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Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Influenster Spring Fling VoxBox {Product Reviews}

Remember last year at about this time, I was selected for an Influenster VoxBox? The Spring Fever VoxBox?

Remember me? From last year?

Well, I was graciously selected by Influenster to receive the Spring Fling VoxBox this year!

As you know, I partner with a few different companies to try products, free of charge, in exchange for my honest review. While I unfortunately don't receive very many VoxBoxes, when they do arrive, they are pretty awesome!

So what's in the box?
We've got: Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam mascara, Kiss Everlasting French press-on nails, Nivea Skin Firming Hydration lotion, a peach pie shaped car air freshener to promote Labor Day, the movie, and a full-size box of Playtex tampons.

Playtex Sport Fresh Balance Tampons, Regular Size, Retail $3.99-$4.99

The VoxBox shipping box seemed much taller than the last one I received, and sure enough, this was the reason why. Influenster sent a full size box of Playtex Sport Fresh Balance tampons, 16 count. While they are supposed to be "lightly scented," I could smell the fragrance without even opening my shipping box, it was that strong. I thought it might be the car air freshener, but I couldn't smell that at all through it's bag. So if you're sensitive to smells, you may want to avoid these.

NIVEA Skin Firming Hydration Body Lotion, for Normal Skin. $2.49 for 2.5 fl oz, $10.99 for 13.5 fl oz.
Next was the NIVEA Skin Firming Hydration Body Lotion. This lotion boasts that in as little as 2 weeks, you'll see firmer, more toned skin. It contains co-enzyme Q10 & Hydra IQ for deep and long lasting moisture. It says its for normal skin. I rubbed in the lotion on my inner arm and the feeling of being lotioned up didn't immediately go away. The scent was nice and clean - other firming lotions I have tried have almost an acidic smell but this one was bearable and not overpowering. 

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara in Extreme Black, $5.99
Next up was the Rimmel Scandaleyes Retro Glam mascara. I'm always looking for new mascaras to try, so this was exciting. Some of my eyelashes tend to grow and curve the wrong way (down instead of up), so finding a mascara brush to help bring those ones up and out is what I'm always looking for. First, can we talk about the size of this thing?

The wand and container are MASSIVE. 5" long and an 1" at the widest point. The brush is what was surprising - it's 1.25" long and about .25" wide at the widest point. That's a lot coming at your eyeball. But, I think it's what helped get every single eyelash for me. 

You've got a new fan, Rimmel London!

Next up...

Kiss Everlasting French Nails, $6.49
The first time I ever got to experience Kiss Everlasting nails was the last time I did a VoxBox through Influenster, and I loved the experience. An unfortunate run with fake nails and crappy glue for my junior prom had left me weary about fake nails that we not professionally put on, but the Kiss brand stays without having to feel like you can't touch anything for a day. While I didn't care for these ones in this VoxBox nearly as much as my last (my last box they came with a sort of "sticker" on the back of the nails for easy application, these ones had glue) they stayed for a good day and I loved having clean, perfect looking nails for my date night.

Peach Pie Car Freshener from the Labor Day movie
This was a cute little throw-in as marketing for the Labor Day movie. It had a good, not overly chemical-y smell like peaches - although I will admit that the pie made me think of American Pie (the movie) instead.

All in all, thank you to Influenster for the Spring Fling VoxBox! It was a lot of fun as usual and hope to get another one sometime soon.

(Disclaimer - I was sent these for my review for I was not compensated in any other way to give a negative or positive review of these products and was allowed to keep the products in return for my honest reviews.)

Friday, January 10, 2014

This Weekend

Colorful tiny potatoes... so delicious!
Here are a few links to take you into your weekend:

Bourbon chicken reminds me of being a teen and eating a fair amount of mall food. And I'm okay with that. ;) We're attempting it this weekend crockpot style using this recipe.

The crockpot will be getting a fair amount of use this weekend - I'm craving some White Chicken Chili. We're trying this recipe out this weekend.

I want these boots to come back in stock in a size 8.5... :)

I dabbled in needlefelting about a month ago and while I definitely need practice, I'd love to make this little guy someday.

What are you up to this weekend? We've been going to the gym every day for the past week and it feels amazing to be getting stronger. The endorphins have been nice too! ;)

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Jerk Pork and Sweet Potato Stew

My brother is a foodie like me, and so for Christmas he gave me a Crockpot cook book filled with delicious recipes. We sat on the couch after opening and ooh'ed and ahh'ed over the pretty pictures and I mentally made a list of recipes I had to try out... and this was the one that stuck out me the most.

I can list the number of recipes I've made with "jerk" taste on one hand. One finger even... this is my first go at it. I have had things with the taste, so I know I like it at least... so at least I have that going for me, right?

It's also my first time using allspice in a recipe, and it's my first time buying pork shoulder. Lots of firsts! A fair warning though... this recipe is cheap in theory. You only need 1 1/4 pounds of pork shoulder for this recipe, but the smallest one I could find at my grocery store was a whopping 8+ pounds and it cost $15. So... lots of pork in our future!...I also had to buy allspice, which was $2.72 - not bad, considering I couldn't find an offbrand, and I'll probably use it in more things. But besides those two - this is a pretty cheap and amazingly good dinner. Especially with these sort of temps outside!      

I've added a new feature to the blog - printable recipes! Now you can press the Print This Recipe link and it'll take you to my Google Site, where my printable recipes are housed!

Ready to make it? You'll need:
Print This Recipe
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/4 lbs pork shoulder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 small-medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1/4 cup minced green onions, green only, divided
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon jalapeno pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 cups white rice, cooked
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  1. Chop your pork shoulder into bite sizes pieces. Add flour, salt and pepper to a ziplock-type bag. Add your pork shoulder to the bag, seal, and shake well to coat.

2. Heat your oil in a pot or skillet until hot. Add your pork and brown on both sides. Add this to your crockpot.

3. Chop the sweet potatoes if you haven't already, then add those to the crockpot. Add your corn, 2 tablespoons of the green onions (hold on to the rest for later), mince the garlic and add, mince the jalapeno and add, and add the allspice.

4. Stir in the chicken broth. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours.

5. Before serving, prepare the white rice. Also before serving, top the stew with the remaining green onions and lime juice. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Serve the stew over the rice and enjoy! 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

My One Word

My One Word for this year: "Again."

Hi all - it's been a while, eh? Life has gotten busy and I've neglected this blog, which is a bummer because it was/is a really fun outlet for me to share my recipes and crafts. So my one word for this year (click here if you don't know what this is all about) is again. Because...

In 2014...
  • I want to get back to posting semi-regularly here again.
    • Time FLIES. If 2013 has taught me anything, is that time flies. I started my first full-time job this year and I've been learning time management. So instead of saying I don't have time, I am making time for things I like and love.
  • I am going to lose the weight... again.
    • In 2013, my weight slowly crept up as I wasn't very active in the winter, and then I found myself out eating more towards the end, and it piled on. My weight is definitely one of the biggest things I struggle with and have struggled with for years. We're joining a gym as of... today, actually, and it's going to happen. I can't just say it's going to happen anymore.
  • I actually want to have a year like 2013 again. 
    • In 2013, the beginning of the year was a bit of a struggle as I worked to find myself, my car decided it was "time" and I had a burning desire to find my career.  But as the year went on, in about the middle of the year, I found my full-time career, which has led to awesome friendships, increased knowledge and more financial freedom - which all leads to happiness. I got to spend lots of time with family and friends. We got a new car after our old one bellied up, my family passed on their car to us and it's been great. Sure, there were some downs, like losing our family cat, whom I had since I was 6-7 and I'm now 26, Christmas with no power (but lots of memories), family members who got sick (but thankfully caught in time) but for the most part, it's been a pretty happy year. And for that, I'm incredibly thankful.
  • We're going to house hunt again (!)
    • Some of our nearest and dearest friends bought their first house this past year and it's been an exciting time for them. We're getting to where we're considering our first house and realistically taking a look at what we are going to do to make it happen.
 So here's my resolutions in a nutshell, and my one word for the year. "Again." What's yours?