Thursday, December 14, 2017

GIVEAWAY - Blue Apron Meal Kit $59.94 Value


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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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

23rd Sun Basket Review & $40 Off Coupon



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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Friday, December 8, 2017

QVC's Mr. Christmas Mini Nostalgic Tree Ornaments Review - Part 2



Mr. Christmas Set of Four Mini Nostalgic Tree Ornaments


This is a review of four nostalgic tree ornaments from a company called Mr. Christmas that are available from QVC. Their item number is H211624 and they are currently offering them for $38.78 or two payments of $19.39. That's only $9.69 each, bargain! I was able to order them for four dollars less back in July during their Christmas in July sale. They are available in green as shown above or white, but they are on waitlist since they are sold out again. I originally wanted the green set because it reminds me of the one my neighbor had in the 70's. I just wanted to make sure I received at least one of the colors, so I went on wait list for both colors. The white set arrived in August and the green set finally arrived in November. I fell in love with the white set even though it wasn't my first choice, they have less of a Christmasy look, so I've had them on display since August. While wait list tried my patience, it was worth the wait. I have already reviewed the white set, so be sure to check those out also. I have been using both sets since they arrived. The lights are very bright. They take two double A batteries, but they don't last as long as I would have thought. They last for about two months on the timer mode. The timer is for four hours. Since the sun sets so early now and four hours isn't enough I have my white set come on at sunset and then three hours later I have my green set turn on, that way I have seven hours of light. I have the white set displayed on my mantle, two on each side. The green set is on my large coffee table, two on each side with candles in between. They also make a wonderful nite light on your bed side table. They can also be hung on the tree with the red ribbon that comes attached. I just lay the red ribbon behind it and as you can see above they are well hidden. In the photo above the stars at the top look washed out in the photo, they appear yellow in person just as their reflection in the granite shows. They are much brighter than you would imagine for such a small decoration. I love these adorable little trees and I highly recommend them. What's your favorite Christmas decoration that you recently purchased?

Bargain Alert:

Use Mr. Rebates for 4% cash back while shopping online @ QVC.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Julep's Leia Holographic Manicure



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 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.

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:  


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Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Julep Subscription Box - December 2017



Julep's Kalli, Lonnelle, Leia, Persephone, Marguerite & Kemper Nail Polishes


This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box from Julep. For $19.99 I received three nail polishes from the Going Baroque collection, the Starlit Soiree set of two nail polishes, a Charcoal Konjac Sponge (not pictured) and to my surprise I received a free mystery nail polish. That works out to only $2.71 per item! Bargain! They gave out a free nail polish to subscribers for the month of December, what a lovely and generous surprise. It also came with a coupon for an additional free nail polish of our choice (code below). My December box started out with three nail polishes from the Classic with a Twist Collection and some snowflake nail stickers. I swapped out some of the colors they chose for me and swapped out the nail stickers for the Charcoal Konjac Sponge. Then I used 1000 Jules (reward points) to add on the Starlit Soiree set of two nail polishes. So I started out with three nail polishes and landed up with six for the same price! The total retail value for my box is $96! Excitement! Here's a detailed list of what I received in my December box:
  1. Kalli, Bombshell Collection, Gold Dust Metallic with Holographic Shimmer, $14 retail value, $11 for Mavens (subscribers)
  2. Lonnelle, Boho Glam, Sahara Gold Multidimensional Holographic, $14 retail value
  3. Leia, Boho Glam, Pine Green Holographic, $14 retail value
  4. Persephone, Bombshell Collection, Crushed Berry Holographic, $14 retail value
  5. Marguerite, Classic with a Twist, Gold Dipped Raspberry Metallic, $14 retail value
  6. Kemper, Boho Glam, Psychedelic Violet Crème, $14 retail value
  7. Charcoal Konjac Sponge, $12 retail value
I could have also swapped out some nail polish for some Matte Lip Mousse, but I absolutely love holographic nail polish, so I chose them. If you don't like making decisions or you want a surprise in the mail, you can just stick with what Julep choses for you based on your answers on the beauty questionnaire.

The above photo was taken on a cloudy day in indoor light. The holographic glitter shows up so much better in sunlight. The glitter in the nail polish lights up like a Christmas tree! It has a similar look to holographic Christmas wrapping paper. I used two coats of all of the nail polish except Kemper in which I used three. Kemper shows up a bit darker and less bright when painted. All of the nail polishes had a good consistency except Kemper which was a bit too thin. Check out my swatches:


Kalli, Lonnelle, Leia, Persephone, Marguerite & Kemper

Kalli is an extremely reflective true gold that appears textured yet it smooth as glass with holographic pieces of glitter. Lonnelle is a coppery gold that also appears textured yet smooth as glass with holographic pieces of glitter. Leia I have on my nails now, so stay tuned for my manicure featuring it tomorrow. I chose to wear it first since it's the most Christmasy look. It's a dark green with holographic pieces of glitter that are highly reflective. Persephone is similar to Leia's appearance, but in a berry color. Marguerite has a unique look since at first it appears to be a pretty dirty pink, but it really lights up with movement when it reflects gold. I'd say that's my 2nd favorite followed by Kalli. Kemper's first coat went on like a jelly, the second coat looked a bit patchy, so I added a third coat and it appears a bit darker than in the bottle. In the bottle it's much brighter. I used a base coat of Perfect Formula's Manicure Booster and a top coat of Seche Vite. So which of the six nail polishes is your favorite?

If you haven't entered the world of Julep, be sure to sign up now since they have the most amazing offer I've seen over the many years I've been a subscriber. They are offering a twelve piece collection for free just for signing up and becoming a member! To skip shipments, go to their website on the 20th and chose skip or customize your box to suit your preferences. They also offer a Secret Store shortly thereafter for those that chose to purchase their box that month. The discounts are wonderful, but they also offer discounted add-ons for each monthly box, so be sure to check those out. I highly recommend Julep products and their subscription box. Out of all the subscription boxes I've subscribed to over the years, I've subscribed to Julep the longest.

Bargain Alert:  

Free Nail Polish with $10 Purchase - code DECEMBERCOLOR, expires 12/31

Check out my Pinterest Subscription Box Board, my Pinterest Nail Art Board and my Pinterest Manicure 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:

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Monday, December 4, 2017

Gobble Meal Kit Review - Free Meals for You!


Chicken & Waffles with Sautéed Spinach



Ingredients


Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Tataki with Kohlrabi Noodles & Ponzu Dressing



Ingredients



Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Soup



Ingredients



Free Chocolate Chip Cookies



This is a review of our 1st delivery from a weekly food subscription meal kit called Gobble. Meals cost $11.95 per serving and shipping is free. There are eight meals to chose from plus two cookie types, three soups, garlic bread and Mac and Cheese. Two soups are currently $5.95 a serving and the third one is $4.50. Cookies are $1.95 per serving, garlic bread $2.95 per serving and Mac & Cheese is $5.95 per serving. I ordered two meal kits and two servings of soup and I received two free cookies. I gave all three meals four out of five stars. The recipe cards are 5" X 8 1/2" on card stock paper and in color with photographs. Hubby said the instructions were concise and easy to follow. The packaging is similar to that of Blue Apron's with the silver bubble wrap bag that everything is sealed into with a couple of ice packs. Preparation time indicated the recipe cards ranged from ten to fifteen minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from ten to forty-eight minutes. Calories ranged from 340-970. I don't have the calorie count on the cookies.

Chicken & Waffles with Sautéed Spinach

If you haven't had chicken & waffles yet, you must find a restaurant that serves them or make them yourself. While it might seem like a strange combination, it's a real treat! I bet you'll love it as much as we do. This recipe has 970 calories, like I said it's a treat, but worth it since it's so tasty. I gave it four out of five stars. It needed more maple syrup. Also, I wasn't crazy about the maple butter, I prefer honey butter. The waffles were just a bit too sweet for me, I could really taste the sugar. I didn't care for the side dish of the spinach. I normally love spinach, but it needed some garlic and spices instead of just salt & pepper. The chicken was tasty with the panko breading on it. It took forty-eight minutes to prepare while the recipe indicates only fifteen minutes. All of the ingredients were in great shape and it was a filling meal.

Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Tataki with Kohlrabi Noodles & Ponzu Dressing

Hubby & I fell in love with this dish, it was so scrumptious! We gave it four out of five stars. To hit five stars, I would have liked some more salad greens and I would have preferred non dyed ginger and zucchini noodles instead of Kohlrabi. It was also a bit on the light side, more of the noodles and greens would have made it more filling. All of the ingredients arrived in great shape. This recipe only has 540 calories. Preparation time indicated on the recipe card is fifteen minutes. It actually took thirty-seven minutes to prepare. If I saw this recipe offered soon I wouldn't hesitate to purchase it again. 

Thai Coconut Curry Chicken Soup

This recipe is already prepared, all I had to do is warm it up in about ten minutes in a pot and then squeeze some fresh lime over it. It comes in a plastic bag in which they suggest you lay it in a pot of boiling water for eight to ten minutes. I prefer not to cook in plastic due to the chemicals that are released from plastic when it is heated up. So Hubby warmed it up for me in the pot without the bag or water. It was really delicious and I give it four out of five stars. To hit five stars it would have had to be more chunky. Some of the mushrooms were full size, but most of the chicken had fallen apart and wasn't in little cubes anymore. Also, in the photo it showed fresh cilantro and green onions tossed on top. I would have liked to have been sent some separate from the soup to dress the soup myself and have the same appetizing presentation as shown on the recipe card. This one has 340 calories per serving, but since I wasn't eating anything else and it was dinnertime I ate both servings to be full. Perhaps if I made a mini loaf of bread to go with it I would have been able to stop at one serving. It was so delicious that I decided to forgo the bread and eat all of the scrumptious soup. While it didn't taste spicy, my lips were tingling after I was done. It would have been nice to have a bit more spice, but I know the average customer doesn't like as much spice as I do, so it's ok. I would definitely order this one again, yum!

Chocolate Chip Cookies

It was a nice surprise to receive two free cookies with our 1st order. The cookie dough came in the form of two balls. The recipe says to cook them for 12-15 minutes at 375 degrees. I cooked them for fifteen minutes. The were a bit on the crisp side and the second one that I ate the next day was completely crisp. I'm picky about the chocolate used in my chocolate chip cookies. Since I rarely endulge in cookies, I prefer to bake with Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips and Irish Butter. If I'm going to treat myself, I want extremely high quality ingredients and a strong flavor. I also find that cookies taste better having been cooked right after the cookie dough is prepared. If you wait to cook them, they just don't taste as good.

While I'm always nervous trying a new meal kit, I'm happy to report that it was an enjoyable week of recipes. I would recommend this company and I plan to order another week of recipes soon. I really like how the cooking times are less than the competition and that I can order some already prepared foods for times when I don't have the time or energy to prepare them from scratch. Has anyone tried their Mac & Cheese, garlic bread or any of their other soups? Looks yummy, I'm tempted. What's your favorite meal kit subscription company? If you would like to give this one a try, be sure to snag my coupon  below which gives you a discount of 33%.

Bargain Alert:

Gobble - 33% off your 1st box
Green Chef - Four Free Meals
Hello Fresh - $40 off
Home Chef - $30 Off
Sun Basket - $35 Off

Be sure to check out my other meal kit subscription reviews before you go! I have reviewed eight Green Chef boxes, fourteen Hello Fresh boxes, fifty-five Home Chef and twenty-two Sun Basket boxes. I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin', or Networked Blogs. Please share this post via Twitter & Facebook:

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Friday, December 1, 2017

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 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.

Bargain Alert:

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

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*affiliate link