Air Force Supercar

Spotted: NEW Sephora Favorites Sets (Sephora and Sephora inside JCPenney Exclusives)

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Ulta The Gorgeous Hair Event Day 9 Deals are Live (Tips & Reminders!)

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QVC’s KitchenAid TSV Preview & Review – September 2017

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KitchenAid Countertop Convection Oven

This is a review of QVC’s Today’s Special Value (TSV) that will air on the 24th of this month. You can preorder it now with item number K46355. It’s offered for $99.96 or 5 monthly payments of $19.99 plus shipping and handling of $7.50. It comes in black, cobalt blue, silver and gloss cinnamon. After North Carolina tax and shipping, my purchase price was $114.95. I ordered on the 16th of August and it said “advance order” with an estimated delivery date of September 28th. It shipped on the 19th of August instead. Since it shipped from California instead of the east coast it took longer than most of my orders, so it arrived on the 25th. It’s currently indicating that it’s in stock. I purchased the cinnamon color since the rest of my KitchenAid appliances are that color along with some other appliances. We have an open concept home and our paint color in the dining room is burgundy and in the kitchen it’s yellow, so I really like having the appliances match closely to our burgundy walls. We were disappointed to see that the only cinnamon painted surface on the oven is the front of the toaster, the rest is silver. Months ago our old toaster oven started burning since there was a hole on one of the elements. Thankfully, Hubby was able to put out the fire. I was sleeping at the time, so I didn’t witness it. But that’s just a reminder to us all that you need to supervise any appliance when it’s in use. I’ve been really missing our toaster oven since we live in the south and the majority of the months it’s hot and turning on the large oven heats up the kitchen. Then the air conditioning has to work harder which costs more money. We were in the process of relocating back to our other house, so I put off buying a replacement toaster oven since it would be just another item to pack and move. When I heard that QVC was having a toaster oven as a TSV and it was in that hard to find cinnamon color I preordered it right away. Not to mention the price of $99.96 is pretty good for a toaster oven and really good for a large toaster oven. This one will allow you to cook much larger dishes than your traditional toaster oven. I’ve really been enjoying that aspect of it. I home cook for our four dogs, so this is prefect for cooking their chicken and fish without the dread of turning on the regular oven and heating up the house. My first impression was the noise of the timer was annoying. I do not like that sound! I figured out that you don’t have to use the timer to turn the oven on and that I don’t hear it if I’m in the living room. If I’m remaining in the kitchen I use my regular oven’s timer instead. It’s the same sound those little hand crank timers make. The first thing I cooked in the oven were croissants. They baked perfectly on the included pizza pan with foil:



They baked evenly which my twelve year old oven tends to over cook the bottoms. The pie pan measures 12″ on the top edge, but the bottom is only about 11″. You may have to trim your pizza’s edge or flip the pan over and place the pizza on the bottom. Hubby had taken time off work shorty after it arrived, so he was using it more than I was at first. He found it took a bit of trial and error to get the right setting for toasting bread. I also baked a tray of frozen Stouffers Grandma’s Chicken & Vegetable on the rectangular tray that comes with the oven.  It takes eighty-five minutes to cook and it’s still hot here in the south, so I really didn’t want to use my regular oven! After about seventy-five minutes it was turning the top too dark, so I turned it down 375° to 350° and cooked it an additional seven minutes. It turned out pretty good. The oven also comes with a rack for broiling, two oven racks and a crumb tray for the bottom of the oven. The crumb tray isn’t an exact fit, so some crumbs land on the left and right sides. There are two oven racks, but if you flip them over then you have four different shelf levels. The lowest level accommodates an entire chicken! The oven also has a slow cook function I have yet to learn about. I’ll be watching the presentation on the 24th to learn more. It comes with a little instruction booklet, but I prefer video instructions. 

In conclusion, at first I was ready to ship this oven back to QVC since I found the timer’s noise annoying and it takes up more space on the counter than your standard toaster oven. Hubby also wanted to send it back for that reason and because he was having issues figuring out which setting to use when toasting bread. Then after baking and toasting over a couple of weeks, I found that I am appreciating that I can cook larger items in it so it’s more useful. The low price and the cinnamon color are two other reasons we are keeping it. If you have limited counter space and you’re not planning on using it for larger items, I’d say it’s not for you. If you want to use it for most of your baking and toasting and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, I’d say go ahead and purchase it. So what do you think, are you going to purchase this one or did you find a different toaster oven you like better?

Bargain Alert:

Mr. Rebates – cash back for online shopping.

Check out my list of QVC’s TSVs for September and my Pinterest QVC TSV Board . I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked BlogsBe a pal and share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking their boxes here: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);



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Cheddar and Corn Spoon Bread

I usually don’t make a lot of sides with dinner, typically just a veggie of some sort. I decided to branch out a little bit and made this Cheddar and Corn Spoon Bread to go with steak I made the other night. 

While it was good and had a great texture, I think I prefer my Mom’s corn casserole. It’s sweeter tasting, not as bland and easier to throw together. I think maybe I’ll try hers and “clean” it up. Stay tuned! 🙂

Cheddar and Corn Spoon Bread
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 cup buttermilk (shake before measuring)
3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 large egg whites
1 cup coarsely grated Cheddar 

1. Position a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 375°F. Butter a 2-quart soufflé dish.
2. Place cornmeal in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk baking powder, cayenne and salt. Bring milk just to a simmer; whisk into cornmeal until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, corn, butter, egg yolks, parsley and baking powder mixture.
3. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat egg whites just until they hold stiff peaks. Gently fold egg whites and 1/2 cup Cheddar into cornmeal mixture. Transfer to soufflé dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar.
4. Bake until top is golden brown and spoon bread is set around edges but still slightly jiggly in center, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

The Lipstick League Week of 5.16.17: What’s Your Current Obsession?

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QVC’s Harry Slatkin Ceramic Fruit Basket Candle TSV Review

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HomeWorx by Harry Slatkin Ceramic Fruit Basket with Two 9 oz. Candles



This is a review of QVC’s Today’s Special Value (TSV) for April 5th. I just received it today and I must say it’s nicer in person. I like the retro feel it has, so while I had planed to have self control and not purchase it, I caved when I saw the presentation. Until now, I have resisted buying any of Harry’s candles since his return last year. Since this TSV seemed like a pretty good deal and I love his ceramic creations, I decided to give this one a try. It’s TSV price was $36.96 with free shipping. The current price is only $3 more, but shipping is $5.50. This TSV includes the ceramic fruit basket which is matte and a top which is a choice of apples, peaches, blueberries or strawberries. The apple top is very shiny and it has eleven hand painted apples and it’s quite heavy. It also includes two 9 oz. candles in ceramic bases the same color as the basket. I chose the apple one since our main living area is decorated in burgundy and yellow. If my decision was based on only scent, I would have chosen the blueberry since Harry’s blueberry candles were one of my favorites when they were sold at Bath & Body Works. I also enjoy his apple candles, so it was an easy decision. Shortly after I lit the candle I could smell the apple. It smells like a red apple just as you slice it. The candle is described as “crisp green apples and tart red apples along with black cherries come together with a hint of sugarcane and maple”. It doesn’t have that complex combination scent that I have come to expect from Harry. I would have liked a bit of spice added to it. I don’t smell the cherry, sugar or maple. It’s quite slow to melt, I’m at over an hour now and it hasn’t reached the edges completely yet. The scent comes and goes and hasn’t filled the room. The figural is adorable and it makes for a lovely decoration for my coffee table. I have a very large coffee table, so I find large pieces look best on it and this piece is quite large. Each candle is suppose to have a burn time of twenty hours. I have returned now after two hours burn time to tell you that it has a bit of sweetness to it now, it’s not just tart anymore. It has a tiny amount of wax in the corners that hasn’t melted yet. This one is available on auto delivery and it includes just one more shipment in October which is a basket with little pumpkins and it has a fall pumpkin scent.

I’m so happy that Harry had a more affordable TSV this time and offered free shipping. I hope that he will consider that again for the next TSV. While I’m a bit disappointed in the candle’s scent, I adore the ceramic basket with apples. It’s a nice pick me up while we wait for spring to arrive again and hopefully stay awhile before the long summer. One day it’s in the 50’s and the next it’s almost 80 degrees, we’ve been riding the North Carolina weather roller coaster lately.  It even snowed last Sunday in the early morning hours. I’ve never seen snow here in April before. We’ve also had way too many rainy days. What do you do for a pick me up?

Bargain Alert:

Use Mr. Rebates for cash back while shopping online @ QVC.

PS – there are refills, H214483, it’s a set of two for $25.20 plus $5.50 shipping which makes it only $6.26 less than the TSV. Would have been nice if he had offered the refills in a less expensive container than ceramic.  

Before you go, check out my QVC Product Reviews Pinterest Board and my TSV list for April. I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, Facebook, PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs. Help out by sharing this post via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);



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HOT DEAL ALERT: Sephora Favorites Give Me Some Lip & Liner Set on Sale for $30 + New Freebie Codes (Reg $60; $185 Value)

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motorcycle free wallpaper: Custom Motorcycle Wallpaper

motorcycle free wallpaper: Custom Motorcycle Wallpaper

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motorcycle free wallpaper: Custom Motorcycle Wallpaper

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Ulta The Gorgeous Hair Event Day 18 Deals are Live (Plus: New Hot Buys and Don’t Forget Your It’s A 10 Freebie!)

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More Sale Items Spotted on Sephora Website

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Kale Chips

When I attended the Whole Foods tour several weeks back, the nutritionist mentioned making kale chips. I was intrigued, and a little skeptical, because she said her kiddos loved them and they tasted just like potato chips. Anyway, I picked some up at Kroger (I had to read all the labels in the general vicinity because I had no idea what kale looked like!). Just to clarify…it’s a large, leafy, dark green lettuce looking plant…like this…




Take the kale and remove the leaves from the ribs. Place the leaves on a cookie sheet, coat well with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Bake 225 degrees for 20 minutes until the kale is crispy and brown.

I served the kale chips with chicken wings to try and counteract the badness of the wings 🙂

Conclusion…kale chips definitely do not taste like potato chips. I thought they were nice and crispy and had good flavor, but my family disagreed. Liesl turned hers over and over before taking a very tiny bite and declaring she didn’t like it. Gavin just looked at his and threw it on the ground. So, our family is probably not a kale family. Let me know what your family thinks!

Canned Pasta Sauce

We planted three different types of tomatoes in our garden–roma, cherry and Better Boy–and we have a bounty of all of them. There are only so many recipes and foods that we use cherry tomatoes for, so I decided to make pasta sauce from them. I didn’t follow a recipe, I just kind of made it up as I went. I took chopped garlic and onion and sauteed in a big stock pot. I then took the cherry tomatoes (after removing the stems and washing them) and just threw them in the pot, added some salt, pepper and dried oregano and let it all cook down. After cooking for 20 minutes or so, I took a potato masher and mashed it all up into more of a sauce, let cook another 10 minutes and then canned the sauce.

Not only was this recipe low maintenance (no cutting or chopping!), it was delicious 🙂 The sauce turns out a little thinner than typical pasta sauce, more like a marinara sauce, so if you like it thicker, add some tomato paste while cooking. We used the sauce as a pizza sauce too, which ended up great!

Leather Clad Custom – Yamaha SR400 Cafe Racer


The Japanese custom motorcycle scene is arguably one of the most influential and progressive in the world. Japanese workshops like Cherry’s Company, Brat Style, Custom Works Zon and Ritmo Sereno have inspired builders around the world and have even been commissioned by motorcycle manufacturers to modify their newest models. Unfortunately in the past it has been difficult to get in touch with Japan’s home builders and enthusiasts, but all that’s slowly changing thanks to social media.
I recently stumbled across the Instagram profile of Cyu-G and his Yamaha SR400 cafe racer. Despite a language barrier we managed to communicate enough to put together the following interview to share the story of how his cafe racer came to be…



ROTCR: Let’s start by you telling us a bit about yourself and your history with bikes.

CYU-G: I live in Nagoya, Japan, I am 49 years old and have been riding for 33 years. Some of the bikes I have owned in the past are Kawasaki Z400FX, Suzuki RG250, Honda CT110 etc. When I customise them I usually get secondhand parts from auctions or shops and I build my bikes in my home garage when I have days off work.

I’m also into British vintage leather jackets and I repair and customise leather wear. In fact the blue Lewis Leathers I wear in these photos were originally a one piece race suit that I split to make a separate jacket. My skills are self taught with both leather and motorcycles.



What was the idea behind the build of this bike and how long did it take to complete?

As I collect and customise vintage leather wear I thought that a cafe racer styled motorcycle would suit these leathers. So I built this cafe racer using a 1994 Yamaha SR400. It took me about 2 years to custom like this and I did all myself apart from the silencers, which were modified by Motor Rock in Nagoya.



What custom work did you perform to transform the bike into a cafe racer?

I replaced almost everything, apart from the frame, engine and wheels. The fairing is a secondhand MINANI item, which I restored and mounted to the frame, using modified brackets from a different fairing. I also fabricated the mounting system for the instruments.

The long alloy petrol tank was hand formed from Aluminium and I made the petrol tank retaining strap using the buckle from a vintage British leather jacket as a fastener. The alloy seat was originally from an unfinished Harley Davidson project which I bought a while ago and customised by myself. The original subframe was shortened, and a new one constructed that also holds the tail light, indicators and fender.



The battery and electrical system are hidden under the alloy seat. The seat base was moulded from FPR and then upholstered by myself in real leather. I spent a lot of time designing my ideal cafe racer, and also in making the many brackets that hold it all together. A portion of the exhaust pipe was cut off and extended using a 20cm section of pipe, which is angled at 15 degrees to kick up the muffler.

I designed the bike more for style than outright performance. However, the engine was still mildly tuned thanks to a racing carburettor and the modified exhaust. The front drum brake was also changed to a disc brake setup, and the front and rear suspension were updated.



What do you like most about the finished bike?

The way the lines of the classic fairing and its rectangular headlight flow into the streamlined alloy petrol tank. I’m also really fond of the matching aluminium alloy petrol tank and seat, with my hand made leather seat upholstery. The Silver finish on everything looks great with leatherwear of any colour.

It’s the perfect bike to combine my two passions.



Build sheet:

  • Faring:  MINAMI
  • Petrol Tank: Stinky
  • Alloy Seat: One off custom
  • Handlebars: TOMMASELLI
  • Front Brake:  320mm Disc, with Brembo 4 Piston Calliper & Nissin (Active) Master Cylinder
  • Rear Suspension:  OHLINS
  • Silencer:  Peyton Place (Customised by MOTOR ROCK)
  • Carburettor: Yoshimura FCR39 MJN
  • Fenders:  Peyton Place
  • Speedo and Tachometer:  DAYTONA

CYU-G YAMADA

Photo by Keiichiro Netsuke 
Special thanks to Leather Girl HIROKO
First read on returnofthecaferacers.com

Boxy Charm Subscription Box Review – January 2018

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Boxy Charm – Rock 2018


This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box called Boxy Charm. It costs $21 a month including shipping and they send at least five full sized cosmetics with a retail value over $100. This is my first month and I received the following products:
  1. Crown Pro – Glam Metals Palette, made in China, retail value $25.00
  2. Pür – Bronze & Brighten Cheek Palette, made in Taiwan, retail value $34.00
  3. It Cosmetics – Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil in Universal Taupe, made in Korea, retail value $24.00
  4. Girlactik – Matte Lip Paint in Demure, made in the USA, retail value $23.00
  5. Dr. Brandt – Pores No More Luminizer Primer, made in the USA, retail value $38.00
The retail value for this month’s box is $144.00! That’s quite the bargain! Basically, you’re paying less than the cost of one of the products and getting the rest for free! I see why it’s so popular. They have a beauty profile for customers to fill out, but there are only two versions each month. This month the second box’s only difference was a different brand of lipstick, everything else was the same.

I was most anxious to try out the brow pencil since I love the It Cosmetics brand, so I tried that out first. It’s suppose to work for lots of shades of brows. I was quite skeptical since I have dark blonde eyebrows. To my surprise this actually works on my brows, it looks pretty good and it can be done fairly quickly. It’s not a product I would have bought on my own due to it’s price unless it was in a set which makes it discounted. I’ve heard of Pür before and thought of them as a good brand from the US, so I’m surprised this cheek palette is made in Taiwan. I searched their website for info and they say their products are made in the US “unless otherwise noted”. Their website also says they are cruelty free. It’s a nice sturdy palette with a mirror and quite a bit of product, it should last a long time. I like the quilted design on top and I like coral, peachy blushes on my fair skin tone. I’m anxious to give it a try this weekend. I’ve received a sample of Dr. Brandt’s Pores No More Primer before and I liked it. It has a light skin tone color than blends out clear. It’s moisturizing which is good especially during the winter months. I’m happy to have the full sized version and I’ll enjoy using it. It’s another product I wouldn’t purchase due to it’s high price tag. That’s what’s so good about these subscription boxes, it’s such a bargain. I wont be using two of the products, Glam Metals Palette & Girlactik Lip Paint. I will sell or trade the Glam Metals Palette and I tried the lip paint and it was horrible. The lip paint has the worst applicator I’ve ever tried, it’s not soft and it wont allow a for a crisp line. It has a goopy consistency and it’s an ugly dark brown color that looks horrible on fair skin. It’s much darker on the lips than in the bottle. It’s the worst lipstick I’ve ever tried. I don’t use cosmetics that are made in China since they have very low standards when it comes to cosmetics. It would give me too much anxiety to use the eyeshadows even though the eyeshadow colors look so pretty and are really tempting me. Recently Claire’s recalled some made in China cosmetics that have asbestos in them, so scary! Do Chinese cosmetics made you nervous? I’m going to start up my blog sale again soon since I’m getting quite a collection of cosmetics that I wont be using.

Spoiler alert, Boxy Charm has already revealed two of the five products in next month’s box: CoverFX’s new eyeshadow Shimmer Veil in Amethyst & a three piece Crown brush set. Sounds great, so why don’t you subscribe today! Do you peek and find out what’s coming in your subscription boxes or do you have self control and prefer it to be a surprise when it arrives? I don’t have self control, I seek out spoilers.

Bargain Alert:
Julep – 12 Free Nail Polishes
Mr. Rebates – cash back for online purchases 

If you are a subscriber what your favorite product this month? If you are not a subscriber, what’s keeping from you giving it a try? Check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. Share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking the boxes: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);



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NEW Urban Decay Deals at Sephora

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Repurposing Old Windows, Part Deux

Found another huge window that I wasn’t sure what I would use it for since it was so big, but it was only $5 so I couldn’t resist. After bringing it home and having it sit in my garage for several weeks, I decided I would use to dress up my fireplace mantel. Previously, I just had the star hanging up on the wall, but I think adding the star behind it gives the mantel more dimension and interest. Plus, I think it looks rustic and Americana and super cute 🙂 When hanging old windows, especially large ones, be sure to use drywall anchors and heavy duty picture frame hooks.

I Saw, I Pinned, I Conquered

While this doesn’t really have anything to do with clean eating, I thought it would be fun to do a series of posts that show stuff I pinned on Pinterest that I actually do and that saves some money (saving green!). When pinning, we have so many good intentions, but unfortunately, most of the time they don’t pan out.

So, I want to show you some of the Pinterest projects I’ve done that have saved me time, money or a little bit of both. 

The first is a wall of clocks for a home office. I loved this idea for Matt’s home office and so I bought three very inexpensive clocks (check out Lowes, Hobby Lobby and Wal-Mart or scour local garage sales) and scattered them on the wall with maps of the three states were we’ve lived since we’ve been married. The maps came from an old atlas my parents had laying around and the frames are from old barn wood we had extra of from a different project. I added some old suitcases and old set of drawers as side tables. 

http://distilleryimage10.ak.instagram.com/ceb6ecf80b9011e3ada222000a9f3cf6_7.jpgI love this look of the old license plates to add a splash of color and whimsy to a room. We had a bunch of old license plates from all the states were we’ve lived as a married couple and growing up and so I took them and attached them to a piece of lightweight MDF with wood glue. My hubby added on brackets on the back to hang it up and voila, a fun look at all the states my husband and I have lived in. 

What Pinterest projects have you followed up on??

I Saw, I Pinned, I Conquered Part Four

This is a Pinterest project I’ve had pinned for over a year, and finally we had collected enough bits and pieces of old crayons. Whenever your kiddos break a crayon or you get down to the stubbies, save those pieces, peel off all the paper and put into silicon baking cups or molds. Put in the oven at 250 degrees for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and let harden. Out comes fun-shaped, very colorful crayons!

QVC’s TSVs for April 2018

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Preorder Numbers for Today’s Special Values

DO NOT COPY


April

1st – Susan Graver Printed Liquid Knit 8 Gore Pull On Skort, $39.92 available in 4 payments & choice of 6 prints

2nd – Wen by Chaz Dean Cleanse & Replenish Kit, $58.00 available in 4 payments & 6 colors


3rd – Martha Stewart Skylands Set of Four Landscape Solar Lights, $49.98 available in 3 payments & 3 colors


4th – Affinity Diamond Jewelry Diamond Cluster Stud Earrings, 1/2 carat $399.96 or 1 carat $799.96 available in 6 payments, white or yellow 14K Gold


5th – Harry Slatkin Ceramic Fruit Basket with Two 9 oz. Candles, $36.96 with free s/h available in 4 payments & 4 scents, A/D in October is a Pumpkin Basket, Refills 9 oz. 2 for $25.40 available in 4 payments

6th – G.I.L.I Jetsetter Short Sleeve Side Slit Dress, $49.92 available in 3 payments & 5 patterns plus black & petite

7th – Perricone MD Power of Neuropeptides Face & Neck Duo, $179.00 available in 5 payments & A/D, plus free s/h handling day for anything, check your wish list now!


8th – Serta Perfect Sleeper Hotel Excursion Pillowtop Mattress Set, $799.00-$1129.00 Twin-King size available in 6 payments


9th – Microderm MD Microdermabrasion System, $129.95 available in 5 payments 


10th – My Pillow Set of Two Standard/Queen Premium Pillows or King, $67.98 or $77.98, available in 4 payments & 3 choices of firmness 

11th – Nutrisystem Fast Five Marie’s Summer Shake Up Four Week Plan, $219.98, A/D & Vegetarian option available

12th – Wagner Flexio Paint Sprayer with Detail Finish Nozzle & Spray Shield, $99.96 available in 4 payments


13th – Dennis Basso Caviar Crepe Tunic with Lace Trimmed Sleeves, $49.90 available in 3 payments and 6 colors


14th – Skechers Suede Pee Toe Sling Back Wedges named Stylin, $42.40 available in 4 payments & 6 colors

15th – Traeger Heartland Grill & Smoker, $599.94 available in 6 payments and 4 colors


16th – Isaac Mizrahi Elbow Sleeve Peplum Flounce Knit Top, $27.92 available in 4 payments & 7 colors

17th – Laura Geller Glow Your Own Way, $44.00 available in 2 payments & 7 shades


18th – Valerie Bertinelli wines from Vintage Wine Estates, $41.00 for 3 bottles or $125.00 for 12 bottles, available in 4 payments, A/D, 2 ship dates & 4 flavors


19th – Honora Ming Cultured Pearl Strand Necklace with a rose 18K plated sterling silver snap closure, 16″-30″, $399.98-$779.98 available in 6 payments

20th – Denim & Co Beach Pull On Wide Leg Knit Pants, $27.32, available in regular & tall, petite is not available for preorder yet, choice of 2 colors and 3 prints

21st – Philosophy

22nd – Arlo by Netgear Pro Two Pack Indoor/Outdoor HD Surveillance Cameras, $299.94 available in 6 payments

23rd – Alegria Footwear

24th – Patio & Garden

25th – Lock & Lock Storage

26th – Carole Hochman Heavenly Soft Sleepwear

27th – Cosmoprof North America Beauty Fair Finds

28th – Amazon Echo

29th – Dyson

30th – Women with Control Attitudes by Renee

May

1st – Peter Thomas Roth
2nd – Chair Gym Total Body Workout
3rd – Imperial Gold
4th – LOGO by Lori Goldstein
5th – Earth Brands Footwear
6th – HP Computer
7th – Denim & Co
8th – Organized Options
9th – Copper Chef
10th – Quacker Factory
11th – bareMinerals
12th – Simply Lines
13th – Clarks

Now that the February list is complete, I’m starting this new post for April. The 23rd through the 29th will be added on April 1st, this Sunday. So far the only one that has been revealed for April is the Wen TSV, but it wont be available to preorder until a few days prior to the air date. Click on the link above to see the video where Chaz reveals the TSV. The list will be updated between daily and three days as I find the order numbers, so be sure to check back often for updates. I will post update alerts on this blog’s Facebook page as time allows, so be sure to follow and like the page. The TSV info is currently being released on average three days prior to the TSV’s air date. Which brand are you looking forward to the most? I’m looking forward to seeing the Harry Slatkin TSV, but it will probably be out of my price range as it has been before. Bath & Body Works candles are so much more affordable. I’m also looking forward to seeing what Dennis Basso has to offer. This time of year, in the past, it’s been a light weight jacket which is all we need for most cold days here in the south. One year I loved his TSV jacket so much I bought it in two colors, one at the TSV price and one on clearance. I’d love to hear what you bought in February, please comment below.

Thanks goes to Christina, Katherine, Lynn, Nicole, Patty, Sari, Sharon, Tanya and Vanessa for providing some of the TSV preorder numbers for the last month. QVC has made it so much more difficult to locate these numbers, so I really appreciate these sweet ladies who help me out! Thank you! If you find a preorder number that I haven’t listed yet, please email me, post a comment or contact me on this blog’s Facebook page. Thanks also goes to those that donated recently to help this blog continue. Thank you goes to Joleen, Michele, Tina and Vanessa for your generous and much appreciated donations. Your donations warm my heart and give me inspiration to continue doing the daily research required to keep the TSV lists continually updated. Thanks also goes to those who used my referral and affiliate links or clicked on the advertising. I really appreciate your support and kindness! If you would also like to donate, click on the Paypal donate button below. If you can’t contribute that way, there are also referral and affiliate links below that will help or click on the advertising on the right or simply share my blog with friends. 

 

You are welcome to share a link to this blog post, but please be kind & respectful and do not copy my post and post it elsewhere. People continue to disrespect my wishes and copy and paste my list in groups online without giving credit or a link. I have spoken to some of them and one apologized while another deleted me from her group. Readers tell me she still copies my lists. It amazes me how people can’t simply acknowledge where they got the information in support. Women are suppose to support each other! It’s a shame they can’t find any kindness in their heart or at least not commit plagiarism. So if you are reading this Jessica H., Korris or Debbie S. go away, you are not welcome here. Shame on you for not giving credit where credit is due. I know karma will be knocking on your door very soon.

Bargain Alert: 

Green Blender $10 off 1st Box, check out my 14 reviews. Code “GBSAVE10”
Hello Fresh – $40 off healthy meal kit, only $3.32 a serving, check out my 14 reviews. 
Home Chef – $30 off healthy meal kit, only $4.95 a serving, check out my 55 reviews. 
Julep – 12 full sized nail polishes for FREE, $168 value! Amazing deal! Check out my reviews. *
Love with Food – 25% off snack box with 10+ gluten free snacks only $1.87 each. *
Mr. Rebates – $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC.
Nature Box – healthy, delicious snacks, extra 30% off first 3 shipments. Code “THIRTY3”. *
Sun Basket – $50 Off 1st Two Orders, check out my 26 reviews. *
Terra’s Kitchen – $40 Off, check out my 3 reviews.
* Affiliate links

Help out by sharing this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking their boxes here: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


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Blue Skies for Me Please

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Flat Belly Diet – Ginger Soy Chicken

This was another good recipe that was easy to do. You just have to be sure to plan ahead for the marinade. It’s pretty easy to adapt to what you have on hand too, as you can see from the recipe changes I made. I didn’t do it this time, but the next time I make this, I think I’ll double the marinade and set half of it aside to stir-fry some veggies in to go along with the chicken. 
Ginger Soy Chicken
Adapted from Prevention.com
1/4 C reduced sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp miso paste (I left this out because I didn’t have it on hand)
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp toasted sesame oil (I used EVOO)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
8 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (3-4 lb) (I used chicken breast and leg pieces)
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Combine soy sauce, ginger, honey, miso, garlic, oil, and red pepper flakes in shallow baking dish or large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken, turn to coat, cover, and chill at least 2 hours.
Heat grill to medium for indirect heat. If using charcoal grill, position coals on one half of grill. If using gas grill, heat one side to high, the other to low. Lightly oil grill grates.
Remove chicken from marinade. Discard marinade. Season chicken with salt.
Grill chicken 10 minutes over hottest section of grill, turning once. Move to cooler section of grill and cook 10 minutes longer or until thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165°F

A Quick List of Some Great Ways to Use the Macy’s Beauty Discount (Free Shipping)

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GIVEAWAY – Blue Apron Meal Kit $59.94 Value

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Blue Apron, provide me with their name and email address to give to Blue Apron, provide Blue Apron their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US (not in Hawaii & Alaska). Winner will be sent an email from Blue Apron & simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Blue Apron box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to account info, then chose “manage”  & then “cancel” or to skip future shipments select delivery schedule and chose “skip”. Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. 


This giveaway is only for those that have never subscribed to Blue Apron before. Please do not enter if you don’t intend to redeem the free box! It’s a limited time offer, so you’ll need to redeem in a timely manner. I have reviewed twenty-two Blue Apron deliveries, so be sure to check those out before you leave. Start with my 23rd delivery. Then check out my Blue Apron Pinterest Board, click on the photo of the recipe that you fancy to see the matching blog post.  Also, check out my Home Chef reviews starting with my 55th delivery. In addition, check out my Hello Fresh reviews starting with my 14th delivery.

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh – $40 off
Home Chef – $30 Off
Sun Basket – $35 Off

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Banana Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie

Because girls weekend was in Columbus, I went a night early to spend some extra time with Kathy, Joe and sweet Sebastian. On Saturday morning, Joe made me a delicious smoothie after my run that totally hit the spot. It had just the right amount of sweetness and the oats really made it filling. I could only eat about half of it. 

Joe said he also tried with chocolate chips but found it to be a bit too chunky and chewy for a smoothie. I might try mini chocolate chips to see if that helps. A little cocoa powder or peanut butter would be good too.

Thanks Joe for the great breakfast recipe! Every time I have one, I’ll be thinking of you 😉

Banana Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie
Courtesy of The Joseph Wilson

2 frozen bananas
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk

Add everything to the blender or a glass if you’re using an immersion or hand blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Made-from-Scratch Cornbread

Don’t get me wrong…I love Jiffy Cornbread Mix just as much as the next person. I, however, do not  like the extra preservatives included in each blue box. So, I decided to experiment and make my own cornbread from scratch. I amazingly had all the ingredients I needed, so I threw these together easily and quickly. 

They turned out great! If it tells you anything, my husband called them cornbread brownies because they were so sweet and delicious 🙂

Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread
From All Recipes.com  
1/2 cup butter

2/3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Eating My Way Through Athens

The hubs and I took a trip back in time last weekend and returned to Ohio University, our alma mater, for Homecoming. Besides having an amazing time reminiscing and being with our best friends, we ate ourselves silly, indulging in some of our campus favorites. Albeit, this wasn’t the best weekend for eating clean, but it was sooo worth it!

Some of the highlights:

Goodfella’s Pizza–at $2 a slice, it’s the perfect snack food and tastes even better the later at night it is, especially after a “few” drinks 🙂

 

Bagel Street Deli–best sandwich ever IMHO. My favorite is the Chixadelic, which is chix salad, provolone, cukes, sprouts and honey mustard on an everything bagel, toasted in a paninni press until ooey-gooey perfection. 












Insomnia cookies–new to campus, so I never had the chance to enjoy this goodness. And they were.pure.goodness.


Tarte Mother’s Day Kit is Live

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Home Chef 58th Delivery Review & $30 Coupon

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Roasted Salmon with Ginger Scallion Sauce & Charred Green Beans


Ingredients


Apple Cherry Chicken Salad 

Ingredients


This is a review of our 58th delivery from a weekly meal kit subscription box called Home Chef. This week we skipped making the third recipe because we were both sick with pneumonia. I gave both recipes three out of five stars. Calories were only 502 and 409. Preparation time was thirty-six minutes and twenty minutes. The Roasted Salmon recipe costs $9.95 a serving and the Apple Cherry Chicken Salad costs $7.99.

Roasted Salmon with Ginger Scallion Sauce & Charred Green Beans

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. They had minced the ginger for us which wasn’t a good idea, it looked quite unappetizing once it arrived here. The scallions weren’t in good shape, so you don’t see the scallions in the photo. The teriyaki glaze was very tasty, but a bit too sweet for our taste. The salmon was delicious and the green beans cooked with olive oil and ginger were yummy. This recipe only has 502 calories and it was a healthy portion. Preparation time indicated on the recipe card was thirty to forty minutes. Actual preparation time was thirty-six minutes. 

Apple Cherry Chicken Salad 

I was really excited to see that Home Chef started offering salads with already cooked chicken to cut down on preparation time. They make the perfect lunch except for the fact that I didn’t not enjoy the taste nor the texture of the chicken. I looked at the ingredients and they added sugar to the chicken, what?! As soon as I read that I cancelled all my future salad orders that offer that chicken. I’m so disappointed. Also, they sent me two bags of dried cherries instead of one bag of almonds and one bag of cherries. I gave this recipe three out of five stars. It was a very large portion and it comes in at only 409 calories. It took me twenty minutes to prepare while the recipe states five to ten minutes. I’m particularly fussy when it comes to cleaning produce, so it takes me more time.

It wasn’t our favorite week of recipes, but when you order so many times it’s bound to happen occasionally, so I wont hesitate to order again. I’ll just be skipping the already cooked chicken salads. For prepared salads, I recommend Terra’s Kitchen, they are so delicious and healthy. If you haven’t given Home Chef a try yet, click on the coupon link below and order a shipment today! Having ordered 58 boxes from them, you can guess that I certainly recommend Home Chef.

Bargain Alert:
Gobble Meal Kits – Two free meals
Hello Fresh Meal Kits – $40 Off
Home Chef Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads – $30 Off
Sun Basket Meal Kits – $35 Off
Terra’s Kitchen Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads, Soup, Drinks & Snacks – $40 Off

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No 1 Pho Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurant Review – Cary, NC

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5025 Arco Street
Cary, NC  27519
(919) 297-2975


Exterior View


Interior Decor


Pho Tai – $12.00


Sides


Hu Tieu My Tho Kho – $13.00


Side of Broth


This is a review of a new Vietnamese Pho restaurant located in Cary, North Carolina called No 1 Pho. It’s located in a new shopping center that includes the new West Cary Whole Foods which will open on November 7th. It’s been a long wait since the opening was delayed. To get to the restaurant, take exit 66a off 540. It’s not far from the exit. They are open everyday except Wednesday. Their hours are from 11 am until 9 pm, except on Sunday when they close an hour earlier. The interior decor is lovely. They only have tables, no booths. Their current sanitation score is 95, which is very good. We arrived around 2:30 pm and there were only a couple of customers. We were immediately greeted by a friendly Asian woman who I guess is one of the owners. She seated us at a table right away and she was our waitress.

We ordered right away since we were starving. Our food arrived in about ten minutes. I ordered the Hu Tieu My Tho Kho which is described as “pork soup separate, clear noodle with shrimp, ground pork, sliced pork and quail eggs in house special sauce”. It’s suppose to be served with bean sprouts, lettuce and lemon, but mine was not. I was shocked to only see three shrimp and a few slices of pork. Not to mention the missing quail eggs and the missing side of bean sprouts, lettuce and lemon. So disappoint set in as soon as I dug in. I expected more for a $13.00 lunch! There were tons of noddles that appeared to be soaked in the house special sauce which was tasty, but I didn’t want to fill up on only noodles. The side of broth was scrumptious and I was offered more when I finished. It wasn’t a very filling meal which would have been ok if the price wasn’t so high. The bit of shrimp and pork that I was served were tasty. Hubby ordered the Pho Tai which is described as “rice noodle beef soup with fresh eye of round”. It comes with a side of beans sprouts, basil leaves and lemon. It came with lime instead of lemon and jalapeño was added. Hubby also ordered fresh lemonade for $4 which he received one refill. Seems pricey to us for lemonade. He said it was tasty. We also ordered some summer rolls as an appetizer, but they never showed up. When we asked the waitress she said she forgot to put in the order, so perhaps she should write down orders instead of trying to memorize them. 

We had high expectations for this new restaurant, but it fell short. Perhaps if the prices were a bit lower or the proteins were supplied in a larger quantity we would change our mind. Overall, it’s tasty, but not very filling and we felt it was not a good value. We may try it again since we will be shopping at the new Whole Foods frequently and it’s so close by. I recommend stopping at the pet store in that shopping center. They have high end pet food and treats and excellent customer service. What’s your favorite restaurant in Cary? Are you as happy as I am that the area finally has another Whole Foods?

Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews BoardI invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs.
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No 1 Pho Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Ulta The Gorgeous Hair Event Day 4 Deals are Live (PS: I’m Back!)

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Eating Clean 12 Days of Christmas – Signs

Side note…I’m working on moving my blog over to WordPress and getting my own domain name (woohoo!!). I’ll continue to publish here for awhile, but please change your bookmarks to www.eatingcleanandsavinggreen.com 🙂
 
I made my dad and my mother-in-law each a sign with a cute phrase. You can buy them on Etsy and other places, but to save some money I made my own. I was inspired by Just Imagine.


They took inexpensive wood plaques from a craft store, painted them fun colors and mod podged a picture on it. I did basically the same thing I did with my subway art. I found precut decorative wood plaques at Michaels and painted them black. Then I took the phase I wanted to use and in Publisher created a document with a black background and white letters in a fun font. I printed it out on plain old copy paper, cut it to match the size and shape of the plaque and mod podged in onto the plaque. I added two more layers of mod podge on top to seal the deal. Add a frame hanger on the back and that’s it!

Chocolate Mayo Cake

Also part of the 35th Anniversary celebration, Matt and I made a three-layer chocolate mayonnaise cake with strawberry filling and meringue frosting. We also made mini chocolate mayo cupcakes with coral and jade white chocolate frosting (the colors of the party) and white-chocolate dipped strawberries. I know, we’re nuts! But, minus the back of the cake falling right before the party because of the ridiculous high temps, it was an overall success. We made a beautiful looking, super yummy cake and transported it all the way to Northern KY! I also managed to keep everything pretty clean too!

 

The chocolate mayo cake is a Thompson family favorite, made with, yes, you guessed it, mayonnaise. The mayo replaces the oil in the cake mix and makes for a super moist and super yummy cake. I don’t like chocolate cake, but I eat this one!
Chocolate Mayo Cake
1 box (16.5 oz.) chocolate cake mix (use an organic cake mix or scratch-made mix to keep it clean)
1 cup Hellmann’s Mayonnaise (Hellmann’s is all-natural)
1 cup water
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and lightly flour two 9-inch round cake pans; set aside.
Beat cake mix, Hellmann’s, water and eggs 30 seconds in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed. Beat on medium speed, scraping sides occasionally, 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and cool completely. Sprinkle, if desired, with confectioners sugar or fill and frost. 

We doubled the recipe and made three round cakes and used the leftover batter for the mini cupcakes. For the strawberry filling, take 2 1/2 cups of strawberries cut into pieces, 1 cup of water, 3 tablespoons of corn starch and 3/4 cup of sugar and cook over a stovetop, stirring until the strawberries dissolve into a gel filling. Let cool completely before putting in between the layers of cake. Assemble the cake and apply the frosting carefully, so you don’t knock the layers off. Keep the cake in the fridge or a cool place because the frosting will melt in hot temps, as we sadly learned! For the cupcakes, I melted white chocolate and just dipped the tops into the melted chocolate.

Meringue Frosting
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  

In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Frost the cake of your choice.

Plated Meal Kit Giveaway – September 2017

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Plated has provided me with another box worth $72 to give away. Plated will send the winner one shipment that includes three recipes and the ingredients needed to make three meals for two people for a total of six servings. Above photo shows an example of one recipe. Enter via Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Plated, provide me with their name and email address to give to Plated, provide Plated their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US (not in Hawaii & Alaska). Winner will be sent an email from Plated and simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Plated box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to my account settings, scroll down to the bottom and chose “cancel subscription” or to skip future shipments select weekly menus and chose “skip week”. They ship to most of the US except Hawaii, Alaska and a few cities in TX including San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo & Midland. Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Wednesdays or Saturdays. Vegetarian meals are also offered.

Learn more about Plated by visiting my Plated Pinterest Board. Click on the photos that interest you and it will take you to my matching blog post which provides a review of that recipe. Be sure to check out my reviews of Blue ApronGreen BlenderGreen ChefHello FreshHome ChefMarley SpoonPlated, Sun Basket and Terra’s Kitchen

Bargain Alert: 
Boxed – $15 off $60 
Hello Fresh – $40 off
Home Chef – $30 off, click here.
Julep – Free 12 Piece Nail Polish Collection! $168 value!
Mr. Rebates – $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC, click here.

Vitacost – $10 Off, click here.
Walmart Grocery – $10 off $50 

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Memorial Day 2017 Beauty Sale Round-Up (Last Update: 9:25PM Pacific on 5/27)

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Review: Pacifica Island Vanilla & Indian Coconut Nectar Perfumed Hair & Body Mists

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New Beauty Deals for Your Monday (Sephora, MAC, The Body Shop, Tarte, Lancome, and More)

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15th Hello Fresh Meal Kit Review & $40 Coupon

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Tuscan Sausage & Pepper Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Parmesan


Ingredients


Creamy Shrimp Bruschetta with Monterey Jack Cheese on Baguette Toasts


Ingredients


This is a review of our 15th delivery from a weekly meal kit subscription box called Hello Fresh. This week we gave both recipes three out of five stars and we skipped making the 3rd recipe, Pork Wonton Money Bags, since we didn’t make it within the five day deadline and we didn’t think the pork was still good. Calories were 520 and 890 and preparation times stated on the recipe cards is thirty minutes and forty-five minutes. Actual preparation time was fifty-five minutes and over an hour.

Tuscan Sausage & Pepper Spaghetti with Tomatoes & Parmesan

While it looks tasty in picture above, we only gave this recipe three out of five stars. The sausage came in links which required removing it from the casing to crumble it. We would have preferred it ground without the casing. It was suppose to be sweet Italian sausage, but it wasn’t very tasty at all and we normally love Italian sausage. It really lacked flavor. Our biggest complaint was there wasn’t enough sauce and it lacked spiciness. They gave us chicken stock, spices and whole peeled tomatoes. We would have preferred marinara sauce. The spice was suppose to be hot, but it was not. Also, there was very little parmesan cheese. It was a disappointing meal. Calories were 890 which seems high and it was a large portion. Preparation time stated up forty-five minutes, but it actually took over an hour.
Creamy Shrimp Bruschetta with Monterey Jack Cheese on Baguette Toasts

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. This one really needed some spice to liven it up. The instructions were flawed since the bread didn’t stay crisp, it was soggy. The topping shouldn’t have been placed on top of the bread until it was ready to be served or at least not as long as they indicated. The other problem is the topping was too wet, it included too much cream cheese. It was tasty, but the cream cheese upset my stomach. I’m not sure if it was because it was in the top of the box during shipping too far away from the ice block or it was just my sensitive stomach acting up due to too much cream cheese. 

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh – $40 off
Home Chef – $30 Off
Sun Basket – $40 Off

It wasn’t a great week of recipes. They sure looked good on the recipe cards, so it was really disappointing. Hello Fresh is currently at the bottom of my list for favorite meal kits. Sun Basket, Home Chef & Blue Apron are my current favorites. Also, Plated, Gobble and Green Chef beat Hello Fresh. What’s your favorite subscription box? I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs. Please share this post via Twitter and Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

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I Saw, I Pinned, I Conquered, Part Three

I love having pictures of family and friends all around the house, but I was starting to run out spots to put frames on shelves and such. Several years ago, we went to the Indianapolis Home Show and the showcase home had a beautiful photo gallery going up the staircase. I especially loved the groupings of four and five picture frames together and had seen them in stores, but knew they were pretty expensive. So, we took $1 and $2 Goodwill and garage sale picture frames, glued them together, repainted all one color and added a hook to hang. Some of the frames we kept their original color. Instant and cheap photo collages! I’ve started to intersperse other single picture frames among the large groupings to create a photo gallery down the stairway.

Last year, my hubby built a pergola over our back patio. I’ve always loved all the different mason jar lighting and chandeliers that are all over Pinterest, but again, to buy them, they are pretty expensive. Instead, we made our own from a $9 wine barrel ring, 4 mason jars we found from the Lakeside Collection (found here) that had the hooks and lights already in them and were only $5 a piece, 4 hooks and some black chain.Instant lighting charm 🙂

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Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review – January 2018

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Here’s to a Beautiful 2018
This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box called Play! by Sephora. It’s only $10 a monthly including shipping. This month the retail value of the box is $28.17 which is much lower than most of the previous twenty boxes I’ve received. Included in the box were the following products:
  1. Fresh – Rose Floral Toner, .6 fl. oz., made in France, $2.82 retail value
  2. GlamGlow – SuperCleanse, .5 oz, made in USA, $3.20 retail value
  3. Smashbox – Photo Finish Primerizer, .13 fl. oz., made in USA, $5.46 retail value
  4. Clinique – Pep-start Eye Cream, .1 fl. oz. 3 ml, made in the USA, $5.30 retail value
  5. Lancôme – Mascara Base, .07 fl. oz., $9.39 retail value
  6. Alterna Haircare – Caviar Anti-aging Replenishing Moisture Shampoo and Conditioner, 2 x .25 fl. oz., made in the USA, $2.00 retail value
This month instead of sending a perfume sample they sent a foil packet of shampoo and conditioner. Most customers who pay for samples dread receiving a foil packet. I would have preferred a perfume sample. I guess customers were complaining that they were sick of receiving perfume samples though some of us are not. Alterna is free of parabens, sulfates and synthetic color which is what I look for in shampoo and conditioners since my scalp is very sensitive. I’m going to give it a try tonight. Since I have extra long hair, this sample will only be enough for one use. My skin as it’s aged has gone from t-zone oily combination to dry, so I have stopped using toners. The Fresh Toner smells like roses which is lovely! The Smashbox sample is so tiny! I was quite shocked when I noticed it in the box. I have sampled a couple of their primers before and while they were ok, they aren’t my favorite. This one combines a moisturizer and a primer which saves you a step. I like that idea, but Smashbox isn’t one of my favorite brands. I was also shocked to see such a tiny Clinique sample, coming in at only .1 fl. oz.! I like this brand, so I’m anxious to give it a try, but being that it will only be used a few times it’s certainly not enough product to figure out if it works for me. I have received the Lancôme Mascara Base a couple times previously and I just don’t have the time to go to the trouble of using a base and then mascara. It’s a step I don’t want to add to my routine and I didn’t find that it made any difference. I like to put on my makeup as quickly as possible since I’m usually in a rush to get out the door. I’m anxious to give the GlamGlow cleanser a try since I love this brand. I bought the YouthCleanse face wash and it dries out my skin. It would be perfect for those with oily skin. This box has the least retail value of the twenty-one boxes I have received so far, it’s a disappointment. Also, there’s no makeup included this time, which is really disappointing. I don’t consider primers makeup, I’m talking about eye shadows, blush, mascara, lipstick, etc. I have come to expect at least one makeup product, so I’m not happy about the lack of makeup. If the next box is like this one with no makeup and a much lower retail value than previous boxes, they will be causing me to hit the cancel button and find another box. I’ve been putting off cancelling because I keep thinking they will return to boxes like those they sent previous to the last two. It would be a shame if I have to cancel since this one has been my favorite cosmetic subscription box lately. If you’re a subscriber, were you happy with this month’s box? If not a subscriber, what’s keeping you from giving this subscription a try?
Bargain Alert:

Mr. Rebates – 4% cash back for online Sephora purchases! 
Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to see what I have received in my previous twenty boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. 

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Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

I like the taste of Chicken Cordon Bleu but it’s pretty time consuming to make. This casserole is easy and tastes just like the real thing. Plus, this would make a great freezer meal or meal to take to someone who’s ill or just had a baby.


Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

1 whole Cooked Chicken, Bones Removed, Meat Diced Or Shredded (Rotisserie chicken is Excellent, Should Be 5-6 Cups Of Chicken)
½ pounds Very Thinly Sliced Deli-style Honey Ham, Rough Chopped
¼ pounds Thin Sliced Baby Swiss Cheese
FOR THE SAUCE:
4 Tablespoons Butter
4 Tablespoons Flour
3-¼ cups Milk (I Used Whole Milk)
2 Tablespoons Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1-½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoons Smoked Paprika
¼ teaspoons White Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9- x 13-inch baking dish. Set aside. Put cooked shredded or diced chicken on the bottom of the baking dish. Rough chop the ham and scatter it over the top of the chicken. Lay the Swiss cheese on top of the ham.

For the sauce:

Melt the butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When butter is melted, quickly stir in the flour to form a smooth roux. Do not brown! Once the roux is smooth and bubbly, slowly pour in the cold milk while stirring briskly to make a smooth sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Stir in the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt, smoked paprika and white pepper. Bring sauce just back to a low boil and turn off heat. Pour sauce evenly over the casserole, being certain to get some of the sauce around the edges of the pan.

Bake casserole uncovered for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly throughout and top has turned a light golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes prior to serving.

Indiana Fruits and Veggie Harvest Calendar

I had mentioned that I took part in a healthy foods tour and information session at Whole Foods with a nutritionist and chef. One aspect of healthy eating she talked about was fruits and vegetables and eating locally and what’s in season. Her reasoning was more of an environmental one and less of a health one. Locally grown, in-season produce means less gas and less carbon footprint.

Honestly, there is too much else for me to think about, I don’t really consider the environmental impact when eating produce. I figure we’re eating good food, so that’s good enough for me! But, if that is something that interests you, check out this calendar from the Indiana state government. It shows what produce is in season in Indiana during any given month.

http://www.in.gov/isda/files/Harvest_Calander.pdf

Bath & Body Works January 2018 Haul – Spring Comes Early!

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Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candles – Pink Bubblegum, Raspberry Peach Macaron, Honey Cinnamon Crumb Cake, Lavender Marshmallow & Lemon Drops


Bath & Body Works started selling spring candles in December, how crazy is that?! They are suppose to set up the stores for spring on January 21st, but they are already selling some of the candles online and in some stores early. This Sweet Shop Collection hit the shelves in 2014 in limited supply and has finally returned. Back in 2014, the Lavender Marshmallow candle was sold on eBay for multiple times it’s retail price! Does it smell so good it’s worth paying an insane price for it? The answer is no. Some people go crazy when they can’t buy something when it’s in limited supply, case in point beanie babies. As soon as the Sweet Collection went on sale on the 24th of December, I placed my order. I only paid $6.67 a candle. Included in that haul were the following:

Pink Bubblegum

It’s described as pink sugar cane, juicy watermelon and a hint of vanilla. This one smells like you are in a candy store. It smells just like pink bubblegum which seems like a strange smell to have in your house. I didn’t sense any watermelon scent at all. I like it for a fun change, but it’s not worth stocking up on. I think this one would be a perfect gift for a teenager along with a bag of bubble gum or for someone who chews bubble gum frequently. It has a throw of about 8 out of 10. You might want to keep it in a large room otherwise you’ll be extinguishing it because it will become overwhelming in a small room. Seven customers rated it online for an average of 3.9 stars out of 5.

Raspberry Peach Macaron

This candle is described as a blend of ripe raspberries, juicy peach and almond cream. I find this one to be very tart and certainly not ripe. It smells like a mix of unripened peaches and raspberries. I don’t smell any almond. If you are a fan of food scents, but you don’t like the sweet ones, this one is for you. I’m not much of a fan and wont return, but I wont repurchase it. This one has a throw of about 7.5 out of 10. You’ll be extinguishing this one in a small room quite quickly, because the tartness will become overwhelming. Out of twenty-six customers it gets an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
Honey Cinnamon Crumb Cake

It’s described as fresh soft cake, honey and a hint of cinnamon. This one is so weak I should really return it. I smell just a hint of bland cake with little if any sweetness. I don’t smell any honey or cinnamon. It has a throw of about 2 out of 10. This is the most disappointing one out of my haul. I do not recommend this one unless you are able to find a strong one. Sometimes some batches turn out stronger than others. This is as disappointing as their last banana bread one that I returned and I rarely return candles. Four customers gave it an average rating of 3.5 stars.
Lavender Marshmallow

Described as a mouthwatering, unexpected blend of lavender and marshmallow. This one smells like a slightly sweet lavender to me, I really don’t smell marshmallow. If you don’t like the true lavender oil scent, you may like this one since the sweetness tones down that earthy lavender scent just enough without it being overwhelmingly sweet. It has a throw of about 7 out of 10. While it is lovely, I don’t think you need more than a couple of these. I really don’t understand why people paid so much for this one on the secondary market other than the need to have something that is hard to find. It’s not that impressive to me. Out of thirteen customers, it receives an average rating of 4.5 stars.
Lemon Drops

It’s described as a mouth puckering mixture of sweet and tart which is a blend of lemon zest, sugar and a hint of vanilla. I really didn’t smell any vanilla, so I’m surprised to read that in the description. This one isn’t anywhere near as good as Tea & Lemon aka London. London is my favorite candle and this one at times almost smells like a lemon cleaner especially the longer you burn it. I don’t recommend this one, stick to London! Even Limoncello is better than this one. It has a throw of about 7 out of 10. Out of three customers rating it, it gets 3.7 stars.
Also included in the Sweet Shop Collection is Pineapple Creampuff. I’m not a fan of the smell of pineapple, so I skipped that one. In conclusion, if you fancy any of these scents, make sure you purchase them soon. They will sell out and I haven’t heard if they will be restocking them. I recommend skipping Lemon Drops and Honey Cinnamon Crumb Cake. Also, skip Raspberry Peach Macaron unless you love tart food scents. Buy one Pink Bubblegum for fun and buy a couple of the Lavender Marshmallow candles, if you love lavender scents. These candles are on sale currently for $11.25 and they have a retail value of $22.50. Make sure you use Mr. Rebates and a coupon! What’s your favorite Bath & Body Works candle?

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Feel free to browse around my blog before you leave. Check out my Bath & Body Works Pinterest Board for links to my other blog posts featuring Bath & Body Works products. Also, you are invited to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs

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Biker Churches Lead Outlaws to God

TEXARKANA, Texas – Members of outlaw motorcycle gangs are coming together throughout the Bible Belt where bikers who once thrived on sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and even a life of crime are now looking for calmness of Bible study and prayer meetings.

“Churches like this gather misfits,” Matthew Butler, who became the church’s pastor in 2010 after working in its music ministry, told Aljazeera America on Sunday, December 1.

“Without a church like this, there would be hundreds of people with nowhere else to go. We are literally reaching into the darkness.”

Dressed in jeans, leather jackets, biker boots and T-shirts, men and women scene in the churches’ pews was unfamiliar.

Being part of outlaw motorcycle gangs, which make up about 1 percent of motorcycle riders in the United States, those bikers used to have clubs with names like the Hells Angels and Banditos.

They are not recognized by the 235,000-member American Motorcycle Association because of their criminal activities.

Yet, in the Bible Belt, and across the US, the Biker-Friendly Church Network lists nearly 100 churches where helmets are welcomed on Sunday mornings.

Unlike traditional churches, they aren’t recognized within religious denominations, but rather focus on evangelism and discipleship – witnessing and training in the Bible.

Recently, several groups with names like the Iron Apostles, Soldiers for Jesus and Hallelujah Riders gathered in Kilgore, Texas, for fellowship and prayer at Living Word Church, whose pastor donated the space to bikers.

Motorcycles with Jesus stickers lined the churchyard, and tales from the road were shared in between preaching and barbecue.

“This is just a place where we wouldn’t be judged and looked down on,” said Russell Stewart, a deacon of a church at Texarkana, a town that straddles the Arkansas-Texas state line, and one of its founding members.

“At other churches, the way we dress, we would be judged. We are all just here to worship the Lord.”

New Life

The new churches offered a new hope of life for bikers, who were outlaws one day.

“All the men in my life were teaching me how to rob, steal, do dope and sell dope,” said David Vanbuskirk, a preacher for Bikers for Christ, adding he is the last person anyone expected to spread the Gospel.

“They had a lack of concern for life. I didn’t want my sons to be raised like that, and I don’t Leading a criminal life for years, he started preaching to change lives.

“I don’t have an education, and I’m rough around the edges,” Vanbuskirk said.

“But I preach with conviction around my heart. The Lord speaks to you in the hum of the motor.”

Keith Cannon, who attends Kilgore church, has also found a new life after abandoning crime.

Nearly nine years ago, Cannon was living in a homeless shelter.

He was arrested in 2004 for possession of drugs, and a year later arrested again on a drug and weapons charge “We were some twisted people before we got saved,” said Cannon, whose father was a missionary.

“You can ride your bike the same, but now you love Jesus.”

The United States is home to a Muslim minority of between six to eight million.

Muslims believe in Jesus as one of the great Prophets of God and that he is the son of Mary but not the Son of God. He was conceived and born miraculously.

In the Noble Qur’an, Jesus is called “Isa”. He is also known as Al-Masih (the Christ) and Ibn Maryam (Son of Mary).

As for his crucifixion, Muslims believe that Jesus was not crucified but was lifted up to heaven.

Muslims believe that Jesus will come back to earth before the end of time to restore peace and order, fight the Anti-Christ (Al-Masih Al-Dajjal) and bring victory for truth and righteousness.

The true followers of Jesus will prevail over those who deny him, misrepresent him and reject him.

____________________________________________
Source: Onislam (AP, 12/02)

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STEAMPUNK’D: URBAN MOTOR’S JAWA SPRINT MOTORCYCLE


Glemseck 101 is just around the corner. Set in southern German town of Leonberg, it’s a two-wheeled celebration of gasoline and good taste.
It also attracts some of the most outrageous customs on the planet. We’ve seen everything from turbocharged boxers to fire-breathing Yamaha XJRs. But a 350cc Jawa with a steampunk vibe? Now das ist different.

This is what Berlin-based Urban Motor have built for their entry into Glemseck’s inaugural Essenza sprint.
Sixteen teams will compete—a mixed bag of manufacturers and custom builders. The bikes are limited to two cylinders and a 1200cc maximum.

But it’s as much about style as it is about speed. A panel of judges—and a public vote—will determine the best-designed bike, to be crowned alongside the fastest.
No prizes for guessing which category Urban Motor are gunning for. With a whopping 18 horsepower on tap, this little 1964 Jawa 350 will be racing against 21st century machinery like the BMW R nineT and Triumph Thruxton R.

Shop boss Peter Dannenberg’s hardly fazed: “Those who sprint slowly are seen longer!”
We love the elegant minimalism at play here, which belies the inordinate amount of work that went into the build. Everything wrapped around the Jawa’s two-stroke mill is—quite obviously—completely custom-made.

“If essence is the key, then we want to do it right,” says Peter. “We want to make a statement.”
Urban Motor tossed all but the engine, before building a whole new chassis from steel tubing. The design of the alloy bodywork was a collaboration with Marven Diehl of KRT Framework, who fashioned the metal himself.


Marven was also responsible for the Jawa’s quirky front suspension design, with its integrated handlebars. And no, we don’t know how it works.
Everything’s book-ended by two skinny, 23” alloy SM Pro rims. A solitary drum brake (at the back) handles the stopping duties.

On the engine side, Urban Motor have installed a Jikov carb, and fabricated a pair of short, graceful exhausts. With no need for lights or turn signals, the wiring’s been stripped down to the bare essentials.
The Jawa now weighs a svelte 90kg, with finishes as tasteful as its silhouette. Sven van den Brandt handled the only paint on the project: a touch of matte gold on the forks and swingarm.

The grips are wrapped in leather from Red Wing, and the seat was made to spec by C. Benda. There are some smaller details to digest too: from the exposed throttle assembly, to the direct-mount rear sets.
Urban Motor have given their build an appropriately quirky name: ‘EASY (…like Sunday morning).’


“We are not dogmatic about competitions and rules,” explains Peter. “We like to see the big picture and enjoy divergence with humor, fun and the winking of an eye.”

Will it win the races? Probably not, but you can bet it’ll win hearts.
Urban Motor | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Tim Adler | Essenza [In German]
 first published by www.bikeexif.com

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QVC’s Mr. Christmas Set of Four Mini Nostalgic Tree Ornaments Review

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Nighttime Look


Daytime Look


How I Display Them


This is a review of a set of four mini nostalgic tree ornaments from QVC made by Mr. Christmas. The order number is H211624 and they were offered for $34.78 when I ordered them, the price has increased to $38.28 plus shipping since the lower price was for their Christmas in July celebration. My price per tree after tax and shipping comes to only $10.77, bargain! They aired in July, but I didn’t notice them until I searched online and they had sold out and gone on waitlist. I ordered on July 31st and I lucked out going on wait list since the white set shipped on August 12th. I’m also on wait list for the green set. I originally wanted the green set, but I thought I’d improve my odds of getting at least one set if I ordered both colors. I’m actually very impressed with the white set and not unhappy that I didn’t get the green set instead. They have more of a decorative look without screaming Christmas and I suspect that the lights reflect better against the white rather than the green. I placed two double A batteries in each tree right away and I turned them to the on position. I’m in love with them! Once it started getting dark, I removed the batteries and put them back in and then set the switch to timer instead of on. They have come on at 8 pm every night since then and they stay on until midnight for a total of four hours. I find them so comforting and beautiful. I will reset the timer when sunset starts earlier in the fall. I have them on our mantle in our living room. I have two on one side and two on the other side with a recent Luminara candle TSV in the middle of each set of two trees. Our mantle has two shelves, so the light from the trees reflect on the shelf above them. They reflect more light, if they are on a shelf rather than a coffee table. They have LED lights, so they do not get warm or hot. They have a red ribbon attached to the star to hang them, but they have a nice flat bottom to sit them on any shelf or table. The ribbon is removable, but I just haven’t bothered to remove it. I highly recommend ordering them, the waitlist wasn’t very long and Christmas is still 123 away, so you have time. They would also make wonderful gifts individually and the set comes with four adorable little Christmas gift bags to do just that. I can’t part with them though, they remind me of my childhood. Back in the 70’s women would go to a crafting class and make these by hand. My neighbor’s mother made one in green, so these trees remind me of that time in my life. These are a remake of those such Christmas decorations. I’m not waiting until Christmas to enjoy them. They have a lovely glow of colored lights just perfect for the living room while we watch tv in the evening. They would also be perfect on your bedside tables, coffee table or even your dining table. I love them so much, I’m not cancelling my other wait list order since I would use the second set in the bedroom on the end tables or on our dining room table. They would make a cute night light in a child’s bedroom. Just set the timer for their bedtime instead of sunset. 

QVC also offers a large version of these trees, but it’s a plug in which limits where you can place it. It’s item number H211560 and it’s also on waitlist. It’s 17″ tall and it costs $49.96. It would look awesome sitting next to two of the mini trees which are 5 1/4″ tall in either white or green. Perhaps they will restock these again prior to Christmas. I know they offered similar trees as a TSV a while ago, but the reviews weren’t very good. These seem to be an improved version based on the reviews I’ve read. One year host David had an entire show devoted to nostalgic Christmas decor. I wish he would do that again. Did you buy anything during QVC’s Christmas in July shows? Who else is starting decorating for Christmas early this year? Last couple of years we were relocated and I was homesick, so I wasn’t really into decorating, so now that we are back I’m totally into decorating. Do you decorate more when you are happy?

Bargain Alert:

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Potato-Crusted Pork Chops

This meal was all my hubby, so I don’t have a whole lot of input 🙂 He said the recipe was pretty involved prep-wise, but the chops turned out great. Very flavorful and moist, they almost tasted like the famous Indiana pork tenderloin.
Potato-Crusted Pork Chops
Adapted from Rachael Ray Mag


3 eggs
1/4 cup flour
Salt and pepper
2 pounds baking potatoes
1 pound boneless pork loin, sliced into 4 cutlets pounded 1/4-inch thick
1/2 cup vegetable oil


In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. In a second bowl, mix the flour with 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper. Using a box grater or a food processor with a shredding disk, shred the potatoes. working in four batches, wrap the potatoes in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out as much moisture as possible; transfer to a large bowl. Season with 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.
 

Working with one cutlet at a time, dredge in the flour, shake off excess, dip in the egg, then press the shredded potato onto both sides of the cutlet to coat. Repeat with remaining cutlets.
 

In a large, heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium-high. Fry 2 cutlets, turning once, until the potatoes are crispy and brown, about 8 minutes. Drain the cutlets on paper towels and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 2 cutlets.
 

21st Blue Apron Meal Kit Review

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Spicy Korean Chicken Bao with Green Bean & Tomato Salad


Ingredients


Cornmeal Crusted Shrimp Po’ Boys with Tomato & Cucumber Salad


Ingredients


Sautéed Beef & Roasted Eggplant with Spiced Rice & Cucumber Salad


Ingredients


This is a review of our 21st delivery from a food subscription box called Blue Apron. Blue Apron is a weekly food subscription box that costs $59.94 for 2 servings of 3 recipes. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars, one recipe three stars and one recipe two stars. Calories ranged from 560 to 750 and preparation listed on the recipe cards ranged from twenty-five to forty-five minutes. Actual preparation time was from fifty-two minutes to over an hour.

Spicy Korean Chicken Bao with Green Bean & Tomato Salad

Hubby and I both gave this recipe five out of five stars. This meal was scrumptious. It was the first time we had tried steam buns and they are comfort food for sure yet this recipe has only 560 calories. The charm tomatoes were a nice change from your typical tomato. I prefer the flavor of these over cherry tomatoes. The sauces on the chicken were delicious and the gochujang was particularly yummy. It took an hour to prepare. This was a healthy portion that was filling.

Cornmeal Crusted Shrimp Po’ Boys with Tomato & Cucumber Salad

Last time we made a shrimp po’ boy recipe it was five stars, so we were really looking forward to this one. I gave this recipe three out of five stars and Hubby gave it only two stars. It was a very disappointing recipe. The shrimp was in desperate need of some cajun spice and the rémoulade made with corn, pickle relish, mustard and vinegar wasn’t a good match for the shrimp & sandwich rolls. The side salad was yummy. It was simply made with cucumber, tomatoes, chives, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. It took fifty-two minutes to prepare. This recipe has 740 calories and it was filling.

Sautéed Beef & Roasted Eggplant with Spiced Rice & Cucumber Salad

We put off making this recipe since it was our least favorite of the three. Out of all the meal kits, Blue Apron offers the least amount of recipes so sometimes you get stuck with a recipe you’re not that crazy about making. I had a hard time rating this recipe. I couldn’t decide between two or three stars out of five. The meat was dry and tough so that’s what’s pulling it down to two stars the most. Also, the dried figs after being rehydrated were strangely crunchy. I really disliked that texture even though it was tasty when added to the rice. The Afghan spice blend added to the rice was delicious. It took over an hour to prepare and yet it says it will only take up to thirty-five minutes. I really wish they were more accurate with their preparation times. The meat was screaming for a sauce. I think that instead of a side salad of cucumber, labneh cheese, mint and vinegar that it should have been blended until smooth and poured over the meat. It tasted very similar to tzatziki sauce, so it would have improved the flavor of the meat. This one has 750 calories and it was a healthy portion.

This week was a mixed bag of recipes with one that we absolutely loved, one that was ok and one that was very disappointing. We are grateful that all the ingredients arrived in good shape and now we know we love Chinese steam buns. Now I’m on the hunt for a local restaurant that offers them. Have you tried Blue Apron yet? If so, how has the service been for you? If not, why? I’ll have another Blue Apron giveaway soon, so be sure to check back.

Bargain Alert:

Boxed – $15 off $60 
Hello Fresh – $40 off
Home Chef – $30 off, click here.
Julep – Free 12 Piece Nail Polish Collection! $168 value!
Mr. Rebates – $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC, click here.

Vitacost – $10 Off, click here.
Walmart Grocery – $10 off $50 
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Ipsy Subscription Box Review – December 2017

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Ipsy – December 2017


This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box called Ipsy that costs only $10 per month including shipping. Each month they send five deluxe samples customized based on your profile. This month the retail value of my box is $52.60. For the month of December I received the following products:
  1. Pūrlisse – Two Sheet Masks in Coconut & Rice and Green Tea & Ginger, made in Korea, .74 oz., $16.00 retail value
  2. Pixi by Petra – Mesmerizing Mineral Duo in Orchid Ornament, made in the UK,  1.5 g, $3.60 retail value
  3. Ofra – Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in the color Ipsy Unzipped, made in the USA, 6 g, $20.00 retail value 
  4. Smashbox – Always on Gel Liner in Fishnet, made in Germany, .02 oz, $9.00 retail value 
  5. First Aid Beauty – Face Cleanser, made in the USA, 1 oz, $4.00 retail value
I love sheet masks since they are so easy remove with no rinsing required. I recommend keeping them in the refrigerator until use. They have such a cooling effect when chilled. I didn’t find this one very moisturizing though my skin is very dry right now. It was very relaxing though. My current favorite sheet mask is from TonyMoly. I purchase them from Macy’s since they have free shipping and they go on sale frequently. I haven’t had a chance to try out the Pixi eyeshadow yet. I just bought some Too Faced eyeshadow palettes since I was able to get them at 50% off and they were on my wish list. So I’m trying those out first. The Ofra lipstick goes on a with a bit of a satin look that takes a while to turn matte. It mostly stays on during eating, but there is some smudging and it does need a touch up. It is difficult to fully remove. I tried an oil cleanser and it still had some left over. It’s a dark berry color which is nice for fall and winter. When I rub my lips together it feels dry. Since I have a habit of rubbing my lips together, the lipstick being really dry is a deal breaker. Also, I can’t stand smudging. I prefer Kat Von D’s and Julep’s matte lipsticks. I’ve used Smashbox liner before and it’s pretty good, just not my favorite. My favorite is from Mally. I have also received a First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser sample in another subscription box. I wasn’t thrilled with it, it’s just ok. My favorite face cleanser is Josie Maran’s.

My favorite product in this box is the sheet mask. My least favorite is the lipstick  since it feels dry on the lips. If you are a subscriber what your favorite product this month?  If you are not a subscriber, why not?
Bargain Alert:
Julep – 12 Free Nail Polishes
Ofra – 30% off “IPSY30”
Mr. Rebates – cash back for online purchases 

Check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years and check out November’s Ipsy. Share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking the boxes: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


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The Lipstick League – Week of 4.18.17 (To Depot or Not to Depot: That is the Question!)

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Crockpot Balsamic Chicken

Another crockpot chicken recipe, another disappointment. I’m just not loving how the chicken turns out in the crockpot…dry, flavorless and bland. Any suggestions on cooking chicken in the crockpot??

Crockpot Balsamic Chicken
Adapted from Keepn Up With J


– 4-5 frozen chicken breasts
– 2 small yellow squash
– 1 medium zucchini
– 1 medium purple onion

– 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
– 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar

Place frozen chicken breasts in the bottom of a medium/large crock pot. Slice all of your veggies – squash, zucchini, onion – and throw into the crock pot over your chicken. Add Worcestershire sauce and Balsamic vinegar. Cook on High for 4 hours. Keep heated on Warm until ready to serve. You can shred or leave your chicken whole

The Lipstick League – Week of 4.25.17 (Fun Mother’s Day Gift Ideas & More)

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Parmesan and Spinach Orzo

This was a cozy and comforting dish that was easy to prepare. It was a little bland, but I think adding an extra clove or two of garlic, as well as some more parm cheese would fix that. You could easily double the recipe and freeze the extras. 

Parmesan and Spinach Orzo
Adapted from Life is a Strawberry

2 and 1/2 cups whole wheat orzo
2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. flour
1 cup milk 

1 package frozen spinach, defrosted, water wrung out and chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded, plus extra for garnish

Cook orzo according to package directions. Set aside. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for 1 minute or until onions are translucent. Add flour to form a roux and cook for an additional minute. Add about 1/4 cup of the milk to the pot and whisk to work out any lumps from the roux. When lumps are worked out, add the remaining milk and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened, about 8 minutes. Add chopped spinach to sauce and cook an additional 2 minutes or until spinach has cooked down. Remove sauce from heat. Stir parmesan cheese into sauce. When cheese has melted, add cooked orzo to sauce and toss to coat. Garnish with extra parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

NYX is Coming to Walgreens

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Chocolate Chip Brownie Pie

It had been a while since I had made a dessert. Thankfully, I had to make a dessert for Advent by Candlelight and opted for this chocolate chip brownie pie. I adjusted some of the ingredients to make it gluten-free for my mom and I thought it turned out great. 

Chocolate Chip Brownie Pie

Adapted from Fahrenheit 350
 

6oz. Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme Chocolate Candy Bar (I used regular Hershey’s bars)
½ cup sugar
½ cup butter
 

Melt over med low heat until melted. Whisk in 2 lightly beaten eggs and ½ teaspoon vanilla.
Add:
1 cup flour (I used gluten-free flour)
½ teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
 

Stir until mixture is incorporated and smooth. Pour into greased 9″ springform pan. Bake at 350°, 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Immediately pour 7oz. sweetened condensed milk over top of brownies. Layer with ¾ cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips and let cool before eating.

Thanksgiving Decor

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Fall?? Another Pinterest inspired project and some more money saved! 

I love the look of the bunting-type banners, but they are pretty expensive if you buy them in Etsy. Instead, I made my own and it was super easy and super cheap. In Publisher (you could use Word too) pick a font you love, type out whatever words you want in about 200-250 size and print on colored paper. Cut around the letters in a triangle shape, paste on another colored sheet and cut around another larger triangle. Attach to a line of twine with wooden clothespins.

Turkey Hill All-Natural Ice Cream

We love ice cream in our house. Our first choice is Graeter’s, which is all-natural and oh-so-delicious. If you’re not familiar with Graeter’s, it’s a Cincinnati brand ice cream made in small batches using the French Pot method. You can buy pints at Kroger and Marsh here in Indy, fortunately for my tastebuds, unfortunately for my waistline 😉

Anyway, I had a coupon for a $1 off Turkey Hill All-Natural Ice Cream and decided to give it a try last week when Kroger had it on sale. I got plain old vanilla and it was really good! Nice flavor and only five ingredients. I added on my all-natural peanut butter and some chocolate chips and made a yummy sundae 🙂 While Graeter’s is still number one, this is a great second choice. 

*Turkey Hill is not reimbursing me for my opinion of their yummy ice cream.


Creamy Mustard Chicken

This recipe is an older one I’ve had in my collection for awhile. I only had to make a few adjustments to make it clean and all-natural. This would work great for a dinner party because it appeals to a lot of tastes, is easy to prepare and looks great when served. 

Creamy Mustard Chicken

Adapted From Eating Well

4 thin-sliced chicken breasts or cutlets (about 1 pound)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (use corn starch to make it gluten-free)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large shallot, finely chopped (I used a regular onion)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish

Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow bowl and coat both sides of the chicken, shaking off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken, turning once, until golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean plate. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; stir in mustard, 2 tablespoons sage and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Return the chicken to the pan and turn to coat with the sauce.

It’s Back! Multi-Retailer $5 MAC Littles Sale (Recommendations)

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Hot 40% off (or More) Deals + Free Shipping

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Needed: Summer Reading Recommendations

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Weekend Beauty Deal Round-Up & Reminders (In-Store Beauty Event at Target on Sunday and More)

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My 200th Post!! And Win a Gift Card!

I cannot believe this is my 200th post! The year has flown by and I’m so thankful to have you on my clean eating journey! I’m looking forward to even more clean eating and saving green fun in 2014, including exploring clean beauty and cleaning products and trying a whole bunch of new recipes. 

To celebrate and because I’m in the holiday spirit, I’m giving away a gift card to Regal Cinemas. If you’ve liked my Facebook page here, you’re already entered to win 🙂 If you’d like a chance to win, please head over and like me please! Once I receive 50 likes, I’ll draw a random winner, so tell all your friends too!

Red Robin Restaurant Review – Apex, NC

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1431 Beaver Creek Commons Drive
Apex, NC  27502
(919) 363-8599
Exterior View


Interior View


Guacamole Bacon Burger & Fries – $10.99

Crispy Chicken Tender Salad – $10.49


This is a review of a restaurant called Red Robin located in Apex, North Carolina.  It’s a franchise with several locations in the area. There is also one in Cary, Garner, Raleigh, Durham, Wake Forest and Fayetteville. The Apex location is open from 11 am until 10 pm everyday except Friday and Saturday when they stay open one hour longer. We visited around 3:30 pm on a Sunday and it wasn’t busy as you can see in the interior photo above. Their sanitation score is currently 96.5, but you would guess it was much lower looking at the table in the interior photo showing the mess left behind by a family. That table sat there like that for a long time before it was cleaned up. One person came by and started to clean and left, then another person did the same and then finally the 2nd person showed up to finish the job. It was an extremely unappetizing view. We were greeted as soon as we entered the building and seated at a booth.

After a few minutes the waiter came over and asked for our drink orders. Then our drinks were delivered and we ordered. Hubby ordered the Guacamole Bacon Burger and I ordered the Crispy Chicken Tender Salad. About ten minutes later our entrees were delivered. I was shocked to see how small Hubby’s burger was and how few toppings were served. We had not been to a Red Robin for three years due to relocation and no locations nearby. We had frequented this location when we lived here before. Their burgers were always huge and impressive! Hubby’s burger is described as “guac, bacon, Swiss, tomatoes, lettuce, onion and mayo”. There was a tiny amount of guacamole on the burger unlike the photos they have on their website. Compare my photo with theirs and you’ll see why Hubby was so disappointed. They use to look like the website three years ago and they were very filling. This looked like a kid sized burger and there weren’t nearly as many fries as they normally serve. They offer bottomless fries and the wait staff is suppose to bring out more fries if desired. I was also shocked to see how little fried chicken was on my salad. Take a look at their photo and then my above. It was a least half of what I used to be served. Also, the egg was sliced incredibly thin and there were only a couple slices on my salad, not even a 1/3 of an egg and the slices weren’t intact. The salad had mostly iceberg lettuce and it was a thin layer. I asked the waiter which dressings they offer and ordered the Baja Ranch dressing and was told it was a spicy ranch. It’s not listed on the online menu. The only thing close to it is called Salsa Ranch. It was so watery I asked for some Thousand Island instead. It had very little flavor as if water was added to it because they were running out. The best part of the salad was the chicken tenders which were crunchy and tasty, but I wasn’t served enough for it to be filling. It’s described as “your favorite finger food tossed with hard boiled eggs, hardwood-smoked bacon, tomatoes and cheddar over mixed greens. Served with garlic toast and choice of dressing”. The garlic toast was cold and the chicken was just warm, not hot. I was really disappointed especially at the price of $10.49. I can get a better tasting and more filling salad at Chick-fil-A for less. 

This restaurant caters to children offering balloons, crayons and paper, so it can be quite noisy with lots of screaming children. You’ll also have the unappetizing view of food all over the floor since the staff and parents don’t pick it up as shown above. The interior decor use to be bright and cheerful, now the walls are pained a unappetizing dark grey and they have most of the blinds closed. It’s such a shame because we use to enjoy frequenting this restaurant particularly this location. The Cary location always smells like they are burning the burgers, so we stopped going to that location years ago. 

The waiter was overly attentive to the point of being annoying. For instance, asking if everything was ok when all we had were soft drinks and we were waiting for our food. He visited our table too often and lingered. He even asked “how’s it going ladies” and then apologized saying that five times prior the customers sitting at our booth were all ladies. He also went on a long speech about how to fill out the survey to rate his performance. He was disrespectful of our time. I also don’t like how you have to pay for your order at the table now. I notified the waiter that we would be using my free Happy Birthday Burger Coupon and he failed to wish me a Happy Birthday. This is one franchise we will be taking off our list and will not be returning. While the ratings for this franchise are only three out of five stars, we thought since previously we had decent experiences we would give it a try only to realize how accurate those ratings are. It’s such a shame, because Hubby use to love to go there for their burgers. I also loved their Fish & Chips, the Croissant Sandwich and we both loved their chocolate milkshake. Now it seems to keep profits up they are making the portions smaller and increasing the prices. It’s now nothing more than a fast food joint without the fast service or the decent prices. At least at fast food restaurants they keep the floor and tables clean.

I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I’m sure you’ll find something else that interests you. To see a full listing of my restaurant reviews, visit my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board
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Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Unboxing: Target May 2017 Beauty Box

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Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Brownies

Chocolate Chip. Peanut Butter. Brownies.
Do I really need to say anything else?! 😉

I adapted these from a recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cupcakes. I wasn’t in the mood to make cupcakes or mess with frosting, so I just made them into brownies. Heavenly!

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Brownies
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup smooth all natural peanut butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine milk and vanilla in small bowl. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in bowl. Beat Butter and sugars in mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and blend until smooth. Slowly mix in peanut butter. Add in flour mixture and blend slowly. When fully incorporated, add milk mixture. Continue to blend slowly. Add chocolate chips and fold in by hand. Pour into greased 8×8 or 9×13 brownie pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until gold and brown on top. (The middle will be a little gooey, but will continue baking when you get them out…you don’t want to burn the edges!)

QVC’s TSVs for February 2018

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Preorder Numbers for Today’s Special Values


1st – Alegria Leather Sandals with Adjustable Straps Kendra, A302241, $89.96 available in 4 payments & 6 colors

2nd – Josie Maran Argan Anti-aging Four Piece System, A308709, $69.96 available in 3 payments & 2 scents, A/D future shipments have a 10% discount

3rd – Cuddl Duds Ultra Soft Comfort Drape Front Hooded Cardigan, A301420, $27.98, available in 6 colors

4th – Belle by Kim Gravel Flexibelle Zip Pull On Cropped Jeans, A301811, $48.00 in regular & petite & choice of 5 colors

5th – Mally Cosmetics, Mally Love @ First Sight 7 Piece Collection, A302969, $59.94 A/D available, 3 payments & 5 shades

6th – Harry Slatkin, Set of Two ScentWorx Plug In Diffusers with Six Refillables, H213643, $27.64, choice of 6 floral patterns 

7th – Cook’s Essentials, Seven Piece Gradient Cast Iron Cookware Set, K46573, $89.96 available in 4 payments & 8 colors

8th – Gem Day, 14K Gold Cushion Cut Gemstone & Diamond Ring, J353368, choice of tanzanite for $1499.00 or morganite and blue zircon for $899.00, see photo.

9th – Kipling Handbags, Zip Top Shoulder Bag, A303576, $69.96 available in 3 payments & 7 colors choices

10th – Philosophy Super Size Purity Three Piece Balanced Skincare System, A303069, $59.96 available in 4 payments & A/D

11th – My Pillow, Premium Pillow, H215484, $39.98 Standard or $44.98 King

12th – Denim & Co, Set of Two Elbow Sleeve Knit Tops, A302899, $34.98 available in 4 payments and 5 color sets

13th – Patio & Garden, At Leisure 9′ Faux Wood Olefin Market Umbrella with Pulley System, M55453, $66.36 available in 4 payments, 5 colors & 1 pattern

14th – Lenox, 18/10 Stainless Steel 112 Piece Flatware, H214408, $169.95 available in 5 payments & 3 patterns

15th – Martha Stewart Garden, 1200 PSI Pressure Washer with Adjustable Spray Wand, V35334, $89.96 available in 4 payments & 3 colors

16th – Susan Graver, Printed Chiffon Cardigan & Knit Tank Set, A301149, $49.80, available in 5 colors

17th – Clarks, Perforated Leather Slip On Shoes, A302229, $59.94 available in 3 payments & 6 colors

18th – Vitamix, Explorian 48 oz Variable Speed Blender with Dry Container, K46761, $329.94 available in 6 payments & 7 colors

19th – Apple, MacBook Air 11″ Laptop, 128 GB with Accessories & Software, E231910$949.98 available in 6 payments & 5 colors 

20th – HairMax, Prima 9 Hair Growth Laser Comb, A304459, $178.50 available in 5 payments

21st – Perfect Gourmet, Chicken, Pork, Beef, Combo or Veggie Potstickers, M57228, $29.97 for 40 ($.75 each) or $59.97 for 160 ($.37 each) available in 3 payments, choice of 3 delivery dates & A/D. Note that these do not come with dipping sauce. Nutritional info.

22nd – Blink Wireless Security, XT Three Pack Wire Free HD Weatherproof Security Camara with Night Vision, E231650, $249.95 available in 5 payments

23rd – Skechers, Go Walk Joy Slip On Shoes named Radiant, A302183, $42.98 available in 2 payments & 6 colors

24th – Perricone MD, Super Sized Cold Plasma + Face & Eye Collection, A305877, $159.00 available in 5 payments & A/D (auto delivery)

25th – Energizer, Eight Piece Solar Landscape Light Set, M55355, $49.98 available in 3 payments & 6 colors

26th – LOGO by Lori Goldstein, 3/4 Sleeve Knit Top with Lace Trim, A301961, $44.98 available in 4 payments & 5 colors

27th – Northern Nights Linens, Rayon made from Bamboo Sheet Set with Extra Pillowcases, H214094, $69.92 available in 4 payments & 7 colors. The sheet set I recommend is from Bed, Bath & Beyond, click here.

28th – KitchenAid, 5 Quart 325 Watt Tilt Head Stand Mixer with Glass Bowl & Flex Edge, K47174, $259.98 available in 6 payments & 13 colors

That’s all the information QVC has released so far. I will update this every Sunday with another seven brands that will be offering TSVs and on days that preorder numbers are released. Be sure to check back for updates. In the meantime, check out my January TSV list.

As you can imagine researching these TSVs daily and updating these TSVs multiple times a week is very time consuming. It’s been made even more difficult and time consuming due to recent changes by QVC that have limited the release of preorder information. For example, I had to read the Hot in Hollywood giveaway rules to find their TSV preorder number for you. QVC still hasn’t released the info. Some readers do not understand that I’m not an employee of QVC and that I do not make any money unless you click on the advertising or purchase items using my affiliate links. Referral links give me store credit. There are over 800 blog posts that you can check out for free. Please show your support for this blog by donating today. No amount is too small, any amount would be greatly appreciated! I’ve donated to You Tubers who I frequent, it’s a nice way to show your appreciation and support.

You are welcome to share a link to this blog post, but please be kind & respectful and do not copy my post and post it elsewhere. 


Bargain Alert: 


Bulu Box – vitamins, supplements & healthy snacks only $5.99 per box for life, code “DISCOVERY” or “BOX799”. *
California Wine Club – six bottles $59.99, only $9.99 a bottle including shipping. *
Degustabox – 9+ Treats for $9.99 & free shipping, only $1 a treat! See 3 reviews here.*
Hello Fresh$40 off healthy meal kit, only $3.32 a serving, check out my 14 reviews. 
Home Chef $30 off healthy meal kit, only $4.95 a serving, check out my 55 reviews. 
Julep12 full sized nail polishes for FREE, $168 value! Amazing deal! Check out my reviews. *
Love with Food – 25% off snack box with 10+ gluten free snacks only $1.87 each. *
Mr. Rebates – $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC.
Nature Box – healthy, delicious snacks, extra 30% off first 3 shipments. Code “THIRTY3”. *
Russell Stover Chocolates20% off with email sign up, check out my review. *
Sun Basket $50 Off 1st Two Orders, check out my 26 reviews. *
Terra’s Kitchen $40 Off, check out my 3 reviews.
Top Secret Recipes – secret restaurant recipes, cookbooks and spices, use code “Steps15” for 15% off. *
UrthBox – healthy, delicious snacks, Buy One Get One Free or $10 off use code “PROMO10”. *
* Affiliate links

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Macy’s Beauty Box Review – April 2018

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Macy’s April Beauty Box


This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box from Macy’s. It costs $15 a month and it comes with a $5 coupon that can be used towards any beauty product at Macy’s stores or on their website. I took a three month break from this subscription when they sent only four products instead of five in the December box. Then it looked like they improved their boxes again, so I decided to resubscribe. It took two months to start getting the subscription again, so if you want to subscribe, don’t delay. The value of the April box is $43.24. Included in the box were the following products:
  1. Tony Moly – I’m Green Tea Mask Sheet, made in Korea, full size, $3.00 retail value
  2. Korres – Wild Rose Advanced Brightening Sleeping Facial, made in Greece, .68 fl. oz., $24.17 retail value
  3. Schmidts – Rose & Vanilla Natural Deodorant, made in the USA, .7 oz., $1.93 retail value
  4. Origins – GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream, made in the USA, .17 oz., $10.54 retail value
  5. Coola – Face Mineral Sunscreen, made in the USA, .17 oz., $3.60 retail value
  6. bareMinerals – Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream, made in the USA, foil sample in 4 shades
I have used most of my $5 coupons on the Tony Moly sheet masks. I’m happy to receive another one since I really like them. I place them on and then lay down and relax. They don’t stick well enough to get up and walk around, so you need to sit or lay down during the twenty to thirty minutes. I’ve even fallen asleep while wearing one. They are perfect for nap time. I keep them in the refrigerator for a cooling effect which feels really good and helps me relax. They are very saturated, so they can last even longer than thirty minutes, if you have time. I highly recommend them, give one a try! I purchase them in sets to save money. You can also find them at Asian markets that sell the Tony Moly brand. I’ve received the Korres Sleeping Facial in another subscription box. I remember that it smelled like roses which was very pleasant, but I didn’t find it to be very moisturizing. As far as evening out skin tone and repairing fine lines, that usually takes a full size to see results, not a small sample. It’s really expensive, so I’ll enjoy the sample, but it’s too pricey for me to purchase the full size. I enjoy the Origins brand, so I’m happy to receive a sample from them. The eye cream is suppose to get rid of dark circles and puffiness. I don’t have dark circles, but I definitely have puffiness especially in the morning. I look forward to giving this a try tomorrow and hopefully I’ll get enough uses out of the tube to see results. I’m not a fan of the Coola brand, while it’s expensive, I’m not a fan of sunscreen that uses zinc oxide, it always irritates my eyes, if it gets in there as a result of sweating in the hot sun. I find bareMinerals mineral foundation works better for me for that purpose. It stays on better and it doesn’t irritate my skin or eyes. I’ve purchased bareMinerals Complexion Rescue before in a QVC Today’s Special Value (TSV) set back in 2016. I enjoyed it for awhile, but I switched to the IT Cosmetics brand and then to Julep’s which I’m currently preferring. I find Julep’s Cushion Complexion easiest and quickest to use plus it doesn’t make my wrinkles more obvious which I find bareMinerals does on those that are over forty years old. I loved their foundation when I was younger and I still use it for days I know I’ll be out in the sun. I’m always looking for a deodorant that has safer ingredients, but I’ve yet to find one that does the job. Do you have one you recommend? I’ve never heard of the Schmidts brand before, have you? I’ll be giving this one a try tonight after my shower. Since I experience hot flashes daily, it will be quite challenged! I’m hoping the April cosmetic bag is an exception and they will go back to the lovely, sturdy cosmetic bags rather than cloth sacks like Play! by Sephora offers.

While I found their February and March boxes more appealing, I’m ok with this months box. My favorite product this month is the sheet mask since I purchase them regularly and they are my current favorite sheet mask. My least favorite product is the sunscreen which I rarely have use for and has ingredients that irritate my skin and eyes. If you received this month’s box, what’s your favorite product? If you didn’t order this month’s box, what’s your favorite subscription box?

Check out my reviews of the previous Macy’s Beauty Boxes:
December 2017 $63.14 retail value
November 2017 $38.21 retail value
October 2017 $55.97 retail value
September 2017 $31.84 retail value
August 2017 $35.36 retail value

Also, check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to compare it to Macy’s Beauty Box and my Macy’s Beauty Box Pinterest Board. In addition, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. 

Bargain Alert:

Mr. Rebates – Cash Back from Macy’s
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Zucchini!!!!


Last week we harvested our first pickings of zucchini and they were HUGE! This picture doesn’t give you a great idea how big they were, but they were over a foot long and several inches around AND there were four of them ready to pick! I made my zucchini augratin (recipe here) and still had over 3/4 of one of them left. Needless to say, I needed to figure out something to do with all that zucchini. After a little Pinterest search, I decided to freeze the extras to have this fall and winter.
 
All you do is cut the zucchini however you will be using them (I cut into slices for augratin and half moon chunks for stir-frys). Blanch in boiling water for 1-2 minutes then immediately put into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Spread out on cookie sheets and put in the freezer until frozen. Transfer to ziploc freezer bags and enjoy all Fall and Winter long 🙂

My Trip to Albuquerque

Hello blogsphere! Sorry for the lack of posts in the last few days but I spent a long weekend with my parents visiting my brother and sister-in-law in Albuquerque. Thanks Kyle and Kensie for a wonderful visit and tour of Albuquerque! 🙂

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I’ve never been to New Mexico (or anyone of the nearby states) before, so it was great to see the southwest United States. It was very beautiful and so different from Indiana. We saw Old Town Albuquerque, took a trip on the tramway to Sandia Peak and of course, ate our way across the town. Here’s a recap of some of the wonderful, mostly clean (and some not-so-clean) meals I enjoyed….

I enjoyed a Sweet Roll from The Frontier…Travel Channel fans might recall that Adam Richman visited The Frontier and helped make these delicious sweet rolls on Man vs. Food Nation Albuquerque. You can see that episode here. 

Hamburger from Chama River Brewery. 

The best chicken salad I’ve ever had (yes, even better than Eddie’s Corner Cafe!). Walnut Chicken Salad in a tomato basil wrap at the Cheese and Coffee Cafe in Old Town. 

Chocolate milkshake from the Route 66 Malt Shop.

One night we took a break from eating out and had our own cookout with balsamic chicken, bruchetta, sweet corn and grilled veggies. 



The best Mexican food I’ve ever had at El Pinto (and the largest restaurant I’ve ever been in!). I branched out and tried the calabacitas burrito. Quick culinary lesson…calabicitas is a Mexican side dish of zucchini, summer squash, onions and sometimes peppers. In short, in my burrito doused in green chili sauce, it was AMAZING! Their chips and salsa were some of the best I’ve ever had too. The white sangria wasn’t bad either 😉

16th Hello Fresh Meal Kit Review & $40 Coupon

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Melty Mozzarella Burger with Caramelized Onion & Balsamic Greens on Ciabatta


Ingredients

Wasabi Zinger Salmon over Jasmine Rice & Green Beans


Ingredients


Maple Glazed Pork Chops with a Sweet Potato Mash & Garlicky Green Beans


Ingredients


This is a review of our 16th delivery from a weekly meal kit subscription box called Hello Fresh. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars and the other two recipes three stars. Preparation time indicated on the recipe cards for all three recipes is thirty-five minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from thirty-eight to fifty-three minutes. Calories ranged from 640 to 750.

Melty Mozzarella Burger with Caramelized Onion & Balsamic Greens on Ciabatta

I gave this recipe three out of five stars. It was a bit on the bland side. Hubby added some spiced paprika to the burger to improve it. He likes cooked onions on his burger, but I prefer uncooked red onions. The ground beef isn’t shown in the ingredient photo because it leaked during shipping and we had to throw it out since it turned brown. I let them know via email and they credited my account for this meal. The salad dressing was too sour for my taste and it was strange adding tomato paste to the balsamic vinegar. This recipe has 750 calories and it took thirty-eight minutes to prepare. 

Wasabi Zinger Salmon over Jasmine Rice & Green Beans
Hubby & I gave this recipe five out of five stars, it was absolutely scrumptious. The wasabi crema made with lime zest, lime juice, wasabi paste, sour cream, salt and pepper was incredibly delicious. So simple yet so tasty especially on top of the salmon! You must give it a try. The veggie stock added to the jasmine rice was yummy and jasmine rice is my favorite. The only thing was they wanted us to the cook the green beans in the microwave which we aren’t a fan of, so hubby cooked them on the stove. This one has 700 calories and it took Hubby fifty-three minutes to prepare.

Maple Glazed Pork Chops with a Sweet Potato Mash & Garlicky Green Beans
We gave this recipe three out of five stars. The maple sauce was tasty, just not my favorite that I have tried so far on top of pork chops. I’m not a fan of the cinnamon and pecans added to the sweet potatoes, it tasted too much like sweet potato pie. I prefer just butter. We weren’t real crazy about the garlic on the green beans, but they were tasty. This was a simple recipe, we would have liked a bit more excitement. It has 640 calories and it took forty minutes to prepare.

We are going to use the recipe for the wasabi crema again soon, it’s so tasty and it really livens up the salmon. No need to have a boring meal with salmon ever since it’s so easy and quick to make. We’ve found so many good sauce and dressing recipes over the years from the meal kits we have tried. Check out all the recipes we have made so far on my Hello Fresh Pinterest Board. Have you given Hello Fresh a try yet? If not, click on the link below to save $40 off your first box. Enjoy!

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh – $40 off
Home Chef – $30 Off
Sun Basket – $40 Off

What’s your favorite subscription box? I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs. Please share this post via Twitter and Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

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56th Home Chef Delivery Review & $30 Free Food

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Hot Honey Salmon with Thyme Roasted Zucchini & Tomatoes

Ingredients


Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Water Chestnuts & Sesame Dipping Sauce


Ingredients


Butter Basted Pork Chop with Roasted Carrots & Spinach


Ingredients
This is a review of our 56th shipment from a weekly food subscription box called Home Chef. We gave two recipes five out of five stars and one recipe three stars. The calories ranged from 526 to 605 and preparation time indicated on the recipe cards was twenty-five to forty-five minutes. Actual preparation time was thirty-nine minutes to an hour. 

Hot Honey Salmon with Thyme Roasted Zucchini & Tomatoes

Hubby gave this recipe five out of five stars and I gave it four. The salmon was definitely five stars, so incredibly scrumptious. Such a simple topping of honey, red pepper flakes and butter and yet it was so delicious. Also, the cooking technique of searing the salmon and then baking it made it so flaky, moist and tender. Thyme and green onions were a nice addition to the zucchini and tomatoes. It only has 526 calories and it’s suppose to take up to 35 minutes to prepare. Actual preparation time was 45 minutes. It was a healthy portion.

Thai Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Water Chestnuts & Sesame Dipping 

I’ve lost count on how many times we have ordered this five star recipe. It’s always scrumptious and it’s a large, filling portion yet it only has 565 calories. The recipe card says it will take up to 35 minutes to prepare. Actual preparation time was 39 minutes. If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, you must order it next time they offer it. It’s the perfect combination of quality ingredients to make the best Thai Lettuce Wraps.

Butter Basted Pork Chop with Roasted Carrots & Spinach

This week’s box arrived one day late and since Hubby was out of town I had to prepare this one. I’m not a great chef, I’m a good baker. So I’m not experienced at cooking pork chops. I followed the directions, but the pork chops were overcooked, dry and tough. I didn’t care for the sauce either. I should have just skipped the sauce and mixed the thyme with the butter as a topping instead. The side of vegetables made with shallots, carrots, garlic and spinach were really tasty and the cooking directions worked out perfectly. I’m sure if Hubby had cooked the chops, they would have been very tasty. So it’s difficult to rate, I give it three out of five stars. If the pork chops were cooked properly, I’d give it four stars. This recipe has 605 calories and the recipe card states up to 45 minutes preparation time. Actual preparation time was one hour, but mind you I’m an inexperienced cook. It was a healthy portion. At first it looked like too many carrots, but they shrunk a bit during baking.
It was another enjoyable week of recipes even though FedEx delayed the shipment a day. Home Chef has 11 dinner recipes, 1 smoothie, 1 fruit basket and 1 lunch to chose from each week. If you haven’t given this meal kit a try yet, snag the coupon below, chose your shipment week, pick your recipes and await the excitement and fun to be delivered to your doorstep shortly. Having ordered 56 boxes so far, I obviously recommend Home Chef! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll help you out.
Bargain Alert:

Hello Fresh Meal Kit – $40 off
Home Chef Meal Kit – $30 off
Sun Basket Meal Kit – $35 off

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The Lipstick League – Week of 5.23.17

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QUICK TIPS: PRETEND YOU ARE INVISIBLE

If you ride a motorcycle, you know that out on the road you might as well be transparent, because car drivers often look right past you. They might notice the car or truck behind you, but you, in all your “narrowness,” may not register in the visual cortex of even the most alert drivers.

Sadly, drivers might behave this way even when they’re not distracted by their cell phone, GPS, satellite radio, or other form of in-car infotainment. So how do you compensate for being “invisible” to drivers?

Be as conspicuous as possible. Wear bright clothing and a light-colored helmet. Always have your headlight on, and use your high beam or an aftermarket headlight modulator during the day (where allowed).

Take an approved rider training course. Learn how to maneuver your motorcycle in normal and emergency situations, and practice braking and swerving maneuvers often. Also understand that safe riding depends as much on the mental skills of awareness and judgment as it does on the physical skill of maneuvering the machine; respond early to possible hazards instead of having to react instantly to an emergency.

Take an approved rider training course. Learn how to maneuver your motorcycle in normal and emergency situations, and practice braking and swerving maneuvers often. Also understand that safe riding depends as much on the mental skills of awareness and judgment as it does on the physical skill of maneuvering the machine; respond early to possible hazards instead of having to react instantly to an emergency.

CAR DRIVERS ONLY SEE WHAT THEY EXPECT TO SEE, AND MOST DON’T EXPECT YOU TO BE PART OF THE TRAFFIC MIX. RIDE WITH THE RIGHT SKILLS, STRATEGIES, AND ATTITUDE. BE SEEN – BE SAFE.

That’s why an oncoming car driver might turn left in front of you at an intersection.
That’s also why a driver in the next lane, even if they turn and look in your direction before changing lanes, might veer into your lane.

Source: Motorcycle Safety Foundation

PORSCHE CUSTOM MOTORCYCLE Motorcycles Wallpaper 16727537 Fanpop

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92′ BMW R100GS Sidecar ‘Avventura’ – OCGarage


Written by Martin Hodgson.
Head south-east out of Italy’s motorcycle capital of Bologna on the E45 towards the Adriatic Sea and eventually you arrive in Ravenna where you are transported back in time and you haven’t even had to reach 88mph. This was the capital of the Western Roman Empire, it’s where Julius Caesar gathered his forces before crossing the Rubicon and you don’t have to look far to see a Basilica decorated with the world’s most incredible mosaics. But Ravenna is also home to a small workshop that takes you back to a time when great craftsman and artists worked from their small studios to create pieces that would remain on the lips of admirers for centuries to come; this is the home of Oscar Tasso’s OCGarage. It is here that he has created his latest masterpiece, from the very best materials in the world, a 1992 BMW R100GS with sidecar, it’s the incredible AVVENTURA!

Even in his teenage years Oscar had one definitive goal, to make his passion his career; he worked on engines and then started with cars but his ultimate aim was to build one off custom motorcycles. With an unrelenting passion and tireless work ethic he progressed further in the motorcycle industry, building race bikes and becoming a deft hand at suspension tuning. Now for the last two decades, all the motorcycles Oscar creates have a name and story to tell. “They are the emotion of a moment in life made tangible, moulded in beauty and filled with essence.” Once each is completed they will never be replicated, what is left over is destroyed and their beating heart comes alive “it is right at this moment that technology stops being cold, carries the soul, changes name and becomes ART.” Every OCGarage motorcycle is special, but it’s hard to imagine anything as good as this chariot fit for a King.

When the 1992 GS came to market it couldn’t have looked more like a Paris-Dakar machine for the road, so it’s fair to say Oscar had his work cut out in crafting one into a suitable steed for the project. Stripped of all its plastics, absolutely every part that was to be reused has been rebuilt, overhauled and brought back to brand new condition. The engine has been treated to a complete rebuild, new seals, bearings and gaskets were thrown at it and with the engines renowned reliability it’s fair to say it won’t need doing again for decades. To give it a more vintage look the valve covers have been replaced with items from an early R series and the entire engine casing refurbished. To extract some more power a pair of modified carbs from an R100rs were fitted and a NOS airbox installed. Then the exhaust manifolds and Y pipe were made out of stainless that run all the way back to a “German origin E2 approved muffler specifically for the R100GS”

But that engine would spend a great deal of time on the bench in a corner of the small workshop while the GS was overhauled to become a three-wheeled machine. The frame was stripped of absolutely everything, ground smooth and given a new subframe to compliment the look Oscar was going for. New mounts were added that swing the custom rear fender that was lovingly sculpted by hand to follow the contours of the rear and provide a more vintage look. Bolted to each side is a motocross number plate that while somewhat hidden in body matching paint is a subtle nod to the bikes racing pedigree. While atop the new fender Oscar fabricated custom baggage wracks as well as a simple numberplate holder and brackets for the lighting assembly. The fuel tank is the standard ’92 unit that has been body worked beyond belief, there is no filler or bondo here and Oscar has replaced the badges with his own company’s logo in timber and a one off fuel cap.
But the timber work really gets serious over on the sidecar, “The surfaces are covered with sheets of precious mahogany” that gives the sides the look of an oversized Stradivarius. The aluminium bodywork that compliments the wood is just as impressive with each sheet arrow straight and forming the most perfect lines; which were not drawn up, simply envisioned and then created. The framing is designed to match that of the BMW’s and sweeps around the side and with an unbroken line comes up past the body that it supports to create a grab handle in front of the passenger. They ride in style being protected from the wind with a small shield that is affixed to the body with marine grade bracketry. The same high end brackets are used throughout, along with fixtures and fittings you would normally find on a yacht valued in the millions. More Mahogany is used to create the rear hatch that provides ample room for a gentleman to store more than enough for a picnic fit for a Queen.
Her Majesty steps into her carriage on a beautiful timber piece that sits in front of the sidecars wheel and waiting to cushion her body is more incredible craftsmanship. The throne, ok I’ll call it a seat, is generously padded before Oscar laid the finest premium grade leather over the top featuring a double stitched diamond pattern in a non-degrading marine material. The sides also feature Mahogany panelling while on the floor and stretching up under the body work is Jaguar X-Type carpet for the most plush of finishes. Should the lady need to write while on the move or use an old map to navigate the door features a tailored leather cover with three pockets for a pen, pencil and sextant. Of course with the GS capable of traversing all sorts of roads a large mudguard was fabricated that provides generous coverage to the sidecars tyre and features a matching leather mudflap. That leather was also used on the beautifully upholstered seat on the bike itself with the same material used to create the small rear luggage and there is a sailing rope thrown in for good measure.
To ensure all this comfort could be enjoyed Oscar spent a huge amount of time getting the suspension just right, but it starts with the wheel and tyre combination. All three wheel hubs are constructed from 6082 aircraft grade aviation alloy that result in hidden spokes and the ability to run modern tubeless rubber, in this case from Dunlop. The bikes rear suspension has been upgraded with a fully adjustable Ohlins mono-shock mounted to a revised position on the swingarm with the adjuster mounted to the side of the bike. The front of course is not at all how the BMW left the factory, now sporting a Ural like leading link combination. Twin coil-over shocks provide the dampening and are also adjustable with a steering dampener affixed to the main chassis also joining the party and proving pretty handy in a cross wind. The front brake is a combination of a single drilled rotor and lever arm supported caliper, while up on the front fender is a yachting cleat and rope for docking.
The buggy itself is also sprung for a plush ride and is attached with rose-mounts that allow for fine tuning of the overall combination. Should a night time ride be required the lighting has been well appointed while remaining unobtrusive to the styling. A classic round headlight sits at the front of the BMW and a second item in the forward step of the side car. There are taillights on both bike and buggy, as well as a full array of indicators all-round, with a bullet shaped item neatly hugging the sidecars fender. The final task before everything was reassembled for the final time was to have all the bodywork sprayed in an aluminium effect paint job that gives an incredibly realistic impression of the alloy without the worry of corrosion or discolouration. Words cannot describe the finished result, simply feast with your own eyes, and for Oscar “It was an intense creative process, where many lives and many passions have crossed. It was a pleasure to design and then build AVVENTURA…. now let’s move on!” Because while his client now has an incredible piece of motorcycle art to call his own, Oscar has more creative passion to unleash!

First published by www.pipeburn.com

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box – October 2017

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Complexion Companions


This is a review of the October Play! by Sephora subscription box. This one only costs $10 including shipping and this month’s box has a retail value of $45.40.  Bargain! There are several different boxes that are sent out based on customers’ profiles. Included in my October box are the following products:
  1. Laura Mercier – Transluscent Powder, made in the USA ?? , .12 oz, $4.56 retail value
  2. Chanel – Gabrielle Chanel, made in France ?? , .05 fl. oz., $3.08 retail value
  3. Make Up For Ever – Ultra HD Skin Booster, made in France ??, .15 fl. oz., $15.37 retail value
  4. Cover FX – Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight, made in Italy ?? , .095 fl. oz., $7.98 retail value
  5. Becca – First Light Filter Face Primer, made in the USA ?? , .2 fl. oz., $7.60 retail value
  6. Make Up For Ever – Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation R230, made in France ??, .16 fl. oz., $6.81 retail value 
I wish they had sent me the correct shade of foundation especially since I’ve heard such great things about this foundation and I haven’t tired it before. R230, Ivory isn’t the lightest shade they have. It’s the sixth lightest shade and I need the lightest. It sinks into the skin very quickly, dries quickly and has a matte appearance which I really like. Sadly, it does appear to highlight fine lines. I love Chanel fragrances and haven’t tried Gabrielle before. Due to my allergies acting up today, I’m not able to smell it so well. It is a strong scent when you first put it on and then it very subtle. It smells like a powdery floral scent to me. It has notes of jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose and ylang-ylang. It’s nice, but I prefer the original Chanel perfume. Not so sure if I can pull off a metallic highlighter that Cover FX provides. It blends well, but you can still see a metallic shine. The description says it provides a soft, silver glow. It looks like rose gold to me. This sample size will last a very long time since it only takes the smallest amount. The Make Up For Ever Skin Booster is suppose to moisturize, smooth the appearance of fine lines and prep the skin for makeup. It doesn’t dry as quickly as other brands and it leaves the skin tacky. I think I’ll stick with the brands Julep and Laura Gellar instead. I don’t like products that leave the skin feeling sticky. The Becca Face Primer dries quickly and feels a bit moisturizing without feeling sticky. It doesn’t leave as smooth as a finish as other brands do. The Laura Mercier Translucent Powder goes on easily and leaves a matte finish. I like that this one offers a light skin tone color rather than a white color. I find they look more natural. I’ll be using this one for sure. It’s similar to the Bare Minerals Mineral Veil, but it appears you don’t need to use as much product.

My favorite thing in this box would be the Make Up For Ever Foundation, if it had been in the correct shade. So, my next favorite is Laura Mercier’s Translucent Powder. What types of samples would you prefer to receive in your box? What I would like to receive each month is a lipstick, foundation that matches my skin tone, mascara, a newly released product and a moisturizer in each box. I’ve received so many primers over the years, I really don’t care for yet another sample. Receiving three face primers in one box isn’t the variety I was looking for. If you received a box from Sephora this month, what’s your favorite sample?   While this wasn’t my favorite Sephora box so far, I will enjoy playing with the samples. If you haven’t subscribed, what’s your reason for not subscribing?

Bargain Alert:

Mr. Rebates – 4% cash back for online Sephora purchases! 
Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to see what I have received in my previous boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. 

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Top Ten Posts of 2013

Happy New Year y’all! Before I look forward to 2014, I wanted to take a quick look back at 2013 and the top ten posts of the year. Will you take a stroll down memory lane with me? 🙂


10. 100 Cleanest Packaged Foods Awards
9. Santa Fe Chicken
8. Banana Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie
7. Girls Weekend
6. Almost Guacamole and Cheese Queso
5. Crock Pot Beef and Noodles
4. Zucchini Pizza Crust
3. Flat Belly Diet 4-Day Anti-Bloat Cleanse
2. Texas Gold
1. Crock Pot Chicken Noodle Soup

What was your favorite post of the year?

24th Sun Basket Review & $40 Coupon

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Pork Chops with Mustard Apricot Sauce & Apple Celery Salad



Ingredients


Salmon with Cilantro Lime Sauce & Pear Cashew Salad


Ingredients


Sole with Oranges, Fennel & Purple Sweet Potato


Ingredients


This is a review of our 24th delivery from a weekly food subscription box called Sun Basket. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars and we gave two recipes four out of five stars. Calories ranged from 450 to 600. Preparation time indicated on the recipe cards ranged from twenty to thirty-five minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from forty-six to fifty-eight minutes.

Pork Chops with Mustard Apricot Sauce & Apple Celery Salad

We gave this recipe four out of five stars. The sauce for the pork chops was absolutely scrumptious and there was plenty of it. The mixture of dried apricots, vegetable broth, mustard and maple syrup is a wonderful combination. The pork was tender and well cooked without any dryness. The Apple Celery Salad was very tasty, but it need some spice, perhaps some sumac would be a good addition. The apple and celery were very fresh and crisp. This was a healthy portion that has only 550 calories yet it tastes like it has much more. The recipe states a preparation time of only twenty minutes, but it took Hubby forty-six minutes. The pork and sauce received five stars and the salad three stars for a result of four out of five stars rating.

Salmon with Cilantro Lime Sauce & Pear Cashew Salad

We gave this recipe five out of five stars. The salmon with the cilantro lime sauce was incredibly delicious. They have been really impressing us with their sauces lately! Cilantro, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and Thai chili make for a fabulous sauce. The Pear Cashew Salad was equally delicious and the dressing was awesome. The combination of celery, scallions, pear, cashews, coconut and cilantro is wonderful. The Asian pear was so tasty and crisp. The simple dressing made with just coconut vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper was finger licking good. I had the option of ordering it with halibut, but we prefer salmon. It has only 450 calories and it was a healthy portion. Preparation time indicated on the recipe card is twenty minutes yet it took Hubby fifty-one minutes to prepare. 

Sole with Oranges, Fennel & Purple Sweet Potato

Whenever I see a recipe that includes a purple sweet potato I order it since I absolutely love them. We gave this recipe four out of five stars. The breading made with healthy almond meal was light and tasty. The lemon caper sauce for the sole was super delicious. It’s made with lemon zest, parsley, capers, butter,  olive oil, salt and pepper. The mixture of orange, olives, purple sweet potato, fennel, olive oil, salt and pepper filled my mouth with a mixture of tart, sweet  and licorice flavor. The lemon was dried out, so we substituted the lemon from the pork chop recipe. Also, the sweet potato was a bit on the small side hence the drop to four stars from five. This one has 600 calories and it was a healthy portion. It took fifty-eight minutes to prepare and the recipe card states up to thirty-five minutes. We could have substituted halibut, but we prefer sole.

This week’s recipes were a delight. I really enjoy the unique creations they come up with and the healthy ingredients. I’m amazed at how low the calorie counts are yet there is so much flavor and the portions are filling. If you haven’t tried Sun Basket yet, you really owe it to yourself to sign up today for your first delivery. Snag the $40 coupon below and enjoy! Have fun in the kitchen again and look forward to exciting meals.

Be sure to check out my twenty-three other reviews of Sun Basket before you go. Simply look at my Sun Basket Pinterest Board, click on the photo of the dish you would like to read about and it will take you to that review. Don’t forget to enter my Blue Apron giveaway before you go.

Bargain Alert: 
Sun Basket – $40 off

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Tortilla Chip Crusted Chicken with Avocado Ranch Sauce

This recipe was a little labor intensive, but was really good. I especially loved the avocado ranch sauce! I’m going to try the sauce as a dressing on a taco salad.

You could make it lower carb by leaving out the chips and just using the cheese, mayo and spices on the chicken. Next time I think I’ll double the recipe and freeze the extras…two meals for one prep time! 🙂 


Tortilla Chip Crusted Chicken with Avocado Ranch
Adapted from Bacon, Butter, Cheese and Garlic

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
One 12-ounce bag tortilla chips
4 ounces Pepper Jack cheese, shredded
1 C mayonnaise
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T cumin
1/2 T chili powder
2 teaspoons lime juice


FOR THE SAUCE:

1 C mayo

1/2 C milk

1 C sour cream
1/4 C all-natural ranch dressing

1 T garlic powder

1 T onion powder

1 teaspoon lime juice
2 avocados

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Put about half of the bag of chips into the food processor and blend.  You should have 2-3 C crushed chips. (Reserve the rest of the bag in case you don’t have enough.)  Mix the shredded cheese and the crushed chips together.

Whisk together the mayo, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and lime juice.  Dredge the chicken breasts into the mayo and then into the chip mixture, pressing down to make sure it’s all coated.  (Here’s where you may need to grind extra chips for coating if you run out.)  When all the chicken is coated, put it in the oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is done all the way through and the chips are crispy.

Blend the sauce ingredients together in a food processor and serve over the chicken.

Eating Clean 12 Days of Christmas — Lip Balm

I love chapstick and since I want to explore more all-natural and clean beauty products, I thought I’d start with my own lip balm. Plus, I wanted to use these as cute little Christmas gifts for my girlfriends. I did a lot of research and the process of making your own lip balm is super easy.

I found it hard to track down all the ingredients in one place though. Thankfully, I found several online retailers that make it easy buy selling kits. The kit I bought (here) had everything I needed and so when I went to make them, it took me less than 10 minutes. You get to choose your flavor and they include the lip balm base (a mixture of beeswax and other oils) and the pots or tubes. You melt the base, add in the flavor and put in your pots or tubes. Let harden and add cute labels if you want. That’s it!! 

How easy is that? And it’s clean clean clean!!

The Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant Review – Durham, NC

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202 West NC Highway 54
Durham, NC  27713
(919) 544-6358
Exterior View (New Location)


Interior View


This is a review of a fondue restaurant called Melting Pot located in Durham, North Carolina. They recently moved from a location directly across from Southpoint Mall to the other side of the highway. It’s not really easy to find since our GPS took us the opposite side of the strip mall where it’s located. It’s on the left side of Kroger. We have been to their old location many times and we use to frequent the Raleigh location before the Durham location opened. Since it’s so expensive, we only go one to three times a year for our anniversary and our birthdays. Also, it’s difficult for my husband to sit still for a two to three hour dinner. I love leisurely four course dinners, so it’s a real delight for me! It will take a minimum of two hours for their three and four course meals. It can be done in about two hours, if you order as soon as the wait staff arrives and you ask for two more fondue forks per person during the main course. I recommend allowing yourself time for a three hour meal, so that you don’t have to rush. If you only have two hours, go with the three course meal instead and order right away. We frequent the Durham location the most since they have lunch hours whereas the Raleigh location is only open for dinner except during the holidays. The Durham location is open Monday through Friday from 5 pm to 10 pm. Saturday they are open from noon to 10 pm and Sunday they are open from noon to 9 pm. I highly recommend you make reservations for their dinner hours. You may be able to get a table during lunch without a reservation. We were seated right away when we arrived for our 2 pm reservation last month. We were also guests this year back in June at their old location.

We knew what we wanted, so we ordered right away. Often they change the menu, so you may want to look online to decide what you would like prior to arriving at the restaurant. They have private booths for two which are very cozy, and dimly lit. Also, they now have a section with a more open atmosphere with larger booths and natural light as shown above. If you want a private booth, be sure to ask for that when you make your reservation. That’s where we sat. I ordered the Land & Sea and Hubby ordered the French Quarter which both feature four courses. The four courses are cheese fondue, salad, meat & seafood and dessert. For the cheese fondue we usually choose the Fiesta which features aged cheddar, emmenthaler, lager beer, salsa and jalapeño. It’s served with bread, chips, apples, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower as shown below:


Fiesta Cheese Fondue

It’s so very tasty, a real treat. I like dipping the bread in it the most, followed by the chips. Be careful, when you get to the bottom it will be much hotter. I recommend keeping anything you didn’t eat for other servings. The apple is wonderful dipped in the chocolate for dessert. You can also eat the vegetables with your main course, cooking them if you prefer. 

The second course is salad. Hubby always orders the Caesar and I always order the House Salad with the house dressing. Their house dressing is scrumptious!  You can even purchase a bottle of it to take home. Their salads are always crisp and fresh. I recommend asking for a bit more salad dressing, they haven’t been using much of it lately or you could ask for it on the side. Here’s photos of our delicious salads with freshly ground pepper added:


Caesar Salad


House Salad with House Dressing

The third course is the most time consuming. You’ll be cooking your own meat and seafood. You’ll want to get out your phone or watch to time your cooking, so that you are sure it’s cooked properly. You’ll also need to chose what liquid you want to cook your food in. We always get the Bourguignonne since we love to fry the mushrooms and shrimp in batter.  Below you can see our uncooked meat and seafood:

Land & Sea – $39.95 (Four Courses)

The Land & Sea comes with filet mignon, pacific white shrimp and herb-crusted chicken. Sometimes I’ll skip the steak and order twice as much chicken since I absolutely love their curry sauce and it’s so scrumptious on the chicken. Below is the French Quarter which features cajun filet mignon, cajun pacific white shrimp, smoky andouille sausage and cajun chicken: 



French Quarter – $42.95 (Four Courses)

Hubby absolutely loves the spices they use and the sausage is a real treat. If you’re a first timer, the wait staff will instruct you on how long to cook your food and what all the dips and sauces are. You must ask them for instructions on how to stuff and fry the mushrooms, oh my gosh, it’s so delicious! Also, place the potatoes in the oil right away since they take the longest to cook. After three courses you will be very full and you may or may not want to go for the forth course. Sometimes we don’t order dessert since three courses is very filling. If you are only going a few times a year though, I recommend not skipping the forth course, just arrive very hungry. So then the forth course comes along and we usually chose the Flaming Turtle. It features milk chocolate, caramel and candied pecans. They light it on fire with alcohol for this special effect:


Flaming Turtle

It comes with a large selection or goodies to dip in the chocolate. As you can see below it comes with banana, pound cake, Rice Krispies Treats, strawberry, brownie, blondie, pineapple, toasted coconut covered marshmallows and cocoa covered marshmallows. In addition, they serve some cheesecake, if it’s a special occasion and you tell the wait staff at the beginning of your meal when they ask. Look at all the yumminess:

Dessert

Most people visiting the Melting Pot are celebrating a special occasion. This is what they served me for my birthday in September:


Happy Birthday

We had a belated Wedding Anniversary dinner in June since we were relocating back to an area that has Melting Pot restaurants and it was worth the wait. There aren’t that many locations across the country and it’s really our go to place to celebrate. Here’s the wonderful creation they presented to us during our Wedding Anniversary dinner:
Happy Anniversary

To our surprise, they generously presented us with champagne at the end of my birthday celebration meal:


Champagne with Strawberry

Everything was so very delicious and as always it was a wonderful experience. The wait staff is very attentive and friendly, they only hire the best. If you are planning on visiting soon, be sure to sign up now for their emails to receive notifications of when they are offering discounted meals. Make sure that you pick the location you prefer, since each restaurant has different specials. They also make announcements on their Facebook page. If you sign up for Club Fondue, they will send you a coupon via email for free dessert for your family birthdays and your anniversary. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to bring my birthday coupon for a free box of six chocolate covered strawberries. I’ve had them before, they are very tasty. 

I highly recommend this restaurant chain and the Durham location. What’s your favorite splurge restaurant for special occasions? Before you go, be sure to check out my review of the Raleigh location.

I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I’m sure you’ll find something else that interests you. To see a full listing of my restaurant reviews, visit my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board
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Melting Pot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Play by Sephora Subscription Box Review – September 2017

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It’s Fall Good


This is a review of the September Play! by Sephora subscription box. It’s only $10 per month including shipping. The retail value of the September box is $55.52. In my September box I received the following samples:
  1. Laura Mercier – Velour Lovers Lip Color in Happy, .09 oz, made in the USA, $21.00 retail value
  2. Belif – The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb, .33 fl. oz., made in Korea, $7.46 retail value
  3. Stila – Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black, .008 fl. oz., made in Japan, $11.00 retail value
  4. Giorgio Armani – Acqua di Gioia eau de parfum, .05 fl. oz., made in France, $2.11 retail value
  5. Benefit Cosmetics – Gimme Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel in Medium, .03 oz., $7.20 retail value
  6. DevaCurl – Melt Into Moisture Matcha Butter Conditioning Mask, 1.5 fl. oz., made in the USA, $6.75 retail value
There are several different boxes that Sephora sends out monthly and they pick the one that matches your profile the closest. This month two products don’t match my profile. I have blonde hair and they sent brow gel for brown hair. I should have received color 01 instead of 03. The DevaCurl hair mask is for curly hair and my hair is straight. So that’s really disappointing. I have received the Benefit Cosmetics brow gel several times now. The one in my correct color of 01 I enjoy wearing. It’s easy to apply and it doesn’t look overly done. I’m more likely to pick that one up and use it than other brands because it takes so little product and it can be applied so quickly. I can’t stand brows that look drawn on and this one is more natural looking since it takes so little of the product. The brush can also be used to brush the brows in the direction you prefer. I’m not crazy about the ingredients in the hair mask. The first three are water, alcohol and soybean oil. My favorite sample is the Laura Mercier Lip Color in Happy. It’s a warm fuchsia color with a bit of metallic to it. It’s a really pretty color and it has a bit of a duo chrome look to it. Applied to the lips the edges are a warm fuchsia color and the center has a bit of a copper metallic look. I’m really loving it and it’s perfect for fall. It says it has mango butter so it’s moisturizing, but it feels a bit on the dry side to me. As far as matte lipstick goes it’s more moisturizing than most. I don’t care for the perfume at all. It’s notes are mint, brown sugar, lemon, jasmine, peony, pink pepper, cedar wood and labdnaum. Peony is my least favorite flower for a perfume. Anytime a perfume has a peony scent I’m not a fan. My second favorite item in the box is the Belif moisturizer. I’m always up to trying a new moisturizer. I’ll be trying that tonight after my shower. I can’t remember if I received a Stila Liquid Eye Liner before. My favorite is from Kat Von D. Liquid eye liner takes a bit more time and concentration, so I only use it on days I have enough time and energy to apply it. It’s not to be rushed or it will look silly. It’s unforgiving in it’s application, so you have to be really careful to apply it correctly. If you have the time and patience, it creates a very nice look. 

This box was pretty good, just not my favorite so far. The lipstick alone makes the box worth double it’s purchase price. The retail value this month was one of the highest of the boxes I have received so far. Have you subscribed to this box yet? If so, were you happy with what you received? If not, why haven’t you given it a try? 
Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to see what I have received in my previous boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. 

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Sacrilège: A Kawasaki Z1000ST Of Biblical Proportions


Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

Full Size

Ed Turner is one of Europe’s most extreme custom workshops. Owner Karl Renoult has a very clear and unapologetic vision: he builds each bike with “the sole purpose of giving it character and attitude.”This is Karl’s most outré creation yet, a Kawasaki Z1000ST heavy on biblical references and christened Ezechiel 21, ‘The Sword.’

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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The Z1000ST is interesting enough in its own right—35 years ago, it was Kawasaki’s first shaft-drive motorcycle, and pumped out a solid 93 horses. But it was also a little staid. And that’s like a red rag to a bull for Karl.The project was commissioned by Grégoire, a man counting his blessings after surviving the November 2015 attacks in Paris.

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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“He decided that his dreams had to be achieved in his lifetime,” says Karl. “After two or three phone calls, we had the outline of the project.”Grégoire wanted a machine with a powerful-looking frame, a springer front end, and beautiful finishes. The Z1000ST was chosen, largely for its powerful engine—this allowed Karl to devote most of the budget (“not crazy, but comfortable”) to the design.

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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The chassis took shape rapidly, with a sleeker profile at the back. But Karl resisted the temptation to mess too much with the stock wheels: “I find them pretty cool when polished and adapted to the CBR forks.”The Honda forks have been ‘emptied and springerized’ using custom dampers built by Shaft Racing. It’s a most unusual setup; the suspension duties have been moved from the fork springs to the shock nestling between the yokes.

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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“For this step, I admit I used some sketches—and even some math,” says Karl. “Not my habit!”“But as usual, surrounded by my mates Joe, Mikael and Gael, we tinkered with this thing and it works pretty well.”

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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Other cues come from the American vintage drag scene. Notably the proportions of the tires: an Avon 5.25/5.50 17-inch car tire at the rear, and a 3.25 18-inch Speedmaster Mk II rib tire at the front.Everything else is kept to the minimum—specifically, a tank that does not exceed five liters in capacity, and a microscopic brake light and flashers under the custom saddle, masterfully crafted by Red’s Leather.

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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“Restricted by the wallet, we were unable to satisfy all our pretensions for the preparation of the engine,” Karl says. “We had to play another card…”It was time for divine intervention, so Karl chose a few lines of Ezekiel 21 from the Old Testament to decorate the tank. “A rather creepy passage which speaks of a sword sharpened and polished—and a God who, for once, seems really pissed off and ready to fight.”

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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To complete The Sword, Karl called in extra manpower from the Breton artisans at Stick Your Cycles. They helped fabricated the bars and the stainless steel exhaust, and refinished the engine cases in green.After several months of work, the Kawasaki was finally ready to hit the autoroute.

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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Karl handed it over with a message to his client: “Greg, you run faster than bullets. Now let’s see what you can do behind the handlebars.”Amen to that.
Ed Turner | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by Francois Richer

Enigmatic French builder Ed Turner reworks the Kawasaki Z1000ST, with outrageous results.

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First read on bikeexif.com/

Goji Bistro Restaurant Review – Cary, NC

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100 Maynard Crossing Court
Cary, NC  27513
(919) 466-8888
Exterior View


Interior View


Hot & Sour Soup


Salad


Sweet & Sour Chicken – $8.50


Broccoli Stir Fry – $7.95


This is a review for an Asian restaurant called Goji Bistro located in Cary, North Carolina. They are located off North West Maynard Road. They are open daily from 11 am until 9 pm except on Friday and Saturday night when they stay open an additional hour. They are one of the few Asian restaurants in the area that doesn’t close between lunch and dinner. I couldn’t find their sanction score when I was there, so I looked it up online and it’s 95, which is very good. I visited with my guest on a Tuesday afternoon around 2:30 pm. They had only two other sets of customers, so this is a good time to visit if you prefer a quiet atmosphere. The decor is lovely. They have lots of tables and a bar. We were greeted by a very friendly Asian lady and seated at a table right away.

The waitress showed up to greet us within one minute. I ordered the Sweet & Sour Chicken off the lunch menu. It comes with your choice of soup or salad. I chose Hot & Sour Soup. My guest chose Broccoli Stir Fry without the rice and a salad with ranch dressing on the side. Within a couple of minutes our salad and soup were brought out. The Sweet & Sour Soup was served very warm, but not hot so I was able to eat it as soon as it arrived. It was delicious and I was given a generous amount of wontons which were very tasty. My guest enjoyed the mixed green salad which was very fresh. In only six minutes our entrees arrived. It arrived very hot, so I had to nibble at it until it cooled. The first bite of the chicken batter was crispy, but the rest had become soft since it was sitting in the sauce longer. The green & red peppers were cooked just enough so that they remained crisp which I prefer. I would have liked a bit more onion. The dish was very enjoyable. I also like how they didn’t use too much sauce, just enough to coat the chicken and vegetables. My guest enjoyed the meal, but found the skirt steak a bit tough. They were very generous with the broccoli. The waitress was friendly and attentive and offered a Diet Coke to go which was kind.

If you are the mood for Chinese food, but want a lovely atmosphere to eat it in rather than take out, I recommend you give this restaurant a try. They also offer take out. It was a peaceful, inexpensive and delicious meal. The bill for this visit was only $20.51 before tip. That includes two entrees, soup or salad and one soda! My soda was $2.50. What’s your favorite Asian restaurant in the Triangle?

Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews BoardI invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs. Share this restaurant review with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


Goji Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Happy Halloween!

You know how I always talk about the 80/20 rule? Well, today is one of those days were I fit firmly in the 20 percent 🙂 I cannot say no to a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup (or several!). I hope you all enjoy your Halloween and get lots of yummy treats. Then it’s back to eating clean tomorrow!

Happy Halloween from Doc McStuffins and her dragon, Stuffy!

Gap Clearance Outlet

I know this isn’t food related but I just had to share because it is money saving related.

When we lived in Kentucky right after we got married, we frequently visited the Gap Clearance Center in Hebron, KY, near the airport. It’s an amazing place full of amazing deals on Banana Republic, Gap, Old Navy, Piperlime, Athleta and other Gap brands. You have to have time and patient when visiting however; the place is a giant warehouse full of racks and racks and more racks. You have to sift through lots of clothes, including broken, damaged and stained clothing, but if you’re patient, it pays off!

Last weekend, Liesl and I stopped on the way home from KY and I hit the motherload of swimsuit deals. I got 10 Athleta swim tops and bottoms, which are all mix and match, for $1.99 each piece. I figured out I got $540 worth of swimsuits for $20 and not just any swimsuits, but Athleta suits!

I also got a $50 Athleta bra for $10 and two pairs of Athleta yoga pants for $7 each (regularly $80 each).

Even the hubbs benefited from my trip. He got a pair of Banana Republic dress pants for $10, two pairs of Gap dress pants for $7 each and three pairs of swim trunks for $1.99 each.

Yay deals!!! 🙂

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55th Home Chef Review

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Blue Cheese & Green Onion Crusted Bone In Pork Chop with Green Bean & Heirloom Tomatoes Almondine


Ingredients


BBQ Chicken Cornbread Pie with Sour Cream & Jalapeño


Ingredients


Hickory Season Salmon with Everything Bagel Roasted Cauliflower


This is a review of our 55th delivery from a food subscription box called Home Chef. One week of six servings with three recipes, costs $59.70 including shipping. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars, one recipe four stars and one recipe one star. The calories ranged from 612 to 853. Preparation time indicated on the recipe cards ranged from twenty-five minutes to fifty-five minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from forty-five to fifty-six minutes.

Blue Cheese & Green Onion Crusted Bone In Pork Chop with Green Bean & Heirloom Tomatoes Almondine 

Hubby & I both gave this recipe four out of five stars. I’m not a big fan of blue cheese, but combined with green onions and pepper it was quite delicious. I’m also not a big fan of green beans, but combined with butter, tomatoes, toasted almonds, salt and pepper. It’s a simply recipe yet so yummy. This recipe has 612 calories and the recipe indicates that preparation time will range from thirty to forty minutes. Actual preparation time was forty-five to fifty-six minutes.

BBQ Chicken Cornbread Pie with Sour Cream & Jalapeño

I gave this recipe one star, Hubby decided to go on a low carb diet so he skipped all the high carbohydrate ingredients in this one. I was not surprised that I didn’t like it because I had ordered it for Hubby since this would be something he would love, but not I. I’m not a fan of BBQ. The cornbread part of the recipe was yucky. It didn’t turn out like it should have and I don’t know what went wrong. I pulled most of it off and ate the rest of the ingredients. This recipe has 853 calories and the recipe card says it will take forty-five to fifty-five minutes to prepare. Actual preparation time was fifty-six minutes.

Hickory Season Salmon with Everything Bagel Roasted Cauliflower
Hubby gave this recipe five out five stars and I gave it four stars. We were out of practice since we took a bit of a break from meal kits, so we forgot to take a photo of the ingredients of this recipe. Without that, I don’t have a time stamp to tell me how long this recipe actually took to prepare. The recipe card indicates twenty-five to thirty-five minutes. I remember it took longer than that, but I’m not sure how much longer exactly, perhaps ten minutes. We both love salmon, cauliflower and the everything bagel seasoning, so this recipe was a good bet for us. It was really tasty. Hubby is more of a fan of hickory smoke than I, hence the deduction of one star in my rating. The vinaigrette was scrumptious. The combination of garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper was a wonderful addition to the dish. This recipe has 618 calories. 
It was a pretty good week of recipes. Their pork chops and salmon are usually a good choice. If you haven’t given Home Chef a try, snag the coupon below and just do it! You’ll have fun! They have plenty of recipes to chose from unlike some of the competition. If you are still not sure and can’t take the leap and order it, take a look at the 54 other boxes of Home Chef I have reviewed on this blog! Check out my Home Chef Pinterest Board to see all of the recipes we’ve made so far. What’s your favorite meal kit subscription box?

Bargain Alert:

Hello Fresh Meal Kit – $40 off
Home Chef Meal Kit – $30 off
Julep – 12 Free Nail Polishes
Mr. Rebates – $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC, click here.

Sun Basket Meal Kit – $35 off
Walmart Grocery – $10 off (Order online & delivered to your car)

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26th Sun Basket Meal Kit Review & $40 Coupon

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Chicken Katsu with Gingered Bok Choy & Jade Rice


Ingredients


Italian Sausage & Kale Soup with Butternut Squash & Black Garlic


Ingredients


Turkey & Spinach Sliders with Sweet Potato Buns


This is a review of our 26th delivery from a weekly meal kit subscription box called Sun Basket. Calories ranged from 510 to 730 and preparation time  indicated on the recipe cards ranged from 20-45 minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from 45 minutes to over an hour.

Chicken Katsu with Gingered Bok Choy & Jade Rice

Hubby gave this recipe five out of five stars and I gave it three. Chicken Katsu is one of my favorite dishes, so I’m quite picky. I order it at our favorite Asian restaurant, Sushi Thai, quite frequently. I didn’t feel like the crust on the chicken was authentic. While the green color of the rice is appetizing, I don’t care for the flavor of jade rice. I also prefer the traditional dipping sauce rather than the spicy chile mayo they sent us. The bok choy was tasty. This recipe has 730 calories and preparation time stated is up to 40 minutes. Actual preparation time was over an hour. It was a healthy portion.

Italian Sausage & Kale Soup with Butternut Squash & Black Garlic

We purchased this recipe a year ago and since we gave it five out of five stars, I had to order it again. Again, we gave this recipe five stars. It’s so scrumptious and a lovely hot soup for the winter months. If you haven’t had black garlic before, you must give it a try, so tasty. At first it has a sweet taste and then tart, so yummy. This recipe has 660 calories and it states up to 45 minutes preparation time. Actual preparation time was 51 minutes. It was a very large portion with seconds for one person. This one is gluten free and paleo.

Turkey & Spinach Sliders with Sweet Potato Buns

We gave this one only two out of five stars. Unfortunately, we waited until the sixth day to prepare it and they recommend preparing dishes within 5 days. The cucumber and the lime went bad, so we were unable to include them. I wasn’t crazy about the combination of spinach, ground turkey and shallots. While the sweet potato used as a bun looked cute, I prefer to eat my sweet potato separately and it required a knife and fork unlike a bun. This recipe has 510 calories and it states preparation time will take up to 30 minutes. Actual preparation time was about 45 minutes. Sorry, I forgot to take a photo of the ingredients. This one is gluten free, low calorie and paleo.

While it wasn’t our favorite week of recipes, we enjoyed the unique recipes that Sun Basket has to offer and we were happy to have the opportunity to order one of our favorite five star recipes again. Have you tried Sun Basket yet? If not, click on the link below for $40 off your first box, bargain!

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh – $40 off
Home Chef – $30 Off
Sun Basket – $40 Off

Check out my Sun Basket Pinterest Board to see all the recipes we’ve made so far. Share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking the boxes: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


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Eating Clean 12 Days of Christmas — Reese’s Cup Cookies

For as much as I love sweets and sugar, you would think I would love all kinds of Christmas cookies. Oddly, though I don’t like many of the traditional ones (cutout cookies, thumbprints, Russian tea cakes, etc.). So, when it comes time to bake for Christmas, I opt for the less traditional cookies that I’ll actually eat. 
I’m also not much of a baker (I hate following recipes!) so usually I take as many shortcuts as possible (buying store bought cookie dough, using premade ingredients). This year, however, with my clean eating, I decided to make everything as clean as possible, even it meant taking a few extra steps. With my two helpers, it ended up being a great time and we had lots of fun! (Even though one of my helpers…ahem, G….ate half the Reese’s Cups :P)

The first cookies we made are my all-time favorites…Reese’s Cup Cookies. In the past, I would just buy store-bought peanut butter cookie dough and then add the Reese’s Cups, but this year I made the peanut butter dough from scratch so it’s all clean. Unfortunately, Reese’s Cups aren’t totally clean, but I’m invoking the 80/20 rule here because they’re my favorite 🙂
These are so easy….make the peanut butter cookie dough. Roll into balls and put into well-greased mini muffin tins. Bake at 375 F for 8-10 minutes. As soon as you get the cookies out, press a Reese’s Cup into each one and put the whole tin into the fridge, otherwise the Reese’s will melt all over from the hot cookie and make a mess. Once they’ve hardened in the fridge, take out of the tins. Here’s the recipe for the peanut butter cookies I used:


Peanut Butter Cookies 

From Creations by Kara

1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt


Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars till creamy. Beat in eggs. Stir in dry ingredients.



Teryaki Chicken Stir-Fry

As I’ve mentioned before, our garden and especially our zucchini are going crazy right now. See exhibit A, the latest zucchini I picked that’s almost three times the size of my hand! I wasn’t very inspired for dinner last night and so I just decided to use up some of the veggies I had in the fridge in a chicken teriyaki stir-fry. It was a little bit of this, little bit of that, clean out the fridge type of meal 😉 

In my wok (SIDE NOTE: if you don’t have a wok, I highly suggest buying one…they are the BEST for not only stir-frys but other types of sauteing. They aren’t too expensive either; I got mine at Ikea for $8), I sauteed sliced chicken breast with a little salt and pepper until no longer pink. Add in veggies, all cut to the same size to keep the cooking times even (I used zucchini, yellow squash, broccoli slaw, sweet peppers and onions) and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the veggies are desired softness. Add in about 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce and 1 to 2 tablespoons of soy sauce. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes and serve piping hot over rice.

My teriyaki and soy sauces are both organic and all-natural from Whole Foods. They only cost a little more than “regular” soy and teriyaki sauce, but without any of the preservatives. The soy sauce is actually a tamari sauce, which is gluten-free as well.

New Ulta Beauty Bag, Sunday Hair Event Deals and Wet n Wild Reminder

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The Cowfish Restaurant Review – Raleigh, NC

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4208 Six Forks Road
Suite 100
Raleigh, NC  27609
(919) 784-0400
Exterior View


Interior View


Fusion Specialty Bento Box – $16


Fusion Specialty Bento Box – $16


This is a review of a restaurant named The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar located in Raleigh, North Carolina. They have four other locations in the country located in Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and Orlando. The Raleigh location is open from 11 am to 11 pm everyday except Friday and Saturday when they stay open an hour later. We visited last Saturday around 4:30 pm. It was very busy already, but we were able to get a table right away. Shortly after we arrived everyone had to wait for a table. If you don’t want to wait for a table, you’ll need to miss the lunch and dinner rush by arriving before or after the busiest hours. Free garage parking is available in the building. After parking, take the elevator to the lobby. When you get off the elevator walk into the lobby, walk to the other side of the building, go outside and the restaurant will be on your left. There is also some parking on the street, but not many spaces.

This restaurant has a fun, festive vibe. There is a very large fish tank in the middle of the indoor part of the restaurant. There is also covered outdoor seating and some patio seating. We sat near the fish tank, so the interior photo above shows our view from our table. There is also seating at the sushi bar. The artwork is visually entertaining. It’s very loud in there with a lot of customer chatter since it’s a large restaurant. They also encourage children to visit the restaurant with games outside and crayons, paper and plastic cups with lids at the table. In addition, they encourage birthday celebrations and accommodate large groups. They set up a table for twelve when we were there. They also sing to you if it’s your birthday and ask each table when they arrive if it’s anyone’s birthday.

They have quite a large menu, so you may want to look online and decide what you want prior to your arrival. The waitress arrived quite quickly considering how busy the staff was. She took our drink orders and we then looked over the menu deciding what to order. I ordered the Fusion Speciality Bento Box. It features both a burger and sushi. It comes with the mini burger of the week, sweet potato fries, Thai cucumbers, edamame and your choice of a four piece Fusion Specialty Roll or three pieces of nigiri. The choices of sushi are Mark’s, Firecracker, Blackened Tuna or the Tempura Shrimp Roll. I ordered it with the Firecracker Roll, skipped the edamame and added French fries as a substitute. The mini burger of the week had bacon and blue cheese on it, so I substituted a plain burger with American cheese and onions. Hubby ordered the same thing, but with the Mark’s Roll and the burger of the week. Eleven minutes later our entrees arrived. The air conditioning was blowing constantly, so the hot food didn’t stay hot very long at all. It was quite chilly, so you may want to bring a sweater or ask for outdoor seating on a warm day. Everything was very tasty, but I had not noticed it was half a sushi roll, so I was disappointed in the quantity of the food for $16.00. For two dollars less you can order the Cowfish Bento Box which includes half of a non speciality roll and a regular burger. Fries and cucumber salad are very inexpensive, so a tiny burger and half a sushi roll seems overpriced to me. There are several restaurants in the area that serve bento boxes and they include a lot more sushi. The mini burger wasn’t that tasty, but it was cooked to the perfect pink color inside. Hubby’s burger had the smallest amount of blue cheese, it was ridiculous. It also included a ridiculously small piece of bacon. We both laughed when he lifted the top bun to view the toppings. My burger was missing the red onion. The sweet potato fries were scrumptious. The fries were tasty and had what I guess was parsley, salt and garlic added to them. Unfortunately, they were cold in no time due to the extra chilly air conditioning. There was a tiny amount of dipping sauce for the sushi and it was difficult to dip a piece in the tiny space. My Firecracker roll was very tasty. It has shrimp tempura, kana inside coated with tempura flakes, topped with yellowtail, salmon, spicy mayo, massage, tobiko and it served with ponzu dipping sauce. Hubby wasn’t crazy about the Mark’s roll, he said it had too much cream cheese and not enough jalapeño. It has fresh tuna, jalapeño, cream cheese, kana, scallions & panko and it’s flash fried. It’s topped with Japanese mayo and sriracha and served with ponzu dipping sauce. The Thai cucumber and red onion salad was really tasty, but it was pickled so I couldn’t eat much of it. 
We enjoyed the atmosphere and the food was tasty. The waitress was friendly and attentive. We shall visit again, but I’ll have to find something of better value on the menu. The people next to us bought the Crab Rangoon Dip appetizer and it looked really tasty, so much so that we plan to order it next time. The Moose is Loose dessert was ordered by many tables and shared, wow did that look delicious! That’s the dessert they bring out for those having a birthday celebration. Cocktails and milkshakes were also popular. What’s your favorite restaurant in Raleigh?

I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I’m sure you’ll find something else that interests you. To see a full listing of my restaurant reviews, visit my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board
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The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Doherty’s Irish Pub Restaurant Review – Cary, NC

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1979 High House Road
Cary, NC  27519
(919) 388-9930


Exterior View


Interior View


Fish & Chips – $15.00


The Mullingar – $13.00


This is a review for an Irish Pub called Doherty’s located in Cary, North Carolina. They are in the same shopping center as the new Asian market, H Mart. They are open from 11 am until midnight Monday through Friday. Saturday they are open until 2 am and Sunday they open early at 9 am. Their health inspection score is currently 94.5, which is good. We visited on a Saturday at 5 pm. 

We were immediately greeted by a hostess who seated us at a table. I thought for sure we had arrived early enough to get a booth, but all the booths were shockingly filled already except the one for more than four people. Apparently, they didn’t want to seat two people there. The ceiling is filled with fans which have recessed lights behind them that cast a flashing light on the tables due to the movement of the fan which made me nauseous. My husband asked the hostess if they could turn the fan off, so it would stop making a flashing light. Instead she escorted us to the back of the restaurant where there were no fans though I could still see the flashing lights at the nearby booths. This is the point that we should have left, I didn’t have a good feeling about it. This is the section they play darts and it’s behind the register. It feels like you are in the second class section. The timid waitress came by after a significant wait and took our order. When asking questions about the entrees on the menu, she was unsure of many of her answers. Instead of telling us she would ask management for the answers and be right back, she just said she wasn’t sure or didn’t know. I ordered the Fish & Chips which are described as “light & flakey whitefish batter fried & served with hand cut fries, haricot vert, tarter sauce and malt vinegar”. The waitress said she thought it might be pollock. Everything was served lukewarm except the fish which was hot. They must have prepared all of the food except the fish in advance since the food came out so quickly, there is no way it had time to cool off in such a short amount of time. The overcooked fries were greasy enough to upset my stomach immediately, so I had to stop eating them. The green beans tasted pretty good, but it’s a shame they weren’t served hot or warm. Traditionally, Fish & Chips are served with mushy peas not green beans. The tarter sauce was just ordinary. The fish batter didn’t have much flavor, I was expecting beer batter since it’s an Irish bar! I’ve had better tasting fried fish at the fast food restaurants Long John Silvers and Captain D’s. Having British parents and having eaten Fish & Chips in the UK, I’m certainly a good judge of this entree. If you are ever in England, you must try Fish & Chips there, they are so intensely scrumptious! My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The Doherty’s Fish & Chips were a huge disappointment especially at the price tag of $15.00! Hubby ordered the Mullingar which is described as “Guinness braised brisket laced with fresh mushrooms, caramelized onions and topped with creamy horseradish sauce”. The menu also states that it comes with a traditional Irish potato pancake, potato croquettes and haricot vert (green beans). When the brisket arrived I was shocked at how disgusting it looked, see photo above. There are certainly no fresh mushrooms and I have never seen brisket that awful color. It looks like they put the meat in a food processor! What in the world did they do to it? Brisket is suppose to have a pink color to it and not processed. My husband who’s on a low carb diet asked to skip the potato pancake and croquettes yet the waitress brought them to the table. The presentation was appalling. All of his food was brought to the table lukewarm. The waitress later came by asking if we liked it and she clearly doesn’t know how to read body language because we were extremely disappointed. She even went so far as to ask if we wanted a to go box which I found so irritating. She just didn’t get it. Someone who didn’t introduce himself, who I’m guessing must have been the manager, asked if we liked the food also. Wow, he doesn’t know how to read body language either or he just didn’t want to deal with complaints. Most of the time we don’t voice our complaints, we just don’t return to the restaurant. The only time I complain is when I’m sent a survey by email or if there is a comment card brought with the check. I really dislike it when management doesn’t introduce themselves, he just looked like a guy off the street since he wasn’t in any type of uniform. The wait staff was wearing all black, but he was not. He didn’t have a smile for us either. It was very dark in the restaurant and the decor is worn and outdated and the chairs uncomfortable. Start with an overall unwelcoming and uncomfortable experience, add the nauseating light and appearance of the brisket and it adds up to one of the worst restaurant experiences I remember in a long time. Needless to say we will not return and I recommend you skip this restaurant. Sometimes it’s unenjoyable being a food blogger and after this experience we took a break from trying new restaurants and stuck with our favorite restaurants.  While I dislike having to write bad reviews and I have put off writing this one, readers have come to expect my honesty, so here it is.

What’s your favorite restaurant and who has the best Fish & Chips in the area? Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board. Follow this blog via TwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, Facebook or Networked BlogsPlease share this restaurant review blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);



Doherty's Irish Pub & Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Girls Night Out at The Melting Pot

The other night, my small group girls and I went out for a much-needed Girls Night Out at The Melting Pot. They were having a Femme Fatale special, where each person could get the cheese fondue, salad, main entree and chocolate fondue for $35.

The cheese fondue course was Bourbon Bacon Cheddar Cheese Fondue, which was lager beer, garlic, mustard powder, Worcestershire, cheddar-Swiss cheese blend, a splash of Jim Beam Devil’s Cut Bourbon and bacon pieces. It was AMAZING! Ooey, gooey and creamy with the definite flavor of bacon and Jim Bean. 

For the salad, I had the Spinach Mushroom, which was fresh spinach, baby Portobello mushrooms, red onion, chopped bacon and Roma tomatoes with a warm Burgundy Shallot Vinaigrette. Again, super good! I loved that the red onion was really really thinly sliced, so it gave onion flavor without being over-powering. There were a ton of mushrooms, which was great, and the vinaigrette was tangy and delicious.

The main entree was filet mignon (happy happy sigh), herb-crusted chicken and shrimp and we did the cooking style Coq Au Vin, burgundy wine infused with fresh herbs, spices and mushrooms. I didn’t touch the shrimp (I know such a waste…I’m not a seafood eater though!), but the filet and chicken were delicious, especially with the teriayki dipping sauce. 

I unfortunately missed the chocolate dessert round (big sad face!). It was a great meal that was mostly clean and all-natural!

Eating Clean 12 Days of Christmas — Cutout Cookies

Don’t forget…I’m working on moving my blog over to WordPress and getting my own domain name (woohoo!!). I’ll continue to publish here for 2 more days, but please change your bookmarks to http://www.eatingcleanandsavinggreen.com
 

These are your typical Christmas cutout cookies but clean and all-natural. Bonus, this basic recipe also makes 5 other types of recipes. That’s my type of baking…make one dough get six different cookies. Efficiency at it’s best 🙂


Christmas Cutout Cookies
Adapted from Canadian Family
 

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
2. Using a half portion of chilled dough, roll out on a lightly floured surface to ¼” thickness.
3. Using a floured cookie cutter, cut out shapes. Transfer to parchment-covered sheet pan.
4. Bake for 8–10 minutes or until lightly golden.
5. Transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to decorate with sprinkles, icing and candy.

Dough
This recipe makes enough for two batches of cookies, so we suggest that you always divide the dough in half and wrap each separately.

• 2 cups flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp salt
• pinch ground nutmeg
• 1 cup butter
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tsp vanilla

1. Combine first four ingredients in a bowl.
2. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in egg and vanilla.
3. Mix in half the dry ingredients, then add what is remaining.
4. Divide dough in half and wrap with plastic wrap until ready to use.

For the icing…
Start with 2 Tablespoons butter and 2 Tablespoons milk in your mixer. Slowly add in powdered sugar and more milk until you reach a frosting consistency. 

Almond Chicken Dijon

This is another recipe that has been in the rotation for a long time that I was pleased to realize was clean without any modifications. This is a great dish to make for someone who just had a baby or needs a meal, because it freezes and reheats really well. I like to make mine with green beans and then add in some of the extra sliced almonds in with the green beans before I serve them. Really ties the meal together!

Almond Chicken Dijon
4 chicken breasts pounded down to about 1 inch thick (frozen or fresh)
Equal parts dijon mustard and Helman’s mayo (for 4 chicken breasts, I use about 2 tablespoons of each)
1/2 cup to 1 cup of sliced almonds

Put chicken in oven-safe dish and season with salt and pepper. Mix together mustard and mayo and spread over the chicken. Sprinkle almonds over chicken and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. That’s it! Super easy and super yummy!

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Top Ten Eating Clean and Saving Green Gifts for Christmas

With Christmas only weeks away, (mostly) everyone is getting into the gift-giving spirit. Personally, I love giving gifts. It’s the love language I use when showing someone they mean a lot to me and I enjoy the whole process of coming up with an idea, searching far and wide for that gift and seeing the recipient’s face when they open it up.

Whether you’ve been done Christmas shopping since August or have yet to start, I’m here to help! I’ve come up with the Top Ten Eating Clean and Saving Green gifts for your holiday season. These gifts help you eat clean, save you some green and some even do both!

1. Spa Day — For that special lady (or even guy!) in your life, consider giving them a day of pampering to a spa or salon that specializes in all-natural and organic products.

2. Subway Art — Easy and inexpensive, a piece of unique subway art fits all sizes and is a great personalized gift for that special someone. Choose the recipient’s favorite song lyrics, poem, Bible verse or quote.

3. Recipe Book — Compile a list of your favorite Eating Clean recipes to give away to family and friends. You could create a book yourself, or use a helpful site, like Shutterfly or Bookemon, which does all the work for you!

4. Old Window Photo — Another great personalized gift, especially for a newly married couple, family with kids or parents and grandparents. Again, the possibilities are endless for personalization. 

5. Kitchen Tools — Every cook needs the proper tools, so consider giving several smaller, handy kitchen items or purchasing a bigger piece of kitchen equipment. Some of my favorites and must-haves…cheese grater, mandolin, spice rack, crock pot, bread machine

6. Stock the Pantry Gift Basket — I’ve made all kinds of pantry staples in the last year. Put together a gift basket to stock the pantry of a friend or neighbor. Some to include…brownie mix, cooking spray, chicken stock, pasta sauce, soup or sauce mix,  seasoning salt.

7. Magazine Subscription — I especially love giving magazine subscriptions because it’s a gift that lasts all year! Some of my favorites for clean eating and saving green…All You, Eating Clean

8. Homemade Crayons — For the kid, or the kid-at-heart. 🙂 Also make a great stocking stuffer.

9. Ice Cream Ball — Another great gift for kids or families. Fun for all and who doesn’t love ice cream?

10. Gift Cards — Consider giving gift cards to clean and all-natural stores and restaurants like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Seasons 52, Aveda, etc.

3rd Terra’s Kitchen Delivery Review & $40 Coupon

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Berry Balsamic Salad – $7.99


Berry Balsamic Salad Box


Red Grapes, Brie & Cheddar Cheese Snack Box – $5.99


Greek Salad – $7.99


Greek Salad Box


Organic Züpa Noma Superfood Soups – $6.49 each


Hummus with Multigrain Pita, Carrot & Celery Sticks – $5.99


Revolution Lunch Bundle Sundipper – $5.49


This is a review of a weekly food subscription service called Terra’s Kitchen. I had not ordered in quite some time, so they emailed me a $20 coupon which convinced me to order again especially since they had some new offerings that peaked my interest. This is my 3rd delivery and this time I went with their new salads, soups and snacks rather than the meal kits. We were already receiving a meal kit from Home Chef for dinners that week anyway. I really like to eat salads for lunch, so I wanted to order a salad for each weekday. Unfortunately, they only offer delivery to my location on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. If they offered delivery earlier in the week then I could order five salads. I do not enjoy cooking for one person, so I prefer salads and sandwiches when dining alone. I paid $57.34. They have a minimum purchase  of $72 to place an order for the week, so my order total was $72.39 before the discount and since my total after discount was under $72 I had to pay $4.95 for shipping. Shipping is free for orders of $72 and more. They have a new three day detox shipment which that I wanted to order, but it’s too expensive for me. The soup I ordered is in that shipment. At first glance one might think the prices are a bit high, but my cost per serving for this shipment was only $4.25 a serving prior to my discount. 

Berry Balsamic Salad

Included in this salad are the following:  baby spinach, blackberries, blueberries, goat cheese, pecan pieces, sliced scallions and Lighthouse Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing. The box looked a bit small to me, but as soon as I unpacked it and placed it on a full sized dinner plate it looked much larger. They really packed it in the box tight. I like that it has a use by date on it since it gives me more confidence of food safety plus I place items in the refrigerator in order of use by date. I wish the other food subscription companies would do that. I received my order on the 25th, so this product allowed me four days to eat it. While the dressing had an unappetizing brown color, it was very tasty and it was a generous 2 fl. oz. portion. I really enjoyed the combination of ingredients and everything was fresh. The goat cheese was wonderfully creamy. I would definitely purchase it again. This one has 400 calories and it was healthy portion. 
Red Grapes, Brie & Cheddar Cheese Snack Box

I’m usually not a big fan of brie, but the consistency of this one was fabulous. I wish I knew which brand they send. The cheddar cheese was ok, just not my favorite which isn’t a surprise because I’m really picky about cheddar since I eat it more than any other cheese. The red grapes were extra large, very fresh and tasty. Oh, how I wish I had ordered more than one of these boxes, it was that good! Yummy! This snack has 423 calories and it was a generous portion. I imagine you could use it as a lunch also.

Greek Salad

This salad includes the following: leaf lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, black olives, feta cheese and organic lemon garlic dressing. I found this salad a bit disappointing since it only had two small pieces of red onion and two small pieces of cucumber. I had a red onion in the fridge, so I added more. I love lots of onion in my salad especially a Greek salad. It had too much feta cheese for me since I’m not a big fan of that type of cheese. Everything was fresh except a little piece of lettuce that way laying under the feta cheese. The dressing was so very tasty. It was a delicious salad and it was a healthy portion. It has only 394 calories.
Organic Züpa Noma Superfood Soups

These come in two packs, but I’m only showing one of each in the photo above. I purchased all three flavors that they had available since they are not available in local stores for purchase. I ordered Tomato Gazpacho, Carrot Coconut Lime and Cucumber Avocado. Tomato Gazpacho ingredients are tomato, water, red bell pepper, cucumber, celery, lime juice, red onion, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic, black pepper, sea salt and turmeric. It only has 100 calories per serving. If you haven’t tried Gazpacho before, I highly recommend you give it a try. I became a big fan when I went on the Tracy Anderson diet. This is the perfect soup for on the go since it tastes good cold. I recommend this flavor as a substitute lunch. This one is a bit on the spicy side and it’s delicious. All of these soups are for drinking cold, but you have the option of pouring the soup in a bowl and warming it up in the microwave for forty seconds. Carrot Coconut Lime ingredients are filtered water, carrot, apple, coconut milk, lime juice, yam, ginger, olive oil, shallot, lemongrass, turmeric, coriander, sea salt, cumin and black pepper. It has 150 calories per serving. I recommend warming this one up, since it has a bit of a thick consistency. It tastes quite good. I first taste the carrot, then yam followed by ginger and spices. The Cucumber Avocado ingredients are cucumber, water, apple, avocado, lemon juice, Swiss chard, pumpkin seed, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, black pepper and spirulina. This one makes a great green smoothie substitute. It’s a bit on the sour side. It has 110 calories. All ingredients are organic and each bottle has two servings. Four servings costs $12.98 which is $3.24 a serving. If I’m only having soup for lunch I’ll eat two servings. These have a use by date of February 26th, so I have a month to drink them. The bottle says to drink it within fourteen days of opening it, I can’t imagine keeping it more than a couple days. That seems like too long of a time. I found out you can order these soups directly from the manufacturer! Snag my $10 coupon for your first order!

Hummus with Multigrain Pita, Carrot & Celery Sticks

Included in this snack are eight celery sticks, seven carrot sticks, hummus and a ton of multigrain pita chips. It has only 210 calories which is shocking since it’s such a large portion that I couldn’t only eat half of it at one sitting. I’m not a big fan of celery dipped in hummus, I prefer peanut butter. The carrot sticks were good in the hummus and so were the pita chips. It was immediately filling even only eating half of it. The pita chips were a bit too hard for my liking. I prefer the Stacy’s brand. It has a use by date of the 29th which gave me five days to eat it.

Revolution Lunch Bundle Sundipper

I ordered the Decker version of this lunch bundle and received the Sundipper one instead. Since the Sundipper one has two items made with soy, I wont be eating those. I try to avoid anything with soy in it because soy turns into estrogen in the body. I emailed them about the mistake and they gave me a store credit for the cost of the product, $5.49. This one has a use by date of March 9th, so I have plenty of time to eat it.

It was a very enjoyable shipment and I enjoyed trying the new soups, snacks and salads they have to offer. I was very happy to have two salads already prepared for me and I was delighted by their flavors. I can’t skip meals due to an auto immune disease, IBS, but I usually want to skip lunch and snacks so I have to force myself to eat. Having these waiting in the refrigerator really helped a lot. The soup selection in my local stores is quite limited and I’ve become bored of the brands and flavors I have to chose from, so I was very happy to have something new, organic and very nutritional. If you have healthy foods already prepared and waiting for you, you’re less likely to skip meals which slows your metabolism or eat something on the run which tends to be unhealthy. I really look forward to trying some of their other prepared snacks and salads. Of course, they also have many meal kits to chose from some of which I have reviewed previously. Check out my review of our 1st delivery and 2nd delivery before you go. Have you tried any of their new selections? I’d love to hear your review, so comment below. If you haven’t given Terra’s Kitchen a try, why not? If you are thinking about it, make sure you snag my $40 coupon below by clicking on the link. Enjoy!

Bargain Alert:

Terra’s Kitchen$40 Off 

Hello Fresh – $40 off
Home Chef – $30 Off
Sun Basket – $40 Off
Züpa Noma Soup – $10 Off


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Crockpot Beef and Noodles

I love comfort food, especially when the weather turns colder. My mom used to make the best beef and noodles when we were younger and I was craving it the other day. I searched for a clean recipe that could also be done in the crockpot (to make my life easier!) and found this one I adapted a bit.
It was delicious! So comforting and warm and yummy. It also makes a lot, so I have a whole other meal in the freezer.  
Crockpot Beef and Noodles
Adapted from Kristi’s Recipe Box

2 lbs. stew meat (or any type of beef roast you have on hand, cut into 2″ chunks)

2 (14.5 oz.) cans beef broth (I used my homemade chicken stock…choose a homemade or organic broth to keep it clean)

2 cups water

1 1/2 T. Italian seasoning

1 T. minced garlic

1/2 t. onion powder

1/2 t. salt

1/2 t. pepper

16 oz. pkg. egg noodles (look for an organic or all-natural egg noodle…I found mine from an Amish store 🙂
Place stew meat in crockpot and cover with beef broth and water. Add in Italian seasoning, garlic, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or on LOW for 8 hours. (With beef in the crockpot, I always opt for the lower and slower) During last 30-45 minutes of cooking, add in egg noodles.

57th Home Chef Delivery Review & $30 Coupon

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Greek Panko Crusted Cod with Spicy Lemon Aioli


Ingredients


Chicken with Parmesan Fondue Cream with Celery, Apple & Smoked Almond Salad


Ingredients


Tortilla Chicken with Elote Style Acorn Squash


Ingredients


This is a review of our 57th delivery from a weekly food subscription box called Home Chef. This week we gave one recipe four out of five stars and two recipes three stars. Calories ranged from only 551 to 568 and preparation time indicated on the recipe cards ranges from twenty-five to forty-five minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from forty-seven minutes to one hour. I picked recipes that we could easily make low carb or were already low carb for Hubby’s current diet. Hubby skipped the apple and the squash to lower the carbs. My shipment comes to North Carolina from Georgia via FedEx and shipping is free. This order costs $59.70 for six servings and three recipes.

Greek Panko Crusted Cod with Spicy Lemon Aioli

This was our favorite recipe for the week which surprises me because cod doesn’t have a lot of flavor on it’s own, so they did a great job with this recipe. We gave it four out of five stars. To make it to five stars the pieces of cod would need to be larger, but 6 ounces each is a healthy portion. The ingredients were really fresh. The panko on the cod was really tasty and it didn’t require egg. It was simply made with panko, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil. The sauce was made with mayo, olive oil, lemon juice and red pepper flakes and it was so yummy. I’m not normally a fan of feta cheese, but it was really good on the zucchini and red pepper. Calories on this one are only 568. Preparation time indicated on the recipe card is up to thirty-five minutes, but actual preparation time was fifty-five minutes. This one has only 22 grams of carbohydrates.

Chicken with Parmesan Fondue Cream with Celery, Apple & Smoked Almond Salad

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. The chicken was moist and tender, but we didn’t care for the sauce. It was made with light cream instead of heavy cream so it wouldn’t thicken. It has only 551 calories, but a few more calories to have a tastier sauce would have been our preference. The bites of the side salad without the smoked almonds were really tasty. I think if they used a different nut or almonds that didn’t have that smoked flavor it would have been perfect. That smoke flavor mixed with apples was just too strong of a flavor and it overwhelmed the other flavors. The photo on the front of the recipe card shows the almonds whole and on the other side it instructs to chop the almonds contradicting itself. The dressing on the salad was very simple and easy to make yet so delicious and low in calories and fat. It’s made with seasoned rice vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. This recipe states up to thirty-five minutes preparation time, actual preparation time was forty-seven minutes. It was a healthy and filling portion. This one has only 23 grams of carbohydrates and Hubby skipped the apple to lower it even further. 

Tortilla Chicken with Elote Style Acorn Squash

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. The chicken was the best part. It was tender and moist and the topping of tortilla strips, jalapeño pepper, and cheddar cheese were really good. I didn’t like the chipotle spice on the squash, it should have gone on the chicken instead. Hubby added some of our Mexican spices to the chicken and more cheese. It has only 554 calories and I know they didn’t give us much cheese to keep that count low, but a bit more cheese made it taste so much better. We didn’t care for the sauce, the lime added to the sour cream just made it too sour. The recipe card states it will take up to forty-five minutes to prepare, actual preparation time was one hour. This ones has 33 grams of carbohydrates and Hubby skipped the squash to lower it. 

It was a pretty good week of recipes, they were certainly low in carbs and calories which is great for both of us. Sometimes Home Chef has too many high calorie meals, so I’m glad to see that they are offering more low calorie meals. While we occasionally enjoy a higher calorie meal, we prefer to stick to low calorie meals that are healthier. I’m expecting another box from Home Chef on Thursday and I will be trying one of their new salads that offer already cooked chicken so that preparation time is only five minutes and there’s no cooking required. I like to have salad for lunch on weekdays since I don’t like cooking for one person, so this is perfect for me. Have you tried one of their five minute salads yet? If you haven’t tried Home Chef yet, what are you waiting for? Grab my $30 coupon below and order it today! You’ll love it as I do.

Bargain Alert:

Green Blender – $20 Off 
Hello Fresh Meal Kit – $40 Off
Home Chef Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads – $30 Off
Sun Basket Meal Kit – $35 Off
Terra’s Kitchen Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads, Soup, Drinks & Snacks – $40 Off

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Spicy Swai

I’m very lucky that everyone in my family, even the kiddos, love fish. It’s so good for you and can be prepared in so many different ways. Last night, I made Spicy Swai. Usually, we buy tilapia (we do the frozen because it’s just as good and cheaper), but Kroger had swai on sale for $1.99 for a 10-ounce bag. The swai tastes just like tilapia (light, flaky and a great option for those who don’t like fish that much, because it’s a very mild fish), but is usually a lot cheaper. 

For the Spicy Swai, I just took the frozen fish, put in a oven-safe dish, seasoned with salt and pepper and then added half a can of Rotel and several squirts of fresh lime and lemon juice. Broil for 10-15 minutes until fish is white, opaque and flaky. I served mine with sauteed zucchini and onions from the garden.

2nd Gobble Delivery Review & Free Dinner Kit Coupon

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Bistro Salmon en Papillote with Asparagus & Béarnaise


Ingredients


Country Captain Chicken Curry with Coconut Rice


Ingredients


Baked Conchiglie Mac & Cheese


Ingredients


Shepherd’s Pie & Mixed Greens Salad


Ingredients


Oatmeal Raisin Cookies


Ingredients


This is a review of a weekly meal kit subscription box from a company called Gobble. Dinner meals are $11.95 per serving, cookies are $1.95 per serving, soup is $5.95 per serving and Mac & Cheese is $5.95 per serving. This week I gave one recipe five out of five stars, two recipes four stars, one recipe three and a half stars and two recipe three stars. I reviewed the Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Soup in our previous shipment and I gave it four stars, so I wont be repeating the review.

Bistro Salmon en Papillote with Asparagus & Béarnaise

Wow, this meal was incredible! I gave this recipe five out of five stars and Hubby gave it four stars. The sauce was sent already made, so that was one less step for us to do. It was so scrumptious! My stomach is very sensitive to sauces made with cream, so I’m happy to report that this one wasn’t too heavy. Hubby put it on everything and it tasted awesome on both vegetables and the salmon. I wish they provided the ingredient list for the sauce, so we could make it on our own. Baking salmon in parchment paper makes it so moist and tender. They sent us two parchment pouches to bake them in along with the lemon. The asparagus and potatoes were also delicious. At first glance it looked like it might not be a large enough portion, but it landed up being a generous and filling portion. This one has only 560 calories and it took Hubby forty-five minutes to prepare.

Country Captain Chicken Curry with Coconut Rice

I gave this recipe four out of five stars. I would have given it five stars, if the chicken had not been precooked and it was a larger portion. We were surprised that the chicken had already been seasoned and cooked. We’d prefer to cook it ourselves, but it does save time. Previously, they did not send anything precooked, so it was quite the surprise. The curry sauce was premade and very tasty and it reminded me of my mother’s version though Gobble’s was very mild in spice. It would have been much better made with a hotter spice. The rice was also precooked and yet it had the perfect texture and it was very tasty. There wasn’t much to do since so much of it was already cooked and it just needed warming up. That’s perfect for those that are in a rush and don’t have the time or energy for making it from scratch. This one has 1040 calories which seems high. They didn’t provide an ingredient list for the country captain sauce, so I’m guessing they added something to it that raised the calorie count. Normally, chicken curry wouldn’t be so high in calories. It was a very large portion, very filling and it took Hubby only thirty-five minutes to prepare.

Baked Conchiglie Mac & Cheese

I gave this recipe three out of five stars. It really needs some mustard powder & garlic salt. It was just too bland for me, the sauce was a bit on the sour side and I didn’t like the breadcrumb topping. I really enjoyed the fresh pasta though, it’s texture is so much better. It was a pleasant surprise to receive fresh pasta. It’s listed as a side, but I served it as the main dish for lunch and it was an extra large portion for two. As a side, it would be enough for four. I found it needed longer than the five minutes suggested to brown the breadcrumbs in the oven. They don’t list the calorie count for this recipe, but as we all know this is a high calorie dish which is for a cheat meal. It took me thirty-two minutes to prepare.

Shepherd’s Pie & Mixed Greens Salad
I gave this recipe three out of five stars, though note that I am very picky when it comes to Shepherd’s Pie since my Mum made it regularly. There was too much sauce on the ground beef and I was shocked that the beef was already cooked and the mashed potatoes already prepared. I really prefer freshly cooked or frozen. This is in between which is great, if you want to save time, but don’t want to eat frozen entrees. If you want to make a really simple and quick Shepherd’s Pie, place cooked ground beef at the bottom of a baking pan, slices of tomato on top and then mashed potatoes on top of that, add salt & pepper and brown in the oven. A very simple recipe, yet scrumptious. The salad only offered gem lettuce and red wine vinaigrette, so I added sunflower seeds, shredded Mexican cheese, red onion, salt and pepper. There was only enough dressing for one person, but it was tasty. Maybe they forgot to send a second packet of dressing. This one has 730 calories and it was a very large portion. I ate about one quarter of the Shepherd’s Pie, it could easily feed four unless you skip the salad. The gem lettuce was nice and crisp even on the fifth day after it arrived. I found that it needed twice as long in the oven than the recipe stated to brown the potatoes, so it took me fifty-two minutes to prepare.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I gave these cookies three out of five stars. I’m not a fan of overly sweetened cookies, but these tasted like diet cookies to me almost like granola rather than a cookie. If you like Whole Foods’ cookies, you’ll love these. When I treat myself I want something deliciously sweet since I rarely eat anything with sugar in it. If I wanted granola then I would have that instead. They don’t list the calorie count for this one. They are large cookies and a very generous portion. They suggest two cookies per serving when really one is enough. I had to cook them longer than the recipe suggested. 

While we absolutely loved the salmon recipe this week, there were some recipes that missed the mark for us. I really wish I had known that they started precooking some the ingredients prior to ordering them. Last time I ordered, nothing was precooked, so it was an unpleasant surprise for us. It definitely saved us on preparation time and it would be perfect for those that don’t order meal kits due to the time required. This would be a great alternative to frozen prepared meals. If you subscribe to this box, have you received lots of precooked ingredients or is this something new they are trying? The portions were large to extra large and some could have been shared with two adults and a couple of children easily or lots of leftovers which brings down the cost and calories. If you want to give this meal kit delivery service a try, click on the link below to grab the discount on your first box. If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below. Which food subscription box is your favorite? 

Bargain Alert: 
Gobble Meal Kits, Soup, Cookies, Bread, Cocktail Mixes – Two free meals
Hello Fresh Meal Kits – $40 Off
Home Chef Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads – $30 Off

Sun Basket Meal Kits – $50 Off 1st Two Boxes *
Terra’s Kitchen Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads, Soup, Drinks & Snacks – $40 Off

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Easter Beauty Sale Round-Up (Wet n Wild, Stila, Pur, Glamglow, MAC and More)

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Pesto Cheese Tarts


My in-laws celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary earlier this month and this past weekend, all their kiddos and significant others threw them a party. It was a wine tasting party where everyone brought an appetizer and wine to pair with it. I made pesto tarts, an incredibly easy, yet super elegant appetizer. I paired the pesto tarts with Paper Moon Harvest Blend sweet red wine. 


Shout out to a fellow Bobcat! Paper Moon is the winery we visited on our getaway earlier this summer. We went to Ohio University with the owner, Adam. You should check them out at papermoonvineyards.com and buy some of their yummy wine 😉

Pesto Cheese Tarts Recipe
2/3 cup chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons prepared pesto
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 package (1.9 ounces) frozen miniature phyllo tart shells
Directions
In a small bowl, combine the tomatoes, mayonnaise, cheeses, pesto and pepper. Spoon heaping teaspoonfuls into tart shells. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Yield: 15 appetizers.

Homemade Meatballs

Before going clean, I used to make a meatball dish that was delish and super easy. I wanted to make it last week, but when I looked at the frozen meatballs, I was surprised once again at the amount of preservatives. So, I decided to make my own. Well, technically, I decided that my hubby would make his own 😉 

Unfortunately, my husband lost his job two weeks ago and so he’s been very bored at home while he job searches. To keep him occupied (and out of my hair!), I’ve given him some cooking and baking tasks, since he loves to cook and bake as much as I do. (Sorry ladies, he’s all mine and yes, I know how lucky I am to have a man who cooks 😉

Anywho…here’s his recipe. They turned out so yummy, I didn’t even use the sauce I usually pair with them. 

Homemade Meatballs
Adapted from The Kitchn

2 lbs. ground meat of your choice (Matt used ground beef)
2 tablespoons of either or a combination of: dried oregano, dried basil, dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 cups bread crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with your hands. Mix well but don’t overmix or you will end up with dense meatballs. If the mixture does not stick together, add a little more tomato sauce a tablespoon at a time. Form the meat mixture into balls about 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Don’t pack them too tight. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Serve the meatballs over pasta and sauce.

Additional Information:

You could try adding chopped vegetables such as onions, peppers, and eggplant for more flavor. You can also cook the meatballs in a skillet for 7 to 8 minutes if you don’t want to use an oven.

24th Blue Apron Meal Kit Review


Togarashi Chicken Lettuce Cups with Orange & Radish


Ingredients


Top Chef Ginger Marinated Grassfed Steaks with Stir Fried Vegetables & Jasmine Rice


Ingredients


Mexican Spiced Barramundi with Kale, Sweet Potato & Avocado Salad


Ingredients



This is a review of a weekly meal kit subscription box called Blue Apron. This week we gave two recipes four out of five stars and one three stars. Calories ranged from 540 to 770 and preparation time indicated was thirty-five to fifty minutes. Actual preparation time was forty-five minutes to over an hour.

Togarashi Chicken Lettuce Cups with Orange & Radish

I usually love Togarashi spice, but this one was very bland. We gave this recipe only three out of five stars. The butter lettuce was in poor condition. There was too much watermelon radish and carrots. I would have liked a bit more lime juice. The orange was surprisingly tasty with the chicken. It was a very filling portion with leftovers. I’m not a fan of the mushrooms in this dish. This recipe has only 540 calories which is surprising because it was a large portion. The recipe card says it will take up to forty-five minutes to prepare, but this one took Hubby over an hour.

Top Chef Ginger Marinated Grassfed Steaks with Stir Fried Vegetables & Jasmine Rice

I watched Top Chef to see what the winning dish would be and it looked tasty, so I ordered it. Though his dish didn’t have a side, it was only the steak. I absolutely love grass-fed meat, it tastes so much better. Don’t believe it? Buy one of each and cook them, you will immediately notice the smell when cooking is much different and the taste. Do a blind taste test and you’ll see! This steak was so tasty and quite tender and the sauce was scrumptious. I usually don’t enjoy sauces made with sugar, but this one was devine. I just wish it had been a larger portion with more sauce. One of the sauces ingredients leaked during shipping. The side dish made with bok choy and mushrooms wasn’t that great. I gave this recipe four out of five stars, but the steak and sauce get five! Hubby gave it five stars. I usually don’t order steak from meal kits since they tend to be on the tough side, but when I saw it was grass fed I had to give it a try and I’m glad I did. This one has 740 calories and it took almost an hour to prepare.  The recipe card states up to fifty minutes.

Mexican Spiced Barramundi with Kale, Sweet Potato & Avocado Salad

We gave this recipe four out of five stars. Whenever they offer Barramundi fillets I order them since they are so delicious. The avocado was very small, but it was ripe enough for use. The side salad of kale and sweet potatoes was surprising tasty. The yummy dressing was made with clementine juice, zest, olive oil, garlic paste and jalapeño. The recipe card states that it will take up to fifty minute to prepare and it took Hubby forty-five minutes.

It was a pretty good week of recipes. What food subscription box did you enjoy this week? Don’t forget to enter my current giveaway and check out my Pinterest Subscription Box Board and Pinterest Blue Apron Board.

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh – $40 off
Home Chef – $30 Off
Sun Basket – $40 Off

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LORAC Friends & Family Sale Now through 5/1 (Free Shipping)

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Tickets For 2014 Red Bull Grand Prix Of The Americas Go On Sale December 5

Tickets for 2014 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas on sale Thursday, Dec. 5 New in 2014: Free motorcycle parking for early birds, single-day tickets available, reduced parking prices, kids 12 and under receive free general admission to MotoGP

AUSTIN, Texas  – Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the motorcycle enthusiast in your life? Circuit of The Americas™ (COTA) has the answer, as tickets for the 2014 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas at COTA go on sale Thursday, Dec. 5, at 10 a.m. CT online at www.circuitoftheamericas.com/and at www.ticketmaster.com. COTA will host the first of only two MotoGP contests in the United States next year and welcome the best motorcycle riders in the world to Austin April 11-13.

COTA’s 2014 MotoGP event features many new fan-friendly options, including FREE motorcycle parking for fans that purchase their tickets by Dec. 31, 2013; Three-day weekend passes and single-day ticket options for fans; A new dry camping option for fans who want to stay close to the circuit all weekend; and Kids 12 and under receive FREE general admission with a ticketed adult.

GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!

Single-day general admission tickets start at $39 for Friday’s practice sessions, and single-day reserved seats start at $59. Three-day weekend passes start at $89 for general admission or $139 for reserved seats. Three-day dry camping passes are available for $150 per space.

MotoGP Ticket and Parking Prices – Circuit of The Americas – April 11-13, 2014

Seating Type, Single-day Ticket/Person, Three-day Weekend Pass/Person

General Admission, $39 to $59, $89

Reserved Seat, $59 to $109, $139 to $199

Kids 12 and under, FREE GA with ticketed adult, FREE GA with ticketed adult

Dry Camping Space (20’x20’), N/A, $150/camping space

Parking Type, Single-day Parking/Vehicle, Three-day Weekend Parking/Vehicle

Cars, $20, $45

Motorcycles*, $10, $20

*NOTE: Motorcycle parking is free for fans that purchased their MotoGP tickets by Dec. 31, 2013.

MotoGP, the pinnacle of all motorcycle World Championships, consists of 19 races in 14 countries on five continents with pan-global television coverage. The world’s most skilled riders, including current U.S. riders Colin Edwards of Texas, 2006 MotoGP World Champion Nicky Hayden from Kentucky and reigning World Champion and winner of the 2013 Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas Marc Marquez, compete with cutting-edge, prototype motorcycle technology produced by Ducati, Yamaha and Honda, as well manufacturers supporting the new Open class. The series traditionally holds three races, including Moto2 and Moto3 competitions, during each event for various classes of motorcycles based on engine size. Fans watched MotoGP’s new phenom, Marc Marquez, sweep the three U.S. races in 2013, including COTA’s inaugural event, and will be eager to see if he returns to the winners’ podium in Texas next year.

“The on-track action at this year’s MotoGP Championship race at COTA was incredible, and our mission for 2014 is to elevate the fan experience at the track and in downtown Austin,” COTA Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Geoff Moore said. “Our team will be throwing an even bigger party at the track next year, with a larger entertainment portfolio of live music, interactive displays, games and fan activities. We’re also planning a downtown Fan Zone that will give visitors and residents lots to see and do throughout the weekend.”

“Making our MotoGP race one of the must-attend sports and entertainment events of the season is a priority, and we’ve enhanced our customer offerings to ensure that happens,” COTA President and Chief Executive Officer Jason Dial noted. “We’ve added single-day tickets to the mix for 2014, giving fans greater flexibility, and we’ve reduced on-site parking prices to enhance the value and make it easier for fans to access the circuit. In addition, we’re offering free general admission to kids ages 12 and under to make it more affordable for families to attend the races.

“With the holidays just around the corner, tickets to the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas make a great gift for the motorsports fans in your household, and next year’s event will be the perfect opportunity for an entire family to spend a weekend at Circuit of The Americas.”

For individuals, groups and companies looking to experience the MotoGP race weekend in a special way, Circuit of The Americas™ Official program, Circuit of The Americas Experiences , is offering racing enthusiasts a turn-key elevated race weekend experience to the Circuit’s 2014 MotoGP event.

________________________________________________
Source: RoadRacingWorld (AP,11/26)

I Saw, I Pinned, I Conquered, Part Two

When we finished our basement, my one requirement was a really nice laundry room. If my washer and dryer have to be in the basement, I want them to be in a nice room. I also wanted my laundry room to serve as a craft/wrapping room too, so I was on the lookout for storage to go in it. Everything I found that was new was pretty expensive, so, of course, I turned to Pinterest and found tons of refinished pieces. 
The dressing table was free from a friend of a friend (thanks Sarah and Amy!). After a good sanding, several coats of gray paint, new knobs and inexpensive scrapbook paper inside the windows on the drawers, it went from plain to pizzazz!. 

I also wanted some cute wall decor that wouldn’t cost a lot, and found that someone on Pinterest had taken plain canvases and wrapped them in fabric. Instead of canvases, I found the canvas frames at Michael’s for cheap (around $2-3 per frame) and covered in fabric (found in the discount bin for $1.99 a yard). Voila! Instant wall art for just a few dollars. 

The Lipstick League – Week of 4.11.17

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Chicken Alfredo Pizza

One of my favorite pasta dishes I like to make is my homemade chicken Alfredo (check out the original recipe here). I was going to make it last night again, but decided to mix it up a little bit. Since we’ve been eating more low-carb meals, I swapped out the pasta for a thin pizza crust. My hubby had found this amazing recipe for thin crust pizzas made on the grill and so we combined the two recipes. AMAZING! The Alfredo sauce made for a perfect pizza sauce and combined with the chicken, veggies and lots of mozzarella cheese, it was super delicious. The pizza dough sounds like a lot of work, but it’s actually pretty easy and you can double or triple the recipe and freeze the extra crusts. 


Chicken Alfredo Pizza
Homemade Alfredo Sauce (recipe here) **Double the sauce up and freeze the extras for another meal
Thin-Crusted Pizza Crusts (see recipe below) **Double the recipe and freeze the extras
1 large onion cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 package fresh mushrooms
1 or 2 large chicken breasts, diced
2 cups mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
oregano

Saute the chicken with salt, pepper and oregano until no longer pink. Add in the onions and mushrooms and cook until soft. 

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F). 

Lay the dough on the cooking grate, with the paper side facing up. Grab one corner of the paper with tongs and peel it off. Grill over direct medium heat until they are marked on the underside, 2 to 3 minutes, rotating the crusts occasionally for even cooking. Don’t worry if the crusts bubble; they will deflate when turned over. Transfer the crusts to the back of a baking sheet, with the grilled sides facing up.

Spread about ½ cup of the Alfredo sauce across each pizza crust, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. Arrange the onions, mushrooms and chicken over the sauce. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Transfer the pizzas from the baking sheet to the cooking grate. Grill until the crusts are crisp and the cheese is melted, 4 to 5 minutes, rotating the crusts occasionally for even cooking. Sprinkle with more oregano. Transfer to a cutting board. Cut into wedges. Serve warm.

Thin-Crusted Pizza Dough
Adapted from Weber’s Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance

1 envelope active dry yeast
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
¾ cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
2-½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium bowl combine the yeast and sugar with the warm water. Stir once and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Add 2-½ cups of the flour, 3 tablespoons of olive oil, and the salt. Stir until the dough holds together. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn the ball to cover the surface with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 1-½ hours. Punch down the dough in the bowl. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Cut parchment paper into 9-inch squares and lightly oil each sheet of paper on one side. Roll or press the dough flat on the oiled side of the paper into circles about 8 inches in diameter, leaving the dough a little thicker at the edge than in the middle. Then lightly oil the top side of the dough. At this point, the crusts are ready to grill or can be frozen to be used later.

Ulta The Gorgeous Hair Event Day 6 Deals are Live (Tips, New Makeup Deals and What I’m Buying)

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Victory Motorcycles CORE Concept Bike Motorcycle USA

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Nordstrom Mascara Madness Event is Live (Important Tips and Reminders!)

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QVC’s Authentic Gourmet Butter Croissants Review

Croissants from France


Shipped in a Styrofoam Box with Dry Ice


This is a review of croissants offered by QVC from a company called Authentic Gourmet. They are made in France and shipped to your doorstep. I have been buying them for several years. They have had many different types over the years including whole wheat, lemon filled, raspberry filled and chocolate filled. They offer three sizes mini, classic and large. Currently they are only offering the regular and chocolate filled. Here’s your choices of the regular croissant:
  1. 20 Large for $39.00, M56345 or A/D M57119, 2.64 lbs., $1.95 each 
  2. 25 Large for $49.00, M51595, 3.3 lbs., $1.96 each 
  3. 30 Classic for $39.84, M55864, 2.76 lbs., $1.38 each 
  4. 40 Large for $59.00, M56367, 5.28 lbs., $1.47 each
  5. 48 Large for $66.00, M54348, 6.3 lbs., $1.37 each
  6. 50 Large for $64.00, M51596, 6.6 lbs., $1.28 each
  7. 60 Large for $79.00, M56369, 7.92 lbs., $1.31 each
  8. 65 Classic for $65.34, M54578, 5.73 lbs., $1.00 each
The pricing and sizes can be confusing, just look at all the choices! Note that shipping is free. I have calculated the number of croissants versus the weight to figure out which ones are the largest to help you out. Also, I calculated the price per croissant. Number three and number eight on the list are the medium sized croissants called classic. The rest are the largest size which are good for making sandwiches. When I first ordered them they were all large enough to make into sandwiches. Then they started sending smaller ones that weren’t big enough to make into sandwiches, but not small enough to be mini. The ones I purchased that are shown in the above photo are number one on the list, considered to be the largest size. I do not recommend ordering them when your weather is warm or hot. Stick to the cool and cold months of the year to have them shipped. If you have them shipped during the warm or hot months of the year they will arrive with the dry ice melted and the croissants will be partially defrosted and stuck together in one huge clump. QVC will refund your money, but no one wants to be disappointed and it’s such a waste. As soon as they arrive I recommend that you remove them from the bag and place them neatly stacked in a freezer ziplock bag. Then place them in the freezer as quickly as possible. The plastic bag they ship them in isn’t very sturdy and too large.

To cook them simply preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place the croissants on a baking sheet with either parchment paper or foil. Rub the side of a stick of butter on the foil and then place the frozen croissant on top. Note above what the top side of the frozen croissant looks like. The bottom side has the end piece of the dough, you’ll want to make sure that is resting on the baking sheet to ensure that the croissant puffs up to it’s full potential. Once the oven is preheated, place it in the oven and cook for 25-27 minutes. Do not open the door during the cooking process. I use a KitchenAid Countertop Convection Oven that was a QVC TSV and preheat it for three minutes. There’s no need to use a regular sized oven unless you are cooking a lot of them at once. You’ll want to make only as many as you plan to eat right away since they are best served warm. I recommend adding just a bit of KerryGold Irish Butter and some French preserves from Bonne Maman. They can both be found at Costco. If you are going to make it into a sandwich, you’ll want to let it cool a bit before cutting it in half. Be sure to use a bread knife so that the croissant doesn’t fall apart when cutting it. If you try to cut it prior to it cooling it will lose it’s puffiness and it’s more likely to fall apart. Don’t think only lunch sandwiches with deli meat, remember egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches are also a delight. 

If you have been as fortunate as myself and have had the joy of eating a croissant in France, you’ll know what I mean when I say the French make them taste so much better. You’ll also know that their chocolate croissants are much less sweet than the American version and that they use less chocolate. For those of you who have only had American chocolate croissants, don’t expect that super sweet candy like flavor. These have more of a hint of chocolate that is light on the sugar. 

I highly recommend you give these delightfully scrumptious croissants a try soon! There is nothing like a freshly baked croissant right out of the oven made by the French! I’m sure you’ll be be telling me “merci beaucoup” for the recommendation after giving these a taste. Bon Appétit! 

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh – $40 off
Home Chef – $30 Off
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Julep – 12 Free Nail Polishes
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Two New Sephora Deals You Need to Know About (And Deluxe Freebie Codes to Go with Them)

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Spotted: New CoverGirl 2017 Products for Lips, Face and Eyes (New Too Faced Melted Dupe?)

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XLCR Reborn – Jamesville Shovelhead Cafe Racer



Back in 1977 Harley Davidson unveiled their American cafe racer, the XLCR Sportster. On paper and in the flesh the bike was certainly appealing. It was draped in black, had a unique siamese exhaust system, was powered by a torquey 997cc v-twin and wore bodywork unlike any other Harley. Unfortunately the press slammed the bikes performance and poor sales resulted in it becoming a rather famous flop for the Milwaukee manufacturer. Despite all of these factors the XLCR has become an iconic model in HD history and today they fetch high prices at auction. Not having ever ventured in to cafe racer territory before James Roper-Caldbeck of ‘Jamesville Motorcycles’ in Copenhagen used the XLCR as his inspiration, but paid careful attention to not repeat Harleys mistakes.




“Last year I received a rather sheepish email asking if there was any way I would ever build a café racer” recalls James. James’ portfolio is almost entirely made up of Harley Davidson builds with Chopper and Bobber styling being his usual forte. For an outsider it might seem that he is set in his ways, but when the opportunity presented itself, he was more than willing to take it on.

“It can sometimes become a little monotonous always building bobbers and choppers so I gladly said yes. I have always loved the XLCR 1000 and that bike became my inspiration, right down to how we photographed it.”



Rather than heading down the same route as the XLCR and using a Sportster as the starting point James opted to use a 1974 Harley Davidson FX Shovelhead. “I found a fairly stock FX that had an S&S 80 cubic inch motor and a 5 speed transmission, which is very nice.”

With a powerful donor selected James started penning down some ideas. “To be honest I had no idea what I was doing when it came to building a Café Racer, but I knew I wanted it black with a fairing and for it to look F#CKING mean!”



The build began with the bikes new bodywork. Influenced by the design of Super GP bikes James fabricated an entirely new seat pan and tail from scratch, integrating a Triumph tail light at the rear and mounting it as high as possible on the frame. Surprisingly his front fairing was an aftermarket unit sourced on Ebay. James purchased the unit unsure if it was going to fit his headlight, but much to his surprise it was the perfect fit. For the fuel tank he decided the stock unit looked right for the build and so he stuck with it. “Everyone always asks what it’s from and are shocked when I tell them!” jokes James.



To get the bike sitting right James designed a Progressive shock and spring package that lowers the front end and raises the rear, creating a more aggressive riding position. Taking cues from his favourite Ducati exhaust set up he handbuilt a 2-into-1 system that runs high before exiting beside the tail. Two well placed heat shields sufficiently protect the rider from burns (tried and tested by the man himself) and the hotdog muffler lets everyone know to make plenty of room as the Shovelhead approaches.



With loads of power on tap and a great suspension set up James knew he’d need to upgrade the bikes woeful stock brakes for it to be worthy of its cafe racer status. Using a configuration similar to the XLCR that inspired the build he mounted a set of twin drilled discs up front and a drilled disc with custom mounted, daisy chained twin calipers at the rear. Due to the Harley’s dimensions it still runs mid controls, but they are custom made units that keep the rider’s feet up high for improved cornering clearance.



Taking a measly 5 weeks to complete James finished the bike using a paint scheme inspired by 80s and 90s GP Super Bikes. Touches of XLCR can also be seen on the engine where black has been liberally applied to those distinct Shovel shaped heads, the lower barrels, oil bag and various covers. Then to liven up the monotone theme touches of red were added to the seat and front fairing.

Knowing full well that Harley’s aren’t often the first choice for cafe racer conversions,  James has done his best to create a bike with the right look and performance to be worthy of the title. “I’m not sure how the Café racer guys will like this” says James. “But I can tell you it’s awesome to RIDE!” 


JAMESVILLE MOTORCYCLES

Photography by Mark Dexter of THE LAB Copenhagen

First published by returnofthecaferacers

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review – February 2018

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Feel the Love



This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box for only $10 from Sephora. There are several different boxes they send out each month, but each one includes five samples and usually a perfume sample. The one I received has a retail value of $29.13. That’s one of the lowest retail values I’ve received so far. Included in this month’s box were the following products:

  1. Sephora – Rouge Matte Lipstick in Rebel Chic, made in Italy, .035 oz., $2.45 sale price, $4.37 retail value
  2. Lancôme – Monsieur Big Mascara, made in France, .06 fl. oz., $4.54 retail value
  3. Sephora – Cream Lip Stain in Always Red, made in Italy, .04 fl. oz., $3.31 retail value
  4. First Aid Beauty – Ginger & Tumeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask, made in the USA, .75 oz., $6.00 retail value
  5. Belif – Moisturizing Eye Bomb, made in Korea, .17 fl. oz., $9.71 retail value
  6. Viktor & Rolf – Flowerbomb, made in France, .04 fl. oz., $1.20 retail value

    I’m disappointed they sent me two lipsticks and both from their brand and that the retail value of this box is quite low compared to previous boxes. Plus, they have sent me the Always Red Lip Stain in a previous box. I don’t wear bright red lipstick, so that will be placed in my blog sale box. Not to mention the lip stain is on sale and sold out. The point of these samples is to find products we want to buy the full size of, so if it’s sold out then we can’t purchase it! I always enjoy receiving Lancôme products, but I have quite a few mascaras already waiting to be used. Since mascaras dry out once you open them, it will be awhile before I get a chance to sample that one. I also enjoy receiving products from First Aid Beauty. The mask is suppose to comfort and brighten stressed out skin. That is certainly my skin after having pneumonia for two weeks and not having the energy to do anything other than wash it. It has a cooling effect and it’s easy to apply since it has a jelly consistency. It’s suppose to be left on only ten minutes. I put it on while writing this post and it has really sunk into the skin. It’s not laying on the top like most masks do. It takes just a little bit, so the .75 oz trial size shall last quite a while. It can be applied up to three times a week. It put some moisture into my skin which I needed. Since it’s so easy and quick to apply and it’s not hard to wash off, I can see myself using it three times a week. I also like the Belif brand, so I’m happy to receive an eye moisturizer from them. It has a botanical formula that is suppose to give the skin around the eyes a firmer appearance. It will take quite a few uses to see if it helps. My main problem is puffiness. It has a gel consistency with a bit of a cooling effect and it sinks into the skin well. Having been ill for two weeks, scents really irritate me, so today is the first time in two weeks I’ve used a perfume. I’m still not 100%, so it’s a bit difficult to rate a perfume at this point. Flowerbomb is suppose to be warm & spicy with notes of jasmine, orange blossom and patchouli. I mostly smell a spicy patchouli scent which I’m not crazy about. The Sephora Matte Lipstick in Rebel Chic has a dark red wine color and it doesn’t feel dry on the lips which is rare for a matte lipstick. It’s a nice color for fall and winter. It has quite a bit of staying power. After I had a snack, it was still in place.

    My favorite items in this month’s box are the Belif Eye Bomb and the First Aid Beauty Mask. I don’t have a large stash of eye creams and I’m always up to trying another mask, plus they have the highest retail values. I’ll be using everything in the box except the perfume and the bright red lip stain. One of the reasons I have stayed subscribed to this cosmetic subscription box the longest is because of the high quality brands they always send and the low price of $10. While some months I’m annoyed at what they sent, overall it is my current favorite. What’s your favorite cosmetic subscription box?
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    Mr. Rebates – 4% cash back for online Sephora purchases! 
    Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to see what I have received in my previous twenty-one boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. Don’t forget to follow this blog via Facebook so you don’t miss any of my future posts.

    Be a pal and share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking their boxes here: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

    Have a PEACEful Day!

    What’s Your Thing Chicken Wing?

    I love chicken wings almost as much as I love pizza. I found raw chicken wings on sale at Kroger the other week and so I decided to make our own at home. 

    My favorite chicken wings are the garlic Parmesan and chipolte BBQ dust from Buffalo Wild Wings and so I looked up a copycat recipes online. I could only find the garlic parm recipe, so that’s what I went with. I didn’t want to fry the wings to keep somewhat healthy and so I also found a recipe for baked chicken wings that are just as crispy at their fried counterparts. 

    They turned out so good!! Almost exactly like BW3s and a little better for you since they were baked 🙂 Though it sounded really weird, the boiling the wings did make them nice and crispy in the oven. 

    BW3s Parmesan Garlic Chicken Wings
    Adapted from Fifteen Spatulas and Epic Porportions

    Parmesan Garlic

    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

    – See more at: http://www.epicportions.com/2009/02/25/buffalo-wild-wings-recipes/#sthash.U2dZZeQO.dpuf


    1 to 2 lbs chicken wings

    1/2 cup butter, melted
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon onion salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
    1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

    armesan Garlic

    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

    – See more at: http://www.epicportions.com/2009/02/25/buffalo-wild-wings-recipes/#sthash.U2dZZeQO.dpuf


    Heat up a big pot of boiling water. Season the water like you would for cooking pasta.
     

    Boil the chicken wings for 7-8 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack so the excess water can drain off. 

    Let them drip dry a little bit, then dry them well with a paper towel.
     

    Season the chicken wings lightly with salt (though if you salted the boiling water enough, it won’t need much, if any). Place the chicken wings directly on a sheet pan. Bake the chicken wings for 30 minutes on one side, then flip the wings and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side.

    Combine the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl, add the cooked chicken wings and coat well. Serve immediately. 

    armesan Garlic

    • 1/2 cup butter, melted
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
    • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

    – See more at: http://www.epicportions.com/2009/02/25/buffalo-wild-wings-recipes/#sthash.U2dZZeQO.dpuf


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    Chocolate croissants aka my husband knows the way to my heart


    Several weekends ago, I not only got a weekend away with my girlfriends, but I came home to two happy (and alive) kids, a pretty clean house and chocolate croissants, my all-time favorite pastry. These were not only super delicious, they were clean and all-natural too!

    Quick story about my love for croissants…when I was in my first trimester pregnant with Liesl, we went on a company trip to St. Thomas. Unfortunately, I was sicker than a dog and sustained myself on chocolate croissants alone. No lie.

    Anyway, I LOVE them! I recently bought Matt his dream kitchen tool, a KitchenAid mixer and he used it to make these delectable treats. He said they weren’t too difficult to make, but did take a long time to prepare. Just don’t get overwhelmed by the length of the recipe; the author gives VERY detailed instructions!

    If you ever want me to love you forever (or want to try them for yourselves 😉 here’s the recipe:

    Chocolate Croissants
    from Baking Illustrated

    Dough
    3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
    1 tablespoon instant yeast
    1/4 cup (1 3/4 oz) sugar
    1 1/4 teaspoons salt
    1 1/4 cups cold whole milk
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

    Butter Square
    3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    8 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped 
    1 large egg, lightly beaten (for egg wash)  
    To make the dough: In a medium bowl, whisk 2 3/4 cups of the flour with the yeast, sugar and salt. Add the milk to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the dry ingredients and turn to the mixer to low, beating until the dough comes together in a rough ball, about 4 minutes.
     

    Add the pieces of butter and continue kneading until the butter is completely incorporated, about 5-6 minutes. The dough will still be sticky, but should form a rough ball and mostly clear the sides of the bowl (if you make bread regularly, this dough will be more sticky than you’re used to and won’t clear the sides of the bowl as fully as a typical yeast bread). If it’s too sticky, add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.

    Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap.
     
    Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
     

    To make the butter square: Place the pieces of butter on your work surface and sprinkle the flour over the top of them.
     

    Use a bench scraper to smear the butter/flour mixture back and forth against the work surface.
     

    Continue until the mixture is uniform and smooth. Gather in a piece of plastic wrap and shape into a 7-inch square.
     

    Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
     

    Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Roll into an 11-inch square, lifting and turning as you go to make sure the dough isn’t sticking. Place the chilled butter square diagonally in the center of the dough.

    Lift each of the four corners of the dough up and over the butter square.
     

    It’s fine if they don’t meet exactly, just pinch them together to seal completely.

    Use your rolling pin to gently tap the dough, starting in the center and going outward, until square gets larger and the butter begins to soften slightly. Roll the dough into a 14-inch square, flouring your work surface and rolling pin as necessary to ensure the dough isn’t sticking. (no idea why I chose to roll it diagonally over my parchment…)
     
    Fold one side of the dough to the center and then bring the other side up and over it – basically, you’re folding the dough like you would a business letter. This is also called a “turn” of the dough.
     

    Complete a second turn by folding the top half of the dough down to the center and then bringing the bottom up and over it.

    Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.

    Repeat the process above (roll into a 14-inch square and fold like a business letter twice) to complete 2 more turns of the dough. Again, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours.
     
    Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, and roll into a 20-inch square (flour as necessary to make sure it’s not sticking). Cut the dough into 4 equal 10-inch squares.
     

    Cut each of those squares into 3 rectangles (about 10 x 3 1/4-inches each) – you should have a total of 12 rectangles.
     

    Add about 1 tablespoon (about 1/2-oz) of chopped chocolate to the center of each rectangle.
     

    Fold the top of the rectangle over the chocolate and down to the center, then lift the bottom up and over it (again, we’re folding it like it’s a business letter).
     

    Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, seam-side down. Try to keep the croissants horizontal as you move them so the chocolate doesn’t spill out the sides. Also, you can see on mine I have a little flap sticking out the side – that flap will get bigger as the croissants rise and puff so you can try to hide it under the croissant a little better than I did to avoid that.

    Loosely cover the croissant with plastic wrap and let them rise at room temperature for 45-60 minutes, or until they’re puffy (they won’t necessarily double in size). While they’re rising, preheat oven to 400 F with racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven.
     
    Brush the croissants with the egg wash then bake for 18-22 minutes, or until they are golden brown, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the halfway point. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the croissants cool for at least 20 minutes before serving. They’re best warm, but will keep for a few days at room temperature if tightly wrapped. I zapped mine for 15-ish seconds in the microwave on the 2nd day to enjoy it warm.

    Flat Belly Diet – Chicken Roulade

    This is another recipe from the Flat Belly Diet that was delish! The kids even chowed down! It would also make a great dinner party dish. It looks pretty plated up, yet is so easy! One serving equals under 400 calories, so it not only looks good and tastes good, it’s good for you!

    Chicken Roulade
    Adapted from Prevention.com

    1/4 cup finely chopped onion
    2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    1/3 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
    1 tablespoon water
    1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated parmesan cheese
    2 tablespoons chopped tomatoes

    1 package frozen spinach
    4 chicken breasts (about 4 ounces each), trimmed 

    In a medium nonstick skillet, combine the tomato, onion, 1 teaspoon oil, garlic, red-pepper flakes, and 1 tablespoon water. Turn the heat to medium. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the onion sizzles. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring once, for about 3 minutes, or until softened. Add in spinach and parm cheese and let simmer on low.
    While you prepare the spinach mixture, grill the chicken until done. Serve the grilled chicken breasts with the spinach mixture on top, sprinkled with more parm cheese if you like.
     


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    ‘Snipe’ Yamaha SR400 – Old Empire Motorcycles


    The Snipe. A well camouflaged but otherwise nondescript bird that is native to the old world. But for such a seemingly average little fellow, it has sure inspired a hell of a lot of things to be named in its honour. The dictionary defines a ‘snipe’ as the act of ‘making a sly or petty verbal attack.’ That act is named after the military tactic of ‘sniping’, or shooting at the enemy over a long distance. This in turn took its name from the difficulties involved in hunting the bird with a rifle as its flight patterns are erratic, making it almost impossible to hit ‘on the wing’. But most importantly to this story, the bird also gave its name to the Sopwith Snipe, the replacement aircraft to the now famous Camel. And while it’s service began only a few short weeks before the end of WWI, it was renown for its rate of climb and manoeuvrability. Now fast forward to South Eastern England in 2016, where to likely lads with a fascination for old British aircraft have decided to build themselves a custom motorcycle…


    “Our last thumper was the ‘Osprey’ which was based on a Suzuki GN400,” says Old Empire’s Alec. It proved quite the hit with the British public and off the back of that particular build, the boys had an enquiry about building something similar but unique in its own right. They decided, as they have done with other builds, to start with a new donor motorcycle so they could focus on improving the aesthetics and upgrading the components rather than restoring worn, broken or just plain skanky bits. Nowadays, the SRs are the only real big, air-cooled singles that builders can get new. And with the experience the boys had working with older SRs, they knew their way around it.


    To get all important ‘stance’ sorted, the forks were shaved and lowered by an aggressive 3 inches – an act which also necessitated modding the yokes. “They were our first set of 3D-machined upper and lower yokes, and they were created specifically for this project with a 1″ offset to keep the fork travel sensible and to help us get that line.” After looking around for suitable bars and coming up unimpressed, they sketched up some custom examples. The final product is made in three parts; they are fully adjustable and are screwed into position then locked off; an idea intended to imitate the ‘sleeved and brazed’ bars of old.

    “To set them off we couldn’t just use any old switch gear, and again after looking around and seeing some really nice, functional and aesthetically pleasing pieces of engineering, none would really suit. The idea behind these mark 1 versions is a blend of the shapely old Japanese switch gear with newer push-button functionality. “I’m all for minimalism,’ says Alec. “If we can get away with no switches at all, then that is probably the best option. However, if the bike is intended to be a daily rider, then we’ve learnt to make them as useful and usable as we can.”


    With help from their mate Willy, some foam models were shaped for the front cowling, rear section, and tank. It was soon realised that the new tank’s design almost exactly replicated the profile of the original tank, just shifted forward and lower. “So we took the original tank, scalloped it and moved it to suit the lines, and then a new aluminium version was slowly wheeled, hammered and welded into shape.”


    The front cowling took inspiration from classic aviation and automobile designs that recessed a vinyl-covered dash above a smoked visor. The dash houses all the warning lights, a mini speedo and a tacho. The headlight is a simple Bates unit, while the rear cowling is made to be removed, revealing a small pillion seat. “The seat’s design came from the idea that we wanted something slim, but with a gap down the middle under which we’d mount the electrics.” The fuel tank also benefited from all the internals being moved, as it was a lot easier to fit it properly. Then one of Old Empire’s custom-made fuel caps was added into the mix. Nearby, a simple aluminium cover hides the injection unsightlies and the ignition switch has been relocated in another vinyl-covered panel under the airbox.


    The only work done on the frame was to carefully remove the rear rails at a specific point. Then aluminium extensions that integrate the rear LED lights were machined and slotted into place.“The effect is really minimal, but you can see the lights a mile off!” Road-worthy legalities were taken care of in the form of small Motogadget indicators mounted front and back alongside a rolled black and silver tin number plate mounted low and tight. The Tyres were changed to a more aggressive (but still quite classic) pair of Dunlop K70s. “At the back-end we run a smart-looking set of Ketch Bullet shocks. Usually reserved for bigger twins, a little tinkering and tweaking got them working for the lighter SR and allowed a visual match with the front forks, too.


    A simple stainless exhaust was order of the day. “It’s short, it’s loud and it took quite some work to get the bike to perform properly and sound decent – but with the right baffles, we got there in the end.” Then all the unnecessary intake and exhaust gizmos and gadgets were duly removed and the ignition was upgraded with a Power Commander unit. The airbox was then drilled and the intake ducting was removed to free up space and improve airflow.


    The air box and electrical covers were ditched and then machined wooden formers were used to press and mould the satchel’s leather side panels. “We are well-known for our leather work, and the Snipe deserved some nice touches; so our machined and laser cut leather grips, pegs, kick starter and foam-moulded knee pads all got some attention, as did the seat which is specially prepared and hand-dyed to get just the right colour.”


    The final piece of the puzzle was the coatings. A lovely drop of Jaguar E-type grey was gilded with gold pinstriping and some airbrushed shading ties everything together perfectly. Other neat little details include machined and finned brake calipers, a custom Harrison floating brake disc, upgraded rear sprockets and chain, an oil temperature filler cap and some very nice K-tech brake and clutch levers. All up, you’d have to admit it’s one very original Snipe. We can only hope that this particular example chooses to migrate close-by us this summer. Anyone got some bird seed?


    14th Hello Fresh Meal Kit Review & $30 Coupon

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    Lobster Ravioli with Tomatoes & Tarragon Cream Sauce


    Ingredients

    Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sausage & Orange Wedges


    Ingredients


    Blackened Fish Tacos with Caramelized Pineapple & Red Cabbage Slaw


    Ingredients


    This is a review of our 14th delivery from a food subscription box called Hello Fresh. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars, one recipe four stars and one recipe three stars. Calories ranged from 530 to 770 and preparation time indicated on the recipe cards ranged from thirty minutes to thirty-five minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from thirty-three to forty-six minutes. 

    Lobster Ravioli with Tomatoes & Tarragon Cream Sauce

    When I saw they were offering Lobster Ravioli I just had to order a box for that week! I love ravioli and lobster ravioli is hard to find in my area. Not only does this meal kit offer lobster, but also shrimp, yum! We gave this recipe five out of five stars. It was scrumptious! Definitely a crave worthy recipe! The sauce made with tarragon, sour cream, butter, salt and pepper was delicious. It was a healthy portion that was filling. It has 620 calories and preparation time indicated is thirty-five minutes. Actual preparation time was thirty-three minutes. If they offer this recipe again, I’ll be sure to order it.

    Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sausage & Orange Wedges

    We gave the sausage five stars and the pancakes three stars for a rating of four stars out of five. The photo above doesn’t show the actual sausage we were sent because the eggs were bad, so we just ate the sausage that night. Later we bought some replacement eggs and Hubby made the pancakes and added some Publix ground sausage. The sausage they sent was so tasty. We weren’t crazy about the addition of ricotta cheese to the pancakes. It was just a bit odd and it made the pancakes heavy instead of fluffy. We made lemon pancakes before and we prefer them without ricotta cheese, but instead fresh blueberries, so much tastier. Really surprising that this recipe comes in at only 530 calories and yet it was very filling. Preparation time on the recipe cards states thirty-five minutes. 

    Blackened Fish Tacos with Caramelized Pineapple & Red Cabbage Slaw

    I love fish tacos, so I had to order this recipe. We gave it only three stars though. It needed some more cajun spice and more pineapple. I like how the recipe caramelized the pineapple so it was a sweeter flavor and less tart. This way it didn’t overwhelm the other flavors in the taco. It was a healthy portion at it came in at 770 calories. Preparation time indicated is thirty minutes while actual preparation time was forty-six minutes.

    We really enjoyed this week of recipes from Hello Fresh and only one item went bad during shipping. Unfortunately, they place the eggs at the top of the box far from the ice packs. All of the meal kit companies I’ve purchased from do the same. Fortunately, eggs are very inexpensive to replace. I’m sure they will give me a store credit for them when I send an email as they have done so in the past. We also enjoyed that the actual cooking times were quite low compared to the competition. Have you given Hello Fresh a try yet? If so, what has your experience been like? If not, what’s keeping you from giving this service a try? Snag my coupon below for $30 off your first box and give it a try today! The coupon would make your first box cost only $39 including shipping and handling. Skipping future week’s boxes is easy to do right on their website.

    Bargain Alert:

    Hello Fresh – $30 off
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    Have a PEACEful Day!



    Final Reminder: Beauty Brands 21-Piece Spring Beauty Bag

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    Ipsy Subscription Box Review – November 2017

    Ipsy – November 2017


    Recently I noticed that Ipsy has stepped up their game giving subscribers more high end brands, so I decided to subscribe again after a four year break. I looked it up and I was shocked it had been that long, but as I age I’ve noticed that time goes by so much faster. After signing up, I changed my profile in hopes of not receiving items that I don’t want. I really like to receive eye shadow, blush and lipstick. I prefer not to receive hair care products or nail polish because I’m particularly picky and I’m very loyal to my favorite brands, Wen, Julep & OPI. I definitely do not want bronzers or self tanners since they don’t look natural on my fair skin. My profile changes seemed to help since I managed to receive blush, eye shadow and lip gloss, so I’m happy. What I’m not happy about is that the teaser email they sent me to lure me into resubscribing showed five products I would enjoy receiving yet I only received one of them, the Tarte blush. Only two of the five products I received are brands that I like and recognize. Ipsy has a habit of sending products from new brands that can only be purchased online. As shown above, included in my November bag were the following products:
    1. Tarte – Deluxe Amazonian Clay Twelve Hour Blush in Quirky, made in China, .05 oz., $7.25 retail value
    2. Naked Cosmetics – Mother Nature #06, .05 oz., $14.99 retail value
    3. The White Company – White Lavender Body Lotion, 1.7 oz, $4.00 retail value
    4. Manna Kadar – Lip Locked Gloss Stain in the color All of Me, .052 fl. oz., $7.34 retail value
    5. It Cosmetics – Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream in Fair, made in Korea, .135 oz, $4.75 retail value
    The approximate retail value of all five samples is $38.33 not including the cosmetic bag. Since I only paid $10 including shipping it’s a pretty good value, but not as high as I’ve seen other customers receive lately. They send out several different bags of samples based on customers’ profiles, so values vary each month. 

    I’ve purchased Tarte blush before and while they offer pretty colors, I find I have to be careful to dab very lightly with my brush or I’ll have way too much blush on my brush. It’s a bit unforgiving since it goes on heavy, so I find it’s too fussy for me. I prefer to add more color rather than take away or be so light in my application. While I like it, I tend to grab a different brand from my drawer when I’m in a rush. The eye shadow from Naked Cosmetics is a loose powder. It has a brownish red appearance with fine green glitter. It looks like a duo chrome since it’s changing color as you move. When I blend it out it has more of a reddish brown color with some green glitter. I like it better unblended, so I’m going to try applying it wet for a more bold look. Compared to Bare Essentials loose powder eyeshadows, it’s more chunky and not as finely milled. That’s why I’m more comfortable applying it wet to reduce fall out. The White Company body lotion smells really good. It has scents of lavender, neroli, lemon, basil and vetiver. I smell lemon first followed by the lavender and then basil. I’ve never heard of this brand before yet it’s pricey. It’s based in the United Kingdom with only one store in the US which is located in New Jersey. I’ve also never heard of the brand Manna Kadar. Their lip stain in the color All of Me is a lovely opaque pink color. It feels quite moisturizing on the lips. It wasn’t much of a stain on my lips since it came off when I ate. I’ve purchased It Cosmetics’ foundation in a QVC Today’s Special Value previously. While I like it and it gives pretty good coverage, it’s not my favorite. For me it takes longer to blend in evenly than other brands. Also, it doesn’t feel as natural on my skin as other brands. My current favorite is Josie Maran’s latest foundation offered on QVC in a recent TSV.

    While my November bag has some pretty good offerings, I’m guessing I won’t remain a subscriber very long. I’ll know better after I receive my December bag. Wish me luck! My biggest issue is the brands I don’t recognize which aren’t available for purchase in stores. If you received a bag from Ipsy this month, how many samples were you happy with? If you haven’t subscribed, what’s keeping you from giving it a try?

    Bargain Alert:

    It Cosmetics – 25% off, code “ITFRIEND17” ends 11/18
    Julep – 12 Free Nail Polishes
    Manna Kadar – 20% off, code “IPSY2017” 
    Mr. Rebates – cash back for online purchases 
    Naked Cosmetics – 30% off, code “IPSY30”

    Check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. I just started a Facebook page for this blog.

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    Have a PEACEful Day!


    Some More Fall Crafts Courtesy of Pinterest

    While everyone else has seemed to move onto Christmas, I’m still enjoying Fall and decided to try some autumn-themed decorations I had seen on Pinterest.

    The first was a pumpkin made out of mason jar or canning jar rings. I had about a dozen left over from canning this summer, so had to buy another box. You can find them for around $3 for a dozen at Wal-Mart, a dollar store, Kroger, etc. 

    Lay all the rings out on a piece of cardboard or paper and spray paint with inexpensive orange spray paint (avoid the day-glo orange though!). Flip them over after they dry and paint the other side. Let dry completely, then put them all on a string (all facing the same direction) and tie the string in a knot, arranging the rings into a circle/pumpkin shape. You’ll have to tie a pretty tight knot for it to keep its shape. You can do any number of things for the stem and leaf….I opted to use rolled up burlap and a green ribbon. I’ve also seen them done with a stick and green felt, string, etc.

    Since I had the orange spray paint out already, my second project was another pumpkin, this time made from wine corks. Pull out 25 wine corks, spray paint orange (one side at a time) and glue together in a pumpkin shape using hot glue. Start with four, then five, then six, then five, then four. Again, for the stem and leaf you could do about anything, I used burlap and ribbon.

    Ulta Platinum Members: Check Your Email ASAP (Details, Tips and Ideas)

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    Saving Green Birthday Parties

    For my kiddos birthday parties, I utilized some awesome decor ideas I had found on Pinterest and online that saved me some green. 
    I used inexpensive cardstock, scrapbook paper and ribbon and twine to make birthday banners. I printed out the letters on my computer and cut them out to save even more money, but you could find cheap chip letters at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. Check out the tutorial here.
    For Liesl’s party, I created a pretty, girly background with three plastic tablecloths. (Here’s that tutorial) I also made my own tissue paper pom poms. (Tutorial here) 
    For the table and other decor, I ended up choosing themes where I had a lot of the toys/props I could use. For Gavin’s barnyard party, I used all his tractors, farm animals, etc. For Liesl’s My Little Pony party, we pulled out all her ponies to use as table decor. 
     All in all, both parties turned out great. Clean food and green saving decor made for happy guests, very happy birthday boy and girl and a happy Momma 🙂

    Ulta is Having a MAC Flash Sale Tomorrow (5/1)

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    Merry Christmas to You and Yours!!

    From my family to yours, Merry Christmas!

    (UPDATED) Mid-Week Beauty Deal Round-Up

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    24 Days of Deals from Julep

     

    The countdown to Christmas is on and Julep has 24 days of deals to unwrap! Discover sweet new surprises, treats & gift ideas for the next 24 days. Let the magic begin! See what’s new today. 

    Day 1: 

    Stars of the Show, Best Sellers 3-Piece Set, $54 retail value for only $16*. All products are full-size. Shipping is free for Mavens.
    Set includes:

    • Take a Breather Oxygen Nail Treatment in Sheer Pink 0.27 fl oz, 8 mL, $18.00 retail value
    • When Pencil Met Gel Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Blackest Black, Matte Carbon Black 0.04 oz, 1.2 g, $16 retail value
    • It’s Whipped Matte Lip Mouse in Ooh La La, Sepia Taupe Matte 0.14 oz, 4.1 g, $20.00 retail value

    I have reviewed the Oxygen Nail Treatment in Sheer Pink before when it was included in the QVC’s Julep TSV. I highly recommend it especially for when you are in a rush and you want a quick manicure. Check out my manicure using it:

    It’s very forgiving, so you can apply it very quickly. It’s perfect for in between your favorite nail colors. Sometimes your nails chip at an inconvenient time and you don’t have much time to polish your nails, but you want to protect them. I always try to keep my nails painted to protect them and this is perfect for the times when I’m too tired or too busy to take much time to paint my nails. You can paint your nails as quickly as a you can apply a top coat because it’s not opaque. Just two coats and you have the perfect French manicure. It’s also perfect for those whose profession restricts nail colors or perfect for a job interview or wedding.

    I just happened to order the same shade of Matte Lip Mouse offered in this set! Out of all the colors that’s the one I picked. This Whipped Matte Lip Mouse is on Oprah’s Favorite Things List for 2017, so I was anxious to give it a try. It has a smooth feeling full of moisture yet it’s matte! Not an easy combination to find. This Ooh La La color is the perfect dusty pink for fall and winter.

    This set is the perfect combination of classic looks from the nails to the eyes and lips and for only $16.00, bargain! That works out to only $5.33 per product when the retail value runs from $16-20 each!

    I have over eighty manicures featured on this blog. Check them all out on my Pinterest Manicure Board. You’ll notice a lot of Julep polishes since they are in my top two. When you see one you like, just click on the photo and it will take you to the matching blog post. I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I’m sure you’ll find something else that interests you.

    Bargain Alert:

    Julep – Not a Maven? Join today & receive a Free 12 Piece Julep Nail Polish Collection! $168 value! 


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    Girls Weekend!



    This past weekend I met my best girl friends in Columbus, Ohio for a weekend away. I’ve known these wonderful ladies for 12 years (since freshman year at OU!) and I am so blessed that we’ve not only maintained our friendship after college, but grown closer over the years.

    They indulged me and let me take pictures of my food throughout the weekend and boy did we eat some amazing things! I did not take pictures of everything, however; since it was girls weekend, we indulged in some not so clean food items (*cough* Cheetos *cough**cough* peanut butter M&Ms…you get the picture 😉 

    Some of the food highlights:

    We ate at Piada (think an Italian Chipolte) and I had my first piada, which is basically an Italian wrap and popular street food in Italy. It was really tasty! I had Italian sausage, Alfredo sauce, onions, tomatoes, cucumber and spinach. Very filling, very fresh and very good!


    For dinner, we ate at Cooper’s Hawk Winery, where I indulged in the Sweet Wine flight (an amazing deal by the way…8 tastes for only $7! And they were generous pours). For my meal, I had the Caesar Pesto Chopped Salad and Thai Chicken flatbread. The food and wine were amazing, the service not so much.

    Bath & Body Works Winter Candle Haul – September 2017

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    Winter, Campfire Donut & Fresh Balsam Three Wick Candles


    Today Bath & Body Works added some of their winter line of candles for sale online and they are available in stores. They weren’t suppose to show up until the end of October, so it’s quite the surprise. They are on sale 2 for $24 and if you use a 20% off coupon then they will only cost $9.60 each. That’s $14.90 off the original price of $24.50. Bargain! This year the labels have a camping theme and the glass is frosted. The lids are antique copper with embossed pine trees and stars. The following winter candles are for sale now:
    1. Winter – orange & fir needle essential oils & notes of clove, returning favorite
    2. Campfire Donut – powdered sugar, glazed donut & cedarwood essential oil, new addition
    3. Fresh Balsam – pine, cedarwood & eucalyptus essential oil, returning favorite
    4. Frosted Cranberry – iced cranberries and orange essential oil, returning
    5. Hot Cocoa & Cream – milk chocolate, steamed milk & nutmeg essential oil, returning favorite
    6. Spiced Apple Toddy – cinnamon & clove essential oils and notes of apple brandy, returning
    7. Flannel – orange peel & patchouli essential oils and notes of soft musk, returning
    1-3 are shown in the photo above. I always purchase Winter & Fresh Balsam every year, they are two of my favorites and must haves. I like to buy a few extra and burn them year round. Nothing like being sick of the hot & humid summer and burning a Fresh Balsam candle and escaping to a cooler mindset. Fresh Balsam is a lovely substitute for the scent of a live Christmas tree. Winter is a lovely, calming scent enjoyed year round, but a must have for winter. Campfire donut is a cross between their Cinnamon Sugared Donut which I absolutely love and the scent of bread baking. I’m not smelling any cedarwood. This one may be a big seller since Cinnamon Sugared Donut was, so stock up if you love it. I’m not a fan of Frosted Cranberry, it smells like a summer scent to me. Hot Cocoa & Cream is a must have! It smells just like a cup of hot cocoa, love it! That one tends to sell out, so stock up early. Spiced Apple Toddy is nice, just not a big fan of that one. Flannel is very masculine, if you enjoy musk then that one is for you. I’m not a fan of musk, so I don’t purchase that one. Later they will be offering some candles in metallic finishes. For a sneak peek, click here.

    So are you ready to purchase your winter candles early this year? I’m afraid that they will sell out early since they are releasing them so early. Makes me a bit worried since I don’t really want to stock up this early. Which ones are your favorites? I’m hoping they come back with Holiday or something like it, it smells like a cinnamon candle from the 70’s. Love that one, it’s my number one favorite. Marshmallow Fireside is also a favorite, but the fall version just doesn’t seem as good as last year’s winter version. We’ve been enjoying my stash of Evergreen candles from last year, another favorite of ours. It smells even better than Fresh Balsam, but really both are must haves for me. They are perfect for when you are sick of summer and want to dream of the holidays and cooler weather. 

    If you purchase something soon, they will give you a coupon booklet with photos of the upcoming winter line and the following coupons:

    Bargain Alert:
    • Now 20% off – online code FALL4FALL, store coupon here.
    • Now until November 12th – Free item of your choice up to $13.50 with $10 purchase, FA175634
    • November 13th until December 24th – $10 off $30, FA175635
    • December 4th until 24th – Free aromatherapy item with aromatherapy purchase, FA175637

    The other coupon in the booklet has a unique one time use code for a free bath fizzy with any body care purchase. 


    Feel free to browse around my blog before you leave. Check out my Bath & Body Works Pinterest Board for links to my other blog posts featuring Bath & Body Works products. Also, you are invited to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs

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    Ulta The Gorgeous Hair Event Day 20 Deals are Live (Plus: Blog Update, What I’m Buying, New Benefit Value Set and Don’t Forget Your It’s A 10 Freebie!)

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    (UPDATE: SOLD OUT) Today’s Ulta Beauty Break Will Sell Out Quickly

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    Today Only, 6/5, Online Only: HOT Ulta Platinum Perks (PS: Don’t Forget Your Deluxe Freebie!)

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    Target May 2017 Beauty Box is Live

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    QVC’s Luminara TSV Review – Set of Three Blown Glass Ornaments with Flameless Candles

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    QVC’s Luminara TSV for July 2017 – Nighttime Look


    Daytime Look


    This is a review of QVC’s Luminara Today’s Special Value (TSV) that aired on July 16th, 2017. I’ve been wanting to order some Luminara flameless candles for a couple of years now, but I felt the prices were just too ridiculous. This value comes in at $15.78 per ornament after shipping and tax which is a pretty good deal. You can still order them, they are only $2.36 more for the set! Lately, the TSVs haven’t been that much of a discount, so if you miss out on one check out the price difference after it airs. You may want to order them after they air, if you regret not having purchased them or you wanted to wait and read reviews to see if they are worth purchasing. Though you may miss out on a color choice, currently the red is no longer available. I had advance knowledge of this TSV, but I didn’t preorder since I was unsure if it was good purchase for me. Once it aired they sold me on them and they had already sold out of the red set which was my number one choice. So I ordered the “Pearl”, it also comes in Icy Blue and Champagne. I had a hard time deciding between the Champagne and Pearl. The pearl is more versatile for me if I want to use them in different rooms, but frankly I think the Champagne is prettier. When they arrived I was a bit disappointed that some of the pearls in the wreath that circle the candle were a bit dented. Close up it’s not perfect, but from the normal distance one would stand it doesn’t appear dented. So my extremely critical self decided it was ok, but felt disappointed. When Hubby arrived home in darkness and they were on he thought they were a real flame and only after getting a closer look was he surprised they weren’t real. They look real to those that don’t know they are flameless in advance. The white plastic, flame shaped piece moves from side to side and then front from to back. This movement can be a bit monotonous. I’m not sure if I prefer flicker candles to this Luminara version yet. The jury is still out. At first I thought wow, this is really great then it seemed like they should vary the pattern of movement after viewing them over several nights. I also heard that the reason the battery life is shorter for Luminara is due to this movement. Check out the movement of these candles on my Instagram video to judge for yourself, click here. What do you think? Since they have such a short battery life, I chose to place them on the off position and use the remote to turn them on when I’m in the living room and watching tv. They are on the mantel on the shelf under our tv. Normally, I would chose the timer setting, but at only 60 hours per battery, I don’t want to spend a fortune on batteries and these are the flat batteries the size of a quarter that are harder to find in stores. Anyone have suggestions on where to buy these batteries for the best price? Each candle comes with three batteries. Also, each candle comes with a remote which is crazy for this price point! It’s nice to have multiple remotes, if you have them in multiple rooms. Our living room is larger than the average, so I have to get off the sofa and step a couple steps forward to get the remotes to work on candles sitting on the mantle across the room. I’ve heard some complain the distance is too short. They would make such wonderful gifts, but I don’t recommend the gift boxes they come with. They aren’t impressive and the gift recipient still has to put it all together after pulling it out of the box which doesn’t give a good impression. I recommend taking it out of the box, tying the bow on it, put the wreath and candle inside the glass ornament and then gift wrap it. It will be so unimpressive otherwise. Their so called gift boxes belong in the trash. The reviews on this one are currently 4 1/2 stars out of five. Initially I would have given it a four stars, but now I’m leaning a bit towards a three since I just can’t stand the battery type and battery life. I’m actually thinking of finding a regular flameless candle tea light which has a longer battery life to replace it. If you are only using them during the holiday season I wouldn’t let battery life deter you. If you’re like me and want to use them year round then battery life may be a deal breaker. What do you think?

    So there you have it, another QVC TSV review for you. I hope you found it helpful. I’m sorry I wan’t able to review it prior to it airing, but lately that’s the way so many of the TSVs that tempt me have been, very little lead time to order prior to airing. What do you think of the slight price difference after the TSV airs? I like it in case I want to order more, but ordering it while it’s a TSV makes me feel like I didn’t get such a great deal. Psychological I’m sure, but still. 

    Bargain Alert:

    Use Mr. Rebates for 1-3% cash back while shopping online @ QVC.

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    Have a PEACEful Day!

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    Grand Opening PokéGo Restaurant Review – Raleigh, NC

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    8107 Creedmoor Road
    Raleigh, NC  27613
    (984) 200-2990

    Exterior View


    Interior Decor


    Menu


    Poke Selections – Base, Proteins, Mix-Ins


    Poke Selections – Toppings


    PokéGo Your Way, My Selections – $13.00


    PokéGo Your Way, Hubby’s Selections – $13.00
    This is a review of a brand new restaurant that opened in Raleigh, North Carolina called PokéGo. It’s located in the Brennan Station shopping center on Creedmoor Road not far from the 540 Creedmoor Road exit. When I was searching for a new restaurant for us to try I was shocked to find out that a new Poké restaurant had just opened. I absolutely love poké, so I was anxious to get there and try it out right away. They are open from 11 am to 9 pm everyday. We arrived last Saturday around 4 pm. There were only a couple of other customers during our visit. Hopefully the word will get out and they will have more customers or perhaps they are busier at other times of the day.

    As shown above, the menu is limited. You can chose from five signature bowls, four noodle dishes or you can chose what you want in your Poké Bowl. They also have edamame, wonton soup and mochi ice cream. Hubby and I both chose the PokéGo Your Way selection. It’s like Chipotle, where you tell them what you want while they place everything in your bowl for you. There are six parts to chose from. For part 1, the base, I started with a layer of zucchini noodles. You can also chose from steamed rice, brown rice, sushi rice or mixed greens. For part 2, you chose your proteins. They use a mini scooper for the poké, so I decided I would need three scoops and ordered the “three proteins”. I chose two salmon and one ahi tuna. You can also chose from yellowtail, shrimp, chicken or tofu. I had to stop the teenage employee from putting the yellowtail in my bowl when I asked for tuna. Part three is the mix-ins. I was told I could only pick two, so I picked green onions and jalapeños. You can also chose from cilantro, edamame, red onions, sweet onions or sesame seeds. For part 4, the sauces, I chose PokeGo Sauce after asking what it tasted like and being given a sample. It’s scrumptious! You can also chose from miso, sriracha aioli, citrus ponzu, classic or sesame soy. For part 5, the toppings, I chose cucumbers and masago (salmon roe). You can also chose from orange slices, shiitake mushrooms, kim chi, seaweed salad, ginger, kani salad or mango. For part 6, crunch, I chose shredded nori (seaweed sheets). You can also chose from garlic crisps, wasabi peas, onions crisps and wonton strips. I also chose a scoop of avocado, but it’s not listed on the menu. As shown above, you can see that my bowl wasn’t close to being full. I really wish I had been given more zucchini noodles. My poké bowl was absolutely scrumptious, but it wasn’t very filling. Hubby’s server was more generous as you can see in the above photo, his bowl was fuller than mine. Hubby chose zucchini noodles, tuna, salmon, shrimp, green onions, jalapeño, cilantro, sriracha aioli and ginger. He was given only three shrimp. He really enjoyed his Poké Bowl too, but was also disappointed he didn’t get more zucchini noodles, so that it would have been a full bowl. Perhaps, if you order rice as your base you would have a full bowl. The employees weren’t consistent, while I was told I could have only two mix-ins, Hubby was offered three. He was also given more noodles. While I understand limiting the expensive items like poké, I don’t see why they limited the quantity of the less expensive ingredients. At $13.00 we expected the bowl to be full and to leave with full bellies. Two proteins costs $10.50. The soft drinks are self serve. 

    While we loved the taste of the food, we felt we didn’t get our money’s worth, left not feeling full and were eating again in only three hours. If we lived closer, I would give them another try and hope that they would be more generous. If they were, I would be a frequent customer since it’s so tasty and healthy. What’s your favorite Asian restaurant in the Triangle? If you know of another restaurant that serves poké in the Triangle, please comment below!

    Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews BoardI invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs. Kindly share this restaurant review blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


    Poke Go Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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    GIVEAWAY – $59.94 Blue Apron Meal Kit

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    a Rafflecopter giveawayThe winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Blue Apron, provide me with their name and email address to give to Blue Apron, provide Blue Apron their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US (not in Hawaii & Alaska). Winner will be sent an email from Blue Apron & simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Blue Apron box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to account info, then chose “manage”  & then “cancel” or to skip future shipments select delivery schedule and chose “skip”. Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. 

    This giveaway is only for those that have never subscribed to Blue Apron before. Please do not enter if you don’t intend to redeem the free box! It’s a limited time offer, so you’ll need to redeem in a timely manner. I have reviewed twenty-two Blue Apron deliveries, so be sure to check those out before you leave. Start with my 22nd delivery. Then check out my Blue Apron Pinterest Board, click on the photo of the recipe that you fancy to see the matching blog post.  Also, check out my Home Chef reviews starting with my 55th delivery. In addition, check out my Hello Fresh reviews starting with my 14th delivery.

    Bargain Alert: 

    Hello Fresh – $40 off
    Home Chef – $30 Off
    Sun Basket – $35 Off

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    Eating Clean 12 Days of Christmas — Christmas Sangria

    Side note…I’m working on moving my blog over to WordPress and getting my own domain name (woohoo!!). I’ll continue to publish here for awhile, but please change your bookmarks to http://www.eatingcleanandsavinggreen.com

    :) 


    It wouldn’t be Christmas without a good cocktail right? 🙂 This one is really easy and really good. Plus, you can make it ahead of time and let the flavors meld together even more. 

    Christmas Sangria
    2 bottles of dry white wine
    half 2 liter of Sprite (use Zevia to keep it totally clean)
    half bottle of cranberry juice

    Mix well and add in whole cranberries or cherries for garnish.

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    Julep’s Peyton Manicure

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    Peyton by Julep


    This is a review of a nail polish from Julep called Peyton. It’s a duo chrome nail polish that I received in my August Julep Subscription Box. Duo chrome polishes are my favorite type of nail polish. Julep describes Peyton as “violet dahlia duo chrome”. It’s part of the Wonder Maven collection and it’s considered a shimmer. The above photo was taken during sunset. This polish appears as a dark purple indoors and it comes alive outdoors. In direct sunlight it reflects a dark purple and as you move your hand in the light it changes to a rich brownish-purple, then to a reddish purple and then into a vibrant gold. The entire time all of the ultra fine glitter lights up and it’s so beautiful! It also has incredible reflection. It’s perfect for fall.

    I applied one coat of Perfect Formula’s Manicure Booster, two coats of Peyton and one coat of Seche Vite Top Coat. I use Manicure Booster since it’s the best base coat I know of on the market today. It keeps the nail polish from chipping longer than any base coat I’ve found. I use the Seche Vite Top coat because it dries so quickly and has an incredible shine. I also think it helps keep the polish from chipping. I usually apply another coat of Seche Vite in a day or two to help it last longer. Peyton has a very good consistency and is opaque. I applied two coats. I’m on day three and I have no chips or tip wear even having done a lot of typing, dishes and dog washing. I’ll update this post when it starts to chip. Julep is one of my favorite brands of nail polish. Which brand is your favorite?
    I have over eighty manicures featured on this blog. Check them all out on my Pinterest Manicure Board. When you see one you like, just click on the photo and it will take you to the matching blog post. I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I’m sure you’ll find something else that interests you.

    Update – I’m right handed so I had a bit of tip wear on the my right hand at day ten. The manicure didn’t chip until day sixteen and that was only on my right index finger. I applied a second coat of Seche Vite a few days after I painted my nails.


    If you haven’t tried out Julep nail polish yet, give their subscription box a try today since you’ll receive a twelve piece nail polish collection for free, link below! 

    Bargain Alert:  

    Julep – Free 12 Piece Julep Nail Polish Collection! $168 value!


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    HOT New Ulta Freebies (One is Free with ANY Order) and Gorgeous Hair Event Day 15 Deals are Live

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    Momma’s Day Out at the Salon All-Natural Style

    Yes, I know this is a blog about clean EATING, but as I’ve learned lately, it’s not just about what you put in your mouth, it’s about what you put on your body as well. Anything we put on our body, from cosmetics to lotions to hair care, can be absorbed through the skin and affect us just as if we ate it. For example, if you’re trying to eat gluten-free, check your lotions because many include gluten (yes really!) and every time you slather some on, your introducing gluten into your system.

    So, on that note, I’ve decided to explore all-natural and clean beauty and health care products. If you have any suggestions on all-natural products you love, please let me know!
     
    I decided to start my health and beauty product search at the salon. I was overdue for a hair cut and color and found a salon in Carmel (Tricology Salon) that uses all organic products, from the hair color to the products. From their website…”The Trichology Design Team is committed to the most advanced natural, organic, safe and effective hair and beauty products.” So I made an appointment with Alex and set out for a day of (overdue) pampering. 

    The experience was great! The salon is super clean, spa-like and relaxing and I loved all the different products Alex used. They all smelled great and made my hair look like a million bucks. Alex also did an amazing job on my cut and color. The highlights were the best I’ve ever had and my cut is so flattering. Plus, she offered me lots of tips and tricks for doing my hair at home as she was going along. She really listened to what I wanted and I am over-the-moon over my new look. I also appreciated that all the products were natural and safe, and they were still able to give me the look I want.

     

    If You Missed the Sephora VIB Sale You May Want to Jump on This (Hurry! Ends Today, 4/29)

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    Zucchini Pizza Crust



    I had pinned a recipe for cauliflower pizza crusts, but had put off trying it because I’m not a big cooked cauliflower fan. Then I found this recipe for zucchini pizza crusts and since I like zucchini and I froze a ton from our garden this summer, I opted to try this one instead. 

    Honestly, I was very leery that it wouldn’t turn out (as was the hubby), but it was super good! You could taste the zucchini, but only a little bit and it gave a similar consistency to a thin crust pizza. Plus, with lots of sauce and cheese, the kids won’t be any wiser 😉 Definitely a keeper; I love that it’s a great low-carb and veggie-full way to eat pizza. 


    Zucchini Pizza Crusts
    4 cups zucchini, shredded
    1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
    1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
    1 egg
    1 teaspoon  oregano or Italian seasoning
    salt and pepper

    Microwave zucchini on high for 6 minutes, let cool and then squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Mix the zucchini, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, oregano, salt and pepper. Press the mixture onto a baking mat or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake at 450 F for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. 

    Top with your favorite sauce, cheese and toppings, and bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.

    Rare Make Up For Ever Sale (Live Now and While Supplies Last)

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    More Pinterest Projects

    Love the burlap rosettes

    I love Fall…love love love love it! I love decorating for Fall more than I love decorating for Christmas. The cooling temps, cozy sweaters, my favorite blue jeans, football (Go Ohio! Go Bengals!), pumpkin patches, hay rides, corn mazes…I just love all of it. 

    My Fall wreath was looking a little tired and old, so I perused Pinterest looking for something else I could do. I came across a lot of burlap (I also love me some burlap!) and felt rosettes. I decided to come up with my own version. I think it turned out pretty stinkin’ cute! I love the subtle Fall colors, the rusticness of the burlap and twigs and sweetness of the rosettes. You can find the tutorial on the rosettes here and how to make a burlap bow here.

    The door from the garage into the house enters into my office. I was super sick of how disgusting the white door got from us going in and out all the time, so I decided to paint the door with chalkboard paint. Now the kids can draw all over it and it’s also a metal door, so they can hang pictures and artwork up on it too. No more nasty fingerprints and black marks!!

    Green Chef 8th Delivery & Coupon for Four Free Organic Dinners

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    Caraway Meatballs, Braised Fennel, Cabbage, Parsnip & Rosemary


    Ingredients


    Chicken Fajita Salad, Bell Pepper & Creminis with Cilantro Lime Dressing


    Ingredients


    Fennel Mustard Tuna, Cauliflower, Sauce Vierge, Kale & Pine Nuts


    Ingredients


    This is a review of a weekly organic meal kit called Green Chef. Each week they  offer the choice of the following menus: Keto, Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Omnivore and Carnivore. They also offer the Omnivore and Carnivore in a larger size for a family with enough for four rather than two. We chose Keto this week since Hubby has gone back on a low carb diet. All three meals we received are Keto, Paleo and Gluten Free recipes. For our eighth delivery, we gave one recipe four out of five stars and two recipes three out of five stars. The carbs ranged from 17 g to 27 g. A lot of customers have been complaining that the carbs are too high. Hopefully they are listening, but so far most recipes continue to be too high to be true Keto recipes. The calories ranged from 400 to 440 and preparation time listed range from thirty to thirty-five minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from fifty-eight minutes to over an hour. 

    Caraway Meatballs, Braised Fennel, Cabbage, Parsnip & Rosemary

    We gave this recipe three out of five stars. Our main complaint was that it was too tart. The mixture of onion, garlic, celery, fennel, cabbage, parsnip, rosemary and caraway spiced apple cider vinegar was overly bitter since it included too many ingredients that are sour. The meatballs were tasty, but I would have liked more of them and much less of the cabbage and parsnip. This one has 27 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of fiber and 9 grams of sugar. The calories are 420 with a listed preparation time of thirty-five minutes. The actual preparation time was fifty-eight minutes. This was a very filling portion with lots of vegetables left over that were thrown away since we found them too tart.

    Chicken Fajita Salad, Bell Pepper & Creminis with Cilantro Lime Dressing

    We gave this recipe three out of five stars. This would be better suited for a summer time recipe than in the fall. I’m ok with a cold lunch, but at dinnertime in the winter and fall I prefer a hot meal and seasonal vegetables. There wasn’t enough romaine lettuce nor enough of the cilantro lime dressing which is really important in a salad. The dressing was tasty, but a bit light on the cilantro and since it was such a small portion the flavor was diluted even further. The cuban spice blend on the chicken was delicious. I was disappointed that they sent us only part of the green, yellow and red peppers especially since this is one of the most expensive meal kits available. The competition sends the entire pepper and suggests we use the leftovers in an omelet or some other meal. It just appeared ungenerous to me. Also, we were sent  only part of the red onion. The competition sends the entire onion and suggests we use as much as we prefer. I don’t think vegetables are as fresh when they are cut up in advance, so I found it to be disappointing. This one has 17 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of sugar and 440 calories. It states a preparation time of thirty-five minutes yet actual preparation time was over an hour. It was a healthy portion of food.

    Fennel Mustard Tuna, Cauliflower, Sauce Vierge, Kale & Pine Nuts

    I gave this recipe four out of five stars and Hubby gave it three stars. Hubby didn’t like the fennel mustard blend spice on the tuna. At first bite I agreed, but then it grew on me. The kale was not fresh and the shallots were dirty. We made this recipe the day it arrived, if we had waited an additional day the kale wouldn’t have be fresh enough to use. The tuna was very tender, but Hubby complained that it didn’t cut very well so he thought it was a lower quality than we have come to expect from Green Chef. It was a very filling meal yet it comes in at only 400 calories. It has 27 grams of carbohydrates, 9 grams of fiber and 5 grams of sugar. Hubby skipped the tomatoes to lower the carb count. Their preparation time listed is thirty minutes while actual preparation time was over an hour.
    It wasn’t the best week of recipes we have received from Green Chef, but for the most part the meals were enjoyable. Lately, their recipe offerings haven’t been as appetizing as they have been in the past. We were quite shocked to receive some produce that wasn’t fresh and overly dirty. That’s not what we’ve come to expect from Green Chef. Awhile ago they changed their website so that you couldn’t see the other category offerings in order to perhaps change your plan that week based on the recipe choices. They just changed it back to the way it was prior with a bit of a different layout but allowing you to see the other category’s recipes. They are now showing four weeks of recipes in advance whereas they were only showing two before. I’m more likely to order now that I can see all of the recipes again and four weeks worth. The prices are higher than most of the completion, but they do offer organic ingredients. They also prepare the sauces and dressings in advance for you. Costs per meal are as follows: Vegetarian $10.49, Omnivore  & Vegan $11.99, Carnivore & Gluten Free $13.49 and Paleo & Keto $14.99, Family Omnivore $11.99 and Family Carnivore $12.99. They also charge for delivery unlike the competition, an additional $9. If you use my coupon, you’ll get four free meals of your choice, so you’ll only be paying for two meals and shipping. 

    Check out my Green Chef Pinterest Board to see the other recipes we have made. In addition, check out my reviews of Blue ApronGreen BlenderHello FreshHome ChefMarley SpoonPlated, Sun Basket and Terra’s KitchenDo you subscribe to any meal delivery services and which of the above recipes looks the tastiest to you? Don’t forget to enter my Blue Apron Meal Kit Giveaway before you go.

    Bargain Alert: 

    Green Chef – Four Free Meals

    Hello Fresh – $40 off
    Home Chef – $30 Off

    Sun Basket – $35 Off

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    Like Me Please!

    I’m moving on up in the social media world and now have my own Facebook page. 
    Like me please and tell all your friends 🙂
    facebook.com/EatCleanSaveGr

    Ulta The Gorgeous Hair Event Day 11 Deals are Live (Info & Tips)

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    How to park your bike securely

    Because having your motorcycle nicked is about twice as likely as your car being half-inched – and such thefts often occur in temporary parking locations. Of course there’s no guarantee that your bike won’t be stolen – if a professional thief wants your bike he’ll probably get it. But combining as many security measures as reasonably and practically possible can prevent your bike being targeted.

    What do I need?

    An assortment of measures that collectively secure your bike effectively. It’s easy to recommend using 15 locks but its neither realistic nor going to guarantee security. But a disc lock, U-lock in situ at your regular parking place, a well-chosen parking spot, some security marking and some labels/stickers which make it obvious how your bike has been secured should do the trick.

    What about alarms?

    Some like ’em, some don’t but every little helps. We’ve not gone into them in depth here as there are so many different types and should be fitted by experts rather than DIY. If you’ve got one, use it and ensure that it’s obvious that an alarm is fitted – this may deter any opportunist thieves from having a go.

    Anything else?

    You’d be amazed how many bikers neglect to use the main security device – the steering lock – most bikes come with. Do it. Just make sure you don’t leave it in ‘park’ mode (activating the parking light) by accident and drain the battery.

    1. U-lock carrier – Safety first! Whichever type of lock you go for make sure you carry them on your bike correctly and safely. Many modern machines have U-lock compartments under the seat. If not, special carriers can be fitted, sometimes behind the number plate, as above.

    2. Disc lock bag – Ditto chains and disc locks. Don’t put them in a rucksack. They should either be packed carefully into a pannier (ensuring you balance the weight on the other side) or in special bags which attach to the pillion seat.

    3. Motorcycle parking bay – Picking your parking spot is one of the biggest factors in whether your bike becomes another crime statistic. The best places are where it’s busy and with secure poles or railings to lock your bike to. Council bike parks can be located via local council websites. By varying your spot, you’ll prevent thieves ‘casing’ your bike.

    4. Lock around a post – Lock your machine to something solid – like a lamp post – as tightly as possible to make it harder for a thief to insert a scaffold pole or similar to lever off the lock. If you regularly park in the same place, leave your lock attached to a post. But remember, parking on a pavement is likely to land you a parking fine.

    5. Park it somewhere visible – Parking in winter or at night requires extra vigilance so make sure your machine is left in a well-lit area where it is busy and/or overlooked. If your bike is in constant view and visible it’s much more likely to be left alone. If it’s hidden in the dark it can be tampered with.

    6. Disc lock snug to caliper – Fit the lock through the disc snug to the caliper (so that if you forget to remove it before trying to wheel the bike forward it won’t move). Other tips to avoid riding off with the disc lock in place include using a disc lock warning cable and putting a reminder sticker on your top yoke.

    7. Chains, it’s preferable to use the lock to secure your machine to an immoveable object. In addition they should be used to make the bike immobile in its own right. Fitting snugly through the rear wheel and swingarm is ideal. Team it up with a disc lock at the front.
    8. Brake lever lock – One type of lock often overlooked, but which is almost as portable as a disc lock and can be a good supplement to other security devices, is the brake lever lock, which clamps the front brake lever fully on. Just try riding off with that on…

    9. Smartwater – A security marking system based on what they call a ‘forensic fingerprint’ – basically a solution containing minute particles marked with a unique code. The solution, while being virtually invisible to the naked eye, glows under UV light and is practically impossible to remove. A handy way to prove a bike is yours.

    10. Ultraviolet pen – Another cheap and quick way of protecting your bike is to mark all the main body panels, commonly with the bike’s registration number or your postcode, with ink only visible under ultraviolet light – although this is only a deterrent if your bike is labelled as being security marked.

    11. Datatag – The most commonly used and respected electronic security marking system. Involves both security etching components and inserting scannable microchips into your bike, whose details are then logged on to a central database. Reckon on around £60 for a kit.

    12. Security stickers – It sounds obvious but the biggest deterrent is making it obvious to potential thieves that your bike is fitted with various security devices – stickers saying ‘Warning – alarmed’ are a good thing, even if an alarm or suchlike isn’t actually fitted.

    ___________________________________________
    Source: Motorcycle News (11/30, AP)

    QVC’s TSVs for March 2018

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    Preorder Numbers for Today’s Special Values
    DO NOT COPY

    1st – Sterling Silver, Italian Silver Adjustable Bracelet 5.3 g, J354268, $29.96 available in 4 payments, choice of silver, rose or yellow and choice of byzantine, oval link, rope or diamond cut beads

    2nd – Isaac Mizrahi, Stretch Print or Solid Ankle Pants, A302699, $39.96 available in 4 payments, choice of 3 solid colors & 3 prints

    3rd – Vionic Orthotic Footwear, Adjustable Triple Strap Slide with 1 inch heel called Misa, A303026, $59.88 available in 4 payments & 6 colors

    4th – iRobot Roomba, 891 WiFi Connect Robotic Vacuum, V35400, $399.96 available in 6 payments. FYI- other stores sell them for less, shop around, plus this one doesn’t come with 2 virtual walls. You need at least 2, if open concept home, you’ll need 3. Read my review.

    5th – Josie Maran Cosmetics, Super Sized Argan Tanning Oil & Extender with Mit, A304532, $49.95 available in 5 payments, A/D & 3 scents

    6th – Mr. Beams Set of Two 600 Lumen Dual Head Motion Sensor Security Lights, V35336, $49.95 available in 5 payments & 5 colors. I recommend going ahead and spending a bit more for much more security with the addition of video, alarm & voice, read my Ring Floodlight Cam review.

    7th – Martha Stewart Food, 28 Piece Pastry Assortment, M57879, $59.94 available in 3 payments and A/D & 2 ship dates of 3/19 & 3/26. Shop with caution, her past food TSVs had bad reviews. I recommend Authentic Gourmet Croissants from France, read my review.

    8th – 8 Greens, 40 Effervescent Drink Tables, A308586, $37.84 available in 5 payments and A/D 

    9th – Joan Rivers Classics CollectionLightweight Denim Boyfriend Shirt with Fringe Hem, A302801, $44.96 available in 4 payments & choice of 5 denim washes

    10th – It CosmeticsIt’s All About You Customers’ Favorites Collection, A302393, $59.96 available in 4 payments & 7 shades 

    11th – Bliss Hammocks Premium Gravity Free Reclining Chair with Canopy, M55740, $79.98 available in 6 payments and 8 colors

    12th – Spanx Cropped Look at Me Now Seamless Leggings, A288466, $44.98 available in 2 payments & 6 colors

    13th – Calista StyleDryer Airbrush with Attachments & Towel, A304430, $59.96 available in 4 payments & 3 colors

    14th – Keurig K-Select Coffee Maker with My K-Cup & 48 K-Cup Pods, K46762, $79.98 available in 4 payments & 4 colors

    15th – Vince Camuto Perforated Leather Peep Toe Sandals named Dastana, A304453, $79.98 available in 4 payments and 6 colors

    16th – Waterford & Connemara Marble 10″ Bowl with Marble Base, H213854, $199.90 available in 5 payments

    17th – Peter Thomas Roth Super Size Retinol & FirmX Face & Eye Kit, A305575, $139.00 available in 5 payments & A/D

    18th – Le Creuset 2.75 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven, K47064, $129.95 available in 5 payments & 10 colors

    19th – Denim & Co, Classic Denim Distressed Ankle Jeans, $39.98 available in 3 colors & regular, petite & tall

    20th – Bernini Pro Series 50′ Metal No Kink Hose with Aluminum Nozzle, $34.98 available in 3 payments & 4 colors

    21st – Easy Solutions CPR Call Blocker with 6500 Number Blocking & Two Year Warranty, $49.96 available in 3 payments

    22nd – Judith Ripka Verona Tripla Sterling Silver or 14K Clad Bracelet, $149.95 available in 5 payments

    23rd – Clarisonic Mia 2 Sonic Cleansing System with LOGO prints & One Year of Brush Heads, $99.96 available in 6 payments & choice of 3 LOGO designs & 4 solids

    24th – Dooney & Bourke Saffiano Leather Shoulder Bag, $229.92 available in 6 payments and 7 colors

    25th – Ring Video Doorbell, HD Surveillance, Two Way Talk & Three Year Warranty, read my review, $159.95 available in 5 payments 

    26th – Crepe Erase Home & Away Intensive Body Treatment, $89.00 available in 4 payments and 4 scents

    27th – Philips Sonicare FlexCare Toothbrush, $89.97 available in 3 payments

    28th – Scott Living Twelve Piece 100% HygroCotton Bath Towel Set, $49.96 available in 2 payments & 8 colors

    29th – Clarks Cloudsteppers Wedge Sandals called Caddell Bright, $54.98 available in 4 payments & 5 colors

    30th – Lisa Rinna Collection V-Neck Top with Chiffon Back Detail, $34.98 available in 3 payments & 5 colors

    31st – Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless Vacuum, $399.96 available in 6 payments & 3 colors

    This is just the beginning of the list for March. This is what has been released so far. The brand list will be updated every Sunday. The preorder numbers will be updated as information is released much closer to the air dates, so be sure to check back. Rest assured I’m researching these TSVs multiple times a day to get them to you as fast as possible. In the meantime, check out the February list.

    I’ve started asking for donations due to the extra daily research time involved in compiling these monthly lists since QVC has recently made it even more difficult and time consuming to locate the preorder item numbers. Thanks goes out to Nicole, Margaret & Kerri for their donations last month. I really appreciate your generosity and support. Thanks also goes out to Anne, Tanya, Lisa and Carolyn who sent me preorder information that they found. I really appreciate your assistance. Thank you so very much ladies! You’re the best! If you find preorder numbers I haven’t posted, please contact me by leaving a comment below, email me or message me on the Blue Skies for Me Please Facebook pageIf you would also like to donate, click on the donate button below. If you can’t contribute that way, there are also referral and affiliate links below that will help or click on the advertising on the right or simply share my blog with friends. 

     

    You are welcome to share a link to this blog post, but please be kind & respectful and do not copy my post and post it elsewhere. I’ve seen my preorder lists being copied and posted in Facebook groups lately and it’s really disrespectful to the time I’ve put into compiling the lists. One even took credit for the research while it was clear she simply copied my list word for word. Imagine my shock and disappointment. I really don’t understand how she can feel good about her actions. Then another changed it up a bit so it didn’t look so obvious it was an exact copy. Please show respect and only post links to my blog instead. If you see these copies, perhaps you can post a link to this blog under these posts to help out. Thanks goes out to those that have already shared a link. I really appreciate your support. I don’t have funds to advertise this blog, so if you haven’t already, please take a moment to share a link to this blog.


    Bargain Alert: 


    Bulu Box – vitamins, supplements & healthy snacks only $5.99 per box for life, code “DISCOVERY” or “BOX799”. *
    California Wine Club – six bottles $59.99, only $9.99 a bottle including shipping. *
    Hello Fresh – $40 off healthy meal kit, only $3.32 a serving, check out my 14 reviews. 
    Home Chef – $30 off healthy meal kit, only $4.95 a serving, check out my 55 reviews. 
    Julep – 12 full sized nail polishes for FREE, $168 value! Amazing deal! Check out my reviews. *
    Love with Food – 25% off snack box with 10+ gluten free snacks only $1.87 each. *
    Mr. Rebates – $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC.
    Nature Box – healthy, delicious snacks, extra 30% off first 3 shipments. Code “THIRTY3”. *
    Sun Basket – $50 Off 1st Two Orders, check out my 26 reviews. *
    Terra’s Kitchen – $40 Off, check out my 3 reviews.
    Top Secret Recipes – secret restaurant recipes, cookbooks and spices, use code “Steps15” for 15% off. *
    UrthBox – healthy, delicious snacks, Buy One Get One Free or $10 off use code “PROMO10”. *
    * Affiliate links


    Be a pal and share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking their boxes here: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


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    QVC’s Luminara TSV – Auto Delivery 2nd Shipment

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    Set of Three Blown Glass Ornaments with Luminara Flameless Candles


    I just received my auto delivery shipment of QVC’s July 16th Today Special Value (TSV), shown above. This time the glass is shaped like a pumpkin and the wreath and bow have autumn colors. It’s really pretty in person. I’ll be able to use this set year round since our living room is decorated in fall colors. I find decorating in warm colors makes the room feel warm, cozy, colorful and comforting.

    The first shipment is still available for purchase in champagne, icy blue and pearl for $42.74, which is only $3.98 more than the TSV price. Lately QVC has been offering TSVs that don’t sell out for only a few dollars more than the TSV price. So if you missed out on it and are having buyer’s regret, snag a set before they are gone. Check out my review of the pearl set. You may be able to find this harvest set later, if too many auto delivery orders are cancelled. Sometimes QVC sells auto delivery shipments separately online. It would have been nice if they had offered wreaths for each season as a add on.  

    Bargain Alert:

    Use Mr. Rebates for 1-3% cash back while shopping online @ QVC.

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    Have a PEACEful Day!

    Eating Clean 12 Days of Christmas — Buckeye Bark

    This is my last post here…from now on, head over to www.eatingcleanandsavinggreen.com!

    I had mentioned in an earlier post that I’m usually pretty lazy when it comes to baking. Here’s a prime example…I love buckeyes and always make them every Christmas. However, I HATE all the ball rolling and dipping involved, so this year, I opted to make Buckeye Bark. Let me tell you, it was so much easier and I think even better than regular buckeyes. A much more even chocolate to peanut butter ratio 😉 

    Buckeye Bark
    From Live Sigma Kappa

    2-1/2 lbs chocolate candy coating
    1 (16.3 oz) jar creamy peanut butter
    2 c Confectioners’ sugar
    8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
    1 tsp pure vanilla extract

    Melt half of the chocolate candy coating according to the package directions, then spread over parchment paper or a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet. Spread to a large rectangle, but not too thin – approximately 1/8″ to 1/4″ thickness. Place in freezer to firm up.

    In a large bowl, beat together the peanut butter, Confectioners’ sugar, melted butter and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy. Remove first chocolate layer from the freezer and spread the peanut butter mixture over the top. Return to the freezer and melt the remaining chocolate candy coating. Once that is melted, spread it over the top of the peanut butter layer and freeze until set.

    Break up the bark into small pieces using a butcher knife. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.

    Transforming Old Windows

    I love love love the look of old windows reused for other purposes. I had found a cheap window at a junk sale for $15. I wanted to add one of our wedding pics behind it and use it as artwork for the wall behind our bed in our bedroom. 
    For the photo, I measured the inside of the window and then uploaded and ordered a custom size large print. I think mine ended up being almost 16×20 and I found that at that time, Walgreens had the best prices on large custom prints (the 16×20 was around $5 with coupons). Do a quick Google search before you order to find any coupon codes or photo deals. 
    Just take the photo and secure to the back of the window frame. Add frame hangers so you can hang up on the wall. Voila! Old window into new artwork!

    QVC’s TSVs for October 2017

    Preorder Numbers for Today’s Special Values


    (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = “//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.10”; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’));2nd – G.I.L.I. Leather Crossbody Bag with Removable Pouch, A301458, $69.98 or 4 payments of $17.49, comes in 4 colors

    3rd – iRobot Roomba 690 Wi-Fi Connect Robotic Vacuum, V35244, $329.94 or 6 payments of $54.99, check out my review of Roomba here.

    4th – KitchenAid Five Speed Ultra Power Hand Mixer, K46716, $36.12 or 2 payments of $18.06, comes in 8 colors

    5th – Ultrafine Silver Polished Chain, 16″ J351576 for $29.00 or 18″ J351579 for $32.00 or 20″ J351580 for $34.00 or 24″ J351582 for $39.00 or 36″ J351583 for $59.00, available in 5 payments and choice of rope, wheat, flat bead or margherita  

    6th – Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer with Two Living Proof Products & Travel Bag, A301646, $399.00 or 6 payments of $66.50, comes in 3 colors

    7th – HP 15.6″-17.3″ Touch Laptop, E231234, $429.96-$529.96, available in 6 payments and 7 colors

    8th – Cook’s Essentials 5.3 Qt Digital Air Fryer with Ten Presets, K46619, $89.92 or 5 payments of $17.98, comes in 8 colors

    9th – Susan Graver Solid or Printed Stretch Peachskin  bomber jacket, A301462, $59.40 or 5 payments of $11.88, 5 pattern/color choices

    10th – Bethlehem Lights Estate Pre-lit Green or Flocked Collection, H212555, $39.96, choice of wreath, garland or tree & choice of multi or clear lights

    11th – California Innovations Set of Six Insulated Totes with Gift Bags, K46612, $29.98 or 2 payments of $14.99, 4 pattern/color choices

    12th – Dennis Basso 68″ x 60″ Oversized Sculpted Faux Fur Throw, H213626, $44.94 or 3 payments of $14.98, comes in 7 colors, check out my reviews here and here.

    13th – bareMinerals Deluxe Holiday Collection, A302273 or A/D A302892 (new radiance and lip shades in March 2018, only 2 shipments), $62.94 or 3 payments of $20.98, comes in 8 shades 

    14th – Skechers Go Walk Suede & Faux Fur Boots, A301464, $58.80 or 5 payments of $11.76, comes 7 colors

    15th – Amazon Fire 7″ Tablets with Custom Cases, E231020, comes in a set of 2 for $89.95 or a set of 4 for $149.95, available in 6 payments and 4 colors

    16th- Cuddl Duds Fleecewear Stretch Hood Cardigan, A301459, $24.98 or 2 payments of $12.49, comes in 4 colors and 3 patterns

    17th – Affinity 98 Facet Diamond Band Ring, J352055, $1199.00 available in 6 payments, comes in yellow or white 14K gold

    18th – Martha Stewart 4.25 lb Turkey Breast with Herb Butter & Two 2 lb Sides, M55839, $99.95 available in 5 payments, A/D available and 2 additional ship dates of 11/13 and 12/11, choice of 6 different sides combos

    19th – Malden Mills Polar Fleece Sheet Set with Extra Pillow Cases, Twin H213620 for $25.00 or Twin XL H213621 for $25.00 or Full H213622 for $28.00 or Queen H213623 for $34.00 or King H213624 for $40.00 or California King H213625 for $40.00, available in 3 payments and 6 colors

    20th – Peter Thomas Roth 6.7 oz Mega Size Retinol PM, A277742 or A/D, $114.00 available in 6 payments

    21st – Halo Bolt ACDC Portable Charger & Car Jumper with AC Outlet, E230549, $99.96 available in 5 payments and 8 colors, check out my review

    22nd – Copper Chef Ten Piece Cerami-Tech Non-Stick Cookware Set, K47078 $79.98 available in 6 payments

    23rd – Isaac Mizrahi Two Ply Cashmere V-Neck Tunic Sweater, A301460, $129.80, available in 6 payments, comes in 5 colors

    24th – Ring Floodlight Security Camera Wide Angle HD Two Way Talk with 3 Year Warranty, E231400, $219.95 available in 5 payments, comes in black or white. I ordered it, check out my review! In the meantime, check out my review of the Ring Video Doorbell. FYI – next month they come out with their home security system.

    25th – Amazon Fire TV Stick with Music Offer & Alexa Voice Remote, E231466, $39.98 available in 2 payments

    26th – Clarks Cloud Steppers Wedge Ankle Boots, A301454, $72.80 or 5 payments of $14.56, comes in 5 colors

    27th – Lug RFID Convertible Crossbody Bag, F12881, $39.96, comes in 7 colors

    28th – Duraflame 28″ Electric Lantern with Infrared Heat, V35256, $89.95 or 5 payments of $17.99, comes in 6 colors

    30th – NuFace Trinity Microcurrent Facial Toning Device, A297401, $299.94 available in 6 payments and 3 colors

    31st – Lay/N/Go Set of Two 21″ Cosmo Plus Storage & Travel Bags, V35257, $29.96 or 2 payments of $14.98, comes in 5 patterns 

    November 

    1st – Ecolution Set of Three 3 Qt Microwave Popcorn Poppers, K46614, $29.98 or 2 payments of $14.99, comes in 9 colors

    2nd – Marc Fisher Calf Leather Tall Shaft Boots, Medium A301455 or Wide A301456, $124.80 or 5 payments of $24.96, comes in 5 colors

    Inquiring minds want to know what is tempting you this month? I really want another Dennis Basso blanket or two or three, they are so addictive. Unfortunately, I already have too much bareMinerals original foundation to justify buying anymore, so I sadly have to pass on the TSV. One container lasts so long! Maybe Sephora will have a bareMinerals set closer to Christmas that I fancy more. The Duraflame Lantern is interesting. Anyone want to leave a review below? Wouldn’t it make anything that it sits on too hot? It looks too small to warm a room. I was tempted by the microwave popcorn popper. I watched the video and read the reviews and now I’m not quite sure since one time she made it there were so many unpopped kernels. The worst reviews said they either didn’t pop or burnt. Does anyone have a review to share on this popper? The reviews on Amazon are better and it’s currently $16.66 each. Other interesting upcoming TSVs are:

    3rd – iRobot Roomba, updated above
    4th – KitchenAid Anniversary, updated above
    6th – Dyson Hair Dryer, updated above
    10th – Bethlehem Lights Seasonal Lighting, updated above
    18th – Martha Stewart Gourmet Food, updated above
    20th – Peter Thomas Roth, updated above
    22nd – Copper Chef, updated above
    24th – NuFace Anti-aging Innovations moved to 10/30, 24th changed to Ring, updated above
    25th – Atari Flashback 8 HD changed to Amazon Fire Stick, updated above
    27th – Lug Travel & Handbags, updated above
    28th – Shark moved to 29th, changed to Duraflame shown above
    30th – Kristofer Buckle, changed to NuFace

    I will update these as soon as preorder information is released. Please show your support for this blog by checking out the following referral offers for companies I recommend:

    Boxed – $15 off $60 
    Hello Fresh – $40 off
    Home Chef – $30 off, click here.
    Julep – Free 12 Piece Nail Polish Collection! $168 value!
    Mr. Rebates – $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC, click here.

    Sun Basket – $35 off, click here.
    Vitacost – $10 Off, click here.
    Walmart Grocery – $10 off $50 


    Thank you to those that have used my referral links, I really appreciate your support. Also, thanks to the those that leave comments and help out other shoppers with reviews and answering questions. You are welcome to share a link to this blog post, but please be kind & respectful and do not copy my post and post it elsewhere. Don’t forget to enter my monthly giveaways. 

    I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs. Help out by sharing this post via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


    Have a PEACEful Day!

    iPhone 8 Plus Reveal & Review

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    Rear View – Indoors

    I ordered my new gold iPhone 8 Plus on the 15th at 3 am and it arrived on the 22nd of September via UPS. Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas to me! This is my 2nd smartphone and 2nd iPhone. I upgraded from the iPhone 5s in gold. I really enjoyed it for three years. It’s a great phone, but I wanted a better camera, more memory and a larger screen. My 1st impression of this phone:  “It’s pink!”. If you put it next to my gold 5s or any gold jewelry, it’s clearly rose gold on the trim and the apple logo and it’s pink on the back side. The back side looks like it’s either white with pink glass on top or pink with clear glass on top. The front is white with clear glass on top. I really wanted a rose gold one so much so that I was debating whether to order the iPhone 7 instead. So I’m really happy that it’s rose gold, but I feel bad for those that really wanted gold instead. The impression I got from the photos and Apple’s keynote was that it was yellow gold and that the back side was a metallic mirror finish. In person, only the Apple logo has a mirror metallic finish. I’ll be using it to check on my lipstick. It’s a bit heavier than I thought it would be, but it’s nice and thin and I love the rounded corners. I will be purchasing a case for it since the backside is so slippery. It slips off almost any surface, if you’re not really careful. So far I’ve noticed that it surfs the internet much faster than my 5s. The photos look more crisp and defined. Come back and check out my future blog posts, many of them will feature photos taken with my new phone. I felt the screen on my 5s was too small. I’m really enjoying the larger screen:


    I’m at the age now that reading glasses are required often, but I don’t need them with this phone. I didn’t want the X model because it’s more expensive and there are only two colors to chose from. I also prefer having a home button with finger recognition rather than face recognition. There are so many similarities between the X and 8 that for me it’s just not worth the extra $200 or more. There are a lot of upgrades though between the 5s and the 8. I’m going from a 8 MP camera to a 12 MP camera. I was constantly running out of space with my 5s, so it’s nice to have plenty of space for lots of photos. I’m anxious to try out Apple pay, I’ve yet to find a store that offers it. I enjoy paying at Starbucks with their app, so this will be great for me. No more fishing in my handbag for my credit card. I also use my phone for store cards. I also look forward to wireless charging. I’ll be purchasing one from Apple as soon as it’s available next year since it’s large enough to charge three apple at once.


    I am having issues transferring photos from my 2016 MacBook Pro to and from my new phone and many other issues with my Mac, so I had to take it Apple for service. Anyone ever taken any apple product in for service before? If so, what was your experience like? It took an hour and half just to get them to set it up for service. Even though I had an appointment, they made me wait forever and then I had to show them the issues. It was an unpleasant experience. I’m anxiously waiting to hear from them, it’s suppose to take three to five days. Apparently, that model has many issues, I definitely do not recommend it. Even the keyboard has issues. It’s the first Apple product that we’ve had issues with. I’m currently working on my old MacBook Air and I’m hoping it works long enough for my new computer to return. The screen sometimes doesn’t work and it has to be kept open at just the right angle to work. I think it’s the connection between the screen and the keyboard. Anyone else have that issue with the MacBook Air? Since it’s a 2011 model, I figured it would cost too much to make it worth repairing. They would have charged me a whopping $475.00 to repair my MacBook Pro, if it was no longer under warranty. 

    Well that’s my first impression of my new iPhone 8 Plus. Did you buy one of the new models? I’d love to hear your review, comment below. I plan on keeping it for three years, if it works well for me. How often do you upgrade?

    I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I’m sure you’ll find something else that interests you. 

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    GIVEAWAY – Plated Meal Kit Worth $72

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    Plated has provided me with another box worth $72 to give away. Plated will send the winner one shipment that includes three recipes and the ingredients needed to make three meals for two people for a total of six servings. Above photo shows an example of one recipe. Enter via Rafflecopter:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Plated, provide me with their name and email address to give to Plated, provide Plated their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US (not in Hawaii & Alaska). Winner will be sent an email from Plated and simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Plated box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to my account settings, scroll down to the bottom and chose “cancel subscription” or to skip future shipments select weekly menus and chose “skip week”. They ship to most of the US except Hawaii, Alaska and a few cities in TX including San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo & Midland. Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday or Saturday. Vegetarian meals are also offered.


    Learn more about Plated by visiting my Plated Pinterest Board. Click on the photos that interest you and it will take you to my matching blog post which provides a review of that recipe. Be sure to check out my reviews of Blue ApronGreen BlenderGreen ChefHello FreshHome ChefMarley SpoonPlated, Sun Basket and Terra’s Kitchen

    Bargain Alert: 
    Gobble Meal Kits, Soup, Cookies, Bread, Cocktail Mixes – Two free meals
    Hello Fresh Meal Kits – $40 Off
    Home Chef Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads – $30 Off

    Sun Basket Meal Kits – $50 Off 1st Two Boxes *
    Terra’s Kitchen Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads, Soup, Drinks & Snacks – $40 Off

    *Affiliate Link

    I invite you to follow my blog via Facebook, Instagram, PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’ or Networked Blogs. Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);



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    Large Update to Memorial Day Beauty Sale Round-Up (PUR Mystery Bags Are Back and More!)

    Read more…

    23rd Sun Basket Review & $40 Off Coupon

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    Sole Almondine with Roasted Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes


    Ingredients


    Shrimp Skewers with Salsa Verde & Mandarin Jicama Salad


    Ingredients


    Roasted Sausages & Winter Vegetables with Romesco


    Ingredients


    This is a review of a weekly meal kit subscription box called Sun Basket. One box with three meal kits for two people costs $71.94 and includes free shipping. Each serving costs $11.99. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars and two recipes three stars. Calories ranged from 440 to 590 and preparation times listed ranged from twenty to forty minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from to thirty-seven minutes to one hour.

    Sole Almondine with Roasted Broccoli and Sun Dried Tomatoes

    I gave this recipe three out of five stars. I love sole, but it was in need of some spice and there were too many almond slices. The broccoli had sun dried tomatoes, olive oil and Urfa Chile flakes on top and Hubby really enjoyed it. I’m not much of a fan of broccoli, but Hubby loves it so I order it for him. The lemon was baked and it’s amazing how baking it makes it so easy to get the juice out when you squeeze it. So that’s a great trick, if you don’t have a lemon squeezer tool. This was one of two recipes this week that were so easy to cook, just put it all on a baking sheet and bake. It was a healthy portion of food and I shared lots of broccoli without the tomato with our dogs. It has only 440 calories and the recipe states up to thirty minutes preparation time. Actual preparation time was fifty-four minutes.

    Shrimp Skewers with Salsa Verde & Mandarin Jicama Salad

    Hubby & I both gave this recipe five out of five stars. It was amazingly delicious. If you haven’t had jicama before, you owe it to yourself to buy some and give it a taste. It’s so delicious and it has a wonderful crispness and crunch. Just add a bit of mandarins, scallions, pumpkins seeds, olive oil and sumac and you have a wonderful salad. The skewers make it easy to flip the shrimp when cooking, another great trick. The salsa verde was fabulous on top of the shrimp. Who knew cilantro, cumin, olive oil, lime juice and mint go so well together. This recipe has only 540 calories and the recipe states it will take up to thirty minutes to prepare. Actual preparation time was thirty-seven minutes. It was a light meal, I ate both portions of the jicama salad since Hubby is on a low carb diet and I was still hungry after just one portion.
    Roasted Sausages & Winter Vegetables with Romesco

    Hubby & I both love Italian sausage, so whenever I see a recipe that includes some I purchase it. We gave this recipe three out of five stars. The sausage was scrumptious, but the vegetable side dish and sauce were just ok. The combination of Brussels sprouts and cabbage was just too much, one or the other would have been better. The bites that had a lot of the spice tasted much better. It simply wasn’t enough spice for such a large portion of vegetables. Plus, we would have preferred two pieces of sausage per person instead of just one. This recipe has only 590 calories and the recipe states it takes up to forty minutes to prepare. Actual preparation time was an hour, but twenty-five minutes of it was break time while it baked. We loved how you just place everything on a baking sheet and bake it, so easy.

    It’s funny how you guess which recipe will be your favorite and which ones actually turn out to be your favorite. If they offer the Shrimp Skewers recipe again, I’ll be sure to order it. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water.  All of the ingredients arrived in great shape. What’s your favorite meal kit subscription? If you haven’t tried this one before, I highly recommend you give it a try. At $31.94 for six meals, it’s a bargain, snag my coupon below and have a box sent to you soon! Taking some time off for Christmas? That would be a perfect time to try out this meal kit service at your leisure. 

    Be sure to check out my twenty-two other reviews of Sun Basket before you go. Simply look at my Sun Basket Pinterest Board, click on the photo of the dish you would like to read about and it will take you to that review. Stay tuned for my next giveaway.

    Bargain Alert: 
    Sun Basket – $40 off

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    Giveaway – Blue Apron Meal Kit Worth $59.94

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    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Blue Apron, provide me with their name and email address to give to Blue Apron, provide Blue Apron their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US (not in Hawaii & Alaska). Winner will be sent an email from Blue Apron & simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Blue Apron box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to account info, then chose “manage”  & then “cancel” or to skip future shipments select delivery schedule and chose “skip”. Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. 


    This giveaway is only for those that have never subscribed to Blue Apron before.  Please do not enter if you don’t intend to redeem the free box! Note you will have to give Blue Apron your credit card number to redeem. It’s easy to skip and cancel online, if you don’t wish to remain a subscriber after your free box. It’s a limited time offer, so you’ll need to redeem in a timely manner. I have reviewed twenty-two Blue Apron deliveries, so be sure to check those out before you leave. Start with my 24th delivery. Then check out my Blue Apron Pinterest Board, click on the photo of the recipe that you fancy to see the matching blog post.  Also, check out my Home Chef reviews starting with my 58th delivery. In addition, check out my Hello Fresh reviews starting with my 15th delivery and my Sun Basket reviews starting with 26th delivery.

    Bargain Alert: 

    Hello Fresh – $40 off
    Home Chef – $30 Off
    Sun Basket – $35 Off

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    Blue Skies for Me Please

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    Boxy Charm Subscription Box Review – February 2018

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    Galaxy Glow – February Boxy Charm 2018


    This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box called Boxy Charm. Each month they send around five full sized products for $21 including shipping. Usually just one of the five product’s retail value is equal to the price of the box, so it’s like receiving the rest for free. It’s quite the bargain. The retail value is usually over $100 and this month the retail value is $142.98. Included in the February box were the following products:
    1. Naked Cosmetics – Holographic Highlighter Collection, made in the USA, $39.99 retail value
    2. Seraphine Botanicals – Sugar + Lemon Moisturizing Lip Buffer, formulated in the UK & packaging made in China, .51 fl. oz., $24.00 retail value
    3. Cover FX – Shimmer Veil, made in Intaly, .14 fl. oz., $28.00 retail value
    4. Vintage Cosmetics – Smokey Eye Pencil in jet black, made in China, .04 oz., $21.00 retail value
    5. Crown Pro – Trio Brush Set, made in China, $29.99 retail value
    I’m not pleased with so many of the products this month being made in China. It’s a deal breaker for me, so I cancelled after trying this subscription box for two months. I gave the Naked Cosmetics Highlighters a try. They are very pigmented, so be sure to use a light hand. I found blending a lot helped it look better. They are fun, but I don’t think I would wear any of the six colors in a business environment. The Seraphine Botanicals Lip Buffer smells like lemon hard candy, it’s very pleasant. It’s very oily and it has some sugar crystals for exfoliating. It says it also has avocado, apricot, jojoba oils, shea & coca butter. I would recommend using it prior to washing your face since it takes a bit of face wash to remove the oil after exfoliating. While it did moisturize, it didn’t remove a large piece of dead skin on my lips. I think this would be best used on a regular basis rather than only when you desperately need it like I do after having pneumonia for two weeks. I like it and will use it, but for $24 it’s not something I would purchase. The Cover FX Shimmer Veil is fun. I think it’s best for evening use and I would recommend using a base of a pink eye shadow since it’s not completely opaque. It felt a bit sticky shortly after application, but after some time it felt like a normal eye shadow. Try to not get it on your eyelashes because I managed to and it was irritating. I’m going to skip giving the Vintage Cosmetics Eye Pencil a try, it’s going straight to my blog sale box. My eyes are so sensitive, I have to be careful, so I usually stick to liquid eye liners. Eye pencils tend to tug at the skin and irritate. I really like the Crown Pro brushes, they aren’t of the highest quality, but I’ll be using them. They are soft and I like the pretty pink tips. 

    My favorite item in this month’s box is the brush set. 2nd place goes to the lip buffer. What was your favorite item? If you haven’t subscribed yet, what’s keeping you from giving this subscription box a try? Check out what I received in my January Boxy Charm Box.

    Spoiler Alert – the March box will include Pür Twelve Piece Eye Shadow Palette, Vintage Cosmetic Company Three Piece Smokey Eye Brush Set and Pretty Vulgar Powder Blush, plus two other items yet to be revealed.

    Bargain Alert:
    Julep – 12 Free Nail Polishes
    Mr. Rebates – cash back for online purchases

    Check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. Share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking the boxes: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

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    Sour Cream and Bacon Chicken

    Now that I’ve blogged about a not-so-good recipe, I feel like I’ve had a string of them! Last night we tried Sour Cream and Bacon Chicken in the crockpot and it was just okay. The flavor was a little bland and I didn’t like how the chicken turned out in the crockpot…dry and bland. This might be another one to try, but in the oven. 

    Sour Cream and Bacon Chicken
    From Key Ingredient
     

    8 bacon slices
    8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    2 (10 oz) cans roasted garlic cream of mushroom soup
    1 cup sour cream
    ½ cup flour (all purpose or gluten free blend)
    Salt and pepper to taste

    Place the bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-low heat until some of the fat is rendered. Be sure that the bacon is still pliable and not crisp. Drain on paper towels. If you use this method, reduce the flour to 1/4 cup. Or don’t cook the bacon and proceed with the recipe. Then wrap one slice of bacon around each boneless chicken breast and place in a 4-5 quart crockpot. In medium bowl, combine condensed soups, sour cream, and flour and mix with wire whisk to blend. Pour over chicken. Cover crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours until chicken and bacon are thoroughly cooked. You may want to remove the chicken and beat the sauce with a wire whisk so it is very well blended. Pour sauce over chicken. Serve over rice, couscous, or wide egg noodles.

    Eating Clean 12 Days of Christmas — Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix


    As part of the Christmas season, I want to share with you 12 eating clean and saving green Christmas ideas. They’ll include recipes, gift ideas and more and hope they’ll inspire you and keep you in the holiday spirit!
     
    My family loves hot chocolate so I searched for clean recipes and found a yummy one from Southern Living. I also used this recipe to put together cute little Christmas gifts for the grandparents.

    Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
    From Southern Living
     

    1 1/2 cups 53% cacao dark chocolate morsels (I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips)
    1 1/4 cups sugar 

    1 cup instant nonfat dry milk
    2/3 cup dark unsweetened cocoa (I used regular)

    Stir together dark chocolate morsels, sugar, instant nonfat dry milk, and cocoa; spoon into 1 (2-qt.) jar. Store at room temperature up to 1 month.
     

    TO MAKE HOMEMADE HOT COCOA: Heat 1 cup milk to 180°; stir in 1/4 cup Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix.

    Yard House Restaurant Review – Raleigh, NC

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    4208 Six Forks Road
    Raleigh, NC  27609
    (919) 881-2590

    Exterior View

    Interior Decor
    Poke Nachos Appetizer – $12.75
    1/2 Roasted Turkey Sub & Clam Chowder Soup – $9.95
    Fish & Chips – $15.95


    This is a review of a restaurant called Yard House located in the North Hills part of Raleigh, North Carolina. They are located in an office building and offer free garage parking. Perfect for a rainy day! Once you park your car, take the elevator to the lobby. You’ll find the entrance to the restaurant at the other side of the building.  It’s open everyday from 11 am until 11:30 pm except Friday and Saturday nights when they stay open until 1 am. I like how they don’t have a break between lunch and dinner, so we can have a late lunch or early dinner which we do frequently. They offer Happy Hour appetizers and pizza 50% off Monday through Friday from 3 pm to 6 pm and Sunday through Wednesday  from 10 pm to 11:30 pm, bargain! Currently their sanitation score is 96.5 which is very good. When we arrived we were immediately seated at a super sized booth. Their super sized booths could easily sit six or  possibly up to eight people!

    The waiter arrived promptly and answered our questions about the menu since it was our first visit. We order our beverages which were brought out shortly thereafter. Five minutes after I ordered the Poke Nachos appetizer it was brought to the table. They are absolutely scrumptious and wonderfully spicy! You must give them a try, if you like poke and wontons! It’s my favorite item off the menu so far. They are described as “marinated raw ahi, avocado, cilantro, serranos, green onions, nori, sesame seeds, sweet soy, sriracha aioli, white truffle sauce and crispy wontons. After we enjoyed the appetizer, Hubby ordered half a Roasted Turkey Club Sandwich and a bowl of Clam Chowder. It’s described as “swiss, crushed avocado, bacon, tomato, lettuce, mayo and toasted sourdough.  I ordered the Fish & Chips with Truffle Fries. Our entrees arrived in about fifteen minutes. Hubby enjoyed his meal and was happily surprised it included thick pieces of turkey breast rather than the traditional thin sliced lunch meat. I would order it, if it included more slices of cheese. His meal was off the lunch menu which is discounted daily from 11 am to 5 pm. The two pieces of fish I was served had apparently stuck to each other during the frying process, so they were soggy on the sides that were touching each other. Before I got to the soggy part I could taste the beer in the beer batter and it was crunchy and tasty. It’s described as “beer battered white fish, fries, roasted jalapeño tarter and malt vinegar aioli. The truffle fries were tasty, but too greasy for me. It was a disappointing meal, but I may give the fish another try, I’ll just order a different side. The waiter was friendly and attentive and a manager checked on our table to ask if everything was ok.

    We recommend Yard House! We have already returned to this restaurant twice and plan to return again soon. On our second visit, I ordered the lunch special with half a Margherita Pizza and a bowl of Organic Tomato Bisque. The pizza was a mini pizza on a wonderful puffy crust. The Margherita Pizza is described as “roasted roma tomatoes, roasted garlic, mozzarella and fresh basil”. I had not noticed that the description didn’t include any sauce. It was ok, but it was even tastier reheated at home the next day. I had taken some home since I couldn’t eat it all after having the Poke Nachos as an appetizer. The garlic was raw, it wasn’t roasted. The soup was served warm, I would have preferred it served hot. It’s a bit too much on the creamy side though tasty, I prefer tomato soup less creamy due to my stomach being sensitive to heavy cream. Hubby had the Pepper Jack Burger without the bun and a side of broccoli. He said it was enjoyable for a low carb meal, but on the light side. On our third visit, I had the Poke Nachos appetizer as my meal and Hubby had the Black Truffle Cheeseburger without the bun and a side of brussel sprouts. Hubby said the black truffle cheese on the burger was very tasty and they served him more brussel sprouts than he could eat. Without the bun, he would have preferred a larger burger. You may want to order an appetizer or dessert to share, if you have a big appetite. The Poke Nachos were very tasty all three times, but the third time there was a bit less poke and cilantro and the wontons were greasy. I also ordered a Four Cheese Pizza to go. When I went to reheat it for the next meal I noticed it wasn’t on the same wonderful crust as the Margherita Pizza. It was an extremely thin crust which I dislike. While I like the thickness of NY style crusts, I do not like cracker thin crust. That was really disappointing. I’m not sure if that was a fluke and not the normal crust they serve or different pizzas have different crusts. The descriptions do not indicate which crust types they use. I would order the Margherita Pizza again, but I’d ask the wait staff which crust they would be using first. I wasn’t crazy about the flavor of the Four Cheese Pizza, so much so that I didn’t eat much of it.

    Each visit the friendly wait staff was attentive, but sometimes they had to be reminded we needed drink refills when they were busy. They are quite busy on Saturdays, but they have lots of seating. They can accommodate large groups. In addition, they have some outdoor seating which looks comfortable. Plus, they have a ton of beers on tap, so this would be the perfect restaurant for a beer connoisseur. What’s your favorite restaurant in Raleigh?

    Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews BoardI invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs.
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    Yard House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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    Now through 5/7: 3X Points at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack & HauteLook + New 40% off Sale items with Free Shipping & 4 Free Samples

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    Happy Anniversary!

    My hubby and I celebrated 8 years of marriage this week! It’s so funny to look back because it was only eight years ago, but we looked like babies back then 🙂 
    We celebrated by seeing Mumford and Sons in concert on Monday night….AHHMAZING!!! Made my list of top three concerts of all time.


    On our anniversary, we made a yummy steak dinner at home complete with creamed spinach, cheesy mushrooms and Paper Moon wine.
     
    Here’s to many more blessed years!

    Flat Belly Diet – Grilled Oregano Chicken

    Pretty good dish except the chicken was hard to grill because of the olive oil and vinegar. It really flared up and got kind of burnt. Still good flavor though!

    Right before I started cooking, I realized I didn’t have oregano on hand like I thought I did. Crap, it’s the main ingredient of the dish and recipe namesake. A quick Google search led me to this great chart that gives you substitutes for different herbs and spices. I substituted thyme and I think it turned out just fine!
    Grilled Oregano (or Thyme!) Chicken

    Adapted from Prevention.com

    6 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 1/4 pounds)
    1 cup coarsely chopped fresh oregano leaves (if you’re using dried, use half the amount)
    4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
    1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    3/4 teaspoon salt

    Place the chicken breast halves between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using a mallet or heavy pan, pound to 3/4″ thickness.
    In a plastic resealable food storage bag, combine the oregano, scallions, vinegar, oil, pepper, and salt. Add the chicken, seal, and turn to coat. Chill for 2 hours.
    Lightly coat a grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat the grill to medium for indirect heat. (If using a charcoal grill, position the coals on one half of the grill. If using a gas grill, heat one side to high, the other to low.)
    Remove the chicken from the marinade. Place the chicken on the hottest section of the grill. Cook for 6 minutes, turning once. Move the chicken to the cooler section of the grill and cook for 6 minutes more, turning once, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 165°F.

    QVC’s Ring Floodlight Cam TSV Review

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    Ring Floodlight Cam

    This is a review of Ring’s Floodlight Cam that was a Today’s Special Value (TSV) at QVC on the 24th of October. It normally sells for $249.00, but the TSV price dropped to $219.95, a $29.05 savings. Currently it’s selling for $239.92 on QVC’s website. It also came with a three year warranty instead of a one year warranty. In addition, it comes with a lifetime theft warranty, if stolen they will replace it. It has screws that can only be removed with a special tool that comes with all of Ring’s security cameras. We purchased the Ring Video Doorbell earlier in the year when it was a TSV, see my review for more information. We loved it so much that we were anxious to purchase the Floodlight version, but the price made us put it on the back burner waiting for a lower price. So as soon as I saw it was available to order as a TSV, I ordered it. Not to mention the five easy payments make it budget friendly. 

    I’m in love with it! It has solved several problems that we’ve had for years now. The garage area of our house is a blind spot. I either have to open the garage door to see what’s going on or go upstairs and look out two different rooms’ windows. Now I am delighted that I can see all the way down our one hundred foot driveway and see all that is going on from home or while out on the town! The information online doesn’t really explain how much the camera will show and there wasn’t any indication that one could move the camera to point in other directions. Even during the on air presentation, this information wasn’t given. So I was thrilled to see that the camera is adjustable which is so important when you have a side load garage. Looking straight out from our garage wouldn’t have worked for us. As you can see in the photo below, Hubby turned the camera so we could see all the way down our driveway, awesome!

    View from Camera
    It gives a fisheye view, so some things are a bit distorted. For instance, on the left side there is a parking spot, but in the camera view shown above it looks much smaller than it really is. It also makes the driveway appear shorter than it really is. Without the fisheye view we wouldn’t be able to see all the way down our driveway. The nighttime view is also awesome, it’s night vision is fantastic. 

    The only issue we have with they system is that our wi-fi is located on the other side of the house on the 2nd floor, so we don’t have the best connection all of the time. Even so, it works pretty good. Our plan is to move the wi-fi closer to the center of the house or get a wi-fi booster. Anyone have any recommendations on a booster?

    Installation is easy, if you have some experience with electrical connections.  It only took about fifteen minutes for Hubby to install it including the adjustments to the camera to make sure it was showing the area we wanted to see. Make sure you turn off the power to that light fixture prior to starting the installation. If you are inexperienced, but not too nervous about it, give it a try on your own with the instructions that come with the system and online. If that doesn’t work, you could always call an electrican or a friend or family member with experience. I will miss our old light fixture since it was attractive, but security is more important than looks. It comes in black or white, I chose the white color since our trim on the house is white.

    The Ring app is easy to use, you can see photos of it in the App Store. When a person or animal steps inside the camera’s view it sends a ring tone and a notification on your phone. If you click on that, it will take you to the app and open up the live camera view. If the app gives you false alarms, all you need to do is reduce the area that sets the alarm off. For instance, we had to bring the alarm area a bit off the street because cars that were going by were setting it off. We have learned that a cat comes by our house everyday at 8:30 to 9:30 pm. It will also go off, if a squirrel is walking by. But it hasn’t gone off because of moving trees or any other false alarms like that. Once the alarm goes off the app will start recording and it stores the video on your app. To keep those videos, you’ll need to pay $3 a month or $30 a year. If you have more than two devices, get the plan that is $100 a year for multiple devices. They just came out with a security system that I would have bought if we hadn’t just signed up with another company. You’ll need those videos, if something happens and you need to submit the evidence to the police. You can also share videos with other Ring Security Camera owners in your area. Plus, something cute might appear like a bird sitting on the doorbell looking at the camera. Here’s our nightly visting cat:


    Nightime View
    You can also control the lights by turning them on and off on the app from anywhere. Forgot to turn on the lights and you’re in Hawaii enjoying the sunshine? No problem, open the app on your phone and turn them on, voila! Awesome! It also has the ability in the settings to set it to come on and off automatically at the times you specify. I went online and looked up the sunrise and sunset times and used them. I wish it had settings to go on automatically when the sun sets and off when the sun rises, but unfortunately it doesn’t have a light sensor. I’ll have to adjust the times it turns on and off seasonally and when the time changes twice a year. 

    It also has an alarm, so if you see someone that looks like they are about to commit a crime, you’ll want to turn on the alarm. Having recently had criminals in our neighborhood breaking into cars, this gives us some power. Hubby tried it out and it is very loud. You can also talk to the person standing in your driveway and you can hear what’s going on. So you have the option to tell the person to get off of your property. That alone will probably scare the crap out of them not expecting to hear a voice and no one standing there. The alarm comes with a sticker that says “do not switch off” to put on your light switch since you may need to be reminded not to turn off the system. Just remember to turn on and off the lights with the app instead.

    I highly recommend this product for the security of you and your family and the peace of mind it gives. Now you can instantly see what’s going on in your driveway without risk. You may even see wildlife that you don’t normally see. It gives you the ability to know when someone visits your home, whether it be the delivery person or service personnel. You’ll know when they were there and for how long. Now that’s powerful. Now what are you waiting for? Get yours today, you won’t regret it!

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    Have a PEACEful Day!


    Julep’s Leia Holographic Manicure

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    Leia by Julep

    The above manicure features the nail polish called Leia from Julep. My camera was having a hard time focusing. It either focused on my skin or the nails. I think this is due to the holographic glitter. So I’m showing the one that is a bit out of focus on the nail polish to better show the colors of the holographic glitter and it’s reflection. Unfortunately, this week it’s rainy and cloudy, so I was unable to get a sunlit photo. This photo was taken indoors with artificial light. In exterior light the glitter just reflects silver while indoors in artificial light or sunlight it reflects the colors of the rainbow. It came in my December Julep Subscription Box. It’s from the Boho Glam Collection and it’s a pine green holographic nail polish. It features little pieces of holographic glitter that reflect the light in many colors. It’s the perfect color for Christmas time. I used a base coat of Perfect Formula’s Manicure Booster, two coats of Leia and one coat of Seche Vite top coat. Leia has the perfect consistency and it’s easy to apply. It’s opaque with one coat, but I always use two coats to ensure it appears evenly applied. It has a glass smooth texture. I highly recommend this nail polish color.
    I have over eighty manicures featured on this blog. Check them all out on my Pinterest Manicure Board. When you see one you like, just click on the photo and it will take you to the matching blog post. I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I’m sure you’ll find something else that interests you.

    If you haven’t tried out Julep nail polish yet, give their subscription box a try today since you’ll receive a twelve piece nail polish collection for free, link below! 

    Bargain Alert:  

    Julep – Free 12 Piece Julep Nail Polish Collection! $168 value!


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    Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review – March 2018

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    Festival of Beauty

    This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box from Sephora for only $10 including shipping. The retail value of my box is $35.35. Included in this month’s box were the following products:
    1. Bobby Brown – Illuminating Moisture Bomb, made in Belgium, .17 fl. oz., $11.56 retail value
    2. Amika – Nourishing Hair Mask, made in Israel, .7 fl. oz., $2.30 retail value
    3. Stila – Stay All Day Eyeliner in black, made in Japan, .008 fl. oz., $11.00 retail value
    4. IGK – Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm, made in the USA, .5 fl. oz., $2.90 retail value
    5. SuperGoop – Defense Refresh Setting Mist, made in the USA, .5 fl. oz., $4.11 retail value
    6. Korres – Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser, made in Greece, .68 fl. oz., $3.48 retail value
    I think I may have received the Stila eyeliner previously. It has a nice fine point, but I’m not a fan of waterproof eyeliners. As most other subscribers are, I’m a bit tired of receiving black eyeliner in my subscription boxes. I’ll give the hair mask a try tonight. It’s suppose to repair damaged hair. Usually I don’t need to use a hair mask because Wen’s cleansing conditioner is so moisturizing. I’m a little confused by the Illuminating Moisture Bomb. It says to use as a moisturizer before applying makeup or after applying skin care. It doesn’t say it’s a primer, but why would I apply two kinds of moisturizer. I’m a bit tired of cosmetic companies coming up with more steps to do. The ratings are pretty good. I’ll try it tomorrow and see how it responds to my makeup. The Korres cleanser is suppose to reduce redness. I enjoy receiving cleansers in my subscription boxes. They are the perfect size for use in the shower. The Hydrating Hair Balm is suppose to reduce frizziness which isn’t a problem I have with my straight hair. It says it can be used on wet or dry hair. This one uses coconut oil to smooth the hair. I’m not a fan of finishing sprays, it’s just another step that I don’t tend to make time for. I really don’t like the idea of using one that has SPF. Too many products have SPF now. I only need one product that has SPF, layering them is just crazy and spraying it near my eyes is even crazier. I’m not a fan of the SuperGoop brand. 

    Most of this month’s samples are free of paraben and sulfates which is nice. I’m happy to see more companies offer products that don’t include those dangerous ingredients. I’ve received twenty-three of these Sephora boxes. The retail value I have received has ranged from $26.41 to $58.57. The last three boxes were under $30, so I’m glad to see this one is over $30, coming in at $35.35. I was wondering if that was the direction Sephora was going in. There is so much competition, so that is really not a good idea. A lot of customers are complaining lately that they aren’t happy with their boxes. This month, nothing really excites me in this box, so I am contemplating cancelling. I would have liked to see more makeup and not another eye liner. What’s you favorite cosmetic subscription box?

    Bargain Alert:

    Mr. Rebates – 4% cash back for online Sephora purchases! 
    Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to see what I have received in my previous twenty-two boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. Don’t forget to follow this blog via Facebook so you don’t miss any of my future posts.

    Be a pal and share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking their boxes here: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);



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    Silk Road Restaurant Review – Cary, NC

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    1207 Kildaire Farm Road
    Cary, NC  27511
    (919) 460-6288



    Exterior View


    Interior Decor


    Dim Sum Shrimp Dumplings – $4.95


    Bang Bang Shrimp – $7.99


    Three Piece Roasted Lamb Leg – $18.99


    This is a review of a new Asian restaurant called Silk Road located in Cary, North Carolina. They have only been open a few weeks. They are located in the Kildaire Plaza Shopping Center in a space that has been many different restaurants over the years. It’s next to Advance Auto Parts. There is plenty of free parking. Silk Road is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 am until 9:30 pm except between 3 pm and 4:30 pm. They are closed on Mondays. Saturday and Sunday they are open from 11 am until 9:30 pm. I’m always searching for new Asian restaurants to try and since I heard they offer Dim Sum I put them at the top of my list. We visited last Saturday around 2:30 pm. They had quite a few customers for what is normally a slow time for restaurants. When we arrived we were immediately greeted by a friendly Asian hostess who sat us at a booth.

    Shortly after, a friendly Asian waiter gave us both the lunch and dinner menus to chose from and took our drink orders. We both ordered Jasmine Tea and a waitress brought out a metal teapot and two small cups. The tea arrived hot and it was very good! Within a couple of minutes one of the ladies brought by one of the carts with lots of offerings. She opened the lids and showed us the different entrees she had to offer. That cart didn’t have anything we planned on ordering. The next cart that arrived had the Dim Sum Shrimp Dumplings I wanted to try. They had a nice amount of shrimp in them, they were tasty and the wrapper had a lovely texture. At only $4.95 for four large dumplings, it’s a bargain. They are quite filling! Then a waiter came by with dessert offerings which we passed on. He was happy to answer my questions about them. Then our waiter came by to take our orders. Hubby ordered the Roasted Lamb Legs and I ordered the Bang Bang Shrimp. My Bang Bang Shrimp was brought out quite quickly, but Hubby’s entree took much longer to come out and it was barely warm once it arrived. The Bang Bang Shrimp was very hot and delicious. It was a very large portion which could easily make for a large appetizer for two people or an entree for one. The batter was wonderfully crisp and the sauce was scrumptious. It came on a bed of iceberg lettuce and I was shocked they bought out a huge bowl of rice with it. It was way more rice than I could eat. It was about two portions. At only $7.99 it’s a great price. Hubby’s Roasted Lamb Legs had all the lamb pulled off the bones and it was laying on top. It had some type of spices on it which were yummy. Again, it was another dish that had a very large portion. Hubby took home half of it. They offer carry out boxes for your leftovers. He was disappointed that it took so long to be brought to the table and it was barely warm. Now this dish isn’t inexpensive coming in at $18.99, mind you lamb is expensive. They also offer an even larger portion. I recommend the three piece for two people to share with perhaps an appetizer or spring roll unless you want leftovers. 

    Everything we ordered had large portions, so keep that in mind so that you don’t order too much food. It seems that some of the staff needs a bit more time and experience to get things organized and work better as a team. They still don’t have a proper sign nor have they removed the sign of the previous restaurant, so keep that in mind when you are looking for it. It’s a very large space they have rented. When we were there, they were only using the front half. They need a few more decorations on the walls and some music. The atmosphere is very casual and it has almost a cafeteria feeling. I recommend you give this restaurant a try keeping these facts in mind. There aren’t a lot of restaurants in the area that sell Dim Sum, so I recommend giving that a try while you are there. I’m anxious to return and try another type of Dim Sum and perhaps the Sweet & Sour Chicken. They only keep soy sauce on the table, so you will need to ask for duck sauce, sriracha or any other condiment you would like. It would be great if they would set up a condiment station where customers could pick what they would like or have more condiment offerings on the tables. This restaurant has a lot of potential and I’m hoping this one will be the one that finally succeeds at this location where so many before them have failed. What’s your favorite Asian restaurant in the Triangle?

    Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board. Follow this blog via TwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, Facebook or Networked BlogsPlease share this restaurant review blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

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    Silk Road Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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    Macy’s Beauty Box 5th Shipment – December 2017

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    Macy’s December Beauty Box

    This is a review of Macy’s monthly cosmetic subscription box called Macy’s Beauty Box. It costs $15 a month and it comes with a $5 coupon to be used on their website or in the store for beauty products. The approximate retail value of this month’s box is $63.14 not including the cosmetic bag. Included in this month’s box were the following products:
    1. Chanel – La Crème Main Hand Cream, made in France, .17 fl. oz., $5.00 retail value
    2. Peter Thomas Roth – Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream, made in the USA, .25 fl. oz., $8.12 retail value
    3. Nudestix – Intense Matte Lip & Cheek Pencil in the color Belle, made in Germany, .088 oz. $21.12 retail value
    4. Estée Lauder – Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix, made in the USA, .17 fl. oz., $23.46 retail value
    5. Tory Burch – Eau de Parfum, made in the USA, .05 fl. oz., $2.82 retail value
    6. Mac – Liptensity Lipstick in the colors Doe, Smoked Almond & Mulling Spices, made in the USA, .015 oz., $2.62 retail value
    7. $5 Coupon, expires January 31st 2018
    Usually they send five deluxe samples and a perfume sample, but this month they only sent four which is disappointing and it’s causing me to hit the cancel button. I looked on the website to verify they didn’t forget a sample in my box. Out of complete disbelief they would only send four deluxe samples, I counted them over and over again! They advertise on their website “five deluxe samples and a bonus”. They sent a tiny little lipstick single use sample instead, but that’s not a deluxe travel size, so I don’t count that. One has to have a lipstick brush to apply them. I haven’t used mine in a while, so I’ll have to search for it. They should have provided a brush or sent us a mini lipstick! Not to mention this one costs $5 more than the competition. I hope customers complain or cancel and Macy’s gets the message. I had to google how to cancel since Macy’s makes it difficult to find the cancel button, here’s the link if you want to cancel. They have a cut off date of the 10th and since my box arrived on the 15th they are forcing me into receiving another box, not cool. I deleted my credit card from my account, so they wont be able to force me into paying for another box. I was going to cancel last month, but I thought I’d give it one more month, sending one less sample was the last straw for me. If you are a subscriber, how do you feel about them shorting us one sample and sending a sample you can’t use without owning or purchasing a lipstick brush? Also, the retail value of their boxes is lower than the competition yet it costs more. I don’t know how they will survive unless they either up the retail value or lower the cost. The subscription box market is very competitive and subscribers will cancel if they are unhappy. The only extra they have going for them is perhaps a higher quality cosmetic bag, but subscribers don’t include that in their estimated retail value of their boxes. One can only use so many cosmetic bags after all! The other thing I haven’t enjoyed about this box is that they have been sending samples I have received in other subscription boxes long ago. They haven’t been providing samples for new products while the competition often does. For instance, the Peter Thomas Roth Cloud Cream was sent nine months ago in the Play! by Sephora April 2017 Box shortly after it’s release. It’s so much nicer to receive a sample when the new product comes out in case you want to try it, but are not a fan of trying and returning if you don’t like the product. This is the entire point of these cosmetic subscription boxes to try before you buy. But if you are waiting months after the product came out, it really loses it’s value. I for one rarely return things, so I’m very careful about my purchases and I research prior.

    On to the products, starting with the Chanel Hand Cream. Wow, this is a tiny sample! Only .17 oz, seriously Macy’s, that’s just crazy. The full size is only 1.7 oz and costs $50. That’s is a crazy price tag! One should be filthy rich to spend that amount on a hand cream. It has a bit of a gel consistency rather than a cream. This $5 sample is only going to give me a couple of uses since there is so little product in the tube. It doesn’t even have the Chanel scent! It has a unpleasant plastic powdery scent. The only good thing I can say about it is that it does moisture well, but at a cost of about $2.50 per use, I’ll stick with my favorite L’Occitane 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream. The Chanel one gives a matte finish, that’s the first time I’ve experience a matte finish in a hand cream, I had to look at the bottle again to verify it was a hand cream and not a face cream. Why would I want a matte look on my hands?! It feels just like you applied body powder to your hand. It’s great that it’s not sticky, but I prefer a more moisturized appearance. They should make it for the face instead. It would be perfect for that, it feels similar to a gel primer. I really like the Peter Thomas Roth Cloud Cream. It has a gel consistency that is quick and easy to apply, perfect for when you are in a rush yet it leaves the skin feeling well moisturized.  It’s also great in warmer weather because it has a cooling feel. At $52 a jar, I wont be purchasing it, but if it comes in a discounted set I would definitely consider it. The Estée Lauder Night Repair Eye Treatment looks like a light  weight cream, but it goes on like a gel and it has a bit of cooling to it. It’s a bit on the oily side, so be careful to use as little as you can, it takes the tiniest amount. This one has hyaluronic acid in it which I hear is great at reducing wrinkles. This one is a pretty good sized sample for an eye cream. I could get quite a few uses out of it and be able to determine if it works at reduce fine lines over time. I’ve enjoyed Estée Lauder products in the past and I’m happy to receive another sample from this brand. I’m enjoying the scent of the Tory Burch perfume. It’s notes are neroli, grapefruit, cassis, bergamot, peony, tuberose, jasmine, vetiver and sandalwood. I recently received a deluxe sample size for free from Sephora. While I will enjoy the samples, it’s not a perfume I would purchase in the full size. I wont be able to try the lipsticks until I find my lipstick brush. I’m not really a fan of the colors they sent. Doe is too nude & will look washed out on my fair skin. Smoked Almond is too dark of a brown and Mulling Spices is too red for me. I’m so disappointed they didn’t send a mini lipstick instead of the one time use samples. I’ll give them a try at home since I wont be able to reapply them. The full size version of Nudestix comes with a sharpener. I’m shocked that this sample is 88% of the full sized one since it’s so small. I’ve never heard of this brand before and I’m not a fan of the crayon type of lipsticks. Having to sharpen it is just a pain and I prefer traditional lipstick containers that are pretty. It feels moisturizing and soft on the lips and it’s easy to apply. The color Belle on my lips appears as a brown mixed with a brick red color with a hint of peach. I like it and it’s going right into my handbag. The cosmetic bag is really pretty and has a quality zipper on it. It would have be fun, if they had sent something holiday themed. Would have been perfect to give a makeup gift in. At the very least it should have been a winter design instead of a summer one. Ipsy is sending out a very pretty winter one.

    Well there you have it my review of Macy’s 5th shipment. I’d love to know how many subscribers they have lost lately. While they came in at the highest retail value so far, it’s not enough to keep me as a subscriber. They also have no personalization, so everyone receives the same samples. I have signed up for Boxy Charm and I’m on their wait list. I’m going to give that one a try and stick with Ipsy & Sephora for now. Bye, Macy’s Beauty Box. It was a fun ride, but it’s time to say goodbye until you make changes. 

    Check out my reviews of the previous Macy’s Beauty Boxes:
    November 2017 $38.21 retail value
    October 2017 $55.97 retail value
    September 2017 $31.84 retail value
    August 2017 $35.36 retail value

    Also, check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to compare it to Macy’s Beauty Box. In addition, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. Plus, don’t forget to enter my current giveaway before you leave. 

    Bargain Alert:

    Mr. Rebates -6% Cash Back from Macy’s
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    Nordstrom Anniversary Sale $10 Credit Offer is Back and LORAC & Leaders Now on HauteLook

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    27th Sun Basket Meal Kit Review & $40 Coupon

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    Thai Turkey Salad with Cabbage, Basil & Mint


    Ingredients

    Italian Sausage with Spring Vegetables


    Ingredients


    Chicken Piccata with Roasted Zucchini & Smashed New Potatoes


    Ingredients


    This is a review of our 27th delivery from a weekly food subscription box called Sun Basket. We gave two recipes four out of five stars and one recipe three stars. Calories ranged from 560 to 790 and preparation time indicated ranged from twenty to fifty minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from forty minutes to over an hour.

    Thai Turkey Salad with Cabbage, Basil & Mint

    We made this dish before and gave it four out of five stars, so I ordered it again.  It’s a scrumptious dish, I skip the radishes because I’m not a fan. The combination of turkey, lemongrass paste, lime juice, basil, mint, sambal oelek, cabbage, cashews, shredded coconut and Thai dressing is wonderful. This recipe indicated it has 790 calories and that it would take only twenty to thirty minutes to prepare. It was a very generous portion that was very filling. One could make this into three decent sized portions rather than two large portions. It took me forty minutes to prepare.

    Italian Sausage with Spring Vegetables

    We gave this recipe three out of five stars. The best part was the scrumptious, high quality sausage, but there wasn’t enough of it. There was way too much fennel, kale, onion and cabbage, so much so that there was enough for four people! It would have tasted so much better, if we had used half. We forgot to include the kale in the photo above. While we love Kalamata olives they just didn’t fit well in this dish, it was way too strong a flavor and overwhelmed the rest of the ingredients. Also, the sherry vinegar added too much tartness to the dish. The recipe indicated that it has only 590 calories and that it would take twenty to thirty minute to prepare. It took Hubby fifty-eight minutes to prepare and it was a huge portion. We had two portions of leftovers. 

    Chicken Piccata with Roasted Zucchini & Smashed New Potatoes

    We gave this recipe four out of five stars. It was scrumptious! The best part was the incredible piccata sauce made with capers, lemon juice & zest, parsley, vegetable broth and butter. The zucchini could have used some more parmesan, but I imagine they wanted to keep the calorie count low, coming in at only 560 calories. It really didn’t taste like a low calorie meal, it was so delicious and the sauce was decadent. As usual, the sauce takes longer than the five to seven minutes indicated to thicken up. I didn’t care for the garlic on the potatoes. My portion shown above doesn’t show all of my zucchini since Hubby is on a low calorie diet, he took some of my portion since he was skipping the potatoes. Hubby also skipped adding flour to the chicken, it was totally unnecessary. The recipe states it will take thirty-five to fifty minutes preparation time. It took Hubby over an hour and it was a healthy, filling portion.
    It was another enjoyable week of recipes and we look forward to our next box.  Which recipe looks most appetizing to you? Have you tried Sun Basket yet? If not, be sure to use my link below for $40 off your first box. Bargain!

    Bargain Alert:
    Gobble Meal Kits – Two free meals
    Hello Fresh Meal Kits – $40 Off
    Home Chef Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads – $30 Off
    Sun Basket Meal Kits – $40 Off
    Terra’s Kitchen Meal Kits, Smoothies & Prepared Salads, Soup, Drinks & Snacks – $40 Off

    I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’Networked Blogs and Facebook. Be a pal and share this post with friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


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    The Peter Thomas Roth Memorial Day Travel Size Sale Started Early (This is a Good One!)

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    The Weekly Drugstore Makeup Sales (New Ulta Freebie and More)

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    Nordstrom is Price-Matching the Kiehl’s Friends & Family Sale (Free Shipping + Samples Plus My Personal Recs)

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    Ulta Update: Dose of Colors Now Online, UD Basquiat Sale, New Multipliers, 50% off Clinique Sets & Deluxe Freebie with ANY Purchase is Still Working

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    Flat Belly Diet 4-Day Anti-Bloat Cleanse

    Before I started the whole journey to eating clean, I did a 10-day Advocare Cleanse to clear out my system, so to speak. It did wonderful things for my energy levels and helped get my mindset into eating clean. Well, nine months later, I decided I needed another push of the reset button. I’ve been doing really well overall, but summer has been hard for overeating and not choosing good foods. So, I am doing another cleanse, but this time I am doing the Flat Belly Diet 4-day Anti-Bloat Cleanse.

    I am not a fan of diets at all because I think they set you up for eating unrealistically and while you may have success at the beginning, it usually fades pretty quickly. I’m more for lifestyle changes that you can adopt for the rest of your life. I came across the Flat Belly Diet and was skeptical at first, but after reading through the book, I decided to try the cleanse and then adopt some of the diet. The diet is basically a 1600-calorie Mediterranean diet that includes a MUFA (monounsaturated fat) in every meal. You can read more about it here and here.

    I’ll talk more about the diet as I go along, but I wanted to tell you all about the cleanse. I definitely felt less bloated afterwards, but pretty hungry each day. I definitely did not consume enough calories for my 14k training and bonked on one of my runs. Overall, it was a great way to reset my appetite and I did lose a few pounds. I will continue to drink the Sassy Water because was very refreshing and suppressed my appetite.

    Here’s what was on the menu for each day (plus my modifications). I took some creative liberties and swapped out some of the sides and changed them between days:

    Day 1
    Breakfast
    1 c unsweetened cornflakes
    1 c skim milk
    1/2 c unsweetened applesauce (I did not eat this…gross)
    1/2 c raw or roasted sunflower seeds
    1 glass sassy water

    Lunch
    4 oz turkey
    1 light string cheese
    1 pt fresh grape tomatoes
    glass of sassy water

    Smoothie: 1 c skim milk,1 c frozen blueberries blended then add 1 Tbsp cold pressed organic flaxseed oil (This can be eaten as a mid-morning, mid-afternoon or after dinner snack…whenever you need the pick-me-up)

    Dinner
    1 c fresh/frozen cooked green beans
    4 oz grilled/cooked tilapia
    1/2 c roasted red potatoes drizzled with 1 tsp olive oil.

    Day 2
    Breakfast
    1 c Rice Krisipies
    1 c skim milk
    1/4 c sunflower seeds
    4 oz pineapple tidbits canned in juice (left this out…not a pineapple fan either)
    glass of sassy water

    Lunch
    3 oz light tuna in water (I did turkey every day b/c I don’t like tuna)
    1 c steamed baby carrots (I used raw, regular carrots…too much sugar in the baby ones)
    1 light string cheese
    Sassy water

    Smoothie: 1 c skim milk, 4 oz canned pineapple tidbits in juice in blender, stir in 1 tbsp flax oil

    Dinner
    1 c fresh crimini (bella) mushrooms sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil
    3 oz grilled chicken breast
    1/2 c brown rice
    Sassy water

    Day 3
    Breakfast
    Same as Day 1 except for 2 Tbsp raisins instead of applesauce

    Lunch
    Same as Day 1

    Smoothie: use 1 c frozen peaches w/ 2 tsp flax oil

    Dinner
    Same as day 1 except for 3oz baked turkey cutlet instead of fish. (I did chicken again)

    Day 4
    Breakfast
    1 pkg instant cream of wheat
    1 c skim milk
    1/4 c sunflower seed
    2 dried plums

    Lunch
    Same as Day 1

    Smoothie use 1 c frozen strawberries/2 tsp flax oil

    Dinner
    1 c fresh/frozen yellow squash sauteed in 1 tsp olive oil
    3 oz grilled chicken breast
    1/2 c brown rice
    Sassy water

    During 4 days you also must avoid coffee, any soft drink, sweeteners, salt, excess carbs, bulky raw food, gassy foods, gum, fried foods, spicy foods.

    The Sassy Water Recipe

    2 liters water (about 8 ½ cups)1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
    1 medium cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
    1 medium lemon, thinly sliced
    12 small spearmint leaves.
    Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and let flavors blend overnight.
    Drink the entire pitcher by the end of each day.

    Ulta The Gorgeous Hair Event Day 12 Deals are Live (Info, Tips and What I’m Buying)

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    Dang you Rachael Ray!

    Excuse my language (earmuffs children) but damn you Rachel Ray and your EVOO (that’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil for those of you living under a rock). Your perky cooking banter and cleverly named dishes made with, cooked in and saturated with EVOO had us fooled. Yes, EVOO is a super food and really good for you, but only depending on how you use it.


    An recent article on Fox News debunked several myths about olive oil, including that you should use EVOO for all types of cooking. Not true…EVOO is great for dressings, marinades and in baking, but using it for sauteing, frying, grilling or roasting can be dangerous. Between a temperature of 375 and 405 degrees, EVOO starts emitting dangerous toxins and loses its antioxidant properties. Who knew, right?? Instead of EVOO, consider using regular olive oil for any high heat cooking and save the EVOO for dressings and marinades. (You can read the rest of myths at the Fox News article here)

    Instead of olive oil, you could also try coconut oil. Coconut oil raises good cholesterol, boosts the immune system and stimulates metabolism. It’s great in stir-frys  and other high heat cooking because it has a high smoke point. Use it in baked goods and frosting as a substitute for veggie or canola oil. Unless you really like the taste of coconut, be sure to buy the refined coconut oil. I made the mistake of buying regular and boy could I taste the coconut in everything I cooked it in! It does make a nice oil to cook with though. Be aware that it’s not actually an oil, but a semisolid that will melt when heated.

    Want some more options? Check out this Fitness Magazine article on Healthy Cooking Oils.

    Birthday Party Eating Clean-Style


    My kiddos birthdays are less than a month apart, so this year, to make it easier on our out-of-town family and friends, I decided to hold both parties on the same day, back-to-back. By the end of the weekend, I was totally exhausted, but it ended up being a great day! In keeping with the clean eating lifestyle we’ve adapted, I decided to make both parties as clean as possible.

    For Gavin’s bday party, I did a barnyard theme and served Hen House Chicken Sandwiches, Dairy Barn Mac and Cheese, Garden Patch Veggies and Animal Feed Chips and Pretzels. Clever names huh? 🙂 For dessert, we had clean cupcakes with all-natural frosting. (Check out the recipe here. They were the same cupcakes I made for the mine and the hubby’s birthdays) Minus the pretzels and slider buns, everything was all-natural, clean and delicious 🙂 Check out all the recipes below:

    Chicken Sandwiches
    4 large cans of chunk chicken (double check the ingredients to make sure it’s just chicken and water, with no preservatives)
    Equivalent of 2 cans of cream of chicken (see recipe here)
    1 sleeve of crackers (saltine, tollhouse, etc) adding more if too runny

    Mix everything together in crockpot and cook on low for 1-2 hours before serving.
    Mac and Cheese
    Adapted from Kitchen Treaty

    8 oz. (1/2 pound or about 1¾ cups) macaroni or other medium tubular pasta (like penne or conchiglie) (I found that Trader Joe’s has the best prices on organic, all-natural pasta…$1 for a pound!)

    3 tablespoons butter
    ¼ cup flour
    ½ teaspoon salt
    ½ teaspoon dry mustard
    ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    2½ cups 2% milk
    3 cups grated medium cheddar cheese or whatever cheese you have on hand


    Boil the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking, and return to the pan you boiled it in. Set aside. (Mix in a little butter to keep the noodles from sticking if it’s going to be awhile before you make the sauce)
    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
    Over medium heat, melt the butter.
    Add the flour, salt, dry mustard, pepper, and ⅛ teaspoon smoked paprika. Stir constantly over medium heat for about three minutes.
    Stir in the milk.
    Keeping on medium heat, whisk constantly for about 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
    Remove from heat, and stir in 2 cups of the cheese, stirring until melted.
    Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and toss gently until all noodles are covered.
    Add half the noodles to a two quart casserole dish.
    Sprinkle on half the cheese.
    Add the rest of the noodles.
    Sprinkle on the rest of the cheese, and dust lightly with the smoked paprika.
    Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until it starts getting a slightly dry and a tiny bit brown on top. 

    Veggie Tray
    I just cut up fresh green and yellow peppers from our garden, carrots from our garden, celery and broccoli and served with hummus and all-natural ranch dressing. 

    QVC’s TSVs for November 2017

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    Preorder Numbers for Today’s Special Values



    1st – Ecolution Set of Three 3 Qt Microwave Popcorn Poppers, K46614, $29.98 or 2 payments of $14.99, comes in 9 colors

    2nd – Marc Fisher Calf Leather Tall Shaft Boots, Medium A301455 or Wide A301456, $124.80 or 5 payments of $24.96, comes in 5 colors

    4th – Josie Maran Super Size Anniversary Collection, A300866, $79.95 available in 5 payments, comes in 3 scents

    5th – Vitamix 7500 64 oz. 16 in 1 Variable Speed Blender with Dry Container, K46637, $399.96 available in 6 payments, comes in 8 colors

    6th – Cuddl Duds Double Plush Velour Leggings, A301862, $18.98 available in 3 payments, comes in 5 colors

    7th – Santa’s Best 137 Function LED Smart Green or Flocked Pine Tree, H212889, $219.00-$569.00 available in 6 payments, choice of 5′, 6.5′, 7.5′ or 9′

    8th – KitchenAid 5 Quart 325 Watt Tilt Head Stand Mixer with Flex Edge Beater, K46639, $259.98 available in 6 payments, comes in 13 colors. FYI – Costco is offering a 6 Quart Professional Bowl Lift Stand Mixer for only $249.99 until the 22nd, $80 off. Amazing deal!

    11th – It Cosmetics It’s Your Top Five Superstars & More Six Piece Collection, A301863 or A/D A304002, $59.94 available in 3 payments, comes in 7 shades, comes with a Heavenly Luxe Complexion Foundation Globe Brush, Bye Bye Pores Pressed Illumination, Je Ne Sais Quoi Awakening Hydrating Lip Treatment in Rose, Full Coverage SPF CC+ Cream Illumination 1.08 fl. oz., Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil, Superhero Volumizing Mascara

    12th – Mrs. Prindables Ten Large Apples with 3D Character Boxes, Ship Nov 27th M55395 A/D M55889 or Ship Dec 4th M55936 A/D M55890 or Ship Dec 11th M55637 A/D M55891 or Ship Dec 18th M55398 A/D M55892, $49.98 available in 6 payments, 2nd shipment is a spring holiday assortment in March ’18, Dec 4th not available yet

    13th – Clarisonic Mia 1 Sonic Cleansing System, A298983, $78.96 available in 6 payments and 6 colors

    14th – Luminara Flameless Candles Four Piece Vintage Glitter Pillar Candles with Remotes, H213475, 5″ for $89.96 or 7″ for $99.96 available in 5 payments and 6 colors

    15th – Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Toothbrush, V35104, $99.96 available in 6 payments and 5 colors

    16th – Earth Origins Water Repellent Suede Ankle Boots Tate, A301865, $66.12 available in 4 payments, comes in 5 colors

    17th – First Aid Beauty Super Size Ultra Home & Away Kit, A303951 or A/D A303946, $42.00 available in 3 payments, comes in 5 scents

    18th – Dooney & Bourke Pebble Leather Hobo Handbag, A301867, $229.92 available in 5 payments, comes in 7 colors

    19th – Amazon Echo Show with Smart Plug, Music & Audible Books Offers, E231445, $179.94 available in 6 payments and 2 colors

    20th – Anybody Lounger Cozy Knit Novelty Print, Petite A301869 or Regular A301868 or Tall A301870, $39.98 available in 2 payments, comes in 5 colors

    21st – Berkshire Fair Isle Velvet Soft Reverse to Sherpa Blanket, $23-34 available in 3 payments, Twin H213717 or Full H213718 or Queen H213719 or King H213720, comes in 6 colors, moved up from air date of the 30th

    22nd – NFL Reversible Hoodie Jacket in Team Colors, A295840, $49.98 available in 5 payments

    23rd – Lisa Rinna Collection Cowl Neck Tunic with Front Seam, A301872 or Petite A301873 $49.96 available in 4 payments, comes in 5 colors 

    24th – Bose Wave Music System with CD Slot & Dual Alarm, E231175, $299.95, available in 6 payments and 2 colors

    25th – Ring Video Doorbell 2 HD Monitoring with Chime Pro & 3 Year Warranty, E231300, $159.95 available in 5 payments, read my review.

    26th – HP Touch Laptop Core i5 8 GB RAM 2TB HD with Backlit Keyboard & MS Office 365, 15″ E231201 or 17″ E231228, $599.94 or $699.94 available in 6 payments and 7 colors

    27th – Beats Solo 2 Luxe Edition Headphones, E231485, $99.96 available in 5 payments and 4 colors

    28th – Wen Set of Three 32 oz. Cleansing Conditioners, A303667 or A/D A304018, $79.90 available in 6 payments, comes in Classic, Seasonal (Winter Vanilla Mint, Winter Red Currant & Winter White Citrus) or Rice

    29th – Primula Avalanche Set of Four 20 oz Tumblers with Gift Boxes, K46641, $29.98, comes in basic, brights or metallics

    30th – HoMedics 3D Shiatzu Massage Chair, V35110, $89.95 available in 5 payments
    30th – QVC2 Big Deal Denim & Co Mock Neck Cable Knit Tunic Sweater, A299375 or Petite A299377, $32.64 available in 2 payments & 5 colors

    Black Friday Weekend

    AnyBody – Loungewear V-Neck Swing Top, A286932, $29.98 available in 5 payments and 11 colors

    Honora – Cultered Pearl Set of Five 8 mm Boxed Stainless Steel Stud Earrings, J329794, $29.96 available in 5 payments, classic or fashion colors

    Luminara – Windsor Lantern with Pedestal & Flameless Candle, H210886, $34.00-$59.00 available in 5 payments & 5 colors, 17″-21″

    Skechers – GoWalk Suede Faux Fur Boots, A280515, $49.98 available in 5 payments, comes in 7 colors

    Weekly Special Value

    Ends 12/3 – Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Twinkle Lighting Palette, A286914, $36.33 available in 5 payments

    December

    16th – Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Lite Island Wrap, A301874, $69.98 available in 5 payments, comes in 5 colors

    FYI – items that say they are “sold out” haven’t been entered into the system yet. They should show up in a few days. Closer to the air date they may actually sell out their preorder quantity, but there will be plenty on the day they air unless they cancel the TSV. Preorder easy payments may change the day they air, either no easy pay or more or less payments. Shipping charges may also change. If they offer free s/h on the day they air and you preordered without free s/h, be sure to call customer service and get a refund.

    So what do you think, what will you be preordering? Any brands you were hoping for that haven’t offered a TSV yet? There is usually a Keurig in November, so stay tuned for that. As soon as I have information on the other TSVs, I’ll update this post. So be sure to check back regularly for updates. Looks like a repeat for the Barefoot Dreams TSV. Already have two of those, so I’ll skip that one. Highly recommend it! It does leave little balls of lint on chairs with rough fabric. It’s annoying, but it’s so soft and cozy, I look past it. Not crazy about the scent selection for Wen. Classic is boring to me now. For seasonal, I’d prefer just Winter Mint, but it’s a super value at $26.64 a bottle! Normally each one is around $50 each. Anyone try Winter Red Currant & Winter White Citrus? I have to be careful which scents I chose since some are too oily. FYI – his super sized gallons are currently for sale. What do you think of the It Cosmetics TSV? I was hoping it would include one of their new moisturizers or cleansers. I had a Vitamix, but after replacing a part it leaks oil. Went with Blendtec and it’s so much better. You just put the lid on and push the button. The Vitamix one makes you use a tamper and you have to use it to press on the ingredients during blending. Also, when you have a warranty issue customer service isn’t polite or kind. I had a really bad experience. Blentec can be found at Costco. Those velour leggings sure do look comfy. Too bad they don’t have them in petite sizes. I’m anxious to find out what Josie Maran will be offering. Hopefully it will include some new products. Just curious, are you spending more or less money this holiday season? For us, it will be less though my new iPhone 8 is my birthday and Christmas gift, so I guess I’ll have to say more. For a laugh check out the $220 PieCaken Cheesecake offered by Junior’s. I was shocked when I had QVC on in the background while working online and saw it come up. Seriously, $220 for a cheesecake?! What in the world was QVC and Junior’s thinking. I wouldn’t even buy that if I was a millionaire! It doesn’t even look appetizing. I like my cheesecake and pies separate.


    Other interesting TSVs that information hasn’t been provided for yet:

    3rd – Susan Graver
    4th – Josie Maran, updated above 
    13th – Clarisonic, updated above
    14th – Luminara Flameless Candles, updated above
    22nd – NFL, updated above
    Black Friday Weekend, updated above

    Not a TSV, but worth checking out, Mally Disney’s Frozen Seven Piece Collection, $49.98 available in 3 payments and 2 options: Elsa or Anna. EDD December 19th.

    Please show your support for this blog by checking out the following referral offers for companies I highly recommend:

    Hello Fresh Meal Kit – $40 off
    Home Chef Meal Kit – $30 off
    Julep – 12 Free Nail Polishes
    Mr. Rebates – $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC, click here.

    Sun Basket Meal Kit – $35 off


    Thank you to those that have used my referral links, I really appreciate your support. Also, thanks to the those that leave comments and help out other shoppers with reviews and answering questions. You are welcome to share a link to this blog post, but please be kind & respectful and do not copy my post and post it elsewhere. Don’t forget to enter my monthly meal kit giveaways.  I just started a Facebook page for this blog, please follow.


    I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs. Be a pal and share this post with friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


    Have a PEACEful Day!

    No More Cream of Preservatives!

    I’ve found so many awesome looking recipes that I’ve not tried because they call for cream of whatever soup, which is pretty much cream of preservative soup. Thankfully, I’ve found an awesome clean, all-natural and even gluten-free solution. It’s so easy to put together, store in the pantry and throw together whenever you need a can of cream of chicken, mushroom or celery. 

    Soup or Sauce (SOS) Mix
    From One Good Thing By Jillee

    2 cups powdered non-fat dry milk
    3/4 cup cornstarch
    1/4 cup instant chicken bouillon (regular or low sodium)
    2 Tbsp dried onion flakes
    2 tsp Italian seasoning (optional)

    Combine all ingredients in a re-closeable plastic bag, mixing well. Equal to 9 (10.5 oz) cans of cream soup. Store in closed plastic bag or air-tight container until ready to use. It does not have to be refrigerated.
     
    To substitute for 1 can of cream soup:
    Combine 1/3 cup of dry mix with 1 1/4 cups of cold water. Whisk until well blended. Cook and stir on stove top or in microwave until thickened. Add thickened mixture to casseroles as you would a can of soup.

    Dinner Plan to Eat Clean for a Week

    Your Dinner Plan to Eat Clean for a Week 

    Haven’t jumped into clean eating yet because you’re not sure where to start or you feel like you don’t have enough time to prepare clean meals? Check out Eating Well’s dinner plan for a week of clean eating meals. Along with meal plans and recipes, Eating Well offers clean eating tips, included convenience foods to help make meal prep easier. 

    You can find the whole meal plan here.

    Clean Eating 12 Days of Christmas – Whiskey/Bourbon Bottle Soap Dispenser

    Remember my earlier post about how hard it is to find gifts for the men in our families? This is another solution to that dilemma 🙂 My father-in-law LOVES bourbon but has pretty much everything bourbon related already (at least everything we can afford ;). 

    I saw on Etsy a bourbon bottle soap dispenser that I thought he would love and actually use. However, I didn’t want to spend $40 on it, so I made my own. It was super easy…I took an empty bourbon bottle (I used one of his Maker’s Mark ones he actually filled and sealed), washed it out good and filled with soap. For the dispenser part, go to the dollar store and find a $1 soap dispenser that’s as tall or as nearly as tall as the bottle so that the straw reaches to the bottom of the bourbon bottle. Screw the dispenser and straw part onto the bourbon bottle and voila! Instant kitschy, fun and unique soap dispenser! I’m also going green and saving green by recycling and old bottle and only spending $1 on the dispenser.

    Freezing Green Beans

    Another harvest from our garden…lots and lots of green beans! Instead of canning, I decided to freeze them. I blanched them for 1-2 minutes, then immediately put in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. After draining well, I put the green beans in a freezer ziplock bag and put in the freezer to enjoy all winter long 🙂 Easy peasy!

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    Mr. Dumpling Restaurant Review – Apex, NC

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    5470 Apex Peakway
    Olive Chapel Village
    Apex, NC  27502
    (919) 387-7709


    Exterior View


    Interior Decor


    Sweet & Sour Chicken – $9.95


    Stir Fried Lamb Cumin – $15.95


    This is a review of a new Asian restaurant located in Apex, North Carolina called Mr. Dumplings. It opened eight weeks ago in the Olive Chapel Village shopping center located next to the hospital. They are open from 11 am until 3pm and reopen at 4:30 and they close at 9:30 pm. On Friday night they reopen at 5:30 pm instead of 4:30 pm. They are closed on Tuesdays. We visited yesterday, Saturday night around 5 pm. We were immediately greeted by a friendly waitress and seated at a table. They were already very busy with carry out orders, but we appeared to be the 2nd customers for dining in. Shortly after we arrived a lot more customers arrived. The interior decor is lovely with many tables and some booths that seat up to six people. The atmosphere is calm and peaceful with latest hits music playing.

    I ordered the Sweet & Sour Chicken and a Diet Coke. I noticed on the table a list of Wine & Beer they offer which I had not seen on the menu. Hubby ordered the Lamb Cumin hoping that it would be low carb. He also ordered hot tea, but I didn’t see that beverage on the menu either. It landed up being Jasmine tea and he enjoyed it. The tea and soda were $1.50 each. Since we were visiting in the evening, the dinner prices were in effect. My Sweet & Sour Chicken was $9.95, but at lunch it’s only $6.50 and it includes soup and an egg roll, bargain! Our food arrived very quickly which was about eight minutes. I was happy to see my dish wasn’t swimming in sauce. It had just the right amount of sauce on the bottom of the plate with the chicken, red onion and green peppers, red peppers and pineapple on top. The sauce was perfect, best ever. It wasn’t syrupy, it was thin, light and scrumptious. It also came with a very large bowl of white rice. I was also happy to see that there were sizable pieces of chicken inside the breading. Too many Chinese restaurants have too much breading and very little chicken. The breading was nice and crisp without being greasy. I wish there had been a bit more more onion and green pepper, but all in all it was the best Sweet & Sour Chicken I’ve had. I’m craving it as I write this post! The white rice was also perfectly cooked. I can’t wait to return and have it again though I’ll try to push myself to try something else, perhaps the Cashew Chicken or the Lamb & Carrot Dumplings. If you have been, do you have any suggestions on what to try next? Hubby’s Stir Fried Lamb had a ton of red chili peppers on it! He always complains that when he orders “hot” dishes that they aren’t hot enough, so this was fun to watch him eat. This may be the hottest dish he’s had in a long time. He loved it and plans to order it again soon. I had a few bites and it was very tasty lamb. First you taste the lamb and then the spice hits your taste buds. 

    We really enjoyed our first dining experience at this new restaurant and we can’t wait to return. The Asian waitress was really friendly, kind and attentive. They had one person just tending to taking the orders to the kitchen and brining out all the dishes to the customers. He was very efficient. Also, one lady was making dumplings which you could watch, if you sat at the bar. If we lived closer, we would definitely be weekly carry out customers. I highly recommend you give this restaurant a try soon and we plan to visit often.

    Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board. Follow this blog via TwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, Facebook or Networked BlogsPlease share this restaurant review blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


    Mr. Dumpling  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
      Have a PEACEful Day!



    Macy’s Beauty Box – 2nd Shipment – September 2017

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    Beauty Passport


    This is a review of a new cosmetic subscription box brought to you by Macy’s for $15 per month. This is their second shipment and included in it were the following products:
    1. Ahava – Purifying Mud Mask, .86 fl. oz., made in Israel, $8.85 retail value
    2. Laura Mercier – Foundation Primer, .5 fl. oz., $11.17 retail value
    3. Vince Camuto – Ciao Perfume, .05 fl. oz., $1.25 retail value
    4. Dermablend – Loose Setting Powder, .18 oz., made in USA, $4.86 retail value
    5. Clinique – Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief, .21 oz., made in the UK, $4.81 retail value
    6. Burt’s Bees – Hand Salve, .3 oz., made in the USA, $.90 retail value
    7. Coupon – $5 off a beauty purchase at Macy’s, expires October 31st
    8. Cosmetic Bag
    The retail value of this month’s box is $31.84, not including the cosmetic bag. Last month’s box was $35.36, so I’m guessing their goal is to send boxes with a value around $30 to $35. Last month I was hoping they would step it up, but I’m losing hope now. Sephora has been sending boxes of much higher value, closer to $50. I was quite shocked to see a drug store sample from the brand Burt’s Bees. Sephora never sends drug store brands and their box is $5 cheaper. How do you feel about the value of the Macy’s Beauty Boxes?

    I’ve received a sample of Dermablend’s Setting Powder before and I wasn’t crazy about it. Some people love it, but I prefer Bare Escentuals Mineral Veil. I don’t like really thick hand creams, because they are really difficult to apply and this one has wax in it which is something I don’t think belongs in a cosmetic. It is definitely not a product I would purchase and I’m not a fan of the brand. I’ve also received a sample of the Laura Mercier primer before. I’m not crazy about this primer, I much prefer Julep’s or Laura Geller’s. I’m always happy to receive a sample from Clinique, so I will enjoying using this moisturizer. I also enjoy receiving masks, so I look forward to trying this one. My favorite purifying mask is from a brand called Wei. My favorite type of mask lately are the paper sheet ones. The perfume smells nice, but it’s not very strong. It has key notes of Mandarin, pink grapefruit, wild strawberry, blackberry, rose, peony, muguet, honeysuckle, pink jasmine, passionflower, amber, cashmere, amaro liquor, sandalwood and patchouli. After spraying it on, I first smell the fruit followed by the florals. It’s not a perfume I would buy since it’s very weak and very expensive coming in at $85. My favorite perfume is Angel from Mugler. While it’s also very expensive, it takes very little since it’s a very strong scent and it lasts a long time. 

    I was hoping for some lipstick, eyeshadow, foundation or blush. Since I’ve already tried two of these samples before and one is a drug store brand, this box is especially disappointing. Macy’s isn’t sending any new products which is what Sephora tries to do often. I’m always anxious to try new products to see if I like them enough to buy the full size version. I’m going to wait until the 3rd box to decide whether or not to cancel this subscription. I’m leaning towards cancelling it and if I wasn’t a blogger, I’d be cancelling today. If you subscribe, are you cancelling or are you happy with your box? Did you receive the same products? If you haven’t subscribed yet, are you tempted to purchase it?

    Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to compare it to Macy’s Beauty Box. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. Don’t forget to enter my current giveaway. 

    Be a pal and share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking their boxes here: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


    Have a PEACEful Day!

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    Beef Stroganoff

    I have a confession to make.
    I love Hamburger Helper.
    I know. Shocking. Mrs. Clean Eating loves preservative-filled fake dinner. I’ve loved it for a long time though, ever since college when I would make it all.the.time. Ask my college roommate, Rachael 🙂 I am particularly drawn to the Beef Stroganoff. I don’t know what is it about that ground beef, noodly, creamy goodness that gets me every time.
    Anyway, since going clean, HH has not made an appearance in our household. Luckily, I had an old recipe for Easy Beef Stroganoff tucked away and decided to give it the old college try. While it didn’t measure up to HH to me, it was still good and easy, just like the name says. Plus, it was all-natural and clean. My kiddos gobbled it up. 
    I used all-natural, homemade egg noodles I found at a local meat market. My grandma has a recipe for homemade egg noodles as well, so maybe I’ll get brave and try those too. We used the grain-fed beef for the meat, which was also really good and super tender. With this recipe, be sure not to overcook the meat, just cook until barely pink. Otherwise, it gets too tough.

    Easy Beef Stroganoff
    Adapted from Real Simple

    12 ounces egg noodles
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    1 pound flank steak, thinly sliced
    kosher salt and black pepper
    1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
    1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
    2 cups fresh mushrooms
    1 8-ounce container all-natural sour cream
    2 1/2 tablespoons steak sauce or Worcestershire sauce

    Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steak with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. In 2 batches, cook the steak until browned, about 1 minute per side. Transfer to a plate.
    Return the skillet to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add the onion and bell pepper (if desired); cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and beef and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and steak sauce and stir the mixture into the beef and mushrooms. Serve over the noodles.

    Is this BOGOFREE Clarisonic Brush Head Deal New?

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    Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review – November 2017

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    Survival of the Chillest


    This is a review of the November Play! by Sephora subscription box. It’s a monthly subscription for only $10 a month including shipping and handling. There are several different boxes being sent out based on customers’ profiles. This one is box #957 and it has a retail value of $58.57. Bargain! In the November box I received the following cosmetic samples:
    1. Moroccan Oil – Moroccanoil Treatment, made in Israel, .34 fl. oz., $6.80 retail value
    2. Origins – Clear Improvement, made in the USA, 1 fl. oz., $10 retail value
    3. Marc Jacobs – Velvet Noir Major Volume Mascara, made in Italy, .17 oz., $11.33 retail value
    4. Caudalie – Vinosource S.O.S. Thirst Quenching Serum, made in France, .33 fl. oz., $16.17 retail value
    5. Burberry – My Burberry Blush eau de Perfum, made in France, .06 fl. oz., $3.37 retail value
    6. Sephora – Ultra Shine Lip Gel in Perfect Nude, made in Switzerland, .1 oz, $10.90 retail value
    I’ve used the Moroccanoil Treatment before and I loved it. I received a full size bottle of it in one of my subscription boxes a long time ago. That bottle lasted a very long time and once it was all gone I wanted to buy another bottle, but it’s so pricey so I didn’t. So I’m very happy to receive a deluxe sample of it. Just a little bit of it goes a long way. I like to use it after my shower on wet shampooed hair and air dry. My hairdresser said it’s not healthy for the hair though. It really helps to detangle long hair when brushing throughout it when it’s wet. I’ve also received a sample of Origins Clear Improvement mask before. I really like it, so that’s another sample I’m happy to receive and it’s a large sample at 1 oz. I look forward to trying the Marc Jaobs Mascara. I’m always happy to receive a sample from the Caudalie brand. I’m never been disappointed by any of the Caudalie samples I’ve received over the years. I’ve never tried any Burberry products before, so I’m happy to receive this sample also. This perfume has a floral scent with top notes of pomegranate and lemon. It has middle notes of geranium, apple and rose petal. It’s base notes are jasmine and wisteria. I mostly smell the apple, followed by lemon and a mix of flowers. It’s a refreshing scent that I like, but not enough to purchase at $90 a bottle. The last item in the box is the Lip Gel made by the Sephora brand. I usually find quality products from Sephora. This lip gel is glossy yet not sticky, but it doesn’t change my lip color much. It’s not opaque and it’s very nude. I’d prefer a color that is different from my own lip color, this is too similar. 

    My favorite item in this box is the Moroccanoil. If you received a box from Sephora this month, which item was your favorite? If not, which subscription box is your favorite?

    Bargain Alert:

    Mr. Rebates – 4% cash back for online Sephora purchases! 
    Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to see what I have received in my previous boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years. 

    Be a pal and share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking their boxes here: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


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    Monterrey Chicken

    I first tried this recipe before going clean and it’s becoming a family favorite. It’s so simple, yet super delicious. Since the Rotel is pretty spicy, I leave some of the chicken without it for the kids. Paired with zucchini and onions from our garden, this made for a super fresh and super yummy meal!
     

    MONTEREY CHICKEN
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1/4 c. bar-b-que sauce (we use Montgomery Inn…if you wanted to keep it 100% clean, use homemade)
    1/4 c. real bacon bits
    1 c. colby and jack cheese, shredded
    1 14 oz. can Rotel tomatoes, drained (canned with green chilies added)
    sliced green onions
    pepper

    Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pound out chicken breasts to flatten. Season with pepper. Grill chicken until no long pink and place on baking sheet covered with foil. Top each chicken breast with one tablespoon bar-b-que sauce, 1/4 c. cheese, 1/4 c. tomatoes, green onions and one tablespoon of bacon bits. Place in oven and bake until cheese is melted (about 5 minutes).

    23rd Blue Apron Meal Kit Review

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    Korean Beef Steam Buns with Sweet Potato Tempura & Spicy Mayonnaise


    Ingredients


    Barramundi & Herbed Couscous with Honeynut Squash & Spiced Labneh


    Ingredients


    Tuscan Style Pork Chops with Roasted Potato & Salsa Verde


    Ingredients


    This is a review of our 23rd delivery from a weekly food subscription box called Blue Apron. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars, one recipe three stars and one recipe two stars. Calories ranged from 510 to 720 and preparation times ranged from twenty-five to fifty-five minutes as indicated on the recipe cards. Actual preparation time ranged from to fifty-six minutes to over an hour.

    Korean Beef Steam Buns with Sweet Potato Tempura & Spicy Mayonnaise

    This one looks the most appetizing of the three recipes. We had a similar recipe from Blue Apron before and it’s was truly scrumptious. Unfortunately, this one included sliced beef and it was very tough and chewy, so I landed up giving this one only two out of five stars. Gouchuiang is red, but when mixed with mayo it turns orange, quite surprising. One would think it would turn pink, so it much have some yellow in it. The spicy mayo was very tasty and simply made with gouchuiang and mayo. The sweet potato needed more panko. This recipe has 720 calories and it was a healthy portion. It took fifty-eight minutes to prepare, only a couple minutes more than the recipe indicated. 

    Barramundi & Herbed Couscous with Honeynut Squash & Spiced Labneh

    I gave this recipe five out five stars and Hubby gave it four stars. The barramundi is very tasty especially with the sauce made with labneh cheese, dukkah spice blend, lemon juice and garlic paste. The addition of spinach, golden raisins, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper to the couscous was scrumptious! The golden raisins were a sweet treat. There was a lot of couscous, so it was a large portion and very filling. The squash on my plate shown above only represents half my portion, the rest wouldn’t fit on the plate. It was deliciously sweet and filling. This one has 690 calories and it took fifty-six minutes to prepare, but the recipe said only up to forty minutes.

    Tuscan Style Pork Chops with Roasted Potato & Salsa Verde

    Hubby gave this recipe three out of five stars and I gave it two stars. It was not very memorable. The side of kale mixed with vinegar, garlic paste and red pepper flakes was very tart. I disliked it so much so that I didn’t eat it all. The pork chops were dry and the Tuscan spice blend wasn’t strong enough perhaps it was stale or we weren’t supplied enough of it. The way they suggested to cook the potato made it very dry. The red wine vinegar wasn’t a good addition to the salsa verde also made with capers, parsley, garlic paste and olive oil. This recipe only has 510 calories and it took over an hour to prepare. The recipe card says it will take only up to thirty-five minutes.

    Except for the Barramundi recipe, it was a disappointing week of recipes. My next meal kit review will be our 21st Plated delivery, so stay tuned. Don’t forget to enter my current giveaway and check out my Pinterest Subscription Box Board and Pinterest Blue Apron Board.

    Bargain Alert: 

    Hello Fresh – $40 off
    Home Chef – $30 Off
    Sun Basket – $35 Off

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    Ipsy Subscription Box Review – January 2018

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    Ipsy – January 2018
    This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box called Ipsy. It only costs $10 a month including shipping and they send out five deluxe samples per month based on your beauty profile. The retail value of this month’s bag is $37.06. Included in my January bag were the following products:
    1. Dermelect – Microfacial Exfoliating Masque, made in the USA, .5 fl. oz., $7.03 retail value
    2. The Balm – Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter, made in the USA, .04 oz., $3.20 retail value
    3. Kokie Cosmetics – Kissable Liquid Lipstick in Mad About Mauve, made in P.R. China, .24 fl. oz., $6.00
    4. SLMissGlam – Mermaid Glam Tapered Highlight Brush L36, $13.33 retail value
    5. Lué by Jean Seo – Balance Hydrating & Calming Serum, made in the USA, .5 fl. oz., $7.50 retail value
    I’m most excited about the Highlight Brush which I’ve seen others receive in previous boxes. I love the pink glitter handle with the two pink stones and the pretty pink bristles. I’ve never heard of this brand before, but the bristles are soft, so I’ll enjoy using it. I’m always happy to receive something from the brand The Balm. This one is a highlighter which can be used with the brush they sent. I’ve never heard of Kokie Cosmetics either and I’m not crazy about their liquid lipstick. It’s a very dark reddish brown which isn’t flattering on my fair skin. The consistency is ok, but it’s not a brand I would purchase especially since it’s made in China and they have very low standards for cosmetics. Yet another brand that I haven’t heard of before is Lué. The ingredients are questionable, I’m pretty sure they aren’t healthy ingredients. Another brand I haven’t heard of before is Dermelect. It’s really quite expensive, has anyone heard of this brand before or seen it in stores? This masque is suppose to remove oils and I have dry skin, so I’m not happy they sent it to me. If it wasn’t for the pretty brush and the highlighter they sent, I would be very unhappy about this bag. The reason I unsubscribed four years ago was because they kept sending low quality brands I’m not familiar with. When I saw that recently they were sending higher quality brands I decided to subscribe again. So imagine my disappointment when this bag has three out of five brands I haven’t heard of before. My last bag had only one brand I had not heard of. I’m going to have to start up my blog sale again, if I’m going to continuing subscribing to Ipsy. There are too many items I wont be using and I don’t want them to go to waste.
    Bargain Alert:
    Julep – 12 Free Nail Polishes
    Mr. Rebates – cash back for online purchases 

    If you are a subscriber what your favorite product this month? If you are not a subscriber, what’s keeping from you giving it a try? Check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years and check out December’s & November’s Ipsy. Share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking the boxes:  Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


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    New Sephora Favorites Sets Now Online (and New Freebie Codes to Go with Them)

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    $72 Plated Meal Kit Giveaway – October 2017

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    Plated has provided me with another box worth $72 to give away. Plated will send the winner one shipment that includes three recipes and the ingredients needed to make three meals for two people for a total of six servings. Above photo shows an example of one recipe. Enter via Rafflecopter:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway
    The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Plated, provide me with their name and email address to give to Plated, provide Plated their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US (not in Hawaii & Alaska). Winner will be sent an email from Plated and simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Plated box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to my account settings, scroll down to the bottom and chose “cancel subscription” or to skip future shipments select weekly menus and chose “skip week”. They ship to most of the US except Hawaii, Alaska and a few cities in TX including San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo & Midland. Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Wednesdays or Saturdays. Vegetarian meals are also offered.

    Learn more about Plated by visiting my Plated Pinterest Board. Click on the photos that interest you and it will take you to my matching blog post which provides a review of that recipe. Be sure to check out my reviews of Blue ApronGreen BlenderGreen ChefHello FreshHome ChefMarley SpoonPlated, Sun Basket and Terra’s Kitchen

    Bargain Alert: 
    Boxed – $15 off $60 
    Hello Fresh – $40 off
    Home Chef – $30 off, click here.
    Julep – Free 12 Piece Nail Polish Collection! $168 value!
    Mr. Rebates – $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC, click here.

    Vitacost – $10 Off, click here.
    Walmart Grocery – $10 off $50 

    I invite you to follow my blog via Instagram, PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’ or Networked Blogs. Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


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    Ipsy Subscription Box Review – February 2018

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    Unzipped – February 2018 Ipsy


    This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box called Ipsy for only $10 per month including shipping. The retail value of my February bag is whopping $56.42. Included in my February bag were the following products:
    1. Seraphine Botanicals – Lychee +Gold Blush, Healthy Glow Rose Gold Blush, formulated in the UK & packaging made in China, .11 oz. full size, $14.00 retail value
    2. IT Cosmetics – Bye Bye Under Eye Waterproof Concealer, made in China,  .11 fl. oz., $9.42 retail value
    3. Estate Cosmetics – Dew Me Baked Highlighter Powder in Afterglow, .1 oz. full size, $10.00 retail value
    4. Kloraine – Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, made in France, 1 oz., $10 retail value
    5. F.A.R.A.H. Brushes Angled Contour Brush 30F, made in China, full size, $13.00 retail value
    Three of the items are full size and the retail value this month is amazing! What a wonderful bargain! Seraphine Botanicals is a brand I was also introduced to in this month’s Boxy Charm. I love their packaging, the boxes they come in are very pretty. This blush is made with ginger, lychee, mangosteen and chamomile extracts. It’s vegan, GMO freee, gluten free and cruelty free. It has a very pretty peachy pink color with a hint of gold which can seen with movement. It goes on a bit light which I prefer. It’s easier for me to add more blush rather than trying to remove some. It has a screw top lid. I’m always happy to receive a product from IT Cosmetics and I have received this sample before and have some product left, so I’ll be placing this one in my stash. It goes on really heavy, so use the tiniest amount possible. I applied it first with my finger and then found it necessary to use a foundation brush to blend it. It has medium to heavy coverage. I’d say medium for those with dark circles. For me it’s heavy coverage since I just have puffiness, not dark circles. It doesn’t appear to make my wrinkles any more noticeable which is nice and hard to find in a concealer when you are over 35 to 40. I’m not going to try the Estate Cosmetics Highlighter because I just got an entire highlighter palette from Boxy Charm which also has a purple one. That will be going in my blog sale box to be sold when I finally get around to doing a blog sale again. I’ve received the Kloraine Dry Shampoo before and I love that brand, they have the best shampoo and conditioner for blonde hair. I like the dry shampoo, I’m just not crazy about spraying alcohol on my sensitive scalp. I use it on those days when the hair near my scalp starts to appear oily. It definitely gets rid of some of the oil which is very important when you have fine, straight hair since it’s so noticeable. The F.A.R.A.H. brush picks up quite a bit of blush and it applies well. I’d give it an average rating, it’s certainly not as good of a quality as IT Cosmetics’ brushes are. It’s soft and it does the job. I like to have several blush brushes in use, so that I don’t have to wash one just to apply a different color, so this brush will be perfect for that.

    I’m a happy camper this month. Ipsy treated me well and I just applied some reward points for a F.A.R.A.H. foundation brush which will be sent for free in my March Ipsy bag. If you haven’t tried Ipsy before, I dare you to sign up and give it a try for at least one month. It’s fun and it’s a nice, inexpensive treat to look forward to receiving each month. I recommend spending some time on your profile to make sure you don’t receive products you don’t want. If you are a subscriber, what your favorite product this month? I can’t pick just one this month, my favorites are the blush, brush and the concealer.

    Bargain Alert:
    Julep – 12 Free Nail Polishes
    Mr. Rebates – cash back for online purchases 

    Check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I’ve subscribed to over the years and check out January’s, December’s & November’s Ipsy. Share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking the boxes: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);

      


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    21st Plated Meal Kit Delivery Review


    Sausage Stuffed Portobellos with Ricotta


    Ingredients


    Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes & Dill Cucumber Salad


    Ingredients


    Waldorf Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons


    Ingredients


    This is a review of our 21st delivery from Plated which is a weekly meal kit subscription box. This box of recipes and ingredients costs $71.70 including shipping and handling. It breaks down to $11.95 a serving. This week we gave two recipes five out of five stars and one recipe four stars. It was an absolutely scrumptious set of three recipes! This is what I’ve come to expect from Plated, but lately they haven’t been as good, so I’m thrilled they stepped up their game again and impressed up once again. Just thinking about these recipes is making me hungry. Calories ranged from 630 to 850 and preparation time indicated on the recipe cards is forty to forty-five minutes. Actual preparation was forty-five minutes to over an hour.

    Sausage Stuffed Portobellos with Ricotta

    We gave this recipe five out of five stars. Oh my, it was so fabulously delicious. Look at the ingredients in the photo above, the mushrooms are huge! Even the side argula salad was yummy. The filling for the mushroom is made with sausage, white wine, ricotta, cream cheese, parmesan and parsley with parmesan sprinkled on top & balsamic glaze drizzled on top. So very yummy! The side salad is made with arugula, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. It was very tasty also. The dressing was a lovely addition. This one took forty-five minutes to prepare and the recipe says it will take forty-five minutes, a rare time that the recipe card was correct in it’s estimate. This one has only 630 calories and it’s a healthy and filling recipe.

    Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes & Dill Cucumber Salad

    Since I have Swedish heritage and I love Swedish Meatballs, I just had to order this recipe, in fact it’s what made me order this week. I guess I’m a bit picky, cause this recipe wasn’t the best. There was too much onion in the meatballs and the sauce. The gravy was tasty, but the meatballs needed some spice, some nutmeg would have helped. The red skinned mashed potatoes were very tasty. The side cucumber salad was a bit tart and seemed out of place like it should have been sitting next to a Greek dish not a Swedish one. I gave it four out of five stars, but it’s leaning a bit to the three stars side. This one took over an hour to prepare while the recipe card states only forty minutes. It has 840 calories.

    Waldorf Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons

    I love a really good salad when I have the time to eat it and this one looked really tasty. We gave this recipe five out of five stars, it was delightful. I’m not a fan of hard croutons. I always pick them off my salad, so I was intrigued by one that uses soft cornbread instead. It was really tasty and a lovely addition to the salad. The combination of romaine lettuce, apple, cornbread, red grapes, celery, tarragon, chives, walnuts and chicken was wonderful. The dressing made with mayonnaise, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, chives, salt and pepper was tasty and so much better than store bought dressing that usually has some horrible ingredients in it that aren’t healthy. It was a good sized salad that was filling and this one comes in at 850 calories. Preparation time was over an hour while the recipe states up to forty minutes. Mind you we take our time cleaning produce.
    It was a wonderful week of recipes that were scrumptious. I would order more often from them if they weren’t one of the most expensive meal kits. We are expecting a meal kit from Green Chef next, so stay tuned for that review. Be sure to check out the rest of the recipes I reviewed via my Pinterest Plated Subscription Box Board. Who do you order meal kits from the most? If you haven’t tried one yet, why?

    Bargain Alert: 

    Hello Fresh – $40 off
    Home Chef – $30 Off
    Sun Basket – $35 Off
    Julep – 12 Free Nail Polishes
    Mr. Rebates – $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC, click here.

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    Feta-Stuffed Chicken

    This one was all the hubby again, he took the original recipe and adapted it based on what we had in the house. It turned out to be a wonderful chicken dish with lots of great flavors (I love the way the feta melts on the grill with the cream cheese). It was super juicy too!

    Feta-Stuffed Chicken
    Adapted from Skinny Mom

    Cheese Mixture
    1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    2oz. fat-free cream cheese
    couple tablespoons finely chopped red onion
    dash of garlic powder, balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper

    4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 pounds total)

    In a small bowl combine feta cheese and cream cheese; set aside. Using a sharp knife, cut a horizontal slit through the thickest portion of each chicken breast half to form a pocket. Stuff pockets with the cheese mixture. Secure openings with wooden toothpicks. Grill until cooked through and no longer pink.

    New Ulta Online Only Beauty Bags, 30%-40% off Hot Buys and More

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    The Weekly Drugstore Makeup Sales (4/23 – 4/29)

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    Two New Sephora Favorites Sets (UPDATE: New Drunk Elephant Deluxe Freebie Code)

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    ZenFish Poké Bar Restaurant Review – Durham, NC

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    810 9th Street
    Suite 126
    Durham, NC  27705
    (919) 937-9966


    Exterior View


    Interior View


    Your Protein Selections 


    More Choices


    Toppings 


    Large Poke Bowl with Zucchini Noodles & Avocado – $15.45


    Large Poke Bowl with Zucchini Noodles – $14.45


    Homebucha Bluebird – $5.00


    This is a review for a Poké restaurant called ZenFish located in Durham, North Carolina. They are located on the lower level of what looks like a condo building.  They are open daily from 11 am to 9 pm. We visited on a Sunday around 2:30 pm. It’s a very small restaurant with limited seating, so if you are visiting during the lunch or dinner rush you may need to ask for carry out. There is one table in the center that has eight stools and one table that has four stools. Also, there is a wood bar counter along the windows with stools. Outside there are a few tables. We were greeted by two very friendly ladies at the Poké bar. 

    There are several Poké bowls to chose from, if you don’t want to come up with your own creation. I love choosing what goes in my bowl and so does Hubby, so we came up with our own combinations. They have two sizes to chose from and we both chose the large which includes five scoops of protein. For the base your choices are: white rice, quinoa, zucchini noodles or organic salad. Another option is to have a wrap with white rice and seaweed. Hubby & I both chose zucchini noodles which are an additional $1. You have the following to chose from: ahi tuna, salmon, crawfish, sweet potato, house tuna, spicy tuna, scallop, shrimp, tofu or crab. The raw choices are ahi tuna, salmon, house tuna, spicy tuna and scallop. I chose mostly salmon with some ahi tuna. Hubby chose ahi tuna, two scoops salmon, spicy tuna and crawfish. Next you chose your toppings, the offerings are: seaweed salad, crabmeat, sweet onion, green onion, micro greens, masago, ginger, edamame, cucumber, radish, mango, avocado and jalapeño. Avocado is an additional $1. I chose green onion, micro greens, masago, cucumber and jalapeño. Hubby chose green onion, micro greens, masago, cucumber, jalapeño and avocado. Then you select a sauce from the following: house sauce, spicy sauce, sriracha aioli, honey wasabi aioli, truffle ponzu, eel sauce or miso ginger. I chose eel sauce and Hubby chose Sriracha aioli. At this point they will mix the sauce in with all the ingredients you have chosen so far except the base. Lastly, chose from a crunchy topping of: garlic chips, onion crunch, roasted seaweed, wonton crips, furikake, wasabi peas, aleppo flakes and roasted sesame seeds. I chose wonton crips, furikake and sesame seeds. I also chose carrots which aren’t on the menu. Hubby chose to skip the crunchy toppings. A regular sized bowl is $10.95 and a large is $13.45. Avocado and zucchini noodles both cost a dollar extra. Hubby ordered water to drink which is self serve. I ordered a kombucha drink for $5 in the flavor Bluebird from a company called Homebucha made in Durham. It has an incredible flavor of blueberry with the zing of ginger. My mouth was on fire for quite some time after I was done drinking it. It’s made of: live kombucha, green & black tea, cane sugar, culture, juiced ginger, and blueberry juice. While it’s expensive, I really enjoyed it’s flavor immensely. I highly recommend you give it a try!

    We sat down at one of the indoor tables and enjoyed our selections. Oh me oh my, it’s so scrumptiously delicious! Yum, yum in the tum tum! It was a large enough portion to last for many hours and it’s a nutritional boost. You need to get yourself over to this restaurant and enjoy a poké bowl as soon as humanly possible! I wish we lived closer, if so, we would frequent this restaurant. It’s an hour drive for us, but it’s worth it and we enjoyed the lovely fall foliage along the way. The only negatives are the prices and the lack of indoor tables. What’s your favorite healthy restaurant in the Triangle?

    Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews BoardI invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, or Networked Blogs. Kindly share this restaurant review blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


    ZenFish Poké Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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    Sushiōki Restaurant Review – Durham, NC

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    4900 NC Highway 55
    Suite 510
    Durham, NC  27713
    (919) 405-7121


    Exterior View


    Interior Decor


    Reel Alaskan Meal – $14.25


    Close Up


    This is a review of a new Asian restaurant that opened up about two weeks ago in Durham, North Carolina called Sushiōki. They are located in the Park West Crossing Shopping Center on the right side. They are open from 11 am to 8 pm Monday through Saturday and they are closed on Sundays. I visited today, Tuesday, around 3 pm. I was the only customer at that time. I was greeted at the register immediately and I ordered the Reel Alaskan Meal without the pickled onion and pickled daikon since I can’t eat anything pickled. I made it a meal and chose the wasabi chips and a Diet Pepsi. The other chip choices are original, BBQ and cinnamon and sugar. Their menu is very simple, there are only seven sushi rolls to chose from. They are wrapped, so they can be eaten just like a sandwich. It’s like a giant sushi roll cut in half. These are the seven choices:
    1. Southern Sushi – hickory smoked pork BBQ, creamy slaw, pork rinds and gochujang sauce for $9.75
    2. Bull City Bulgogi – Korean beef BBQ, kimchi slaw, picked daikon and boom sauce for $9.75
    3. Titan Tempur – tempura shrimp, butter lettuce, pickled cucumber, shredded carrots and sweet chili Thai sauce for $10.75
    4. Reel Alaskan – spicy sriracha marinated salmon, butter lettuce, tobiko, pickled red onion and pickled daikon for $11.75
    5. RD Yoo – Poké marinated tuna, butter lettuce, picked red onion, cucumber and cucumber wasabi sauce for $10.75
    6. Oh My Gahshi – twice fried chicken thighs, butter lettuce, pickled cucumbers, kimchi slaw and gochujang sauce for $8.75
    7. Veggie Bender – exotic mushroom blend, butter lettuce, charred cabbage, shredded carrots, pickled red onion and green onion jam for $8.75
    Any of them can be placed in a bowl over rice or greens instead, if you don’t want it make into a wrap. Rice chips cost $1.75, soft drinks or tea are $1.75, a kids meal is $5.75 and you can make it a meal by adding chips and drink for $2.50. The kids meal is fried chicken thighs, rice, toasted seaweed and a juice box. Drinks are self serve.

    My order was made right away and it took only five minutes to be delivered to my table. I wasn’t sure I would like the wasabi chips, but they were awesome! They are like wonton crisps, but much thiner and sprinkled with seasoning. They are very lightly seasoned, so don’t be afraid that they will be too spicy for you. I absolutely love them, yum! They aren’t greasy at all and perfectly crisp. The wrap was full of salmon so much so that almost every bite had some salmon which was my concern before giving it a try. I didn’t find it spicy, it had a light amount of sriracha. The rice was perfectly cooked and tasty. It was so delicious that I was sad when I had my last bite. I would like to return to try some other versions, perhaps I’ll try the tuna one next and I’ll order an extra side of chips since they are so tasty.

    I really enjoyed my meal and on my way out the young man came out from the back to say goodbye. He was very friendly and made my visit that much more enjoyable. I recommend that you give this fast food Asian restaurant a try very soon. What’s your favorite Asian restaurant in the area?

    Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board. Follow this blog via TwitterGoogle +Bloglovin’, Facebook or Networked BlogsPlease share this restaurant review blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: Tweet !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?’http’:’https’;if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+’://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js’;fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, ‘script’, ‘twitter-wjs’);


    Sushiōki  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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    Ring Bomb Party Review

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    In October, I discovered a fun company called Ring Bomb Party. They offer rings for $17.95 and $24.99. Shipping is $3.99 for US customers and $14.99 for everyone else. You can order as many rings as you want and you’ll pay the same shipping charge. The rings are inside a bath fizzy that they dissolve live on Facebook. The $17.95 rings have a retail value of $25 to $500. The $24.99 rings have a retail value of $50 to $500 and those are called unicorn parties. They come in sizes 6 to 10. The unicorn parties have one unicorn ring per size. The unicorn rings are worth over $100 and are usually sterling silver. Simply order on their website and show up for the live reveal of your ring on the day you pick or watch the recording. Parties sell out fast and are often posted at the end of the live shows for the next day. You chose the size and the rest is a surprise. They are revealed at 1 pm ET Monday through Friday. The parties last about two to two and a half hours and an average of forty rings are revealed. Most of the time they are hosted by Anfernee. He is fun to watch and you may find yourself either addicted to buying the rings and/or addicted to attending his parties. A lot of people say he sounds like Eddie Murphy and many compliment his charming and entertaining personality. After watching many of his parties, you may find yourself singing his often repeated phrases such as “Ring Party dot com” or “That’s a pretty ring, girl!”. I use to have QVC on the tv in the background to keep me company, but now I have his live videos on instead. He’s always so friendly, happy and entertaining even when he’s not feeling well. Check out the video where my ring was revealed at about one hour and six minutes. I purchased a unicorn party ring and it’s retail value is $72. It&#