Wednesday, April 27, 2016

QVC's Josie Maran TSV - May 2016


Eight Piece Argan Oil Body Butter Whipped Creamery - May 14th TSV


This is a preview of QVC's Today's Special Value for May 14th 2016. It includes eight 4 oz. jars of Josie Maran's Argan Oil Body Butter. It features five of her favorite scents: 
  1. Vanilla Bean 
  2. Vanilla Fig aka Be Giving
  3. Vanilla Apricot aka Be Joyful
  4. Lavender Citrus
  5. Unscented aka Be True
Also included are three brand new scents:
  1. Limoncello
  2. Cherry Pie
  3. Orange Creamsicle
She calls it "Eight Scoops of Argan Love" and she says "just one scoop of these melty, creamy treats will satisfy, delight and entice all of the senses". The preorder item number is A279888 and the auto-delivery (A/D) preorder number is A279897. The item number on May 14th will be A274952 and the A/D number will be A279895. The price is $69.96 or four payments of $17.49, note that easy pay may not be available on the day it airs. Auto-delivery shipments are every six months for two years. One 4 oz. jar retails for $22, so the retail value on this box is $176! Each jar in this set only costs $8.75, bargain! That's why I only buy her TSVs since they are a bargain in comparison and separately they are just too expensive for me. Be sure to click on the photo to enlarge it to get a better look at the jars.

The jars come in a sturdy storage box that could be used for something else when you are done. It would make a wonderful gift since the presentation is impressive. I recommend only opening them when you are ready to apply some of the cream since the seal will have quite a bit on it that you'll need to use right away, so that you can throw the seal away. Also, prior to opening the jar, tap it on the table to get rid of the air bubble and let it sit upright for a bit so the contents can settle. I just applied Cherry Pie and it smells scrumptious! It's smells just like cherry pie and the crust, it's very authentic. I'll be trying the other two new scents next. I've tried four of the five other scents before when I purchased the 2 oz. set of jars. Out of all the scents I've tried so far Apple Crisp & Caramel Apple were my favorites and my least favorite is Vanilla Almond. What's your favorite? I've been purchasing more of her TSVs than any other brand lately, I'm truly addicted. I also purchased her November 2015 TSV and her February 2016 TSV. I highly recommend this set since you'll never be bored with so many scents to chose from not to mention I've found her body butter the most moisturizing of all the brands I've tried. While four ounces might not sound like a lot, you'll need much less than other brands per application. It's not too thick and not too thin, so application time is quick yet extremely moisturizing.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Birchbox Review - April 2016


Birchbox & Rifle Paper Company


This is my 20th Birchbox review. I have subscribed for years with occasional break. This cosmetics sample box is only $10 per month and comes with a $5 store credit, if you review each sample in your box. It's certainly a bargain if you like the majority of the items they send you. This month I chose the featured box instead of the mystery box and it's retail value is $25.46. It's strange that they called this a Rifle Paper Co collab when all there is in the box is a 20% off Rifle Paper Co. coupon. Sure the box is decorated like their stationary, but it would have been nice to receive some of the stationary instead. Included in the featured box were the following products:
  1. Tocca - Crema da Mano Hand Cream, Giulietta, 1 fl. oz. $5 retail value
  2. Dr. Jart+ - Liftra Contour Cream, .17 fl. oz., $6 value
  3. Laura Geller - Baked Blush-n-Brighten Blush/Highlighter, Tropic Hues, $6.16 value
  4. Parlor by Jeff Chastain - Volumizing Lifting Spray, $4.80 value
  5. Marcelle - 3 in 1 Micellar Solution Makeup Remover, $3.50 value
The Tocca line of hand cream is nice, but I prefer L'Occtaine. This ones smells the best out of all the ones I've tried. It's suppose to smell like pink tulips and green apple, but also smells a little powdery to me. I have received the Dr. Jart+ brand of face moisturizers quite often. It isn't my favorite brand since I haven't seen results, but perhaps the samples are too small to last long enough to make that decision. I purchased a Laura Geller set from QVC and had to return it because the foundation didn't work on my skin, but it had a blush that I liked and I wished I didn't have to return it. So I was happy to receive it in this box. I've never heard of the Parlor brand nor Jeff Chastain, have you? I'm not crazy about makeup cleansers that are as thin as water because it forces you to use a cotton ball or pad and I can't be bothered. Not to mention that's an addition expense. I prefer a thicker remover that I can just pump into my hand and apply. My favorite is Josie Maran Argan Cleaning Oil, it works quickly and it can be used in the shower which I prefer. The Marcelle makeup remover was leaking when it arrived. Thankfully, I opened the package right away or it could have damaged the other products. It appeared it had just started leaking. While this isn't my favorite box, I'm happy with most of the items. Did you like your Birchbox this month?

I don't fancy anything at the Rifle Paper Co store, so I'm giving away my 20% off code. Please comment below if you use it, so that others know it's already taken since it's only good for one use. My code is "4FI-VDM" and expires on December 31st.

Check out what I received in some of my previous boxes:


Bargain Alert Subscribe to Birchbox and receive 50 points worth $5 in the Birchbox store, "SUBSCRIBENOW50"

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Publix Grand Opening - Winston Salem, NC


34 Miller Street
Winston Salem, NC  27104


Grand Opening - Wednesday, May 11th 2016


Drum roll please, the grand opening for the first Publix in the Piedmont Triad area will be on May 11th. I'm anxiously counting the days until the Winston Salem location opens! Right after the first one opened in the Triangle, we moved to the Triad. I missed my Cary Publix so much that I've been having Hubby bring back food from other locations when he's out of town on business. So it will be so fabulous when we are able to shop at the Winston location. If you haven't been to a Publix before, you should really give it a try. I highly recommend Publix and I'm sure you will find it impressive.

What can you expect from Publix? First, you will notice that they are top noch in customer service! They are super friendly, courteous and helpful and there are plenty of employees to help you. They place your groceries on the conveyer belt for you, ring them up, place them in the cart, take them to your car and load them into your car! If it's raining, they offer umbrellas. If it's busy, they will even help you find the shortest line. If you are ever searching for an item, they will take you right to the item instead of telling you what isle it is in. I can't tell you how many times I've asked for help in other stores, been sent to an aisle and still not been able to find the item. So I really appreciate the extra help their employees offer. Their custom made subs are the most delicious you can find anywhere in North Carolina. Their full service bakery is superb offering fresh baked breads, cakes, birthday cakes, cookies, donuts, bagels, pastries, pies, etc. They offer half pies which is great when you want a treat, but not an entire pie. Their fresh salads and hot soup are incredibly delicious and I hear their fried chicken is also scrumptious. They have freshly made sushi and they will offer to make any at your request, if they don't already have it made. They also answer any questions you may have and help you find what you are looking for. Their meat is of the highest quality and they offer organic meats. At Christmas time Hubby asked the meat department for some fresh, organic prime rib and they cut off a fresh piece for him while he waited. Their Publix brand name products are of the highest quality and less expensive than other brands. Don't forget to check out their international section of foods. You'll find products from different countries that are hard to find in the US. They offer samples throughout the store including their weekly recipe. They offer a free recipe card each week and have all the ingredients for that recipe in one case to make it easier for you. Look for the "Apron Simple Meals" sign. In addition, they have a café, salad bar and pharmacy. Make sure you download their app and go online and set up your shopping list and order your deli meat, cheese and subs ahead of time. They only need a couple of hours notice and your order will be waiting for you at the time you request at the "online order pickup" station near the deli. When you use the app in the store, it will tell you where each item on your shopping list is located and list them in department order. You can even check them off your list as you pick up the items. They don't have a store card, so no more worries that you left it at home and be sure to check out their coupons online before you go.

The two story Winston Salem location is on Miller Street. If you are coming from the north or east, take exit 3C off US-421. If you are coming in from the west, take exit 3B. Continue on Stratford road until you come to Miller Street and turn right on to Miller Street then right again at the new traffic light. Publix is across from Whole Foods and next to Mayberry Restaurant. This location is 49,000 square feet and the parking garage is on the ground level under the grocery store. There are two entrances to the parking garage, one on each side of the building. There are some more parking spaces out front and on each side of the building. Expect to have to drive around and wait for a parking spot the first couple of weeks since Publix has quite a large fan base. The two story Publix locations either have an escalator or elevator from the parking garage to the store above that accommodate your shopping cart. The first 1500 customers will receive a "Winston Salem Publix" grocery bag.

So who will be joining me and shopping at the Winston Salem Publix? Stay tuned for my next Publix blog post featuring my grocery haul and photos of the store. Feel free to browse around at my reviews of local restaurants, state parks and wineries before you leave. 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 on the boxes below:

Bargain Alert - free reusable shopping bag for the first 1500 customers.

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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Unboxing of Terra's Kitchen Subscription Box & $50 Off



Exterior of Box - Doors on the Side


Interior of Box - Refrigerator with Drawers


Drawer Two (click on photos to enlarge)


Drawer Three


Drawer Four


Drawer Five


Recipe Cards


If you are like me, you are quite surprised at the impressive packaging for the Terra's Kitchen subscription box! Look above at the photo of their cute mini refrigerator with five drawers! As soon as I found out about this subscription, I had to subscribe immediately! After I found a coupon code, I did just that. One of the common complaints subscribers of food subscription boxes have is all the packaging and having to find ways to recycle them. For this subscription you are actually required to return the box and the mini refrigerator to them. All you have to do is check your invoice for the pick up date and place it where you receive packages from FedEx prior to 8 am that day. The recycling part of this subscription is so simple, easy and free. The city I live in doesn't offer recycling at this time, so this is very important to me. Not to mention the space the competitions' shipping materials take up in our trash can. The refrigerator, which they call the vessel, has thirteen little boxes which keep everything cold during the shipping process. I imagine they had frozen water in them, but when they arrive it's melted yet still cold enough to keep the food fresh. They reuse each vessel one hundred times.

Another difference in this subscription is that some of the vegetables are already cut up for you, so you'll have less preparation time. This is especially important on those days you are cooking after a long day at work. They claim their recipes can be made in thirty minutes or less. In this shipment the pico de gallo is already prepared, the shallots diced and the asparagus has been cut into small pieces. The recipe cards are 8 1/2" x 11" on thick, matte cardstock and have holes so that you can store them in a binder. They offer vegetarian, paleo and gluten free recipes. They will chose three recipes each week for you and if you don't fancy any of them you can swap them out for a different one on their website. They currently have twenty-eight recipes to chose from. They range from $9.99 per serving to $17.99. They also offer small salads and vegetable & fruit snacks that you can add on to your order. For our first shipment I ordered the following recipes:
  1. Grilled Salmon, Dijon Shallot Smear & Asparagus Salad - $27.98 (2 servings)
  2. Turkey Spinach Meatballs in Skinny Sunday Gravy - $21.98
  3. Grilled Chicken Tacos with Avocado Goat Cheese Sauce - $25.98
The total for my box prior to the discount is $75.94. That includes three recipes and all the ingredients for two people for a total of six servings. They also offer four dinners for two people and two dinners for four people. You can skip your weekly shipment easily on their website and if you change your mind you can do so within five days of the shipping date. You can also cancel your subscription online. 

Their customer service is extremely prompt. Each time I contacted them they replied within the hour or a little over an hour. Once was via email and once via private message on their Facebook page. So what's your impression of this subscription box? If you have subscribed, I'd love to hear about your experience. If you haven't, grab my coupon below and give it a try today. There is a very short wait to receive your first box, I ordered on the 18th and received it on the 23rd. Stay tuned for my review of the above recipes that we will be cooking in the next three days.

Bargain Alert - $50 off your first box, coupon code "TRYTK"

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Friday, April 22, 2016

Plated 14th Delivery & Giveaway



Mac & Cheese with Gruyère, Peas & Pea Shoots


Ingredients


Thai Pork Larb with Pineapple & Charred Haricots Verts


Ingredients


Crispy Salmon with Coconut Stir Fried Vegetables


Ingredients


This is a review of our 14th delivery from a subscription box called Plated. Their weekly box for two people which includes everything for three recipes is $72. Each week they also have two desserts to chose from for $8 and two "Chef's Table" dinners which are more expensive and feature specialty cuts of meat and market priced seafood. This week I gave one recipe five out of five stars, one recipe four stars and one recipe two stars.

Mac & Cheese with Gruyère, Peas & Pea Shoots

Anytime they offer Sfoglini pasta I order the dish. I absolutely love their pasta and I highly recommend you give it a try. Unfortunately, this dish was very bland, there were too many peas and the pea shoots had an earthy flavor which I did not like. I gave it two out of five stars, Hubby was out of town so he couldn't review it. Even after adding some garlic powder, lots of pepper and some Italian salt it still wasn't tasty. Next time I'm going to pay more attention to the recipe's ingredients prior to purchase and make sure they are using spices. Sadly, it was such a waste of the pasta. Also, the cooking times were too short. I did like how they made the cheese sauce though and I'll use that technique in the future. This recipe took much longer than the 30-40 minutes indicated and it had 770 calories. It was a very generous portion.

Thai Pork Larb with Pineapple & Charred Haricots Verts

Hubby and I both gave this recipe four out of five stars. I was surprised that I liked the addition of pineapple in the lettuce wrap. It would have been given  five stars if they had included more pork. It was a bit on the skimpy side and so it wasn't as filling as I would have liked. They suggested using canola oil to cook the pork and that's a no no in our house, so we used peanut oil. This recipe took about 40 minutes which was the same time indicated on the recipe card. It had 580 calories.

Crispy Salmon with Coconut Stir Fried Vegetables

Wow, was this scrumptiously delicious! Anytime they offer a recipe with shichimi togarashi Japanese spices I order it right away. This recipe took only thirty minutes to prepare which is surprising since it was so good. The Chinese broccoli, Japanese eggplant and baby spinach were fabulous together with the Japanese spices, fish sauce, mirin and coconut aminos. I really appreciate that they offer wild caught salmon. I try to stay away from farm raised fish since they use antibiotics and I don't like the conditions in which they keep the fish. If you are ever in a store that sells both, look at the difference in color. The wild caught salmon will always be a darker pink, it's clearly much healthier.

While the pasta dish was a huge disappointment, the other two made up for it since they were exceptional. Tomorrow we are expecting our first shipment from a company called Terra's Kitchen. Included in that shipment will be the following recipes:
  1. Turkey Spinach Meatballs in Skinny Sunday Gravy
  2. Grilled Sirloin, Dijon Shallot Smear & Asparagus Salad
  3. Grilled Chicken Tacos with Avocado Goat Cheese Sauce
So stay tuned for my review on their offerings. In the meantime, be sure to enter my Plated Giveaway and browse around. Which food subscription boxes have you tried?

Bargain Alert:
   
Hello Fresh - $40 off your first box, use coupon code "YVWF79", one Jamie Oliver recipe per week. 
Home Chef - $30 off your 1st box, click here, delivering to the west coast this spring.
Green Chef - Four FREE organic meals, click here. Choices: Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian & Carnivore. Stay tuned for my first review.
Graze Box Free 1st & 5th boxes, click here.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

QVC's bareMinerals TSV - Love, California Complexion Rescue Kit



QVC's bareMinerals TSV for May 20th 2016


I preordered QVC's May 20th Today's Special Value to help you decide if you want to order it.  It's called Love, California Complexion Rescue Kit and it costs $54.96 or three payments of $18.32. That makes each piece cost only $7.85 and the entire kit has a $160.50 retail value! Bargain! Don't forget to use Mr. Rebates to get 3% cash back! This seven piece collection includes the following products:
  1. Complexion Rescue Advanced Mineral Veil Finishing Powder with SPF 20, .21 oz,  $21 approximate retail value
  2. All Over Face Color in Sunwashed Shell, .05 oz, $21 retail value
  3. Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in California Dreamer, .15 fl oz, $18 retail value
  4. Double Ended Buff & Blend Brush, $28 approximate retail value
  5. Smoothing Face Brush, $28 retail value
  6. Shoreline Eye Color, .02 oz, $15 retail value
  7. Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream with SPF 30, 1.18 fl oz, $29.50 retail value
The preorder number is A280928 or if you want it on auto-delivery the preorder number is A281908. On May 20th the item number will be A271994 or A/D A281908. The second delivery will be in August and the third will be sent in December. Those shipments will include new shades and brushes.

This collection is described as "inspired by sun filled days and warm, breezy nights in California, these beauty essentials help you achieve a healthy looking glow". I was disappointed that it doesn't come in a storage box nor a cosmetic bag like all of the previous bareMineral TSV have. The box shown in the above picture is a flimsy box which isn't strong enough to store everything in it long term. Also, the normal color brochure with application instructions has been replaced by a black and white folded piece of paper with very little information on it in tiny print. I love their brushes and their Marvelous Moxie Lip Glosses, so those are all winners. I'm excited to try the new Complexion Rescue Cream. It's suppose to have sheer to medium coverage with a natural looking finish. Since I have It Cosmetics foundation on now, I will update my review in a couple of days when I get a chance to try it. I purchased it in the lightest color which is Opal. Refer to Sephora or Bare Escentuals color charts to help you decide which one is best for your skin tone. If you order Opal, Vanilla or Buttercream you will receive the Fair-Light Mineral Veil and the Sunwashed Shell All Over Face Color. If you order Suede, Natural or Ginger you will receive the Medium Mineral Veil and the Sunglow Sand All Over Face Color. If you order Tan, Spice, Chestnut or Sienna you will receive the Tan-Deep Mineral Veil and the Sunset Plum All Over Face Color. 

Complexion Rescue Cream won the 2015 QVC Customer Choice Beauty Award for the Best New Innovation. The Complexion Rescue Advanced Mineral Veil Finishing Powder is exclusive to QVC. The All Over Face Color is customer top rated and offered in new exclusive shades. The Shoreline Eye Color is new and exclusive to QVC. The Buff & Blend Brush is also exclusive to QVC. In addition, the Marvelous Moxie Lip Gloss in the color California Dreams is new and exclusive to QVC. So what do you think, are you tempted to purchase this TSV?

Bargain Alert:
   
Hello Fresh - $40 off your first box, use coupon code "YVWF79", one Jamie Oliver recipe per week. 
Home Chef - $30 off your 1st box, click here, delivering to the west coast this spring.
Green Chef - Four FREE organic meals, click here. Choices: Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian & Carnivore
Graze Box Free 1st & 5th boxes, click here.
Giveaway - $72 Plated Subscription Box

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Friday, April 15, 2016

QVC's TSVs for May 2016


Preorder Numbers for Today's Special Values


6th - Lodis Leather RFID Pouch & Coin Purse Set, A280979, $45.38 or 3 payments of $15.12, comes in 5 solid colors & 2 prints

7th - Susan Graver Liquid Knit Pull On Skirt, A280931, $38.16 or 3 payments of $12.72, comes in 2 solids and 4 prints

8th - Vionic Orthotic Leather Thong Sandals, A280909, $65.88 or 4 payments of $16.47, comes in 5 colors

9th - St. Tropez Mesh 3-Tier Tankini Swimsuit, A280933, $46.28 available in 3 payments

11th - Bobby Chez 16 or 32 4.5 oz Short Rib Smashed Burgers, 16 Burgers: Ship Now M50258 or A/D M50679 or Ship Date of June 27th M50260 or A/D M50680 or 32 Burgers: M50259 or A/D M50681 or Ship Date of June 27th M50261 or A/D M50682, available in 3 payments

13th - Skechers Go Walk 2 Super Sock Walking Sneakers, A280934, $49.82 or 2 payments of $24.91

14th - Josie Maran 8 Piece Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter Creamery, A279888 or A/D A279897, $69.96 or 4 payments of $17.49, taken off wait list 4/25

16th - Isaac Mizrahi Live! Floral Lace Short Sleeve Peplum Top, A280929, $39.96 or 2 payments of $19.98, comes in 6 colors 

20th - bareMinerals Love, California 7 Piece Complexion Rescue Kit, A280928 or A/D A281908, $54.96 or 3 payments of $18.32, comes in 10 shades. I ordered it, so check out my review here.

23rd - Lug East/West Overnight Bag, F12279, $78.96 or 4 payments of $19.74, comes in 4 solids & 2 prints

24th - StriVectin Super Sized Firming Face & Neck Set, A281072 or A/D 281822, 3 payments of $43

27th - Earth Leather Peep Toe Booties, A280932, $69.96 or 4 payments of $17.49, comes in 6 colors

29th - Carolyn Pollack Sterling Silver Lasting Connections Necklace, J329890, $109 or 5 payments of $21.80

Note QVC hasn't posted some of the TSVs on their website yet, so until they do there are some missing links. I will update this post with those links as soon as they are up. Also, please note the year on my blog posts. Several people have been looking at posts that are a year old and complaining that the items are sold out. In addition, please remember that easy pay may not be available on the day the TSV airs and the TSVs are subject to change. Last month the Clarisonic TSV was changed three times! At one point they had it listed under two different item numbers and one was on 6 payments and one was 5 payments. They still have it listed to be aired again on May 17th.  No, I do not work for QVC, I'm a customer just like you. In fact, I've been a customer since 1990!

Finally a bareMinerals TSV! Remember the days when there were four of them each year? Guess the brand isn't as popular anymore. I suspected that would happen when Leslie sold it and they changed so much of the loose powder line to solids. Anyone try the Complexion Rescue, did you like it? Wow, Josie Maran's line must be really popular with so many TSVs lately! I highly recommend her body butter. So what's tempting you this month? I'm only interested in bareMinerals' & Josie's TSVs. Though I am thinking those sandals are lovely. Anyone try Vionic's sandals, what's your review? Some interesting TSVs that information hasn't been released on yet are: 

12th - Denim & Co
22nd - Lock & Lock
25th - Quacker Factory

Bargain Alert:
   
Hello Fresh - $40 off your first box, use coupon code "YVWF79", one Jamie Oliver recipe per week. 
Home Chef - $30 off your 1st box, click here, delivering to the west coast this spring.
Green Chef - Four FREE organic meals, click here. Choices: Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian & Carnivore
Graze Box Free 1st & 5th boxes, click here.
Giveaway - $72 Plated Subscription Box

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