Monday, February 29, 2016

Unboxing....Beauty Joy February 2016

My February Beauty Joy box was delivered a week ago. Since then, I've been waiting for the company to send me a copy of the Info Card which is usually included in the box but was missing from mine this month. Since I've gotten no response from them yet, I'm going to do my best to review the products without it. Again this month the packaging was a gold bubble wrapper & the products were inside of a polka dot makeup bag.

*Update 3/3/2016: I have finally received the Info Card so I'm including the descriptions & prices of the products.

This subscription box comes with 1 hand-curated jewelry item, 1 full-size beauty item & 2 - 3 deluxe samples. This is what came in the box this month:

Burt's Bees Res-Q Ointment - Full Size $6
When Nature plays a little too rough, appeal to her nurturing side 
with the gentle blend of herbal ingredients in our comforting salve. 
It's nice to know nature will always come to the rescue.

Nabi Cosmetic Co. Retractable Waterproof Eyeliner in Black - $1.50
A long lasting waterproof formula that delivers a 
smooth application with no need for a sharpener.

Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue Medicated Balm - Full Size $3.99
No more basic lip balm. Medicated care + 12 HR hydration. 
Soothes quickly with a hint of eucalyptus. Cools sore lips with a touch of icy menthol. 
In 6 new natural tints to even out lip tone for healthier looking lips.

Hikari Cosmetics Blush in Charmed - Full Size $15
Designed to highlight your complexion, our weightless blush can be used lightly for a fresh look or layered for a dramatic look. An effortless application to the cheekbones that lasts all day.

Silver Toned Mask Necklace - $8
Enjoy a bit of Mardi Gras fun this February with this lovely necklace.

This is my least favorite box since I've been subscribed to Beauty Joy. The makeup bag last month was also polka dots but was much cuter. This one seems cheaply made with uneven stitching & loose threads. I'm not really thrilled with any of the products this month either, especially the Hikari blush that is such a bright bright bright pink that I will never wear. I've gotten this brand of blush in this box before & the previous one was also a terrible color that went straight into our Halloween box.

I totally understand that this company is located in Florida & they had very bad weather earlier this month. But I've emailed their contact several times & messaged them on Facebook as well with no response except that they have now blocked my messages on Facebook. If I do receive a copy of the Info Card, I'll update this post to include better descriptions of the products. *Update 3/3/2016: I have finally received the Info card so I am including the descriptions & prices of the products.

Since this box was so disappointing & their customer service seems to be non-existent, this will probably be my last box. Last month's box was really good & the main reason that I love this box is the inclusion of jewelry so I might give them one more chance to see if they can get it together in March....

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Crowdtap Sampling: Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets #ReynoldsCrowd #sponsored

I love to bake! My family has a serious sweet tooth so we usually have a cake, some cookies, brownies, cupcakes or some other sweet treat around all the time. I've used the parchment paper that comes on rolls in the past but now I've been chosen by Crowdtap to sample these pre-cut sheets.

The box comes with 25 sheets that are 12"x16" & each sheet can be used for multiple batches. I've made cookies twice since I've had these sheets & the sheets lie flatter on my cookie pan than the parchment paper that comes on a roll. The sheets keep cookies from burning & make cleanup a breeze. The cookies will slide right off the baking sheet onto the cooling rack without sticking.

These are the recipes for the cookies that I baked using the Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheets:

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light-brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F
Line cookie sheet with Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheet
Combine flour, salt & baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.
Beat butter with both sugars on medium speed with electric mixer until light & fluffy.
Reduce speed to low, add vanilla & eggs.
Add flour mixture; blend with mixer until combined. Stir in both chocolate chips.
Drop tablespoon-size balls of dough about 2 inches apart on lined baking sheet.
Bake cookies for 8 - 10 minutes.
Remove from oven, sliding paper off cookie sheet directly onto cooling rack.
Cool completely.

Red Velvet Gooey Butter Cookies
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 box red velvet cake mix
Confectioners sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350F
Line cookie sheet with Reynolds Cookie Baking Sheet
Beat cream cheese & butter with electric mixer.
Beat in the egg, then the vanilla.
Beat in the cake mix until completely combined.
Cover & refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Roll the chilled dough into tablespoon-sized balls, then roll balls 
in confectioners sugar & place on baking sheet.
Bake cookies for 12 minutes.
Remove from oven, sliding paper off cookie sheet directly onto cooling rack.
Cool completely.

These liners make baking cookies so much easier. I love that the sheets can be used for multiple batches & that they make cleanup not such a chore. This is a product that I am recommending to all of my family & friends.

#ReynoldsCrowd #Crowdtap #ILoveCrowdtap #sponsored

I am a member of the Crowdtap Reynolds® rewards program and I was provided a sample of this product for the purpose of testing and review. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Unboxing....Ipsy Glam Bag February 2016 #februaryglambag #ipsy

The theme for the Ipsy February Glam Bag is Pretty in #IpsyPink. "This February we're taking our favorite shade from dainty to daring with rule-breaking looks for all beauty lovers!"

These are the products that I received in my February Glam Bag:

Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat
Paula Dorf Baby Eyes Enhancer
Smashbox Cosmetics Photo Finish Primer Oil

My Amazing Hair Secrets Leave In Secret Spray Conditioner
Jor'el Parker Eau So Divine

This is my least favorite Ipsy bag since I've been receiving them. I love the Valentine themed cosmetics bag, the Pink Gel Coat & the perfume sample but I do not like the other products. I don't use any leave-in conditioners because my hair is too fine & it drags it down, I don't use any oily products on my face because it makes my combination skin too shiny & I don't like the eye enhancer. I'm going to take the quiz again to try to ensure that I don't receive any of these types of products again & to hopefully get more of the products that I really like or want to try.

Ipsy is a monthly subscription box which comes with full-size or deluxe-sized products plus a makeup bag. The cost is $10 each month with free shipping to the US & Canada. It is delivered via USPS. I think it's well worth the money that I spend & a great way to try new products & add to your makeup collection. Ipsy sends out multiple variations of each Glam Bag so my review is the products that I received. Yours could be different & I love seeing what everyone else gets in their bag.

So. That's my Glam Bag. What did you get in yours?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Crowdtap Sampling: Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners #ReynoldsCrowd #sponsored

A friend of ours had told me about Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners but I had not yet tried them myself so I was happy to be chosen by Crowdtap to sample the liners.

The box came with 4 liners & they are so easy to use. The liners will fit all shapes of 6 - 8 quart slow cookers. For the meals that I made with the liners, I used a round 6-quart crockpot.

All you do is put a liner inside of your slow cooker, fitting it snugly against the sides & bottom, then pull the top of the liner over the rim of the bowl.

Now just put the ingredients in your slow cooker & cook like you normally would. Once you have served your meal & stored any leftovers, let the slow cooker cool completely, remove the liner & toss it into the trash. Do not lift or transport the liner with food inside. That's it! No soaking or scrubbing needed.

Here are the meals that I cooked in my crockpot with the Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners:

Barbeque Chicken
Boneless skinless chicken breasts (I use them straight from the freezer)
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours (depending on your slow cooker)
Shred the chicken & serve over rice

Easy Beer Bratwurst
1 bottle dark beer
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
6 uncooked Bratwurst links
6 hoagie buns
Shredded cheddar cheese
Add beer, onions, maple syrup, vinegar, caraway seeds, thyme & Worcestershire sauce 
to slow cooker. Stir to combine & place bratwurst on top of the mixture. 
Cover & cook 8 hours on low. Serve bratwurst on buns topped with shredded cheese. 

Swedish Meatballs
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can beef broth
1 packet dry onion soup mix
2 tablespoons steak sauce
1 (2 lb.) bag frozen meatballs
1 cup sour cream
1 (16 oz.) package egg noodles
Mix undiluted soup with broth, onion soup mix & steak sauce, stirring well. 
Add frozen meatballs. Cook on low 6 - 8 hours. When meatballs are ready, stir in sour cream. 
Cook egg noodles as directed on package, draining well when done. 
Mix the noodles & meatballs together.

These liners have made my life so much easier! Not having to soak & then scrub my crockpot is so nice. This is a product that I am recommending to all of my family & friends.

#ReynoldsCrowd #Crowdtap #ILoveCrowdtap #sponsored

I am a member of the Crowdtap Reynolds® rewards program and I was provided a sample of this product for the purpose of testing and review. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Product Review: CREE Super Bright Rechargeable LED Searchlight by WASING

We have lots of flashlights but most of them run on regular batteries so it seems like every time we need to use one, the batteries are dead. I wanted this CREE Rechargeable Searchlight from Wasing because I knew my husband would like it.

This product is Made in China but I guess the company has changed it’s packaging because the box that I got was entirely in English as are the instructions. When this light arrived & I took it out of the box, I thought it looked pretty much like some others that my husband owns but then I started checking it out & found that it really is very different. The light looks like it will be heavy but it is really quite lightweight. It comes with a shoulder strap so that will be handy when we go camping. I really like that this light recharges by plugging it into a regular electric outlet & that the cord stores inside the battery compartment.

The handle on this light has notches for your fingers which makes it comfortable to hold & the on/off switch is right on the handle where it is easy to use. When you want to change the brightness of the light or use the strobe mode, you just have to lightly touch the button but you do have to press all the way down to turn it on or off. The button is white but changes to red while the light is charging & then changes to green when it is fully charged. The box shows that charging time is 8-10 hours but my light came fully charged & we haven’t had to recharge it yet. There is also an adjustable stand on the bottom of the light that can be used to direct the light where you need it for hands-free operation. There is also a really bright (I was looking right at it when I turned it on!) emergency light on the stand that operates with a toggle on/off switch.

This searchlight really lights up the night! It shines a very long distance & has a broader halo than any of the other lights that we own. It has also been really useful while working on the car & other projects around our house. It is definitely the light that we will pack when we go on vacations or camping trips.

You can purchase this CREE Super Bright Rechargeable LED Searchlight on Amazon.

I received this product for the purpose of testing and review. Regardless, I only recommend products that I personally use and believe will be good for my readers. The opinions expressed above are 100% my own based on my personal experience and use of the product.

Product Review: Organic Ground Flax Seed from Viva Labs #health #fiber

My husband has been using ground flax seed for a couple of years so I got this Organic Ground Flax Seed by Viva Labs for him & I’ve tried it a few times myself.

This flax seed comes in a big 15 ounce resealable package. I’m not as familiar with flax seed as my husband so I don’t have anything to judge this against. When I use this product, I add it to my morning cereal or oatmeal. This is a great way to add more fiber to our diet without any change in the taste or texture of our food. My husband says that this flax seed is much fresher than what we usually buy at our grocery. He likes that this product is a finer, more consistent grind than his regular brand so it is easier to mix into juice drinks. He wants me to start adding flax seed to some of the baked goods that I make so I’m going to experiment with that next.

Product Information:
  • BOOST HEART HEALTH - Viva Labs uses a proprietary cold-milling method that protects omega-3's from the effects of oxidation, supporting a healthy heart and promoting greater cardiovascular benefits.
    • IMPROVE GUT HEALTH NATURALLY - Our flax seeds are finely ground to the softest grade for a higher fiber content and smooth consistency. Each serving provides 3g of dietary fiber for optimal digestive health and regularity.
    • FEEL FULLER LONGER - A combination of fiber and protein helps keep you satisfied all day long by curbing hunger and cravings. Each serving of Viva Labs' flax seed provides 3g of vegan protein, making it suitable for all diets!
    • VERSATILE KITCHEN STAPLE - Our flax seed adds a pleasant nutty flavor to foods while boosting everyday nutrition. Blends seamlessly in cereals, desserts, smoothies and more.
    • Certified organic and non-GMO, Viva Labs Organic Ground Flax seed is allergen friendly and is sourced from select Canadian farmers for the finest quality guaranteed!

    You can purchase this Organic Ground Flax Seed from Viva Labs on Amazon.

    I received this product for the purpose of testing and review. Regardless, I only recommend products that I personally use and believe will be good for my readers. The opinions expressed above are 100% my own based on my personal experience and use of the product.

    Monday, February 15, 2016

    Crowdtap Sampling: Garnier Color Sensation #GarnierCrowd #sponsored

    I have colored my hair for more years than I can remember & have tried a lot of products over the years. Now thanks to being chosen by Crowdtap to sample Garnier Color Sensation, I'm trying a new hair color product.

    I chose to try 6.3 Light Golden Brown which is different from the color that I have used for the last few months. This product advertises "Rick color & silky shine from root to tip", "100% gray coverage" and "No mess, non-drip cream formula" on the front of the box. The gray coverage feature is what I am looking for in a hair color. It has gotten to the point that I have to color my hair once a month to keep my gray roots from showing.

    This products comes a brush to make applying the color to much easier & I know that I didn't miss any spots. Since I was changing my hair color, I used the Full Head application. The instructions say to leave the color on for 25 minutes. I am happy to say that this product doesn't have a bad smell & didn't make my eyes water like some others that I have used in the past. After 25 minutes, I washed out the color & used the After Color Conditioner that is included in the box. My hair came out looking great & feeling soft! I didn't get the exact color shown on the box but I like it.

    If you're looking for a change or just want to brighten up your existing color, go to their website & take a look at all of the Garner Color Sensation shades.

    #GarnierCrowd #Crowdtap #ILoveCrowdtap #sponsored

    I am a member of the Crowdtap Garnier® rewards program and I was provided a sample of this product for the purpose of testing and review.

    Monday, February 8, 2016

    Product Review: Trunk Organizer and Trash Bag Combo from Container Heaven

    We recently bought a new SUV & I love having this Trunk Organizer from Container Heaven to keep everything properly stored & organized. I also like having a way to keep my shopping bags from sliding all over the back.

    This organizer has nice sturdy sides with removable bases that keep it standing straight without sagging. There are two large compartments or you can use the included divider to make 2 smaller compartments on one side. There are also mesh pockets for keeping smaller items from rolling around or getting lost. If you only need to use one side of the organizer, you can use the clips to close the other side & when it is not being used at all you can fold the whole thing flat so that it doesn’t take up a lot of room. It is very easy to wipe clean with a damp rag.

    This also comes with a trash container that can be clipped onto the headrest of the front seat to keep your car nice & tidy. This container is also easy to clean with a damp rag.

    Product Information:
    • GREAT FOR CARRYING GROCERIES: Go from the shopping aisle to your kitchen pantry without using paper or plastic bags! The side handles makes it easy to carry it to your car. Keep groceries from moving around in your trunk. If there is a leaking bottle, don't worry - the material makes it easy to wipe away!
    • VERSATILE AND PORTABLE : The modular design lets you fold the organizer in half or fold it completely when not in use. It is a GREAT SPACE SAVER! The front and side mesh pockets are very useful to store maps, sunglasses, tire gauge and other smaller items that always seem to get lost in the trunk.
    • DURABLE AND STURDY: This trunk organizer can hold up-to 75 lbs. It is also great for light weight items. The sturdy base plates keeps the trunk organizer from moving around in the trunk.
    • FREE CAR TRASH BAG: Order now and get a free car trash bag to keep your car organized AND clean. This is a $20 VALUE included in this bundle for FREE for a limited time!
    • 100% CUSTOMER SATISFACTION GUARANTEE AND LIFETIME WARRANTY: Buy it at NO RISK to you. We believe that you will love this product. If you have any problems, reach out to us directly and we will refund you or send a replacement at the earliest. Your satisfaction is very important to us!

    This Trunk Organizer and Trash Bag Combo can be purchased on Amazon:

    I received this product for the purpose of testing and review. Regardless, I only recommend products that I personally use and believe will be good for my readers. The opinions expressed above are 100% my own based on my personal experience and use of the product.

    Product Review: Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Mist Humidifier from Seneo

    I use essential oils for many purposes every day & diffusing them is one way that helps my family stay healthy. I have used this Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Mist Humidifier from Seneo almost every day since I have had it.

    This diffuser comes with a power cord, measuring cup & User Manual. Just take the top off of the diffuser, fill it with water without going over the fill line, add you favorite essential oils, put the top back on, plug it in & you’re ready to go. There are buttons on the front of the unit to turn on the misting & the lights. WIth the Mist button, you can choose to run the unit for 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours or continuous spraying as well as choosing between light & heavy misting. With the Light button, you can choose to have the lights cycle automatically through all of the colors or choose just one color plus choosing the brightness of the light or not to have light at all. I like that I can run the mist without having the light on because I sometimes use this on my bedside table at night & don’t want extra light that will keep me awake. When this unit is running, it is completely silent so I’m glad that it turns itself off automatically when it runs out of water.

    When I use this unit in the bedroom, it only takes 2-3 drops of essential oil to fill the room with scent but when I use it the living room it takes more because it’s a bigger space. How much you use will also depend on the strength of the scent that you choose.

    Product Information:
    • 300ml Capacity & Output: It holds enough water to run for well over 6 hours, produces a powerful mist, and has several therapy functions.
    • Aroma Humidifier Function: Use ultrasonic movement to produce a vapor that fills your room with wonderful smells and delivers the beneficial power of the oil to everyone in your house.
    • Whisper-Quiet Ultrasonic Operation: Ultrasonic whisper-quiet, relieves depress and have a better sleep at night.
    • AUTO Shut-off Function: It automatically stops working when water used up, which ensures energy-saving and safety.
    • 7 Changing LED Light: Great night light for young children scared of the dark at bedtime.

    This Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Mist Humidifier can be purchased on Amazon:

    I received this product for the purpose of testing and review. Regardless, I only recommend products that I personally use and believe will be good for my readers. The opinions expressed above are 100% my own based on my personal experience and use of the product.

    Unboxing....Target Beauty Box #TargetStyle #SweetTreats #BeautyBox

    It's been a while since I've had a Beauty Box from Target. The last one that I got was in either October or November. I missed out on the holiday boxes in December & I really wanted the boxes that were offered in January but I wasn't fast enough & I missed out on all of those, so when Target offered this Sweet Treats box last week, I jumped right on it!

    Target ships their Beauty Box in a black box with their logo on the lid. The products came wrapped in pink tissue paper & the theme of the box is Sweet Treats. An information card is included that tells all about the products plus a coupon for $3 off of any beauty purchase of $15 or more at Target or These are the products that came in this box:

    Soapbox Coconut Oil Shampoo (2 ounce sample)
    Soapbox Coconut Oil Conditioner (2 ounce sample)
    Mayfair Soap Foundry Body Creme in Sea Lily Jasmine (1 ounce sample)
    Vera Wang Embrace Eau de Toilette (.04 ounce tester sample)
    L'Oreal Boost It Air Blown Texture Mist (full-size $3.99)
    Skinfix Lip Repair Balm (full-size $4.99)
    EcoTools Ecopouf Mini Sponge (full-size $1.97)
    Laneige BB Cushion (.21 ounce samples of Light, Medium & Medium Dark + puff)
    Derma e Hydrating Night Creme (1/2 ounce sample)
    Incocco Nail Polish Applique in Brilliant Burst (full-size $6.99)
    (prices from

    The full-size products have a total value of $17.94 and I only paid $7 for this Beauty Box with free shipping so it is a great deal because Target advertised this box as a $35 value. Target Beauty Boxes are not a subscription box so you pretty much have to stalk their website watching for the next one to be offered. I've gotten several of these boxes & so far I have really liked all of the products.

    I'll be watching & waiting for the next Target Beauty Box & I'll give you a heads up!

    Thursday, February 4, 2016

    Product Review: 6-Piece Egyptian Cotton Towel Set by Amor & Amore

    I’m one of those people who keeps towels until they are worn out before I will replace them. We are really happy to have this 6-piece Egyptian Cotton towel set by Amor & Amore.

    I chose the Navy Blue towel set but they are also available in Ivory and Gray. This set comes with 2 big bath towels (30"x56"), 2 hand towels (18"x30") & 2 washcloths (13"x13"). 

    The towels are very thick & very absorbent. The first time that I washed them, they did shed quite a bit in the washer but I did not follow the specific washing instructions. The tag says to wash in cold water on the delicate cycle & hang to dry. I washed them with a load of clothes in warm water on the regular cycle & then put them in the dryer on low heat. 

    The colors did not run in the wash & they dried fairly quickly in the dryer. After being laundered, they came out feeling just as soft as they were when I received them.

    This towel set looks great in my bathroom & I will be putting a few of my old towels in the rag box to use for washing the car & other outside chores.

    Product Information:

    • 6-piece towel set includes 2 bath towels(30x56inches), 2 hand towels(18X30inches), and 2 washcloths(13X13inches)
    • Lightweight,quickly absorbs moisture
    • Fade-resistant,designed with a classic and simple pique border
    • Great softness and smooth with 100% Egyptian Cotton
    • Machine washable for convenient and easy care

    This Egyptian Cotton 6-Piece Towel Set can be purchased on Amazon:

    I received this product for the purpose of testing and review. Regardless, I only recommend products that I personally use and believe will be good for my readers. The opinions expressed above are 100% my own based on my personal experience and use of the product.