Sunday, January 31, 2016

Downton Abbey - World Market Haul


Downton Abbey Tea Bag Rest, Mrs. Patmore's Blueberry Scone Tea and Set of Four Teaspoons


This is a mini haul of Downton Abbey products I ordered from World Market online. Sadly, our local store didn't have any of the Downton Abbey items in stock, so I decided to order online instead. A couple years prior I ordered the lovely matching tea pot online which arrived broken and since the online store didn't have any left I had to call the local store and have them hold one to replace it. That was a major pain in the neck since I'm not a fan of shopping in holiday crowds. It wasn't packaged properly so it was doomed to break. So imagine how nervous I was to order fragile ceramics from them online a second time. Luckily, this time everything arrived unbroken. These are all exclusively available at World Market. I had a coupon for 10% off plus Mr. Rebates 7% cash back.

The Tea Bag Rest was $6.29 prior to discounts. I like it because once you place the tea bag on the rest, the liquid safely drains from the tea bag into the bottom. This way it will not stain your countertop, coffee table or whatever else you may have placed it on. It gives you ample time to dispose of the liquid and it matches the other ceramic items in their Downton Abbey line. It comes in a lovely gift box as shown above and it's dishwasher safe.

The Mrs. Patmore's Blueberry Scone Downton Abbey Tea is made by The Republic of Tea and it's one of thirteen Downton Abbey Teas that the manufacturer offers. This one is only available at World Market and I highly recommend purchasing it if you get the chance to since it's a limited edition and it's so yummy. I have collected all thirteen of the Downton Abbey teas and I have reviewed them on a previous blog post, so click here to check it out. This tea includes red rooibos tea, licorice, natural blueberry flavor, natural vanilla flavor and natural caramel flavor. It's so sweet and delicious! It smells & tastes mostly like vanilla and blueberries and it's caffeine free. It's in a reusable tin and includes thirty-six tea bags. It was on sale for $5.99 minus my discounts as stated above, but it retails for $11.99.

The set of four teaspoons match the rest of the collection and I really enjoy them because they don't get stained by tea like stainless teaspoons do. They are also elegant and prettier than stainless spoons. They come in a lovely decorated box as shown above. They cost $12.99 prior to my discounts.  

Check out my other Downton Abbey blog posts:
  1. The Republic of Tea Downton Abbey Collection
  2. Shop PBS Downton Abbey Haul
  3. World Market's Downton Abbey Mugs for Black Friday
Don't forget to tune in tonight, Sunday at 9 pm ET for the latest episode of Downton Abbey. I'm so sad this is the last season, so I'm treasuring each of the last episodes. Are you a Downton Abbey fan? How are you coping with this being the last season? Please comment below, I'd love to hear from fellow fans. Here's a fun video to watch about their costumes and makeup:



Bargain Alert - World Market $10 off $50, click here and don't forget to use Mr. Rebates for 5-7% cash back.

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Friday, January 29, 2016

Home Chef - 32nd Delivery & $30 Off



Blueberry Honey Smoothie with Rolled Oats & Lemon Greek Yogurt


Ingredients (click on photos to enlarge)


Salmon Crusted with Everything Bagel Seasoning with Chive Sour Cream, Arugula Salad & Lemon Caper Vinaigrette


Ingredients


Chicken Breast with Saffron Beurre Blanc with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Red Pepper


Ingredients


Herbes de Provence Pork Tenderloin with Zucchini & Yellow Squash


Ingredients


This is a review of our 32nd shipment from Home Chef. This week we gave two recipes five out of five stars and two four out of five stars. All of the recipes are low in calories and gluten free. Three of them were low carb, nut free and soy free. All of them were easy recipes and took 5-35 minutes preparation time. It was a very enjoyable week of recipes, one of which was a repeat. They occasionally repeat recipes that are highly rated by customers. We have made 135 Home Chef recipes in the last nine months! Each dinner entree is $9.95, smoothies are $4.95 and the fruit is $4.95. 

Blueberry Honey Smoothie with Rolled Oats & Lemon Greek Yogurt

We gave this recipe four out of four stars, but it could have easily been five stars if they had added more lemon. This is the first time I've had oats in my smoothie and it was really good. It thickened the smoothie just a bit. Oats can lower your cholesterol and this is an easy way to incorporate it into your meals. I really like the Wallaby brand of yogurt, so I was happy to see they sent it. It was a really delicious smoothie! It had 270 calories and it took about five minutes to prepare. It was gluten free.

Salmon Crusted with Everything Bagel Seasoning with Chive Sour Cream, Arugula Salad & Lemon Caper Vinaigrette

This is a repeat recipe since customers rated it as one of the best. We had it before back in September. Click here to see our previous recipe results. As soon as I saw it on the menu I immediately ordered it. It's five out of five stars for sure. It's so delicious that just looking at the picture makes me hungry and crave it. The seasoning on top of the salmon is so fabulous. It's made of three parts sesame seeds, three parts poppy seeds, two parts dehydrated minced garlic, one part dehydrated minced onion and one half part coarse sea salt. The dijon mustard is what is used to make it stick and stay in place. Also, the sauce is incredible and it's a simple creation made with sour cream, chives and salt. The salad was a nice compliment to the fish. This recipe took about thirty minutes to prepare and it had only 426 calories. This is the perfect example that low calorie doesn't mean it has to lack flavor. It was low calories, low carb, gluten free, nut free and soy free.

Chicken Breast with Saffron Beurre Blanc with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Red Pepper

They don't have a lot of French recipes, so when I saw this I immediately ordered it and it was scrumptious. Hubby gave it five out of five stars and I gave it four. I would have given it five if the side dish of vegetables had some spices or something extra other than olive oil, salt, pepper and shallot. We both loved the sauce and it was wonderful with the chicken, but I think it would taste even more delicious on white fish. The chicken was tender and low in fat. We thought just a bit more saffron would have made it perfect. This recipe had only 550 calories and it took about thirty-five minutes to prepare. It was low calories, low carb, gluten free, nut free and soy free.

Herbes de Provence Pork Tenderloin with Zucchini & Yellow Squash

Hubby gave this recipe four out of five stars and I gave it three. It was very flavorful for a low calorie recipe with only 483 calories! Hubby added some additional herbes de Provence to the pork since we felt it need much more to fully cover the pork. We luckily already had some on hand. If you have never tried the herbes de Provence spice mixture, you owe it to yourself to buy some and try it on meat or chicken. It really livens up boring meat. As you may be able to tell in the photo the zucchini and squash were damaged during shipping due to extreme cold temperatures. They have already responded by changing their packaging and they are always generous with refunding us for any inferior ingredients. Hubby just cut around the bad parts since we were having a snowstorm at the time. I always love squash and zucchini together. The olives were a nice addition to the side vegetables, but I would have liked less of them. This recipe was only 483 calories and it took about thirty-five minutes to prepare. It was low calories, low carb, gluten free, nut free and soy free. This was a generous portion and I could have easily saved half of the vegetables for a snack.

What an enjoyable week of recipes! We love how dependable and trustworthy Home Chef's recipes are. While they sometimes come up with some ideas that sound crazy and make me skeptical, I just trust in them and they turn out so tasty. So why haven't you given Home Chef a try yet? Grab my $30 discount and try it today! I wouldn't have purchased 135 of their recipes in only nine months, if they weren't fabulous! Prior to Home Chef we'd only prepare about six to twelve recipes in an entire year! It's so wonderful to have all the ingredients at your fingertips and not have to hunt down ingredients at grocery stores. I'm also happy there is no waste and I'm not throwing away food at the end of the week. If you have tried Home Chef, I'd love to hear about your favorite recipes. So comment below, please. Today we received the following recipes:
  1. Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps
  2. Chicken Pesto Skewers
  3. Strawberry Kiwi Smoothie
  4. Shrimp Jambalaya 
Check out my Pinterest Home Chef Board to see all the recipes we have made so far! Also check out my Healthy Dog Cookie RecipesI recently did a comparison of Home Chef, Plated, Blue Apron & Hello Fresh, so be sure to check out that post before you leave too. It also makes a good reference for current customers.

Bargain Alert:
   
Home Chef - $30 off your 1st box, click here.
Hello Fresh - $40 off your first box, use coupon code "YVWF79". 

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Kimono Japanese Restaurant - Winston Salem, NC


4910 Old Country Club Dr
Winston Salem, NC  27104
(336) 774-9777


Sushi Bar


Salad with Ginger Dressing & Onion Soup  


Chicken & Scallops Combination Entree - $11.99


This is a review of a Japanese restaurant located in the city of Winston Salem in the state of North Carolina called Kimono. They have two locations in Winston Salem, one in Welcome and one in Salisbury. This review is for the one located on Old Country Club Drive in Winston Salem. 

We arrived at 3 pm on a Saturday and were promptly seated in one of their eight booths. I enjoyed being seated next to the window. They also have lots of tables and the sushi bar to sit at. There were only a couple other customers, so if you like a quiet restaurant, I recommend showing up around that time. They are open Sunday through Thursday from 11 am to 9 pm and half an hour longer on Fridays and Saturdays.

The waiter came over right away and took our drink orders. He came back shortly after and delivered our drinks. Then he took our lunch orders. We were both in the mood for a combination entree instead of sushi. Hubby ordered the Chicken & Scallops and I ordered the Chicken & Shrimp. They both come with salad and soup which arrived about five minutes later. The salad only had lettuce and some pieces of carrot. I didn't care for the ginger dressing, it was very weak in flavor. Hubby said the ranch dressing was good. The soup had pieces of green onion in water. It was cooked long enough for the water to be slightly flavored by the onion. It arrived very hot. We had to wait for it to cool a bit before eating. I only had a few sips to warm me up. The spoonfuls that had onion were good, but I would have preferred miso soup which wasn't an option. Hubby finished most of his. 

Nine minutes later our entrees came out, but they were both what Hubby ordered. So I had to wait for the shrimp to be cooked, but it came out very quickly. The rice was ok, just not as sticky as I prefer it to be. The sauce was good, but I didn't care for it being served in a plastic cup. The salad dressing was served the same way. I enjoyed the shrimp and the chicken, though I would have liked a bit more chicken. There was a lot of zucchini, but I would have liked a bit more onion. Hubby had more onion than I did. There were also some pieces of carrot and broccoli. The vegetables were cooked well. Hubby said the scallops weren't cooked properly. They should have been seared and were a bit overcooked which is typical for most restaurants. The combination entree was pretty good, but I think I'll go with the sushi next time since the customers next to us seemed to really enjoy it and said it was great. It certainly was a good value for $10.99-11.99 and you'll leave with a very full stomach! I recommend it if you are looking for a good value, lovely interior decor, prompt service and comfortable seating. My Chicken & Shrimp Combination Entree was a dollar less than Hubby's Chicken & Scallops Entree. They also offer a special for two which has chicken, shrimp, steak and scallops for only $21.99.

Well there you have it, my latest restaurant review for the Triad area. Be sure to check out the other reviews I have posted for the Triad area:

Atelier on Trade Bakery & Café - Winston Salem, NC
Chef Samir Shaltout - Greensboro, NC
Dairi-O - King, NC
Fourth Street Filling Station - Winston Salem, NC
Green Valley Grill - Greensboro, NC
Hakka Chow - Winston Salem, NC
Jolo Winery - Pilot Mountain, NC
Le Kebab - Charlotte, NC
Little Italy - King, NC
Mary's Gourmet Diner - Winston Salem, NC
Mooney's Mediterranean Cafe - Winston Salem, NC
Mizu Japanese Cuisine - Winston Salem, NC
Thai Cafe - King, NC
The Marshall Free House - Greensboro, NC
The Tavern in Old Salem - Winston Salem, NC
Village Tavern - Winston Salem, NC

I need restaurant suggestions since we have only lived in Triad about a year. So please comment below! I have several more restaurant reviews in the works, so be sure to stop by again soon. Check out my Restaurant Reviews Pinterest Board.

I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin' or Networked BlogsDon't forget to claim your free Graze Boxfree Julep nail polish, free air filters and $30 worth of Home Chef meals before you leave! Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you. 

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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Birchbox Review - January 2016



On Trend: Korean Beauty


This is a review of a subscription box called Birchbox for $10 per month. For January I decided to chose the curated box which features Korean beauty product samples. This box has an approximate value of $20.40. Included in this month's box were the following products:
  1. Goodal - Yerba Mate Bubble Peeling & Yerba Mate Cleansing Foam Packettes, both 5 ml, $3.30 & $.70
  2. Manefit - Beauty Planner Cucumber Soothing + Moisturizing Mask, 1 sheet, $2 value
  3. Goodal - Waterest First Essence, 6 ml, $1.20
  4. TONYMOLY - Delight Tony Tint in Red, $2 value
  5. RE:P - Bio Fresh Mask with Real Calming Herb, .7 oz, $6.30 value
  6. IPKN - Flash Cream Radiant Primer, 7 ml, $4.90
My favorite product from this box that I've tried is the Yerba Mate Bubble Peeling. It is the easiest and fastest exfoliating product I have ever tried. It's also unlike anything I have tried. After you apply it to your face it starts to bubble. Tiny little bubbles that foam a bit sort of like shaving cream but with much less foaming. As soon as you wash it off, you'll notice an incredible softness and smoothness on your face. I wish it wasn't so expensive! $33 for 1.7 oz is so pricey! If anyone knows of a similar product for much less money, please comment below. I loved this product so much, it goes to the top of my favorite exfoliating product list! The Goodal cleanser wasn't great. I was excited to finally try a sheet mask. They are so popular right now. The Manefit sheet mask was fun to try. It's perfect to use while laying down and resting your eyes though it's sticky enough to use sitting up. The Goodal Waterest First Essence had a jelly texture that felt sticky after drying. It's suppose to be a moisturizer, but I didn't find it to be moisturizing and that sticky feeling is a deal breaker. I really don't care for the look of tints and this one was even worse than the others that I have tried. The Tony Tint just stuck to the dry parts of my lips and those parts were a darker red than the rest. Maybe it would work better in the summer when my lips are less dry. Definitely exfoliate your lips prior to using! The RE:P mask was ok, it was really nothing special. It left my skin a bit red for several minutes. I'm not crazy about primers that have SPF in them since my foundation already has SPF. I especially don't like those that are white, since they don't tend to blend in very well and are usually the type that irritate my skin, so I didn't try that product.

This was a fun box to try since Korean beauty products are very popular right now. I had only heard of the TONYMOLY product line previously. I really enjoy their cute packaging. They have a hand cream in a panda bear package. It's so cute. I haven't found their products to be anything special though other than some of their packaging. What did you like the most in your Birchbox this month? If you haven't subscribed, what is keeping you from trying it? Please comment below.

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"

I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin' or Networked BlogsDon't forget to claim your free Graze Boxfree Julep nail polish and free air filters before you leave! Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you.

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Saturday, January 23, 2016

31st Home Chef Review - $30 Discount


Mint Chocolate Smoothie 


Ingredients


Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Slaw & Vegetable Rice


Ingredients (click on photos to enlarge)


Healthy Takeout Bourbon Chicken with Chicken Thighs, Water Chestnuts, Broccoli & Jasmine Rice


Ingredients


Winter Rub Pork Tenderloin with Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry & Pecan Sauté


Ingredients


This is a review of our 31st shipment from Home Chef. Out of the four recipes we gave two of them four out of five stars, one recipe three stars and one recipe one star. The one star recipe was refunded to us in full without even having to ask! They made a mistake and sent too much peppermint extract, so they emailed us to let us know. What wonderful customer service! Three of the recipes were low calorie, one low carb, three gluten free, two nut free, two soy free and two dairy free. Each dinner entree is $9.95, smoothies are $4.95 and the fruit is $4.95.

Mint Chocolate Smoothie 

They gave us a full refund on this recipe because they sent too much peppermint extract. We didn't even have to complain, they sent us an email letting us know before we even had a chance to email and complain. This recipe had such a strong peppermint flavor we couldn't have more than a couple sips. When it arrived my first comment was there was too much peppermint, but in the past when I doubted a recipe it was a mistake because Home Chef usually has it perfected. I should have gone with my instinct and measured the peppermint extract or used less. I'm very impressed that they admitted their mistake right away and gave us all a refund. This recipe received one star and it had 210 calories. It was gluten free and soy free. It was an easy recipe and it took about ten minutes to prepare.

Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Slaw & Vegetable Rice

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. We would have liked much more shrimp. We loved the seasoning on the shrimp and the sambal sour cream, but the rice was bland and we didn't care for the slaw in the taco. Also, I think it would have tasted better with flour tortillas rather than corn. It's a low calorie recipe with 539 calories and nut free. It took about forty minutes to prepare.

Healthy Takeout Bourbon Chicken with Chicken Thighs, Water Chestnuts, Broccoli & Jasmine Rice

We gave this recipe four out of five stars. The marinade on the chicken was really good and the chicken was very tender. Combine 1 tbsp. light brown sugar, 2 tbsp. soy sauce and 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar. It would have been five stars if it didn't have some chicken bone chips in it and it didn't give us heartburn. They always give me a store credit when there are any issues with the ingredients. As always, the jasmine rice was delicious. This recipe is definitely healthier than takeout! It's a low calorie recipe with 624 calories. It's dairy, gluten and nut free. It took about thirty-five minutes to prepare and it was an easy recipe. It was a generous portion of food.

Winter Rub Pork Tenderloin with Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Cranberry & Pecan Sauté

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. While healthy and enjoyable, it tasted a bit like low calorie food, something your mother would serve you. I really liked the winter rub, but I would have liked more of it or some sauce on top of the pork since it was a bit dry. The brussel sprouts, cranberry and pecans were delicious together. The winter rub was made with three parts thyme, three parts oregano, two parts brown sugar, one part cumin and one part cinnamon. This was a low calorie recipe with 605 calories. It took about forty minutes to prepare and it was low carb and dairy, gluten and soy free. It was an easy recipe. It was a good, healthy portion and the photo above doesn't show all of my portion of the pork. Hubby forgot to add a couple more pieces to my plate before I took the picture. We also had more than was pictured of the side dish and we went back for seconds. It was our favorite part of the dish.

This wasn't our favorite week of recipes, but it was low calorie and healthy. This week we have been enjoying the following low calorie recipes:
  1. Chicken Breast with Saffron Beurre Blanc
  2. Blueberry Honey Smoothies
  3. Salmon Crusted with Everything Bagel Seasoning
  4. Herbes de Provence Pork Tenderloin
If you haven't tried out Home Chef yet, grab my $30 coupon and order today, you won't regret it! Shipping is free over $40, so go for it! Skipping weeks and canceling is super easy on their website, but if you need assistance just comment below and I'll walk you through it. Free free to comment below with any questions. 

Check out my Pinterest Home Chef Board to see all the recipes we made so far! Also check out my Healthy Dog Cookie RecipesI recently did a comparison of Home Chef, Plated, Blue Apron & Hello Fresh, so be sure to check out that post before you leave too. Which of the four subscription services have you tried so far and which one is your favorite?  Please comment below.

Bargain Alert:
   
Home Chef - $30 off your 1st box, click here.
Hello Fresh - $40 off your first box, use coupon code "YVWF79". 

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

OPI's Hello Kitty Charmmy & Sugar Manicure


Charmmy & Sugar


This is a nail polish from OPI from the Hello Kitty Collection that was just released. Above is a photo of my manicure using four coats of the Charmmy & Sugar nail polish taken in the sun. 

This polish changes colors depending on your lighting conditions. In bright indoor light you can see the small glitter colors as shown in my swatch photo. Note the turquoise, fuchsia, pink and lilac glitter pieces. Once you step into the direct sunlight, the glitter appears lilac in color with a lilac foil reflection underneath as shown above. In low indoor light it appears as a pink foil with glitter. So this polish can have many different looks depending on your choice of application and lighting conditions. It would be perfect for Easter, a wedding or a spring day.

One to two coats is best on top of a light pink or lilac creme polish. Three coats looks opaque on short nails, but four coats is required for long nails if you don't want to see the white tip of your nail through the polish. I highly recommend this polish especially if you love pink and lilac glitter nail polish. While it looks like it would have a rough feel, it is actually quite smooth after applying only one top coat. It applies very well since it's consistency is just like that of a top coat. I've had it on for four days so far with no chips with one base coat of Perfect Formula's Manicure Booster and one Seche Vite top coat. 

If you fancy this nail polish, I recommend you purchase it as soon as possible since it's likely to sell out. I purchased mine from Ulta with a coupon, but the normal retail price is $9.50 per bottle. What do you think of this nail polish? Check out my Hello Kitty Starry-Eyed for Dear Daniel manicure next.

I have over eighty manicures featured on this blog. Take a quick glance at them all on my Pinterest Manicure Board. Then simply click on the ones you want to read about on my blog, since they are linked to the matching blog post. What's your favorite brand of nail polish? 

Bargain Alert $10 off your first Ulta online order

I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin' or Networked BlogsDon't forget to claim your $30 Home Chef couponfree Graze Boxfree Julep nail polish and free air filters before you leave! Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you.

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