Monday, February 29, 2016

Birchbox Review - February 2016



What's the Occasion?


This is a review of my February Birchbox which costs $10 monthly. My box has a retail value of $37.61 and included in my February box were the following products:
  1. Pop Beauty - Matte Velvet Lipstick in the color Cozy Crimson, 3.5 g, $8 retail value
  2. Naobay - HydraPlus Face Cream, 30 ml, $17.76 value
  3. Hey Honey - Exfoliating Honey Peel Off Mask, 10 ml, $6.40
  4. Color Club - mini nail polish in the color That's My Jam, .25 fl. oz. $4.25
  5. Corioliss - Argan Conditioning Hair Mask, 15 ml, $1.20
I chose the peel off mask since I really like those type of masks. They are so easy to use and peeling them off rather than washing them off is so much easier and quicker. Argan oil is very popular right now so I'm excited to try the hair mask, but haven't had time to try it yet. I've never heard of the Naobay brand, have you? I have quite a bit of face moisturizers waiting for me to use, so I really didn't need another one. I was really disappointed to see such a boring red color of creme nail polish in my box and a bright red lipstick, both of which I don't like and wouldn't use. While my box has a great retail value, I wasn't crazy about this box. This is one of my most disliked boxes so far. I may have to cancel yet again if the next one is a bust also. Though it's kind of a struggle in my head because the box really only cost $5 after doing monthly product reviews and receiving $5 in store credits. Sometimes I just have to take a break from Birchbox because I have too many items waiting for me to use. What's the most favorite item you received in you box? If you haven't tried Birchbox yet, what's keeping you from giving it a try? 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 $30 from Home Cheffree 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.

Share this blog post with friends via Twitter & Facebook:

Have a PEACEful Day!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Chang Thai Restaurant Review - Clemmons, NC

4162 Clemmons Road
Clemmons, NC  27012
(336) 778-0388


Interior View


Baked Snow - $12 (click on photos to enlarge) 


Japanese Bagel Roll - $8


Pad Thai Steak - $8.50


This is a restaurant review for Chang Thai which has two locations, this review is for the one located in Clemmons, North Carolina. It's located right next to Tanglewood Park south of Winston Salem. We visited today, Sunday, around 1:30 pm and their sanitation score was 94%. They had only a couple sets of customers. They have lots of tables and several booths which are located mostly along the wall across from the sushi bar. The interior photo above was taken from one of the booths. They are a little slow to greet customers and I would have preferred a more friendly welcoming than we received. I really miss our favorite Thai/Japanese restaurant in Cary, one reasons is they are so friendly. We ordered right away since we were so hungry and we had already looked at their menu online to make our decision prior to our arrival. Our food arrived fourteen minutes later. 

I ordered from the sushi menu, one Baked Snow Roll and one Japanese Bagel Roll. The Baked Snow Roll is described as "blue crab, avocado and cream cheese baked with white fish on top". It was delicious, but it's a bit on the rich side, so I'd prefer to share that rather than eat the entire roll by myself. The Japanese Bagel Roll is described as "salmon, avocado and cream cheese rolled together and fried". The Japanese Bagel Roll reminded me a lot of my favorite roll at our favorite restaurant, Sushi Thai in Cary. The crust is like that on Katsu, so if you like Katsu, you'll enjoy this. It was very good and I'd recommend it as an appetizer or to have the entire roll by yourself. It came out hot which is a must for me. I can't stand fried sushi that isn't served hot. My only complaint is that it had more cream cheese than salmon so the salmon flavor wasn't as strong as I prefer. I shared the sushi with Hubby and he agreed with my review.

One of Hubby's favorite dishes is Pad Thai, so he is picky about it. He gave this one three out of five stars. It was good, but not as delicious as the one at our favorite Thai restaurant. It is described as "stir fried rice noodles with sautéed egg, bean sprouts, green onions and crushed peanuts". He would have liked more of the bean sprouts, more beef and more spice. He had realized after he started eating it that he had not been asked how spicy he would like it when he ordered. It was too mild for his taste. 

They have an extensive drink list including cocktails, sodas and tea. They also offer take out, so if you live nearby I'd recommend giving them a try. If I lived in Clemmons, I'd be a fairly regular take out customer for sure. As for eating in the restaurant, we give it four out of five stars for atmosphere, three and a half stars for the food and three stars for service. While my soda glass was filled each time it was about half full, we just didn't feel welcomed much and when we left no one said goodbye and to come again nor was anyone waiting to greet us when we arrived. Since it's located further than I'd like to drive for a restaurant, we will only return if we are visiting Tanglewood Park next door.

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 which also has restaurants in the Raleigh, Triangle area and Charlotte.

I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin' or Networked Blogs. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you. 

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:

Chang Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Have a PEACEful Day!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Home Chef - 36th Delivery & $30 Off


Chicken Tikka Masala with Chicken Thighs, Basmati Rice & Garlic Naan


Ingredients (click on photos to enlarge)


Maple Miso Glazed Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Apples


Ingredients


One Skillet Chicken Chasseur with Cremini Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Carrots


Ingredients

Green Machine Chicken Salad with Tarragon & Lemon Vinaigrette

Ingredients


This is a review of our 36th delivery from Home Chef. We have now made 141 of their recipes! Check them all out on my Home Chef Pinterest Board. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars, one recipe four stars and two recipes three stars. Three of the four recipes were low calorie, low carb and gluten free. Each week they offer twelve recipes and a fruit basket to chose from. One is a smoothie, one is breakfast and usually three of them are vegetarian. Some are low calorie, low carb and some are gluten free. Each dinner entree is $9.95, smoothies are $4.95 and the fruit is $4.95. Occasionally, there is an special recipe that is higher in price due to the ingredients. They also occasionally offer desserts and appetizers.

Chicken Tikka Masala with Chicken Thighs, Basmati Rice & Garlic Naan

We both gave this recipe five out five stars. It was so scrumptious! I love any dish with curry in it. The sauce was perfection! It's made with olive oil, ginger, onion, garlic, tikka masala seasoning (garam, marsala, curry powder & cayenne pepper), tomato sauce, 1/2 cup water, cilantro, sour cream, salt and pepper. The naan bread was awesome with garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper. The Basmati Rice was also good. This recipe took about forty minutes to prepare and it had 918 calories. 

Maple Miso Glazed Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Apples

We both gave this recipe three out of three stars. The salmon was really delicious, but we felt it needed more of the sauce and the side dish we weren't crazy about. The apples didn't have much flavor left after baking. I think Granny Smith Apples would have been better and some brown sugar or cinnamon. We didn't care for the combination of apples and brussels spouts. This recipe took about thirty-five minutes to prepare and it had 620 calories. It's a low calorie, low carb and gluten free recipe.

One Skillet Chicken Chasseur with Cremini Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Carrots

I gave this recipe three out of three stars and Hubby gave it two. It was good, it's just not a recipe I would repeat. It needed more thyme and carrot slices. I think it would have been better cooked in a slow cooker. It took about forty minutes to prepare and it had 593 calories. It's low calorie, low carb, gluten free, nut free and soy free recipe. 

Green Machine Chicken Salad with Tarragon & Lemon Vinaigrette

We both gave this recipe four out of five stars. I purchased it because it was low in calories and we like tarragon. I put this recipe off until the last day since it wasn't looking appetizing to me, so imagine my surprise when it was so tasty! The vinaigrette was so yummy! It's made of the zest of one lemon, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp. dijon mustard, 2 tbsp. olive oil, salt and pepper. The granny smith apple was a wonderful addition to the kale, spinach and arugula. It took about forty minutes to prepare and it had 622 calories. It's low calorie, low carb, gluten free, nut free and soy free. 

We enjoyed this week's recipes, they were delicious and easy to make. On Friday we are expecting the following recipes:
  1. Chinese BBQ Pork
  2. Roasted Asian Turkey Acorn Squash
  3. Rosemary Cider Chicken (repeat)
  4. Raspberry Peach Smoothies
If you haven't tried out Home Chef yet, grab my $30 coupon and order today, you won't regret it! With my coupon two dinners and one smoothie for two people is only $19.70 and shipping is free! Go for it, you'll have so much fun! 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. 

I recently did a comparison of Home Chef, Plated, Blue Apron & Hello Fresh, so be sure to check out that post before you leave. 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". 

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:

Have a PEACEful Day!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tatcha Review - Sensitive Skin Ritual Discovery Kit


Tatcha Sensitive Skin Ritual Discovery Kit and Rice Enzyme Powder Samples


This is a review of the Tatcha skincare products I purchased from Tatcha's website. QVC had the Discovery Kit as a TSV for $49.96 back in November, but I found out that if you had one of Tatcha's customers send you a referral email that you could buy it directly from Tatcha for $25 off. Also, you could chose which kit you wanted based on your skin's needs. So I bought it directly from Tatcha for $35 instead of the retail price of $59. They also offer three free samples with each order and free shipping. I chose three sample packets of their Rice Enzyme Powder in soothing, gentle and deep so I could compare them. QVC will have another Tatcha TSV on March 8th, but this time it will be full sized products instead of travel sized. It's preorder item number is A278621 and it costs $150 or 3 payments of $50. This time you get to chose gentle, classic or deep. The preorder auto-delivery item number is A279323. It's available for purchase today by clicking on those links through the 7th of March, then the item number is A279063 on March 8th. 

Since going on QVC, the line has started getting more buzz especially about their powder cleanser called Rice Enzyme Powder. Most people who have tried it really love it. If you haven't heard of this Geisha inspired cosmetic line, watch the video below to learn all about it directly from the founder, Vicky Tsai. She was interviewed by an ex-QVC host, Lisa Robertson. It's a very interesting and long interview, so I suggest you grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!


This is what I received in my Sensitive Skin Ritual Discovery Kit:
  1. One Step Camilla Cleansing Oil, 25 ml, 1/6 original size, $8 retail value
  2. Indigo Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder, 10 g, 1/6 original, $10.83 value
  3. Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum, 10 ml, 1/3 original, $31.66 value
  4. Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream, 10 ml, 1/5 original, $27 value
This kit's value based on the prices of the full sizes is $77.49. If you purchased the travel sized products separately, they would cost you $90, so the discovery kit is a good value. You're receiving a discount to encourage you to try it out. I have been using the products for a month now to give you an accurate review. 

The Camilla Cleansing Oil is the first cleanser that I have found that removes my mascara and eye liner with only one washing. Usually I have to wash my face several times and use a cleansing wipe to remove my eye makeup. So I highly recommend this for removing eye makeup. It also does not bother my sensitive eyes. I prefer my Josie Maran Argan Cleansing Oil for non makeup days since I prefer the way my face feels afterwards and it's less costly. 

The Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder is the product that I would recommend purchasing if you could only afford to buy one product. This is the product that many people have been talking about loving so much. Sephora has a mini size for $15, if you would like to give it a try. I prefer it over a similar product from Josie Maran called Argan Exfoliating Cleansing Powder. You only need one hand to apply Tatcha's version and less water. Josie's requires you to start by putting the powder in your hand and then using the other hand to add water and rub it together to activate it and then apply to your face with both hands. For Tatcha's powder, I dab some warm water on my face, then add some water to my hand and sprinkle the powder in my hand. Then I apply to my face and rub for a bit of lather. Personally, I prefer the one handed application and it activates faster. It does a good job of exfoliating gently and it leaves your skin nice and smooth. It's perfect to use prior to makeup application.

The Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum leaves my skin a bit tacky, so I'm not crazy about it and I saw much better results from Josie Maran's Pure Argan Milk. I like that it feels like a cool gel when it goes on, it's just afterwards that sticky feeling is a deal breaker for me and not to mention the super expensive price tag. You'll find that you'll want to add another moisturizer afterwards because it's not super mositurzing.

The Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream also has a bit of a tacky feeling after it's applied. You must make sure you rub it in well, because if you don't you'll have bits of a sea green color left on your face. I was wondering why she made it a green color, but I learned in the video above that one of the ingredients is naturally that color. I really didn't see any results other than moisturization after using this creme.  

Well there you have it, my full review of Tatcha's Discovery Kit. In conclusion, I recommend her Cleansing Oil for removing makeup and her Enzyme Powder for one step exfoliating and cleansing. I recommend purchasing the Discovery Kit directly from Tatcha, if you want to try more than one product. If you want to try only one product, purchase the mini size Enzyme Powder from Sephora. Well I hope you found this helpful and interesting. Have you tried Tatcha already or are you tempted? Please comment below.

Bargain Alert - March 8th QVC's Tatcha TSV Preorder & $25 off Tatcha.com with Customer Referral

I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin', or Networked Blogs. Feel free to browse around and check out some of my other posts. I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you.

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:

Have a PEACEful Day!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Josie Maran QVC TSV - Whipped Argan Oil Buttery Soft Skin 4 Piece Collection



Review of Josie Maran's TSV of February 2016


This is a review of Josie Maran's latest Today's Special Value (TSV) from QVC, item number A270283. It had a TSV price of $69.96 or 3 payments of $23.32. That's only $17.49 for each product. It has a retail value of $163, so this one is quite the bargain! Unfortunately, I was only able to order it two days prior to it airing, so I wasn't able to review it in advance to help you decide whether or not to order it. While this item sold out, the products are available separately, so I thought I would give you my opinion of the items included in this TSV. Included in the collection were the following products:
  1. Argan Color Stick in Irresistible, .55 oz, $22 retail value
  2. Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter in Vanilla Almond, 13.5 fl. oz., $53 value
  3. Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter, 1.7 fl. oz., $40 value
  4. 100% Pure Argan Oil, 1.7 fl. oz., $48 value
I absolutely love her Whipped Body Butters! I've been addicted to them since I gave them a try after purchasing her November TSV. They are extremely moisturizing and they have the perfect consistency, not too thick nor too thin. While at first glance they look a bit oily on the skin, it sinks in very quickly and leaves your skin as soft as silk. Wintertime is a true test of a moisturizer since the humidity levels are so low and skin gets so dry. This is the only moisturizer that I have found that can handle dry skin of winter. All of her scented body butters I have tried smell really good and this one is no exception. You only need a little bit, so use less than you would normally use of another brand.

I was excited to try her Face Butter because I find her 100% Pure Argan Oil a bit too oily to apply prior to putting on makeup. I really love it! It's so much like the body butter in texture and application. It leaves your skin super soft without an oily appearance. So it's perfect to use prior to applying your makeup without a long wait for it to sink in. I'm hoping after I run out that she'll have it in another TSV because it has a $40 retail value which is too pricey for me. Note that the Face Butter comes in a glass jar while the Body Butter comes in a thick plastic jar. There was an air bubble in it, so I just tapped it on the counter and it came out.

I wasn't excited about receiving the color stick, since cream blushes don't usually work on me. Since the TSV was such a bargain it wouldn't matter if I didn't use it. I actually found it quite good. It is the first cream blush that I've ever been able to blend well. Usually they just have a clown look because they won't blend and they usually go on too heavy with just one application. I actually had to apply it several times to get a good amount of color. I wouldn't chose it over powder blush, but I will use it occasionally. It's so wide it's a bit difficult to apply as a lipstick, but it's extremely moisturizing. It's also too large to throw in my handbag, so I'm using it at home for days I don't wear a full face of makeup.

The first product I tried of Josie's was her 100% Pure Argan Oil when it was sent to me in a subscription box. At first I would just sell it on my blog sale because I wasn't crazy about it. But Hubby has really dry skin, so now I give it to him and he likes it. I find it too oily for my liking, I just don't like how it feels on the skin. Occasionally, I use it when my skin is especially dry and only at night prior to bed. I can't use it prior to applying makeup because it just sits on top of my skin and it's too oily.

This TSV is a winner for sure! If you are able to get a good price on her Whipped Argan Oil Face Butter or her Whipped Argan Oil Body Butter, I highly recommend you give them a try. They are my favorite products in the Josie Maran line. Are you a fan of the Josie Maran line and did you purchase this TSV?  What did you think of her new face butter? Please comment below! 

I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin', or Networked Blogs. Feel free to browse around and check out some of my other posts. I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you. If you haven't already checked out the QVC TSVs for February and March, I recommend you do now. Tatcha will have a TSV on the 8th of March, so I will be reviewing her products next. Stay tuned for that.

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:

Have a PEACEful Day!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Home Chef -35th Delivery $30 Off


Mardi Gras Shrimp Po' Boy with Remoulade & Tomato Romaine Salad


Ingredients (click on photos to enlarge)


Chicken au Fromage with Mushroom Cheese Sauce & Lemon Broccoli


Ingredients


Bone In Pork Chop with Smoky Maple Butter with Roasted Carrots & Broccoli Mash


Ingredients


Chinese New Year Dim Sum Pork Dumplings with Spicy Sesame Spinach & Rice


Ingredients


Free Gift - Vosges Matcha Green Tea Chocolate


Winter Fruit Basket


This is a review of the 35th box of food and recipes we have received from Home Chef. We've now made 137 of their recipes since May of last year. Each week they offer twelve recipes and a fruit basket to chose from. One is a smoothie, one is breakfast and usually three of them are vegetarian. Some are low calorie, low carb and some are gluten free. Each dinner entree is $9.95, smoothies are $4.95 and the fruit is $4.95. Occasionally, there is an special recipe that is higher in price due to the ingredients. They also occasionally offer desserts and appetizers. I'm looking forward to Swiss Fondue for Two and the Cinnamon Apple Galette in March. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars, two four stars and one only one star. We were given a store credit for the one star recipe. Three of the recipes were low in calories and two were also low carb and gluten free. They sent us all a free gift of chocolate from Vosges and I received my Home Chef recipe binder which is randomly sent out to customers. 

Mardi Gras Shrimp Po' Boy with Remoulade & Tomato Romaine Salad

Hubby gave this recipe five stars and I gave it four since I wasn't thrilled with the side salad, but the Shrimp Po' Boy was incredibly delicious. The spices on the shrimp were delicious. The bread was toasted on the inside and soft on the outside which we really enjoyed over the typical hard roll that Po' Boys are served on. The remoulade was made with mayo, pickle relish, creole seasoning, salt and pepper. It was the perfect compliment to the sandwich. The side salad's dressing was made with seasoned rice vinegar, honey, olive oil, salt and pepper. While it was tasty, I would have liked some other vegetables added to it. This recipe took about thirty minutes to prepare and it's a low calorie recipe with only 516 calories. It's also dairy and nut free. 

Chicken au Fromage with Mushroom Cheese Sauce & Lemon Broccoli

I gave this recipe four stars and Hubby gave it three stars. We both absolutely loved the sauce which was made with mushrooms, evaporated milk, water, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. It's really nice to have a rich, tasty sauce yet it be low in calories. We both weren't crazy about the lemon added to the broccoli and tomatoes. Never thought of putting tomatoes and broccoli together, so I was surprised they were a good combination. It took about forty minutes to prepare and it's a low calorie recipe with only 520 calories. It's also low carb, gluten free, nut free and soy free. 

Bone In Pork Chop with Smoky Maple Butter with Roasted Carrots & Broccoli Mash

Anytime they offer a butter recipe for topping the meat I purchase it because every single time it has been so scrumptious. This was no exception, it was so heavenly. Simply made with butter, smoked salt, maple syrup, and fresh thyme. Oh was it delicious on top of the pork chops! It's making me hungry just thinking about it! The broccoli mash was made with broccoli, sour cream, grated parmesan, salt, pepper and garlic. It was good, but a bit of spice or onion or shallots added to it would have made it more tasty. The carrots they gave us were too narrow for the cooking method they suggested, so they were overcooked. This recipe took about thirty-five minutes to prepare and it's a low calories recipe with 613 calories. It's also low carb, gluten free and nut free. We both give this recipe four out of five stars.

Chinese New Year Dim Sum Pork Dumplings with Spicy Sesame Spinach & Rice

This one was so disappointing that we gave it only one star. The cooking directions weren't helpful enough and I made the mistake of not noticing that it's a "expert" recipe that landed up being too difficult, time consuming and frustrating for us. While the temperature gauge said one of the dumplings was fully cooked, most of the others were not. It would have been great if they had offered video instructions since it was a difficult recipe. We also didn't like the spinach side dish which was made with spinach, Fresno chiles, garlic, ginger, olive oil, salt and pepper and we normally love spinach. They gave us plain rice instead of jasmine rice which we prefer since it's so easy to cook perfectly, so that was also disappointing. They sent us an email informing us that they were giving us a $5 credit since they sent us ponzu marinade instead of the dipping sauce. Hubby had to make a trip to the grocery store for the dipping sauce since their suggestion of substituting soy sauce didn't sound tasty. This recipe took about an hour to make and it has 858 calories.

Seasonal Winter Fruit Basket

We received one orange, one pink grapefruit, one fuji apple, one pink lady apple and two anjou pears. Normally the fruit basket has high quality fruit, but this one wasn't as good. The grapefruit and orange weren't of the quality that I've come to expect from Home Chef, but they were still tasty.

We really enjoyed our 35th box of food and recipes from Home Chef except the dumpling recipe. Which of the above recipes look most appetizing to you? Our 36th box will be arriving Friday and it will include the following:
  1. Maple Miso Glazed Salmon
  2. Green Machine Chicken Salad
  3. Chicken Tikka Masala
  4. One Skillet Chicken Chasseur 
  5. Seasonal Winter Fruit Basket
If you haven't tried out Home Chef yet, grab my $30 coupon and order today, you won't regret it! With my coupon you could purchase two dinners and one smoothie for two people for only $19.70 with free shipping! Go for it, you'll have so much fun! 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". 

Share this blog post with your friends via Twitter & Facebook:

Have a PEACEful Day!