Monday, September 25, 2017

September Allure Beauty Box

Allure Beauty Box…  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.  One:  Full-size Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush.  Two:  Drunk Elephant Skin Care.  Soooo many products of theirs are on my Wish List.   Three:  Promo codes for 20% purchases at both these brand’s websites.    Four:
I could continue but it’s already well documented that Allure is my favorite subscription box so I’ll keep the rest of my gushing to myself.

This month’s box –

  • Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream
  • Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast
  • Beautyblender Micro Mini
  • Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye
  • Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-hour blush in “Dazzled”

  • The Tarte Blush in “Dazzled” will be a nice addition to my blush wardrobe!  At first I was a little bummed that I didn’t receive “Captivating” which is a warm peach shade and typically what I lean towards, but then I realized, “Really Kristina?  Do you need another peach blush?”  Honestly, need is subjective where makeup is concerned but now I can say I’m expanding my horizons with a pretty dusty rose shade!

    As I mentioned earlier, I have quite a few Drunk Elephant items on my Wish List.  This Whipped Cream moisturizer sounds absolutely delightful for my already dry skin that’s about to get even drier as the weather cools.  I’m also looking forward to trying the volumizing spray from Living Proof.  I love their dry shampoo so we’ll see if this Dry Volume Blast gives my hair when it’s freshly washed the oomph and grip I need.

    Can’t wait for next month’s!

    Tuesday, September 12, 2017

    September Birchbox

    The September edition of my Birchbox arrived yesterday.  I feel like I've been waiting for forever for this thing!  The enclosed card stated this box is "all about you - and making your routine easier, faster, and more fun."  I think I'm going to have to check my profile because I received two products for oily or acne-prone skin whereas my skin is definitively dry and I rarely breakout.  Oh well, the mattifying toner at least can go to my daughter!

    The contents:

    • Avene Cleanance MAT Mattifying Toner
    • Briogeo Rosarco Milk Reparative Leave-In Conditioning Spray
    • Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum
    • Pixi by Petra LipLift Max in "Honey Sheen"
    • Wilma Schumann Skin Care Mouth & Lips Age-Defying Masque
    The "Honey Sheen" shade of the gloss I received looks to be a peachy-nude which is absolutely one of my favorite lip colors, and I already know I like the Briogeo Leave-In conditioner.  My lips don't need any plumping as of yet but I'll never turn down testing a new mask lol! While the mattifying toner is definitely going to my teenage daughter, I'll have to look into the ingredients of the blemish serum before I decide what to do with that one.

    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