Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spotted: Celestial Seasonings Tea Lip Balms

Celestial Seasonings Tea is currently giving away free lip balms in specially marked boxes of tea exclusively at Walmart! I'm so excited to go looking for these because it combines two of my favorite products and I always love a good freebie. :) 
Here is a photo of the different flavors.

You can also purchase them on the Celestial Seasonings website for $2.99 each or $18.99 for all 7.

Customer Service Review: L'occitane

This was my first experience with L'occitane. A friend kindly let me know that they were advertising a $3 Shea Butter Collector's Hand Cream tin. It includes 2 0.3 oz hand creams in Vanilla and Rose scents. They also had a free shipping promotion going on. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a product I had always found interesting but pricy.

I also like that they allow you to choose 2 free samples with your order. I chose samples of Almond Milk Concentrate and Divine Eye Cream. When I proceeded to checkout, it would not let me use the free shipping code for the hand cream, saying that I had to add at least one item to bag. Tried again on computer (had been attempting to order on phone) in a different browser; still the same thing.
I sent an email to their customer service and received an automated response that my question would be answered in 24-48 hrs. This morning I received an email that my question could only be resolved over the phone... Okayyy.
I call them and wait over 15 minutes on hold.
I explained to the service rep what I was trying to order and how the code wouldn't work. She said it should have taken the shipping off automatically, but to go ahead and place the order and she would adjust the cost of shipping aftwards.
So I place the order and she begins to ask for my order information to do the adjustment. Then she goes "oh... the reason it wouldn't work is because the hand cream tin doesn't qualify for the free shipping. There's nothing I can do." Really?! I told you what I was trying to order BEFORE I placed the order! 
I feel rather mislead. I'm sure it wasn't intentional, but I feel like she wasn't paying close enough attention to what I was saying to advise me of the problem before I placed the order. I ended up ordering on false pretenses and paying $8 for a $3 item and 2 free samples. I could have canceled the order but I really want the damn handcreams, lol.

I went back on the website to investigate if it said anything about shipping restrictions and on the mobile site it's pretty hidden; when you click on the product you can see all the important info, but you have to click on the tiny "read more" for it to tell you that the tin is excluded from free shipping.

I guess I should have read more carefully, but this ordering experience has been overall negative. I wish their site had live chat or some other instant customer support so I wouldn't have had to waste so much time responding to emails and making calls. I'll have to think long and hard about ordering from them again.

I will review the products when they arrive. Hopefully they are worth the additional cost.

Product Review: Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo

I received a free bottle of this shampoo in exchange for my honest review.
I would give Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo 3/5 stars.
It lathers and cleans hair just fine, but there is nothing special about it whatsoever. I did not notice 
my hair feeling cleaner, softer, or improved in any way after using this shampoo as compared to any other shampoo. I found the smell very unpleasant; strong and medicinal. 
I would not repurchase this product because it didn't wow me, didn't improve my hair type, and smelled terrible, making my shower experience more unpleasant. The cost is also a consideration as it retails for $4.97 at Walmart and other shampoos that I have used and loved there sell for around the same prices for 13-19 oz. Why would I pay the same for significantly less of a product I don't even care for? Even the $1.50 off coupons they provided can't sway my decision.
This may not be the right product for me as I have not felt that my hair builds up tons of residue. I do notice a buildup of styling products in between washes, but it's nothing any of my usual shampoos can't take care of.
With that said, I really like Neutrogena as a brand overall. I enjoy many of their facial cleansing and skincare products. If I could give one note to Neutrogena it would be to improve the scent of this product and either increase the size or decrease the cost. 6 oz is pretty small for a shampoo size.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Product Review: Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation

I got a sample of this product from a magazine along with a $1 off coupon. I had used Maybelline Dream Matte Foundation for years before recently switching to an Avon foundation simply because my mom was a representative and there was a good sale. I had been satisfied with my previous Maybelline  foundation.
This foundation sample was in 220 Natural Beige. It was probably a shade too dark for me, but I was more tan than usual and was able to blend and make it work. 

Overall it's a good product for an everyday foundation. It goes on smoothly and provides moderate, even coverage. It doesn't seperate like some formulas can. Other than the shade, this product seems identical to the foundation I used to wear. If I hadn't just purchased a different foundation, I would buy this one.  4/5 stars.

Product Review: Biorè Deep Pore Cleanser

I got a one use sample of this product out of a magazine and I was very excited to try it because I'm looking for a new facial cleanser. I have to say; this product is a winner! 
I have normal (non-sensitive) combination  skin. This cleanser has a pleasant gel texture, applies easily, and has a cooling but not uncomfortable sensation. It also has a lovely fresh, slightly sweet scent. It left my skin feeling refreshed and clean. My skin was slightly dry afterwards, but not as much as with some other cleansers, and I just applied my usual moisturizer afterwards.
I hope it will help with my moderate acne, but since only prolonged use will tell, I will definitely be purchasing this product! It retails for $4.54 for 6.7 oz at Walmart, and the sample included a $3 off coupon, so for $1.54 I'm looking forward to using it!

OOTD: White + Bright

Dress, belt, sandals: Walmart 
Bag: Family Clothes
Necklace: flea market 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Product Review: Schick Hydro Silk Trimstyle

This product is a combination razor and electric bikini trimmer. I received this product for free in exchange for my honest review.

I really liked this razor. I used it for shaving my legs and it gave the same close shave as the Venus Gillette razor I had been using for years. I didn't try the bikini trimming feature, as I don't currently have use for it, but it's nice to have for the future. I would definitely repurchase the blade refills for this product, especially since they included $4 off coupons and these items are generally quite expensive. Also included was a coupon for Skintimate shave gel, which I love to use. Very pleased with this product and coupons.

OOTD: Hot Boho

Very hot here today.
Inspired by this pin.


Top: thrifted 
Shorts, sandals: Walmart 
Necklace: F21
Bracelet, rings: vintage 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Recipe: 5 Ingredient Chicken Pesto Soup

It was good; needed some additional seasoning; salt & pepper, and could have done with a bit more pesto. I'm toying with the idea of adding some heavy cream next time and making it a creamy soup.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

OOTD: Random Rainy Day

Cold & rainy here today.
Inspired by this Instagram look.


Tee: Family Clothes 
Jeans, necklace: F21
Flats: Ebay
Scarf: flea market 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Recipe: Baked Shrimp With Tomato & Feta

This has been one of my favorite recipes for years! It's so simple and flavorful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

OOTD: Chic Tropical

Inspired by this Instagram look.

Tunic dress: H&M
Hat, sandals: Walmart 
Necklace: flea market
Bangles: vintage 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Book Review: This Is My Body by Ragan Sutterfield

I've always enjoyed memoirs. Something about reading stories that truly happened has always touched me, and Ragan's story is no exception. In fact, this is one of the deepest, most profound tales of a person's journey I have ever had the pleasure of getting a glimpse into.

This Is My Body is a refreshingly open narrative; a clear treatment of a topic, our complicated relationship to our physical bodies, that are often subjected to apathy, shame, or downright abuse. It is a heartfelt exploration of one enfleshed spirit's journey toward the grace and wholeness that each of our lives can achieve.

I give it 5 stars because I think on a certain level every reader can relate to and draw inspiration from the authors humanity, honesty, frailty, and craving for grace that was masterfully portrayed in this work. I've never run more than 8 laps on a track in my life, nor am I at peace with my body and spirit's current station in life, and reading this narrative made me simultaneously want to get off the couch and crack open my bible. Isn't that the point?

App Review: StyleIt

I purchased these items for 0.44¢ through an app called StyleIt on which I had $10 in shopping credits, plus F21 has free shipping right now, so I only paid sales tax! 
This app is really fun; it helps you style outfits, and it's also great for shopping. You get $5 just for downloading it, $5 for styling your first look, and $5 for each friend that you refer that makes a purchase. If you'd like to sign up using my referral code, please enter RFB6UA in your profile area after downloading.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Product Reviews: Cleanse Your Soul

I love the super fast shipping on RTS (ready to ship)! Ordered on Friday, shipped the same day, received today.

From left to right:

Pink Coco-Peach Sugar Baby Behemoth Scrub:
Smells exactly as I had hoped; strongly of fresh peaches with a bit of pink sugar. Lovely! I was worried it might have dried out because it was rattling around in the jar in one big clump. The oils had sunk to the bottom, but once I shook it up, it seems fine.

Coconut Cotton Candy Shea Body Butter:
Nice but not perfect. Heavy on the cotton candy, light on the coconut. Smells much better in the jar than on me. Leaves a sharp, bitter note on my skin, just like the Weeping of the Rain rollerball perfume from my previous order does. It's odd because those two products don't have any of the same fragrance notes. Idk if it could be an ingredient reacting badly with my body chemistry, but it's mildly disappointing. Will either save for legs/feet only or regift. On the plus side, the formula is lovely; sinks in to skin quickly and is soft and non-greasy.

Toffee Sugar Crunch Perfume:
Really confused by this one; it doesn't smell like toffee to me at all. Smells oddly fruity and musky, not sugary or toffee-like at all. Idk if I need to let this cure longer, but it should have already been curing for a couple weeks as it's RTS. I will revisit it, but it's a big disappointment so far. The glass bottle is cute.

Pink Lavender Linen Spray:
This is pleasant, but a very herbal lavender at first. It dries down to have a bit of the pink sweet element, but not as much as I would have liked. Thank you to the person that said it smells like BHG Sugared Lavender Twist; it is somewhat similar, though SLT is sweeter to me. Not exactly what I wanted, but still a keeper. I look forward to trying more linen spray scents, especially vanillas.

Perfumie in Vanilla Rock & Roll: this and the Pink Coco-Peach Sugar tie for my favorite scent of the order. It reminds me of Vanilla Coke and some unidentified tee magazine fragrance samples, lol. Kind of light on the vanilla, a little spicy and syrupy, very "perfumy" but in a good way. I love these perfumies for keeping in my purse.

Freebie- Perfumie in Bella e Caldo:
I had no idea what this scent was supposed to be, both before and after sniffing. Kind of got tropical/lilacs/sunscreen. I looked up the description; "Italian for "beautiful and warm". Warm musk scent with a hint of vanilla and the slightest wildflower undertone." I definitely smell the wildflowers, not so much the vanilla. I didn't know if I liked it at first, but it's growing on me.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

OOTD: Comfy Floral

It's going to be hot today, but I still want to look halfway decent for church. Floral jersey dress it is!
Dress: Xhilirations, thrifted 
Cami: Lane Bryant, thrifted 
Bag: Merona, thrifted 
Sandals: Walmart 
Cuff: vintage 
Earrings: Target, thrifted 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Recipe: Pasta Carbonara

If you want a simple yet flavorful pasta, carbonara is the way to go! Pasta, cheese, bacon, eggs; what's not to love!
I used fettuccine as it's what I had on hand, but spaghetti and angel hair work quite well too.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Product Review: Cocoa Pink Part 1

Ordered shampoo & conditioner in Cinderella's Carriage. Site description: "Cinderella’s Carriage – What did Cinderella really wish for? We think it was this blend of Coconut Cream Pie with Marshmallow Meringue, Sweet Pumpkin, Spiritueuse Double Vanilla, and Vanilla Bean Noel. We think this is the REAL reason the prince fell in love, who could resist Cinderella in sexy foody?"
It reminds me of BHG Vanilla Cookie Crunch tart, which I love! I don't detect any pumpkin note from sniffing it in the bottle, but I can't wait to try it! 
I also received a sample of body butter in Strawberry Noel. I'm glad she sent this since I didn't know to request samples. 
Site description: "Strawberry Noel – it just keeps getting better. A perfectly balanced fresh strawberry that smells like real berries (not plasticy bubblegum strawberry), blended with VBN."
It's a lovely, rich scent, like strawberry shortcake.

I will report back once I've tried the products!

OOTD: Celebration

Celebrating my BFF's 26th birthday today! 

Kimono jacket: Asos, Ebay
Dress, belt, sandals, necklace: Walmart 
Bag: Merona, thrifted 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

OOTD: Springy Stripes

Inspired by this Instagram look.


Shorts, sandals: Walmart 
Hat: F21
Ring: vintage 
Belt: Ross

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Recipe: Honey Walnut Shrimp

This is probably the best thing I've ever cooked! If you're like me and this is one of your favorite dishes at Asian restaurants, you'll love this recipe! It tastes exactly like what I've had in restaurants! Pretty easy too, start to finish it took me 40 minutes, with an extra 20 minutes to make rice. It would be a very impressive dish for company.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Product Review: Herbolution Part 2

I used the Vanilla Caramel facial scrub yesterday evening. It removed oil and makeup really well. The sugar grains were a bit larger and more abrasive than I would have liked for my face. They were more the consistentcy of a body scrub. It was easy to apply and wash off. It did not smell like vanilla caramel imo, but like sweet oatmeal. What I do love about it is how soft and moisturized it left my skin. My skin was not tight and dry as it usually is after cleansing, and I did not even have to apply moisturizer like I usually do. Skin was soft all evening. There was some redness after scrubbing, but it faded within an hour. Would not recommend for sensitive skin, but very exfoliating for all other skin types. Upon waking up the next morning, I didn't notice any visible difference in my moderate acne, but my skin still felt soft and fresh. I'd give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars, but probably would not repurchase due to the abrasiveness and scent. 

This morning I tried the Dead Sea Mud Mask. The consistentcy was a little runnier and less thick than I am used to with masks, but it was still easy to apply and coat the whole face. The texture was not unpleasant; the mud grains were very fine, and the mask felt cooling but not tingly or uncomfortable. The smell was strongly herbal and pleasant. I left it on for about 5 minutes, until it was dry as the package directed. It was easy to wash off and didn't leave any weird residue. It did leave my skin a little more dry than the scrub had, and I applied my usual moisturizer afterwards. Overall pleased with the results as my skin looks fresh and bright. Only time will tell if it will help with my acne though. I would recommend this for all skin types, and probably would repurchase. 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Product Review: Herbolution Part 1

This is my first time ordering from the Etsy shop Herbolution. I wanted to try some facial products that were primarily made with organic/natural ingredients. After looking at several different options, I settled on Herbolution because they seemed to have the most exclusively organic ingredients list, and several of their products caught my eye. 

I ended up editing down my cart quite a bit because these items are on the pricy side, but for being handmade, using organic ingredients, and all recycled and/or biodegradable packaging, the cost is understandable. 

I was also pleased to see that they included two samples of their facial cleansing grains because I had wanted to try them! If I like them I may purchace them in the rose scent in the future. Ordering again is made even more enticing by the 10% off coupon with no expiration date they also provided! The shop owners are lovely and have excellent customer service.

I purchaced this Vanilla Caramel Organic Facial Scrub $9 for 1.3 oz.
Ingredients list from site: "Cane Sugar*, Oat powder*, White Clay, vegetable Glycerin*, Jojoba*, Raw local Honey, Bourbon Vanilla*, Vanilla absolute, Vanilla specks*, natural flavor*, vitamin E. 
*-certified organic."
My thoughts: beautifully packaged and what you'd expect in consisistency for a sugar scrub. It did not smell strongly of Vanilla Caramel to me though. Reminded me of oatmeal with a hint of vanilla extract. Smells pleasant, but no caramel detected.

I also ordered Dead Sea Mud Facial Mask $15 for 3.2 oz.
Ingredients list from site: " Dead Sea Mud, Raw local Honey, vegetable Glycerin*, Rosemary*, Lemongrass* and Grapefruit* essential oils.
*Certified Organic."
This has the consistency one would expect from a mud mask. It has a fresh, strong herbal scent.
Since I have already washed my face today, I will try the scrub tonight and the mask tomorrow and post a 2nd review!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Recipe: Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken is a restaurant favorite, and this is an easy and delicious recipe I 
made at home! I used red bell peppers instead of green, as my husband doesn't like them.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

OOTD: Ethnic Flair

Inspired by this Instagram look.


Cardigan: Mossimo, Target 
Lace tank: Amazon 
Black tank, dress, sandals, belt, necklace: Walmart 
Earrings: thrifted