sauce and serve.

    Vanilla Sauce
    1/2c salted butter
    3/4c sugar
    1/2 evaporate milk
    1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

    Melt the butter in a saucepan.  Add sugar, evaporated milk, and scraped vanilla bean.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from heat.  Allow to cool slightly and transfer to a storage container.  Refrigerate leftovers.

    Lightly adapted from My Baking Addiction