Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Dallas/Fort Worth Haul


Me and my husband occasionally go to the Dallas/Fort Worth area to shop, splurge and spoil ourselves a wee bit. I won't bore y'all with details on where we went, what/where we ate, where we shopped and all that. I'll share photos of the goodies that I bought tho - because it's always fun to "exchange notes/tips/favorites" with my lovely readers via blog posts. However, my DSLR ran outta juice somewhere in between snapshots - so you have to excuse the quality of some of the photos that I took. I had to resort to using my backup camera, 'coz I wanted to finish this entry before I completely forget about posting it - lol!
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I am almost out of my favorite contouring palette - NARS Orgasm Laguna Bronzer and Blush Duo...so I got another one.
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We don't have a local MAC store in my area...so every time we go to the Dallas/Fort Worth Area, I always stock up on stuff that I'm running low on (and then some).
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I got another bottle of Fix Plus and Studio Fix Fluid Foundation.
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I also got three shades of lipstick - Viva Glam III, Velvet Teddy (my FAVE shade) and Ruby Woo (I am all out of this color so I had to get a new tube). I'm still well stocked on my other makeup staples - so that was it for me, as far as MAC products go.
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Our next stop was at LUSH. Thank goodness I was blessed with a patient and wonderful husband because my "baby, I just need ten minutes 'coz I know what I'm getting" turns to forever when I'm at this store. I love my bath stuff - that's my only excuse. *silly grin*
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These are the stuff that I ended up purchasing from Lush - my bath and skin care staples.
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I got two more bath bombs to add to my stash - Big Blue and The Enchanter

I also got more "Fresh Farmacy" - it works great on my face specially during Winter Season.

My favorite - The Godmother

Freebie Soap - Rock Star. I love most of Lush's products but I don't know how I feel about the scent of this soap. It smells too much like Play Doh (uuuh...or a rubber eraser?!)  to me. It's a freebie tho...so no hard feelings!

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Lastly, I got more "Buffy" (I got my husband hooked on this too) - an exfoliant and body butter that you can use while you're in the shower. It's specially great during the winter season because our skin tends to be VERY dry during the colder months.
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I also bought more shower/smell good stuff and hand soaps from Bath and Body Works and Victoria's Secret.
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I'm a "smell good fiend" and I stock up on hand soaps from BBW when I have good coupons and when they have crazy sales going on.
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Me and my hubby also went to Trader Joe's to get some of his favorite healthy snacks and a few of my favorite low carb treats.
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My favorite treats from Trader Joe's: low carb chocies and "no carb" irish cheese
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I couldn't resist getting this owl organizer from Barnes and Noble.  I love OWLS and  I can never live without an organizer. I know I have my iPad, laptop and there's all the technology that I can/should take advantage of - but I'm old school and I can't seem to remember things unless I jot them down!
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It's a treat for the li'l kid in me...lol!

Thanks for droppin' by and I hope y'all enjoyed this post!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Product Review: Palmolive Fresh Infusions

I was stoked that I got picked to review a second Voxbox from Influenster. This time, the box I received was called "The Newest Premium Dish Soap Voxbox" and it had 3 big/full sized bottles of Palmolive Fresh Fusions Dish Washing Liquid - one of which is meant to be shared with a friend. Palmolive and Influenster were also very generous because they included 5 coupons in the box, that my friends/loved ones can use.

Here's a few photos of the box and goodies that I got:
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I do rely on my dishwasher to do all the "washing" for me - but then I have pots, pans and delicate stuff that I prefer to wash by hand. Regular stuff goes in the dishwasher and some stuff goes in the sink for hand washing - pretty simple chore repertoire, right? Add sensitive skin/contact dermatitis in the equation...and simple chores aren't that simple anymore. Gloves don't really help my plight, because it only aggravates my skin. So I am left with no other recourse but to pick mild products that will play nice with my hands - so to speak.


PROS AND PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • This dish washing liquid is surprisingly mild to my ultra sensitive hands and that's always a big plus in my book!
  • It comes in 3 sophisticated smelling variants: Ginger White Tea, Lime Basil, Lemon Thyme. As far as my nose is concerned...these dish washing liquids almost has that spa quality to it - specially when I used it to soak some of my pans in hot water. It just smells so soothing...so Zen.
  • It may be gentle to my hands but it's really tough on any kind of "gunk" left on my pots and pans - which was a very pleasant surprise to me.

CONS:
  • It costs more than your cheaper/regular dish washing liquid - anywhere from 50 cents to a dollar  more. I mean, the extra cost is not enough to make you cringe but there is the glaring fact that it's slightly more expensive than your regular dish washing liquid. My hands love it tho - so I will probably buy more when I run out...with coupons of course. *wink*

DISCLAIMER: I did not purchase any of these products. They were sent to me by Influenster for review and blogging purposes. I’m just a regular consumer and I appreciate honest feedback about products that regular people like me use on a daily basis or consider buying. That is why I am paying it forward and giving reviews/opinions of my own on products that I have bought and used. My views and opinions are from a customer/end user’s standpoint.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Product Review: Not Your Mother's Curl Defining Cream

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As I mentioned in my Influenster’s Beauty Bloggers Voxbox 2012 blog post, my hair is very confused. It can go from perfectly shiny and wavy/curly one minute...to poofy and dry or limp and straight the next. I'm pretty sure that the weather and humidity level (or lack thereof) here in Texas plays a major role in my hair's mood swings, so I am always on the lookout for products that can fix this dilemma.
"Not Your Mother's Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream" (it's quite a mouthful, i know...) is part of the Beauty Voxbox 2012 that Influenster sent to me for product review. I was so excited to see this product in my box, because I have never used it before and I am always very eager to try hair products that can potentially tame the wild and moody beast that I fondly call "my hair".
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Photo Above: My husband trying to take a snapshot of my long hair. We used a smartphone - which explains why my curls weren't really captured in this snapshot. But anyway...I was very happy about how my hair looked like after using "Not Your Mother's Kinky Moves Curl Defining Cream". I thought it had more body and definition.

PROS AND PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:
  • This product provides just the right amount of moisture. It doesn't leave that overly greasy residue behind like some other curl shaping products do.

  • It is so delicious smelling. This hair product is infused with Grapeseed and Jasmine...and it doesn't have a tacky/overpowering scent. Instead, it has fruity undertones - I love it!

  • It does what it's supposed to do - and then some. After using this product, I find that it's all I really need to have my hair's waves looking the way I want them to look the whole day. I'm too lazy to use curling irons and blow dryers - so this product is perfect for me. I normally take bubble baths or showers at night...and I am happy that even after a rendezvous with my sheets and pillows, my hair still looks good the next morning.

  • It works for sensitive scalps too.  I have very sensitive skin and when I use a product that's too harsh or greasy - my scalp lets me know right away. I was hesitant to use "Not Your Mother's Kinky Moves Curl Defining Hair Cream" at first because of my sensitive skin. I didn't want my scalp to flake up...or itch...but I wouldn't know if this product would work for me if I won't give it a chance, right? The good news is...my scalp loves this hair cream too. *big happy sigh of relief*

  • It's affordable. A 120 ml bottle costs around $5.99 at Ulta...so I'm guessing it's around the 5 to 6 dollar range in other stores (e.g. Walmart, Target, Drug Stores, etc.).

CONS:
  • For people with long hair like myself, a 120 ml bottle won't go a long way. You have to saturate your hair with the product, so you can get your desired effect. Ergo, that's a lot of $5.99's along the way.

WOULD I PURCHASE THIS PRODUCT AGAIN?

I like how the product smells like. I like how it makes my hair look like. So in all honesty...I would probably buy it again. Low maintenance hair = priceless.

DISCLAIMER: I did not purchase any of these products. They were sent to me by Influenster for review and blogging purposes. I’m just a regular consumer and I appreciate honest feedback about products that regular people like me use on a daily basis or consider buying. That is why I am paying it forward and giving reviews/opinions of my own on products that I have bought and used. My views and opinions are from a customer/end user’s standpoint.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Product Review and Giveaway: Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce


I have heard a lot of good things about Country Bob’s from my Blogging Community and they had nothing but wonderful things to say about the company and their products. I was fortunate to be among the bloggers chosen by the company to try out their “All Purpose Sauce”.

I was very excited to receive my complimentary bottles because me and my husband are both in low carb diets and eat a lot of lean meat. I have to be very creative in the kitchen because “no carb and healthy eating” should not mean dry, boring and redundant meals.
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When my all purpose sauces got delivered, I had to take it for a taste test right away because I wanted to check what the flavor profile's like. I was pleasantly surprised about Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce’s robust flavor. It has the right amount of tang which makes it easy to work with and incorporate in most dishes – even side dishes!

Below, I have posted photos of a couple of dishes that I made with Country Bob’s All Purpose Steak Sauce. I always tweak traditional recipes or substitute them with low carb ingredients in accordance to me and my husband’s lifestyle/meal preferences.
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Fried Bread with Chicken, Avocado Slivers and Baby Spinach:
Usually, the recipe for this fried bread calls for flour. I used a combination of Coconut Flour and Wildroots Milled Flaxseed as healthier and low carb substitutes. I used Country Bob’s All Purpose Steak Sauce to marinade the chicken and come dinner time, all I had to do was “grill” it on my Foreman. I added some baby spinach and avocado slices to my concoction for more nutrients and a healthy dollop of omega 3!

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Baked Turkey Meatballs with Sauteed Low Carb Pasta:
I used Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce to season my ground turkey…and boy oh boy…was it YUMMY! I also sautéed some Dreamfields Low Carb Pasta on the side with a few drops of this wonderful culinary elixir from Country Bob’s.


My husband’s verdict on Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce: “Can we get more of this sauce when we run out?!” *burp*.


My verdict on Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce: They weren't kidding when they say this sauce is "all purpose" because you can use it on anything and everything. Your only limit as far as using this in the kitchen would be your imagination. It definitely is worth checking out and buying. I know for a fact that I'll be buying another bottle when I run out - it's that GOOD.


Please do check out their products at your local stores' barbeque/sauce isles or through Country Bob's Website (click me). They have a variety of products that would suit your culinary/bbq-ing needs!

PRODUCT GIVEAWAY:

Do you want to win your own bottles of  Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce?! 

The company was kind enough to sponsor my very first giveaway, so that my lovely readers can try this amazing All Purpose Sauce. There will be two (2) winners for this giveaway and each one will receive two (2) bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce. The giveaway is open to US Residents only. This raffle starts today (October 22, 2012) and ends on November 5, 2012. The winners will be announced on a separate blog entry - so keep checking my blog for updates!

All you have to do to qualify is "like" this post and tell me what you are looking for when purchasing all purpose/barbeque sauces (e.g. price, specific flavor profile, ingredients, etc.) by "leaving a comment below" .

Thank you for dropping by and GOOD LUCK!

Disclaimer: These bottles of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce were sent to me for product review and blogging purposes. I did not pay for these items, nor am I getting monetary compensation for posting an honest review about this product. My views and opinions are from a customer/end user’s standpoint.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Influenster’s Beauty Bloggers Voxbox 2012

I finally got my first Voxbox from Influenster. Needless to say, I was pretty excited because not only do I get to try a couple of new items for free so I can decide if I want to purchase them again in the future – but I also get to share my insights with my blog readers as well!


One thing that I want to commend Influenster on, is the fact that they have a very “well-rounded” mindset when it comes to mixing and matching products that they send out to their product reviewers. As you can see from the photos that I posted below, they sent a couple of products that complement one another (e.g. cosmetics, hair products, candles, etc.).


Without further ado…here are the things that Influenster sent to me for review:


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This NYC Palette's pretty interesting. It has 4 eye shadows that were respectively labeled (contouring, highlight, crease) according to how/where they should be used. This little palette also comes with an eye base/primer and an illuminator. I must admit...I have never used this brand before so I am very interested about the quality and pigmentation.


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I rarely use fake lashes because I'm lazy (lol...hey, at least I'm honest about it, right!) and I have read so many "eye articles" that discourage the use of falsies. I am willing to give this baby a try tho...because if it doesn't irritate my eyes (and that happens a lot), then I just might jump into the false eyelashes bandwagon!


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I am a complete and utter failure as far as fixing my hair goes. So when I saw this tiny hair contraption at Walmart....I had all kinds of questions running like athletes on a caffeine high in my brain. I would always hover, inspect and read the instructions at the back of the boxes but I never bought any...because I was too skeptical about the product.


When I found this in my Voxbox, all I could do was look at my husband and give him the goofiest smile I could muster. I am so excited to try it...and I will let y'all know how my adventure with Goody's Spin Pin goes in a more detailed product review!


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I have wavy hair that can get extremely curly on some days and straight/flat/icky/lifeless on others. I guess it all depends upon the weather and humidity...but there are those days when my hair makes me wonder if it has a separate working brain that was genetically engineered to irritate the living bejezzuz out of me. My hair just randomly goes on zombie mode sometimes (or so I've noticed)...too much "The Walking Dead", perhaps?!


I am joking of course. Lol. Not about my hair tho...just about the tv show.


I always switch from one brand to another to tame/shape my curls and to keep the curls err...curly?! Wait...what?! Lol. I know...I don't make sense sometimes but neither does my hair *dramatic sigh*. Anyway, I am very thrilled to get this in my voxbox because if it works...then I have another hair product to turn to when my hair's being evil to me. *crosses fingers*


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I am a big Emergen-C fan...so I was pleasantly surprised to find this in my box. Beauty should always go hand in hand with health - so I love the fact that on top of the other cool things that I got for product review, I got this too!


I am of the opinion that prevention is always better than cure. A healthy person... is a happy person... is a beautiful person.


PhotobucketCandles and "Smell Good" Stuff - I have all kinds of room in my heart of hearts for these things! I like keeping my home neat and organized - and smelling good all year round! I love plug-ins, diffusers...but candles are my absolute favorites because there is just something sexy and relaxing about lighting them.


This candle from Bath and Body Works is my nose's idea of heaven - more like baked goods heaven. It is just so YUMMY smelling! I cannot wait to get the full-sized jar with the coupon that came with the candle! Hooray for me and my nose!


 I wanted to share the lovely items that came in the voxbox that Influenster sent to me for review purposes. I will do further product reviews with more information on the quality and price of each individual product - so stay tuned!


DISCLAIMER: I did not purchase any of these products. They were sent to me by Influenster for review and blogging purposes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Product Review: Wildroots Coastal Berry Blend

Before I delve into the actual product review, I would like to share some information on how my typical morning routine goes and what kind of products/food items I consume to jumpstart my day. I may be free from Type 2 Diabetes now, but I am still and will always be on top of my health, nutrition… and my glucose level.


I normally eat a low-carb granola bar or some trail mix and drink a cup o’ joe before I head out to the gym for a morning workout routine with my husband.  I don’t eat my normal breakfast spread until I am back home from my exercise session, but  I always make a conscious effort to eat something light before leaving.


Working out naturally lowers a person’s blood sugar levels and this is why diabetics are encouraged to be more active. However, blood sugar level drops or hypoglycemia is just as dangerous as sugar spikes or hyperglycemia – if not more. For a simple explanation on hypoglycemia versus hyperglycemia, please click on this link.


I like consuming natural food items instead of crazy chemicals before heading out to the gym. Coffee for instance has a lot of anti-oxidants. It’s also a good source of “fuel” before a rigorous workout. Some health studies claim that drinking coffee on a daily basis may help decrease risks of having a stroke, type 2 diabetes, basal cell carcinoma, clinical depression and cirrhosis of the liver – to name a few. Berries are very good for diabetics too – or for people who are trying to shed some weight. Most berries are low in carbohydrates and can easily be burned while working out. Lastly, nuts are great snack alternatives because researches show that they improve our blood lipid profile and lower the risk of coronary heart disease and the occurrence of type 2 diabetes.


I love the fact that Wildroots Coastal Berry Blend has all the ingredients that I love. It’s healthy and it’s DELICIOUS. I kid you not...it’s seriously tasty. This product summarizes everything that I am looking for in a pre-workout snack - so without further ado, here’s my review on this wonderful product:



PROS AND PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS:


-          I am a fan of the taste, the quality of the ingredients…and the fact that the makers did not skimp on anything. Some trail mixes go a wee bit “economical” on their products and add “fillers” (way too much at times) - such as heaps upon heaps of the most inexpensive nut out in the market (aka peanuts). Not that I have anything against peanuts . My point is, Wildroots’ Coastal Berry Blend has generous amounts of ALL the ingredients in the list.



-          Wildroots Coastal Berry Blend is made of all natural ingredients.  Some trail mixes that are readily available in local stores have crazy chemicals that I can’t even pronounce.  Most are loaded with sugar, sugar…and you guessed it right – more sugar. Not this bad boy! Berries, nuts, dairy products…these are the main and only ingredients that are in this health nut’s dream snack in a bag.



-          I cannot even begin to articulate how YUMMY this trail mix is. My all time favorite used to be Trader Joe’s Anti-Oxidant Nut and Berry Mix – but Wildroots’ Coastal Berry Blend just tops my favorites chart! I am not saying this because the company was kind enough to send me a free bag of the trail mix. I am happily gibbering about it because I believe in it, it is definitely worth sharing to the public and my wonderful blog reader/subscribers…and I am in love with this product.


-          Eating this trail mix is like having dessert so early in the morning – minus the guilt! For some reason, the yogurt chips taste like white chocolate to me…and the wonderful part is, I don’t have to worry about sugar spikes.


-          I always check my blood sugar levels before and after consuming a food item that I have never eaten before. I did the same when I got the Wildroots Coastal Berry Blend in the mail. When I woke up, I tested my blood sugar level and it was at 90 mg/dl. I went about my normal morning routine:  drank my cup o’ coffee, ate some Coastal Berry Blend Trail Mix and worked out at the gym with my husband. When I got home, I tested my sugar level again just to see how the product impacted my glucose level. I was very happy to see 98 mg/dl on my monitor’s screen.


-          Like most Wildroots Foods Products, you get a lot o’ bang for your buck with this Trail Mix. You get 1.6 pounds of healthy goodness for only $9.99. It’s hard to find great and reasonably priced trail mixes that would send me in a carb-induced coma…so I cannot help but be overly excited about this brand! =)



CONS:


I must admit…coming up with a list of “cons” about this product had me stomped. I literally stared at my computer screen for what seemed like an eternity.


-          As I mentioned earlier, I use this product before a rigorous physical activity. If you’re diabetic and wish to consume this product as a snack, you might have varying glucose level results. Not all pre-diabetics/diabetics are hormonally engineered a certain way, if you know what I mean.


-          I could not find it in my local stores but I am happy to note that I can order some online. I know that we can never put a price tag on our health…but I would rather get these in stores, so that I don’t have to worry about shipping fees. Honestly tho...I would still purchase it online because it is a very good product and surely worth the extra money for shipping.


I honestly think that this product is worth raving about – because it truly is made with high quality ingredients. This company is a personal favorite of mine because of so many reasons. One being the fact that their products epitomize "health and nutrition" in its truest form. They make awesome products that are worth your while and worth trying out for yourselves. If you wish to try out their delicious products, you can visit their online shop (click me!).


Disclaimer: I’m no health guru, dietician, what-have-you. I’m just a normal consumer and an “ex-diabetic” – it feels so good to say that! I appreciate honest feedback about products that regular people like me use on a regular basis or consider buying. That is why I am paying it forward and giving reviews/opinions of my own on products that I have bought and used. My views and opinions are from a customer/end user’s standpoint.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

All Cartooned Up

In my past blogging experience, I've always used cute "cartoon-ish" characters, that us bloggers fondly refer to as avatars. Privacy...I guess that's the rationale behind my choice of "avatars" in the past.


An old friend of mine, who happens to be a talented artist, created this wonderful digital artwork for me...and I have decided to use it as my blogging avatar.


The inspiration behind her artwork was a dolled up photo of...well...myself.


Uuuh...


Why hello, Captain Obvious!


I know...I know. Lol.



Now I can blog as me - not that I turn all schizo when I blog and take on an alter ego...lol! I did not mean it like that at all. My point is, my avatar is now a cartoonized version of myself and not just some random animated artwork.I dunno...it's just more honest. It has "there came this woman" (my blog) written all over it. It's more me. I like it.


Ri...this post is for you. Thanks so much for this amazing artwork.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Scarves...scarves...and yeah, more of 'em!




The colder months are just around the corner, so I started making scarves of various designs and forms.




Scarves are one of my favorite winter fashion staples - next to cute boots! I absolutely enjoy making them because of several reasons: crafting has always been therapeutic for me, i DO NOT like looking like everybody else ( if you make your own stuff...no one else has it, right?!)...and I sell some of my crafts on my eBay store so it becomes a work/play mix of sorts for me (if that even makes any sense...lol).


Scarves...scarves...scarves! Plain, embellished, long, blinged...I love all of them!


What about you? What are your favorite "clothing add-ons/fashion staples/what-have-you" for the colder months?!


 

 

 

Friday, October 5, 2012

I give a hoot!


I'm not sure how my love for owls started and where it all began but anyway...I love 'em as much as I love crafting, makeup and anything/everything that's carb-free - lol!


I decided to visit one of my "happy places" - Pier 1 Imports and sure enough...they had new owls! For almost 2 hours...I was in owl heaven! I wish I could take all of them home!


Unfortunately, I wasn't there for more owls or home decor...I wanted to pick up stuff that me and my husband can give as Christmas presents to the supervisors and employees under his management. I know...it's a wee bit early to go Christmas shopping but the thing is...I wanted to be prepared ahead of time this year. I did a lot of cramming and last minute shopping last year and it was a nightmare. Last minute shopping trips always spells out disaster and spending more money out of desperation. That is not going to happen this year - not if I can help it!


Have y'all started making shopping plans for the upcoming Holidays?!