Sunday, August 21, 2016

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review - August 2016



The Eye Openers


This is a review of Sephora's subscription box called "Play!".  It's only $10 a month and it includes six high end cosmetic samples. The retail value of August's box came out to $42.54 which is an awesome value. This is what I received:
  1. Lancôme - Énergie de Vie, The Smoothing & Glow Boosting Liquid Moisturizer, Made in France, .16 fl. oz., $5.20 retail value 
  2. Clean - Reserve Blonde Rose Eau de Parfum Spray, Made in the USA, .05 fl. oz., $1.32 retail value
  3. Urban Decay - Perversion Mascara, Made in Italy, .1 fl. oz., $5.50 retail value
  4. Sephora - Contour Eye Pencil, 12 Hour Wear & Waterproof in Taupe, Made in Germany, .48 g, $4 retail value
  5. Claudalie - Resveratrol Life Eye Lifting Balm, Made in France, .16 fl. oz., $19.84 retail value
  6. Make Up Forever - Artist Shadow Eyeshadow & Powder Blush in Pink Granite, Made in Italy, .7 g, $6.68 retail value
I haven't tried a lot of products from Make Up Forever, so the eyeshadow will be fun to play with. I certainly wouldn't use an iridescent powder for blush though, so I'll stick to using it as an eyeshadow! It appears as a pinky purple color in some light and in other light it appears as a pinky brown color. On my fair skin it has a brown base with a pink iridescence. The perfume is ok, but it's not really my cup of tea. It's suppose to smell like "aldehydic water, rose, peony, jasmine, cedarwood, sandalwood and musk". The musk and cedarwood are too strong for my liking. I'll be traveling with the mascara, so I'll be saving that for my Cancun trip. I also like to keep a travel size mascara in my handbag for those days I forget to put my mascara on and then freak out when I look in the mirror and notice it missing. My favorite Urban Decay product is their eyeshadow base. I like the idea of a waterproof eyeliner since my eyes tear a lot from allergies. I tend to avoid waterproof products since they are so hard to remove. I'll have to remember to use an oil based remover. I always love getting samples of high end moisturizers, so I'll be enjoying the Lancôme moisturizer sample along with the Claudalie eye balm. Sephora's line is of good quality, so I look forward to trying the eye pencil. That taupe color is more of a fall color, so I'll be saving that for fall. This box wasn't as exciting for me as the previous three were though I will be using them all except the perfume. The most exciting product I have received so far from this subscription box was the Bite lipstick. It was such a bright color that I wouldn't normally buy for myself, but enjoyed sampling. It was a fun color and it was long lasting. Here's a video describing this month's products: 



Check out what I received in my MayJune and July Play! Boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I've subscribed to over the years. In addition, don't forget to enter my current GIVEAWAYShare 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:

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Home Chef 43rd Delivery & 51% Off for You!


Spaghetti with Ricotta Meatballs with Pecorino Garlic Bread


Ingredients (click on photos to enlarge)


Sherry Wine Demi-Glace Flat Iron Steak with Whipped Potatoes & Balsamic Brussels Sprouts


Ingredients


Turkey Chili with Cheddar Cheese & Avocado


Ingredients


This is a review of our 43rd delivery from a food subscription box called Home Chef. Hubby & I gave two recipes five out of five stars and one recipe four stars. Calories ranged from 700 to 938 and preparation time ranged from twenty-five to fifty minutes.

Spaghetti with Ricotta Meatballs with Pecorino Garlic Bread

Yum, yum in the tum tum! Hubby & I both gave this recipe four out of five stars. It smelled so good when it was cooking and it was so tasty. It had 858 calories and it took about fifty minutes to prepare. It was such a large portion that I saved some for a light lunch so that lowers the calorie count a bit. The baguette wasn't as fresh as I would have liked, so that's why we didn't give it five stars. It was so delicious!

Sherry Wine Demi-Glace Flat Iron Steak with Whipped Potatoes & Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

We made this recipe previously back in October. I ordered it again since we loved it so much. This time we gave it the same ratings. Hubby gave it five out of five stars and I gave it four stars. It was a lean piece of steak yet it was scrumptious with the wine sauce. I wish we had a bit more sauce though. The brussels sprouts and potatoes were yummy also. It comes in at 700 calories, last time they said it was 911 calories, so I'm not sure which one is accurate. It's comfort food for sure. It took about thirty-five minutes to prepare and it's a simple and easy recipe. It was a generous portion with no leftovers.

Turkey Chili with Cheddar Cheese & Avocado

Hubby gave this one five out of five stars and I gave it four. I thought we had made this one before, but after looking it up I found out it was a different version from Blue Apron. That one added jalapeño, cilantro and lime. Hubby added some jalapeño we had on hand, he always prefers his chili spicy. This dinner had 938 calories, but it was enough to save some for lunch so that lowers the calorie count. It said it would take about thirty-five minutes, but it took us forty-five minutes. This dish warms you up, so it's the perfect recipe for a cold day. I would have liked a bit more sour cream and cheddar cheese. It was scrumptious, but for those of us who prefer a spicy chili the Blue Apron version is better.

It was a very enjoyable week of recipes which included a lot of comfort food. I wish they would come up with more low calorie recipes. Their high calorie recipes tend to be the ones I'm most attracted to lately. To make up for it I had low calorie Green Blender smoothies for breakfast and lunch. If you haven't tried Home Chef yet, I highly recommend you give it a try, but be sure to use my link for $30 off your first order. That makes your box only $29.70 including shipping! So what are you waiting for? Order todaySee all of our recipe results on my Home Chef Pinterest Board.

Bargain Alert: 

Green Chef - 66% off, click here
Home Chef - 51% off, click here.
Sun Basket - 50% off, click here.

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Monday, August 15, 2016

QVC's TSVs for September 2016


Preorder Numbers for Today's Special Values


3rd - Perricone MD The Power of Neuropeptides 3 Piece Collection, A284939 or A/D A284961, $199.92 or 6 payments of $33.22

4th - Lock & Lock 14 Piece Nestable Bowl & Zen Storage Set, K44952, $29.98 or 2 payments of $14.99, comes in 14 colors

7th - George Forman 5 Serving Nonstick 3 in 1 Grill with 5 Plates, K44956, $92.96 or 3 payments of $23.24, comes in 5 colors (currently not available for preorder, check back later)

8th - Susan Graver Zip Front Sweater Vest with Quilting, A285604, $49.92 or 4 payments of $12.48, comes in 5 colors

9th - Ryka Water Resistant Lace Up Boots, A285606, $56.94 or 3 payments $18.98, comes in 5 colors

10th - Dooney & Bourke Logo Lock Toscana Leather Shoulder Bag, A285609, $272.76 or 5 payments of $54.55, comes in 6 colors

11th - Air Innovations Ultrasonic Top Fill Humidifier, V34436, $69.96 or 4 payments of $17.49, comes in 8 colors

15th - Clarks Leather Water Resistant Hiking Boots, A285607, $91.80 or 5 payments of $18.36, comes in 5 colors

22nd - Alegria Water Resistant Leather Ankle Boot with Faux Fur, A285611, $129.80 or 5 payments of $25.96, comes in 5 patterns

23rd - Wen by Chaz Dean, 16 oz Fall Cleansing Conditioner (Vanilla White Pumpkin), 32 oz Classic Cleansing Conditioner, 4 oz Mask, 4 oz Treatment Oil, see picture here

25th - Duraflame Infrared Quartz Stone Heater with 3D Flame, V34437, $149.95 or 5 payments of $29.99, comes in 6 colors

27th - Philosophy 4 Piece Iconic Skincare Collection, A285610 or A/D A286470, $141.80 or 5 payments of $28.36

October 

1st - Skechers Go Walk Suede Faux Fur Boots with Goga Mat Insole, A285608, $57.90 or 3 payments of $19.30, comes in 7 colors

If you are looking for some new fall boots, this is the month for you! There are three to chose from, wow! The Alegria boots are so cute, but too expensive for me. That tartan pattern is fabulous, but unless you have an all black wardrobe that one is going to be unpractical. Living in the south, we have few days we can wear boots, so I'll be passing on all three. If you have been waiting for a Mally TSV, this is the month for you! It's been a long wait probably due to it being bought out after bankruptcy. If you order it, let me know if the quality is the same. The rumor on the contents of the Wen TSV is listed below. I wish it was a 32 ounce size of the Fall scent instead of only 16 ounces. I'm tired of the classic scents, so I only want to buy the new scents now! So I'll be passing on that one. Fingers crossed the winter TSV contains the Winter Mint scent, my favorite. If you ordered an August TSV, make sure you received free shipping and handling since they changed the shipping charges to free. Call customer service for a refund if you were charged. I guess the TSVs weren't selling well because I don't remember a time when they offered free shipping on the TSVs for the entire month! Are you spending less money this time of year? I know I am due to vet bills.

Other interesting TSV information hasn't be released on yet are:

6th   - Mally Color Cosmetics
12th - Beauty Hit List
17th - Isaac Mizrahi
19th - Judith Ripka
23rd - Wen, updated above
24th - Dyson
26th - Denim & Co

I'll update those when information is released which is usually only a few days prior to airing. So which of the TSVs are going to snag your money this month or which ones will you put on your wish list? Don't forget to browse around at my other posts and enter my $49 Green Blender Smoothie Box Giveaway before you go.

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Green Chef 6th Delivery & Four FREE Organic Meals for You!


Caribbean Chicken, Collard Coconut Rice & Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa


Ingredients (click on photos to enlarge)


Lemon Herb Tuna, Creamy Dill Potato Salad, Cucumber Slaw & Gremolata


Ingredients


Berbere Lamb Burger, Carrot & Turmeric Cauliflower Salad & Squash


Ingredients


This is a review of our 6th delivery from an organic food subscription box called Green Chef. I chose the carnivore plan this week and two of the recipes were gluten free. We gave two recipes four out of five stars and one recipe three stars. Calories ranged from 500 to 850 and preparation times ranged from thirty to forty minutes. As usual, all of the ingredients arrived in great shape. They use twelve ice packs to ensure everything stays cold enough even in the hottest summer months!

Caribbean Chicken, Collard Coconut Rice & Pineapple Jalapeño Salsa

We gave this recipe four out of five stars. It was really delicious and like nothing else I have tried before. Green Chef prepared the pineapple and chopped the red onion for us. The pineapple jalapeño salsa was a scrumptious addition to the chicken! We didn't remove the jalapeño seeds since we love spicy food. We also skipped roasting the chicken in the oven since it was a hot day, so Hubby just cooked them in the skillet and they were just as yummy. The Caribbean spice rub on the chicken was especially tasty. The rice mixed the collard greens and coconut milk was very good. I'm shocked this recipe had only 500 calories since the flavors were superb. It certainly didn't taste like a low calorie meal! This one took about fifty minutes to prepare while it indicated forty. It was a generous portion with no leftovers.

Lemon Herb Tuna, Creamy Dill Potato Salad, Cucumber Slaw & Gremolata

I made this one since Hubby was out of town. I gave it four out of five stars. It was suppose to take thirty minutes, but I'm a slow cook and clean up after myself as I go, so it took forty-five minutes. They cut the cabbage and red onions, pre-made the white balsamic vinaigrette and the dill yogurt dressing in advance for us. I was disappointed with the tuna's cooking instructions because my tuna landed up being cooked well and I would have preferred medium. I also didn't care for the lemon juice on it, it was too tart. It needed some spice or sauce instead. The potato salad was absolutely scrumptious. The cucumber slaw was delicious along with it's yummy dill yogurt dressing. It was a very generous portion with lots of leftover salad. It was only 600 calories yet it was very filling.

Berbere Lamb Burger, Carrot & Tumeric Cauliflower Salad & Squash

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. I skipped the whole wheat bun since it was a bit dry and not soft enough for me. Plus, I often skip the bun for less calories or use only the top and throw away the bottom half for more flavor. The tomato we received wasn't very ripe, so I left it out on the counter for a few days. They marinated our lamb and cauliflower for us in advance and pre-made the lemon garlic tahini sauce. We would have preferred less lemon on our squash and zucchini. I prefer olive oil and Emeril's seasoning on those two vegetables which are my favorite vegetables. We would have liked more cauliflower, it was small portion so we really couldn't taste the seasoning after it was mixed with the spinach, roasted red peppers and carrots. We would have liked about 1/3 more lamb, the burgers were on the small size compared to previous portions of lamb we have received from them. This recipe had 850 calories, but less for me since I skipped the bun. It said it would take forty minutes to prepare, but it landed taking an hour. It was a smaller portion of food than we are use to from Green Chef, but it was still filling and we had no leftovers.

It was another wonderful week of recipes from Green Chef. They are currently my favorite food subscription box since most of the recipes are four or five stars and the ingredients always arrive cold enough and nothing is wilted or damaged.  Not to mention everything is organic! Love that! I also love how they chop some of the vegetables and fruit for us and they make some of the sauces and dressing for us in advance. That saves us so much time. They also marinate for us which I especially love since it tastes so much better the longer it marinates! I highly recommend you give this service a try and now is the time since they are offering the largest discount for new subscribers I've seen so far. If you would like to give Green Chef a try, be sure to use my link below so that your first four meals are free, which is 66% off! Check out my reviews of our firstsecondthirdfourth and fifth Green Chef deliveries. In addition, check out my reviews of Blue ApronGreen BlenderHello FreshHome ChefMarley SpoonPlatedSun Basket and Terra's KitchenDo you subscribe to any meal delivery services and which of the above recipes looks the tastiest to you?

Bargain Alert - Buy TWO meals and get FOUR FREE, click here

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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Green Blender 8th Delivery & GIVEAWAY!



Blueberry Walnut Cobbler


Recipe Results


Lavender Pluot Refresh



Recipe Results



Apricot Island


Recipe Results


Chocolate Maple Almond


Recipe Results


Coconut Apple Mint


Recipe Results



This is review of my 8th delivery from a smoothie subscription box called Green Blender. This week I gave two recipes five out of five stars and three recipes three stars. My favorite recipe this week was the Chocolate Maple Almond smoothie. If you are here only for the giveaway, then scroll down.

Blueberry Walnut Cobbler

I gave this recipe five out of five stars. The strongest flavor was the oats, blueberries and cinnamon. It's a good substitute for a high calorie, high fat dessert. This one has 215 calories with lots of protein featuring immune boosting and anti-flammatory benefits.

Lavender Pluot Refresh

I absolutely love lavender in my drinks, but this one was too tart so I gave it three stars. The main flavor was lemon, followed by cantaloupe and then lavender. It's a low calorie recipe with only 95 calories and it offers calming and beauty benefits. 

Apricot Island

I gave this one three stars since it was a bit sour. The main flavors were pineapple and apricot. It's a low calorie recipe with only 86 calories and it features energy and immune boosting benefits. It definitely gave me energy which is difficult since I have several health issues that make me very tired. So for that reason, I would repeat this recipe. Perhaps the addition of a bit of honey would make it a bit less tart.

Chocolate Maple Almond

I gave this one five stars and it's just like having a high calorie dessert yet it only has 225 calories and it low in fat. The main flavor was cacao powder, almond butter and banana. It tasted like a banana chocolate shake so it was very delicious. It offers energy and immune boosting benefits. The bananas that arrived were very ripe, so I immediately removed their skins, chopped them into one inch pieces and froze them prior to making the smoothie.

Coconut Apple Mint

Hubby gave this one five stars and I gave it two. The main flavor was mint with a slight apple and coconut flavor. It was just too minty for me. It's 226 calories and it offers immune boosting and beauty benefits.

It was another enjoyable week of smoothies. They gave me a credit for the banana that I wasn't able to use all of since it was over ripe. I think was damaged during shipping due to the extremely hot weather. They have recently improved their packaging so that the ingredients aren't harmed during the hot summer months. Check out my Green Blender Pinterest Board to see all of the Green Blender recipes I've made so far. 

GIVEAWAY:
The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Green Blender, provide me with their name and email address to give to Green Blender, provide Green Blender their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the following areas: most parts of Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Washington DC, Wisconsin, West Virginia..See map here. Winner will be sent an email from Green Blender and simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Green Blender box online. To cancel future shipments, email them. To skip future shipments select account,  delivery schedule, click on send to change it to "skip". The box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on Thursday.

Bargain Alert:

Green Blender - 30% off 1st box, coupon code "SALTED"
Green Chef - Buy Two Get FOUR organic meals FREE, click here. Choices: Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian & Carnivore
Sun Basket - 3 FREE Meals ($34.47 value), click here.

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Mozzarella Fellas Restaurant Review - Winston Salem, NC


336 Summit Square Boulevard
Winston Salem, NC  27105
(336) 377-7179


Interior Decor


Salsiccia e Spinaci Ravioli - $11


Fellas Philly - $9


This is a review of an Italian restaurant called Mozzarella Fellas located in Winston Salem, North Carolina. It's located near Sam's Club off University Parkway. It just opened this year in April. We visited last Sunday around 5:30 pm. Their posted sanitation grade was 96%, which is very good. When we entered we weren't sure if we were suppose to seat ourselves or wait for a hostess. After a minute, a waitress escorted us to a table. At the front they were very busy filling carry out pizza orders. There were quite a few empty tables. The dining room features tables and chairs with no cushions. There is a bench against the wall on the right side going all the way down it and no booths. The decor is nice especially the unique light fixtures that are made with mason jars filled with flickering strung white lights.

We were given menus and asked what we wanted to drink. Our beverages came out shortly thereafter in mason jars. I decided to order the ravioli and Hubby decided on the Fellas Philly. It was a bit confusing with the waitresses since three of them were tending to our table and we were asked a couple of questions twice as a result. I don't mind other staff helping out by refilling drinks or bringing the food to the table, but I do mind when they are so unorganized that I'm asked the same question twice. While they were very friendly, we still found it annoying. Our food was brought out ten minutes later. The Salsiccia e Spinaci Ravioli is described as "stuffed with a four cheese blend, mild Italian sausage topped with marinara sauce". The waitress told me they make their own pasta, so I was quite excited about it. In addition, after reading such good reviews I was shocked to find the pasta tough and the filling inside very dry. I couldn't taste any sausage nor could I see any when I cut the ravioli open. The stuffing was quite skippy. It was a really disappointing meal and it wasn't filling. The bread was plain, it was not traditional garlic bread and it wasn't even warmed up! When I read on the menu that the pasta dishes come with bread, I expected a garlic bread basket not three tiny pieces of bread that had no flavor whatsoever. There were only six pieces of ravioli and for eleven dollars I expected more. It was a lunch sized portion with no leftovers. I had never been to an Italian restaurant and not had leftovers before this experience. The lack of a bread basket and salad just added to the disappointment. It's an additional two dollars for a small house salad which their competition serves at no additional charge. The Fellas Philly is described as "sliced tender steak, mushrooms, bell peppers, picked red onions, mayo, mozzarella". As you can see by the above photo there isn't much mozzarella on it and it's a small sandwich compared to what Hubby is normally served at an Italian restaurant. Hubby commented that the steak in the sandwich was good, but that was about it. The house made chips weren't all crisp and there weren't many of them. They came with ranch dressing for dipping. Again, it was a lunch sized portion and it was served on a small pizza pan. The majority of dining customers were ordering pizza, so perhaps that is what is worth ordering. Due to our disappoint we aren't willing to take that gamble, so we will not be visiting again. All of the staff was very young and there was no sign of any management around which may be the reason the ravioli and chips weren't cooked properly. What's your favorite restaurant in the Triad?

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Mozzarella Fellas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Carmine's Restaurant Review - Winston Salem, NC

420-M Jonestown Road
Winston Salem, NC  27104 
  (336) 774-8758


Interior Decor


Salad


Chicken Parmigiana - $14


Beef Lasagna - $12.90


Bread and Dipping Oil


This is a review of an Italian restaurant called Carmine's located in Winston Salem, North Carolina. It's a bit hard to see from Jonestown Road since it's behind McDonald's. Use the side road on the left of McDonald's or drive in between the McDonalds and the Shell Gas Station on the right. It was founded in 2008 by Carmine Farina who is from Naples, Italy. We visited on a Saturday around 3:30 pm. It's a great time to visit if you prefer a restaurant not be filled with lots of customers since they mostly have carry out orders at that time. We were immediately greeted and seated at a booth.

The waitress was very friendly and took our drink orders right away. Shortly thereafter she brought our drinks to the table. Beverages are served in cute mason jars. After the waitress answered a few questions about the menu for us, we ordered. She was more than happy to answer our questions which we appreciated. She brought out our salads only a couple minutes later. Dinner entrees come with a House or Caesar salad or homemade soup. We both ordered the house salad which was very fresh and the lettuce was crisp. Eleven minutes later our entrees arrived along with the garlic bread served in a warm clay pot. The bread was soft in the inside and crisp on the outside with a hint of garlic and it was served with delicious olive oil and spices. It was so delicious! Hubby ordered the Beef Lasagna which he absolutely loved and I agreed after I had a sample. I think that's what I will order next time. It's described as "layered pasta with ground beef & ricotta cheese baked with mozzarella cheese & topped with our homemade meat sauce". It's a good sized portion and it costs $12.90. I ordered the Chicken Parmigiana and it was also delicious. Hubby agreed it was delicious after having a sample. I ordered it with a side of whole grain spaghetti. The sides offered are: spaghetti, linguini, fettuccine, angel hair, farfalle and whole grain spaghetti. For an additional $2 you can chose gnocchi, cheese tortellini, gluten free penne or gluten free risotto. The Parmigiana is described as "lightly breaded and baked with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce". It's a very generous portion with enough leftovers for a snack or lunch and it costs $14. They offer specials that are featured on their sign that you will see at the entrance or on their Facebook page. We really enjoyed our visit and the food and service were excellent. I highly recommend you give this restaurant a try as soon as you can. What's your favorite restaurant in Winston Salem?

I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramPinterestTwitterGoogle +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 BoardShare this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook: