Monday, October 16, 2017

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box - October 2017

Complexion Companions

This is a review of the October Play! by Sephora subscription box. This one only costs $10 including shipping and this month's box has a retail value of $45.40.  Bargain! There are several different boxes that are sent out based on customers' profiles. Included in my October box are the following products:
  1. Laura Mercier - Transluscent Powder, made in the USA 🇺🇸 , .12 oz, $4.56 retail value
  2. Chanel - Gabrielle Chanel, made in France 🇫🇷 , .05 fl. oz., $3.08 retail value
  3. Make Up For Ever - Ultra HD Skin Booster, made in France 🇫🇷, .15 fl. oz., $15.37 retail value
  4. Cover FX - Custom Enhancer Drops in Moonlight, made in Italy 🇮🇹 , .095 fl. oz., $7.98 retail value
  5. Becca - First Light Filter Face Primer, made in the USA 🇺🇸 , .2 fl. oz., $7.60 retail value
  6. Make Up For Ever - Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation R230, made in France 🇫🇷, .16 fl. oz., $6.81 retail value 
I wish they had sent me the correct shade of foundation especially since I've heard such great things about this foundation and I haven't tired it before. R230, Ivory isn't the lightest shade they have. It's the sixth lightest shade and I need the lightest. It sinks into the skin very quickly, dries quickly and has a matte appearance which I really like. Sadly, it does appear to highlight fine lines. I love Chanel fragrances and haven't tried Gabrielle before. Due to my allergies acting up today, I'm not able to smell it so well. It is a strong scent when you first put it on and then it very subtle. It smells like a powdery floral scent to me. It has notes of jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose and ylang-ylang. It's nice, but I prefer the original Chanel perfume. Not so sure if I can pull off a metallic highlighter that Cover FX provides. It blends well, but you can still see a metallic shine. The description says it provides a soft, silver glow. It looks like rose gold to me. This sample size will last a very long time since it only takes the smallest amount. The Make Up For Ever Skin Booster is suppose to moisturize, smooth the appearance of fine lines and prep the skin for makeup. It doesn't dry as quickly as other brands and it leaves the skin tacky. I think I'll stick with the brands Julep and Laura Gellar instead. I don't like products that leave the skin feeling sticky. The Becca Face Primer dries quickly and feels a bit moisturizing without feeling sticky. It doesn't leave as smooth as a finish as other brands do. The Laura Mercier Translucent Powder goes on easily and leaves a matte finish. I like that this one offers a light skin tone color rather than a white color. I find they look more natural. I'll be using this one for sure. It's similar to the Bare Minerals Mineral Veil, but it appears you don't need to use as much product.

My favorite thing in this box would be the Make Up For Ever Foundation, if it had been in the correct shade. So, my next favorite is Laura Mercier's Translucent Powder. What types of samples would you prefer to receive in your box? What I would like to receive each month is a lipstick, foundation that matches my skin tone, mascara, a newly released product and a moisturizer in each box. I've received so many primers over the years, I really don't care for yet another sample. Receiving three face primers in one box isn't the variety I was looking for. If you received a box from Sephora this month, what's your favorite sample?   While this wasn't my favorite Sephora box so far, I will enjoy playing with the samples. If you haven't subscribed, what's your reason for not subscribing?

Bargain Alert:

Mr. Rebates - 4% cash back for online Sephora purchases! 

Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to see what I have received in my previous boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I've subscribed to over the years. 

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

QVC's TSVs for November 2017

Preorder Numbers for Today's Special Values

1st - Ecolution Set of Three 3 Qt Microwave Popcorn Poppers, K46614, $29.98 or 2 payments of $14.99, comes in 9 colors

2nd - Marc Fisher Calf Leather Tall Shaft Boots, Medium A301455 or Wide A301456, $124.80 or 5 payments of $24.96, comes in 5 colors

5th - Vitamix 7500 64 oz. 16 in 1 Variable Speed Blender with Dry Container, K46637, $399.96 available in 6 payments, comes in 8 colors

6th - Cuddl Duds Double Plush Velour Leggings, A301862, $18.98 available in 3 payments, comes in 5 colors

8th - KitchenAid 5 Quart 325 Watt Tilt Head Stand Mixer with Flex Edge Beater, K46639, $259.98 available in 6 payments, comes in 13 colors

11th - It Cosmetics It's Your Top Five Superstars & More Six Piece Collection, A301863 or A/D A304002, $59.94 available in 3 payments, comes in 7 shades, comes with a Heavenly Luxe Complexion Foundation Globe Brush, Bye Bye Pores Pressed Illumination, Je Ne Sais Quoi Awakening Hydrating Lip Treatment in Rose, Full Coverage SPF CC+ Cream Illumination 1.08 fl. oz., Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil, Superhero Volumizing Mascara

16th - Earth Origins Water Repellent Suede Ankle Boots Tate, A301865, $66.12 available in 4 payments, comes in 5 colors

17th - First Aid Beauty Super Size Ultra Home & Away Kit, A303951 or A/D A303946, $42.00 available in 3 payments, comes in 5 scents

18th - Dooney & Bourke Pebble Leather Hobo Handbag, A301867, $229.92 available in 5 payments, comes in 7 colors

19th - Mrs. Prindables Ten Large Apples with 3D Character Boxes, Ship Nov 27th M55395 A/D M55889 or Ship Dec 4th M55936 A/D M55890 or Ship Dec 11th M55637 A/D M55891 or Ship Dec 18th M55398 A/D M55892, $49.98 available in 6 payments, 2nd shipment is a spring holiday assortment in March '18, Dec 4th not available yet

20th - Anybody Lounger Cozy Knit Novelty Print, Petite A301869 or Regular A301868 or Tall A301870, $39.98 available in 2 payments, comes in 5 colors

23rd - Lisa Rinna Collection Cowl Neck Tunic with Front Seam, A301872 or Petite A301873 $49.96 available in 4 payments, comes in 5 colors 

28th - Wen Set of Three 32 oz. Cleansing Conditioners, A303667 or A/D A304018, $79.90 available in 6 payments, comes in Classic, Seasonal (Winter Vanilla Mint, Winter Red Currant & Winter White Citrus) or Rice

29th - Primula Avalanche Set of Four 20 oz Tumblers with Gift Boxes, K46641, $29.98, comes in basic, brights or metallics

30th - Berkshire Fair Isle Velvet Soft Reverse to Sherpa Blanket, $23-34 available in 3 payments, Twin H213717 or Full H213718 or Queen H213719 or King H213720, comes in 6 colors


16th - Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Lite Island Wrap, A301874, $69.98 available in 5 payments, comes in 5 colors

FYI - items that say they are "sold out" haven't been entered into the system yet. They should show up in a few days. Closer to the air date they may actually sell out their preorder quantity, but there will be plenty on the day they air unless they cancel the TSV. Preorder easy payments may change the day they air, either no easy pay or more or less payments. Shipping charges may also change. If they offer free s/h on the day they air and you preordered without free s/h, be sure to call customer service and get a refund.

So what do you think, what will you be preordering? Any brands you were hoping for that haven't offered a TSV yet? There is usually a Keurig in November, so stay tuned for that. As soon as I have information on the other TSVs, I'll update this post. So be sure to check back regularly for updates. Looks like a repeat for the Barefoot Dreams TSV. Already have two of those, so I'll skip that one. Highly recommend it! It does leave little balls of lint on chairs with rough fabric. It's annoying, but it's so soft and cozy, I look past it. Not crazy about the scent selection for Wen. Classic is boring to me now. For seasonal, I'd prefer just Winter Mint, but it's a super value at $26.64 a bottle! Normally each one is around $50 each. Anyone try Winter Red Currant & Winter White Citrus? I have to be careful which scents I chose since some are too oily. FYI - his super sized gallons are currently for sale. What do you think of the It Cosmetics TSV? I was hoping it would include one of their new moisturizers or cleansers. I had a Vitamix, but after replacing a part it leaks oil. Went with Blendtec and it's so much better. You just put the lid on and push the button. The Vitamix one makes you use a tamper and you have to use it to press on the ingredients during blending. Also, when you have a warranty issue customer service isn't polite or kind. I had a really bad experience. Blentec can be found at Costco. Those velour leggings sure do look comfy. Too bad they don't have them in petite sizes. I'm anxious to find out what Josie Maran will be offering. Hopefully it will include some new products. Just curious, are you spending more or less money this holiday season? For us, it will be less though my new iPhone 8 is my birthday and Christmas gift, so I guess I'll have to say more. For a laugh check out the $220 PieCaken Cheesecake offered by Junior's. I was shocked when I had QVC on in the background while working online and saw it come up. Seriously, $220 for a cheesecake?! What in the world was QVC and Junior's thinking. I wouldn't even buy that if I was a millionaire! It doesn't even look appetizing. I like my cheesecake and pies separate.

Other interesting TSVs that information hasn't been provided for yet:

3rd - Susan Graver
4th - Josie Maran 
13th - Clarisonic
14th - Luminara Flameless Candles

Please show your support for this blog by checking out the following referral offers for companies I highly recommend:

Hello Fresh Meal Kit$40 off
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Julep - 12 Free Nail Polishes
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Sun Basket Meal Kit $35 off
Walmart Grocery - $10 off (Order online & delivered to your car)

Thank you to those that have used my referral links, I really appreciate your support. Also, thanks to the those that leave comments and help out other shoppers with reviews and answering questions. You are welcome to share a link to this blog post, but please be kind & respectful and do not copy my post and post it elsewhere. Don't forget to enter my monthly meal kit giveaways.  

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chuy's Restaurant Review - Cary, NC

1035 Parkside Main Street
Cary, NC  27519
(919) 388-7455

Exterior View

This is a review for a Tex-Mex restaurant called Chuy's located in Cary, North Carolina. It's a franchise that has two locations in the Triangle. We visited the Raleigh location three years ago. While that experience wasn't the best, we decided to give this new location a chance even though the reviews are only three out of five stars. Take exit 66B off NC-540, it's only about a mile off the highway. We arrived at 3 pm on a Saturday and we were immediately greeted and seated at a booth. There weren't many customers at that time.

The friendly waitress took our drink orders and shortly thereafter brought out warm chips and salsa. I asked for the Creamy Jalapeño dip since she didn't bring it out. I remembered really loving the flavor when we visited the Raleigh location. The chips were overly salted and since I'm on a low salt diet, Hubby asked the waitress for some that weren't so salty. I was surprised she came out shortly after the request and bought out freshly made chips that were definitely less salty. Their chips, salsa and Creamy Jalapeño Dip are so crave worthy! The chips are so thin and crisp and are always brought out warm. The salsa is deliciously spicy and chunky. The Creamy Jalapeño Dip tastes like ranch dip with some spices added, it's so yummy! You must ask for some, if the wait staff doesn't bring you some. 

Chips, Creamy Jalapeño Dip & Salsa

I ordered The King's Punch which took seven minutes to arrive. It tasted like it was only made with fruit juice and we doubt it had any alcohol in it. Hubby had a sip since he's better at figuring out if it has any alcohol in it. For almost $10 it was extremely disappointing. Thankfully, they removed it from our bill when we brought it to their attention. It was also quite a small drink for that price tag. It's suppose to have two types of rum, grenadine, pineapple, lime and orange juice. It mostly tasted like pineapple juice and it wasn't the same color as shown on the menu. 

The King's Punch - $9.59

Twenty-three minutes after we ordered our main entrees came out. It seemed like a long wait especially since they had so few customers. During that wait we had a view of the table next to us that hadn't been cleared, shown below. The  customers had left prior to our arrival and yet the staff waited half an hour to finally clean it up. 

Hubby ordered The Elvis Presley Memorial Combo. It comes with one beef Tex-Mex enchilada, one cheese ranchero enchilada, one chicken tomatillo enchilada, one ground sirloin crispy taco and homemade tostada chips dipped in chile  con queso. Hubby wasn't crazy about it and wouldn't recommend ordering it. The chicken was dried out and the flavors were not enjoyable. The two chips dipped in Chile con queso were soggy by the time they arrived at the table. It would be so much better if they served the dip on the side so that you could dip it yourself. Also, it would be more appetizing and that would solve the soggy issue.

The Elvis Presley Memorial Combo - $11.79

The Elvis Presley Ground Sirloin Taco & Chips

I ordered the Chicken Fajitas. The menu says that the chicken is marinated for twenty-four hours, but to me it tasted like the spices were missing. I have a hard time believing it was marinated at all. It was very bland. Thankfully, the vegetables weren't overcooked which is very common in Mexican restaurants. Neither of us liked the flavor of the refried beans. The toppings for my fajitas were fresh and very tasty. 

Chicken Fajitas - $13.99

Fajitas Toppings

I agree with other reviewers that this restaurant deserves only three out of five stars. If only everything tasted as delicious as the chips, dip and salsa, we would visit several times a month. One expects lots of spicy flavors from a Mexican restaurant and for some reason they are missing in many dishes even though the menu indicates that they use lots of spices. It's really disappointing because it's a lovely festive atmosphere with so much potential. If only Chi-Chi's would return, oh how I miss that Mexican franchise! Franchises are so disappointing these days, so many of them were so fantastic prior to the mid 90's. Why have they declined for so long!

What's your favorite Mexican restaurant in the Triangle? Be sure to check out my other restaurant reviews before you go. There is a list of them on my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews BoardI invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin', or Networked Blogs.

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Chuy's Tex Mex  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Monday, October 9, 2017

The Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant Review - Durham, NC

202 West NC Highway 54
Durham, NC  27713
(919) 544-6358

Exterior View (New Location)

Interior View

This is a review of a fondue restaurant called Melting Pot located in Durham, North Carolina. They recently moved from a location directly across from Southpoint Mall to the other side of the highway. It's not really easy to find since our GPS took us the opposite side of the strip mall where it's located. It's on the left side of Kroger. We have been to their old location many times and we use to frequent the Raleigh location before the Durham location opened. Since it's so expensive, we only go one to three times a year for our anniversary and our birthdays. Also, it's difficult for my husband to sit still for a two to three hour dinner. I love leisurely four course dinners, so it's a real delight for me! It will take a minimum of two hours for their three and four course meals. It can be done in about two hours, if you order as soon as the wait staff arrives and you ask for two more fondue forks per person during the main course. I recommend allowing yourself time for a three hour meal, so that you don't have to rush. If you only have two hours, go with the three course meal instead and order right away. We frequent the Durham location the most since they have lunch hours whereas the Raleigh location is only open for dinner except during the holidays. The Durham location is open Monday through Friday from 5 pm to 10 pm. Saturday they are open from noon to 10 pm and Sunday they are open from noon to 9 pm. I highly recommend you make reservations for their dinner hours. You may be able to get a table during lunch without a reservation. We were seated right away when we arrived for our 2 pm reservation last month. We were also guests this year back in June at their old location.

We knew what we wanted, so we ordered right away. Often they change the menu, so you may want to look online to decide what you would like prior to arriving at the restaurant. They have private booths for two which are very cozy, and dimly lit. Also, they now have a section with a more open atmosphere with larger booths and natural light as shown above. If you want a private booth, be sure to ask for that when you make your reservation. That's where we sat. I ordered the Land & Sea and Hubby ordered the French Quarter which both feature four courses. The four courses are cheese fondue, salad, meat & seafood and dessert. For the cheese fondue we usually choose the Fiesta which features aged cheddar, emmenthaler, lager beer, salsa and jalapeño. It's served with bread, chips, apples, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower as shown below:

Fiesta Cheese Fondue

It's so very tasty, a real treat. I like dipping the bread in it the most, followed by the chips. Be careful, when you get to the bottom it will be much hotter. I recommend keeping anything you didn't eat for other servings. The apple is wonderful dipped in the chocolate for dessert. You can also eat the vegetables with your main course, cooking them if you prefer. 

The second course is salad. Hubby always orders the Caesar and I always order the House Salad with the house dressing. Their house dressing is scrumptious!  You can even purchase a bottle of it to take home. Their salads are always crisp and fresh. I recommend asking for a bit more salad dressing, they haven't been using much of it lately or you could ask for it on the side. Here's photos of our delicious salads with freshly ground pepper added:

Caesar Salad

House Salad with House Dressing

The third course is the most time consuming. You'll be cooking your own meat and seafood. You'll want to get out your phone or watch to time your cooking, so that you are sure it's cooked properly. You'll also need to chose what liquid you want to cook your food in. We always get the Bourguignonne since we love to fry the mushrooms and shrimp in batter.  Below you can see our uncooked meat and seafood:

Land & Sea - $39.95 (Four Courses)

The Land & Sea comes with filet mignon, pacific white shrimp and herb-crusted chicken. Sometimes I'll skip the steak and order twice as much chicken since I absolutely love their curry sauce and it's so scrumptious on the chicken. Below is the French Quarter which features cajun filet mignon, cajun pacific white shrimp, smoky andouille sausage and cajun chicken: 

French Quarter - $42.95 (Four Courses)

Hubby absolutely loves the spices they use and the sausage is a real treat. If you're a first timer, the wait staff will instruct you on how long to cook your food and what all the dips and sauces are. You must ask them for instructions on how to stuff and fry the mushrooms, oh my gosh, it's so delicious! Also, place the potatoes in the oil right away since they take the longest to cook. After three courses you will be very full and you may or may not want to go for the forth course. Sometimes we don't order dessert since three courses is very filling. If you are only going a few times a year though, I recommend not skipping the forth course, just arrive very hungry. So then the forth course comes along and we usually chose the Flaming Turtle. It features milk chocolate, caramel and candied pecans. They light it on fire with alcohol for this special effect:

Flaming Turtle

It comes with a large selection or goodies to dip in the chocolate. As you can see below it comes with banana, pound cake, Rice Krispies Treats, strawberry, brownie, blondie, pineapple, toasted coconut covered marshmallows and cocoa covered marshmallows. In addition, they serve some cheesecake, if it's a special occasion and you tell the wait staff at the beginning of your meal when they ask. Look at all the yumminess:


Most people visiting the Melting Pot are celebrating a special occasion. This is what they served me for my birthday in September:

Happy Birthday

We had a belated Wedding Anniversary dinner in June since we were relocating back to an area that has Melting Pot restaurants and it was worth the wait. There aren't that many locations across the country and it's really our go to place to celebrate. Here's the wonderful creation they presented to us during our Wedding Anniversary dinner:

Happy Anniversary

To our surprise, they generously presented us with champagne at the end of my birthday celebration meal:

Champagne with Strawberry

Everything was so very delicious and as always it was a wonderful experience. The wait staff is very attentive and friendly, they only hire the best. If you are planning on visiting soon, be sure to sign up now for their emails to receive notifications of when they are offering discounted meals. Make sure that you pick the location you prefer, since each restaurant has different specials. They also make announcements on their Facebook page. If you sign up for Club Fondue, they will send you a coupon via email for free dessert for your family birthdays and your anniversary. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to bring my birthday coupon for a free box of six chocolate covered strawberries. I've had them before, they are very tasty. 

I highly recommend this restaurant chain and the Durham location. What's your favorite splurge restaurant for special occasions? Before you go, be sure to check out my review of the Raleigh location.

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Melting Pot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Thursday, October 5, 2017

$72 Plated Meal Kit Giveaway - October 2017

Plated has provided me with another box worth $72 to give away. Plated will send the winner one shipment that includes three recipes and the ingredients needed to make three meals for two people for a total of six servings. Above photo shows an example of one recipe. Enter via Rafflecopter:

The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Plated, provide me with their name and email address to give to Plated, provide Plated 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 Plated and simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Plated box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to my account settings, scroll down to the bottom and chose "cancel subscription" or to skip future shipments select weekly menus and chose "skip week". They ship to most of the US except Hawaii, Alaska and a few cities in TX including San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo & Midland. Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Wednesdays or Saturdays. Vegetarian meals are also offered.

Learn more about Plated by visiting my Plated Pinterest Board. Click on the photos that interest you and it will take you to my matching blog post which provides a review of that recipe. Be sure to check out my reviews of Blue ApronGreen BlenderGreen ChefHello FreshHome ChefMarley SpoonPlatedSun Basket and Terra's Kitchen

Bargain Alert: 

Boxed - $15 off $60 
Hello Fresh - $40 off
Home Chef - $30 off, click here.
Julep - Free 12 Piece Nail Polish Collection! $168 value!
Mr. Rebates - $5 Sign Up Bonus & cash back for online shopping including QVC, click here.
Vitacost - $10 Off, click here.
Walmart Grocery - $10 off $50 

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

QVC's Luminara TSV - Auto Delivery 2nd Shipment

Set of Three Blown Glass Ornaments with Luminara Flameless Candles

I just received my auto delivery shipment of QVC's July 16th Today Special Value (TSV), shown above. This time the glass is shaped like a pumpkin and the wreath and bow have autumn colors. It's really pretty in person. I'll be able to use this set year round since our living room is decorated in fall colors. I find decorating in warm colors makes the room feel warm, cozy, colorful and comforting.

The first shipment is still available for purchase in champagne, icy blue and pearl for $42.74, which is only $3.98 more than the TSV price. Lately QVC has been offering TSVs that don't sell out for only a few dollars more than the TSV price. So if you missed out on it and are having buyer's regret, snag a set before they are gone. Check out my review of the pearl set. You may be able to find this harvest set later, if too many auto delivery orders are cancelled. Sometimes QVC sells auto delivery shipments separately online. It would have been nice if they had offered wreaths for each season as a add on.  

Bargain Alert:

Use Mr. Rebates for 1-3% cash back while shopping online @ QVC.

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