Saturday, January 28, 2017

January Allure Beauty Box

Allure proves once again why they are my favorite beauty box and consistently the best valued.  This month's box contains 2 full-sized products along with other products I'm over the moon for too!

The full-sized products are a Doucce Freematic Eye Shadow Palette with shimmery plum, matte black, pearly white, and slate gray shades, and a Burt's Bees Lipstick in "Blush Basin" which is a very neural and wearable shade described as "rosy-nude".
Next up are two products I have already tried and liked!  I received dry shampoo (which is a major hair care staple of mine) from Oscar Blandi and Dr. Brandt's Microdermabrasion to help me deal with my dry and flaky winter skin.
Finally, who doesn't love face masks and new makeup brushes?!  I received a sheet mask from BioBelle in #Beautyscoop which is their hydrating and line-reducing mask, and a travel-size Sigma E70 Medium Angled Shading Brush.
Absolutely love!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

January Birchbox

January's Birchbox theme is "New Year New Perspective" and is described as being full of products that will make you "feel like the greatest version of your (already great) self." Let's see what what we've got! :D

  • ARROW Endure Water-Resistant Mascara
  • Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo
  • NUXE Moisturizer Cream Crème Fraiche de Beaute
  • PARLOR by Jeff Chastain Moisturizing & Repairing Shampoo (plus bonus sample packet of conditioner)
  • Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment
  • ORIGINS GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream (bonus sample packet)
The things I'm most excited about are the Living Proof Dry Shampoo (I believe I've discussed my serious love dry shampoo previously.  Several times probably.) and the Sunday Riley Lactic Acid Treatment.  The Good Genes Lactic Acid Treatment gets rave reviews from people with problematic skin so I'm hoping it does something, anything, for the cyst I've got on my chin right now!

Described as being a drink of water for the skin, the NUXE Moisturizer Cream will be the first thing I slather on tomorrow morning!  Lately I have just been a dry and flaky mess.  My face feels like it's going to crack and even my scalp is getting in on the dry and flaky action.  I guess I should count myself lucky to have received the Parlor Shampoo  since it's sulfate-free and thus not as moisture stripping as traditional shampoo.

Last but not least is the ARROW Mascara.  It's vegan!  I don't typically seek out vegan products but I appreciate them and will happily add them to my routine when the opportunity arises.  It's also water-resistant which means I can be my sappy self and tear up while watching tv, reading, scrolling through Pinterest...  and not end up looking like a raccoon!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Target Beauty Box - January

Target released two beauty boxes this month but I was only able to get my hands on the $10 one.  There was a couple of things in the $5 version I would've liked to try, but these always sell out very quickly so I'm just happy I even managed to get the one!

This box contained:
  • Beautiful Nutrition Lemon Clarifying Treatment
  • Nexxus Comb Thru Finishing Mist
  • Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Day Lotion
  • Chapstick Total Hydration Sugar Scrub
  • AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion
  • eb5 Facial Cream
  • Revlon Kiss Balm in "025 Fresh Strawberry"
  • L'Oreal Revitalift Volume Filler Serum & Cream (sample packets)
Overall I really like this box! I always enjoy trying out new lotions and skincare but I'm most excited about the lip scrub, tinted balm, and hair care this time around.  I wish Target would do a subscription program!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Sur la Table Pumpkin Spice Doughnut Mix Review

I love (and prefer) baking from scratch but will readily admit that there is a time and a place for box mixes.  My local Sur la Table had their Pumpkin Spice box mixes on major sale a while back so I grabbed a couple different varieties.
Quick side note... Did you know that BAKED (the famed Brooklyn bakery) makes the box mixes especially for Sur la Table?!  I have a couple of their cookbooks and their recipes are awesome!  Onward...

These Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Spice Donuts were very simple to whip up.  They required only the addition of eggs, water, and oil to the batter and the cinnamon sugar packets that were already in the box.  11 minutes later my kitchen smelled delicious and I was sprinkling cinnamon sugar over warm cake doughnuts.  They were moist and springy and tasted as good as they smelled!  I won't hesitate to stock up the next time I find their mixes on sale. :)

Monday, January 9, 2017

Beautylish Lucky Bag 2017

My Beautylish Lucky Bag arrived over the weekend!  This was my first time purchasing a Lucky Bag and I'm so happy I did!  I debated about it last year but ultimately chickened out, ($75 isn't chump change after all), but then regretted it later when I saw some of the great things my friends received. 
In case you're not familiar with Lucky Bags -
The online beauty store Beautylish offers a limited number of Lucky Bags every year in late December.  This year they also offered an XL Lucky Bag with $300 worth of products for $150, but I didn't have the nerve to go for that one!  These are the goodies I received in my regular bag:

  • IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara (value $24)
  • Bioderma Sensibio H20 Micellar Water (value $7)
  • Clean Apothecary Brush Shampoo (value $15)
  • RMS Beauty Magic Luminizer (value $38)
  • Natasha Denona Eyeshadow Palette 5 in shade "10" (value $48)
  • Becca The One Perfecting Brush ($49)
That's a product value totaling just over $180!  Lucky bag indeed. :D

Cheers to the new year and may yours be filled with luck and beauty!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Ham and Bean Soup

Several days after we had ham for Christmas dinner, and despite that we fried up leftover ham with eggs for breakfast and had made dozens of ham sandwiches, I still found myself with a sizeable container of leftover ham.  So... the only logical thing left to do here was to make Ham and Bean soup!

This is a super simple recipe that can be whipped up from start to finish in 30 minutes thanks to using time-saving canned beans.  Of course though, as with all soups, the longer you let it simmer the better it gets!
Gettin' started!

Simmering away!

Ham and Bean Soup

2c leftover cooked ham, cubed

3T reserved fat/drippings (or butter)

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

½ medium onion, chopped

1t minced garlic

4 – 15 1/2oz cans great northern beans (drained and rinsed)

4c chicken broth

1t chili powder

1/4t pepper

Bay leaf

1 - In a stock pot or other large pan, sauté the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic in the reserved fat and drippings until tender. (Substitute butter if no fat/drippings are available.)

2 -  Remove the sautéed vegetables to a blender and add approximately 1 cup of the broth.  Puree until smooth to get rid of any visible evidence of vegetables and then return to the pot.  (If your family isn’t averse to chunks of vegetables then skip this part! )

3 – Add all remaining ingredients to the pot.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 15 minutes.  Remove bay leaf before serving.

Served with some crusty bread and butter