Saturday, May 26, 2018

QVC's Josie Maran Whipped Argan Body Butters Set TSV Review



May 26th Josie Maran TSV


This is a review of QVC's Today's Special Value (TSV) for today, May 26th, 2018. I preordered the Josie Maran Whipped Argan Body Butters Five Piece Mega Set on May 23rd and I received it today, May 26th. It costs $69.96 or four payments of $17.49 plus $3.00 shipping and tax. That's only $14.59 a jar before tax and they have a retail value of $35.00. The retail value of this set of five jars is $175.00. It's also available on auto delivery with just one additional shipment. They are made in the USA. This set comes only in the shipping box as shown above. Usually her sets come in a nice gift box not just a shipping box. My box is quite dirty on the outside, so I wouldn't recommend gifting it in this box. Each jar is 8 oz. and these are the scents:
  1. Unscented - light & clean fragrance free
  2. Pure Vanilla Bean - fresh creamy Madagascar vanilla bean blend
  3. Vanilla Apricot - warm apricot, Valencia orange & vanilla blend
  4. Sunny Citrus - citrus blend with orange pomelo
  5. Summer Funday - light pink jasmine pear floral scent
The Sunny Citrus and Pomegranate Citrus scents are new to the line and are QVC exclusives until August 15th of this year. If you go on auto delivery, you'll be sent a second shipment on November 20th of this year. You'll receive the following scents in that shipment:
  1. Unscented
  2. Pure Vanilla Bean
  3. Vanilla Apricot 
  4. Pomegranate Citrus - bright & fresh juicy pomegranate scent
  5. Winter White Almond - warm & cozy, creamy honey almond scent
The two new scents in the first shipment will be replaced by two more new scents in the 2nd shipment. 

Sunny Citrus smells really good to me and it's a bit difficult to single out anything other than orange. It's a very light scent that dissipates quite quickly. Hubby says it smells like Fruit Loops cereal and I agree. One of my Maltese dogs, Leo, licked his lips after smelling it. He loves smelling things, so I offer a sniff and he knows not to eat or lick it. Summer Funday smells really good also! At first I smell the pear followed by a delightful floral. This one doesn't dissipate as quickly. Hubby says he smells banana, but when told it's suppose to smell like pear he agreed it does. Leo licked his lips after a sniff, but he prefers the other one. It's really hard to chose a favorite, I guess I pick Summer Funday since it's scent lasts longer. They are both winners and I hope she brings these scents back. Don't hesitate to order, they are lovely and perfect scents for summer. 

These jars are almost full, they are not filled to the top so they aren't damaged in shipping and they don't have seals. Just tap them on a table to release the air bubble and then it will be level at the top. If you haven't tried Josie's body butters before, I recommend you give them a try. They are a bit on the oily side, but extremely moisturizing. Give them a little time to sink in and make sure you use a tiny bit since a little goes a long way. The main ingredients are argan oil, sunflower seed oil and shea butter. For those that haven't tried Vanilla Bean before, it smells like vanilla ice cream that has real vanilla bean in it. It's a very nice scent, if you like food scents. It's a bit plain, so it's not my favorite, but I enjoy it. Vanilla Apricot smells like you just cut into a fresh, juicy peach or apricot and added a just a bit of vanilla ice cream. It's enjoyable also. Of all the scents I've tried so far, my favorities are Peppermint Bark & Salted Caramel followed Summer Funday & then Sunny Citrus. What's your favorite scent?

So there you have my review, hopefully this post will help you decide whether or not to order this set. Sometimes it makes me a bit nervous to order when Josie offers new scents, but rest assured these are nice additions to her line.

Bargain Alert:

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

Before you go, check out my QVC Product Reviews Pinterest Board and my TSV list for April. I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramFacebookPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin', or Networked Blogs. Help out by sharing this post via Twitter & Facebook:

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Winston's Grille Restaurant Review - Raleigh, NC


6401 Falls of Neuse Road
Raleigh, NC  27615
(919) 790-0700


Exterior View


Interior View


Blueberry Muffins


Winston's Country Club - $12.50


Grilled Chicken Salad - $13.25


This is a review for a restaurant called Winston's Grille located in Raleigh, North Carolina. They are open Monday through Thursday from 11 am until 10 pm and on Friday they stay open an additional hour. Saturday they don't open until 5 pm and Sunday they open at 10 am and close at 9:30 pm. Their health score is 99 which is excellent. We arrived around 1 pm on a Sunday and it was very crowded. 

There were three hostesses at the front reception desk. They said it would be a forty-five minute wait or we could go to the bar area and find a seat there on our own. Since none of the hostesses escorted us the bar area to let us know what was considered the bar area, Hubby asked a waitress where we could sit and she suggested a table. It wasn't a good first impression having plenty of hostesses yet one just pointed instead of escorting us. Since this was our first visit we had no idea where the bar was! The restaurant appears to have several large rooms and some small ones. We were in a small room with four regular tables overlooking a larger room that had some extra large booths and some tall bar tables. The lovely interior decor reminds me of a hotel restaurant, so it gave me the vacation vibe while not actually being on vacation which was nice.

The waitress was very friendly and attentive. She brought us two blueberry muffins shortly after our drinks were delivered. Oh me, oh my, those blueberry muffins are the best I've ever had! They were served warm with butter on the side. They almost had a cake consistency, so fluffy and moist. The top had a bit of sugar sprinkled on it, but overall they had just enough sweetness. They could perhaps use a bit more blueberries. They were obviously right out of the oven since they were so fresh. Since Hubby didn't eat his, I took it home and ate it the next day and it was still fresh and delicious. I've been craving them ever since!

Our entrees were delivered fifteen minutes after the muffins. I ordered the Winston's Country Club Sandwich and it's described as "turkey, Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a large flakey croissant". Entrees come with one of the following sides: fresh vegetable medley, broccoli, spinach, cole slaw, rice, french fries, mashed potatoes or homemade potato chips. The menu states that baked potatoes are available after 5 pm, but I saw a customer with one on her plate prior to 5 pm, so I ordered one too. The baked potato comes with butter and sour cream. There is a extra charge for cheese and chives. The club sandwich had a generous amount of high quality turkey and it was absolutely scrumptious. I would have liked a bit more mayo, they only apply it to one side of the croissant. The sandwich was warmed up a bit which was a nice touch. The croissant is the American version which is less flakey. It's a generous portion, so I couldn't eat it all since I had that blueberry muffin first. The baked potato was delicious and I appreciated that it was a large one. Hubby ordered the Grilled Chicken Salad and it's described as "grilled chicken, house greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, cheddar & mozzarella cheese and tortillas". You can substitute steak or salmon for $3.25 extra. Hubby skipped the tomatoes and tortillas since he's on a low carb diet. He said it was delicious and he really enjoyed it. It was a healthy portion and the seeds are removed from the cucumbers. The customers that arrived after us ordered the prime rib and half of a chicken and they looked tasty also.

I highly recommend you give this restaurant a try, if you haven't already. We are planning a return visit soon. I'm disappointed that they aren't open for lunch on Saturdays. What's your favorite restaurant in Raleigh?

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Winston's Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review - May 2018



Beauty Goals


This is a review of the May Play! by Sephora cosmetic subscription box. This month is their two year anniversary. This month's box has a retail value of $32.33. Included in my box were the following products:
  1. Sephora - Mud Mask Purifying & Mattifying, made in France, .33 fl. oz., $3.25 retail value
  2. Benefit Cosmetics - The POREfessional Face Primer, made in the USA, .1 fl. oz., $4.13 retail value
  3. bareMinerals - Mineral Veil Setting Powder, .03 oz., $2.30 retail value
  4. Buxom - Lash Mascara, made in the USA, .2 fl. oz., $10.81 retail value
  5. Atelier Cologne Clementine California Cologne, .04 fl. oz., $3.00 retail value
  6. Alterna Haircare - Caviar CC Cream for Hair, made in the USA, .85 fl. oz., $8.84 retail value
The Clementine California Cologne is nice, I like it. It has notes of Clementine, Mandarin, Juniper Berries, Star Anise, Sichuan Pepper, Basilica, Vetiver, Sandalwood and Cypress. I first smell the mandarin followed by the Sandalwood and then the Sichuan Pepper. I'm not noticing the other notes. It's a sweet fruity scent which is clean and fresh. I've received the Caviar CC Cream in a subscription box previously and I didn't find it to be anything special, not impressed. I've used Buxom Mascara previously and I like it, but the bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara is much better. I prefer a fine brush that separates each lash rather than clumping them together for a more in natural look. I noticed that Buxom has their own website now, I wonder if they separated from bareMinerals? I have received the Benefit Pore Face Primer many times in subscription boxes and it's fabulous. I highly recommend it, you just use a little bit on the areas of your face that pores are most noticeable. It blends in with any foundation which I find amazing. I was surprised to see they sent a mask in a jar. I really prefer a tube for easy application. Sticking my nails in a jar means I will have the product under my long nails and it's always more difficult to wash off in that area and it's wasted product. The full sized version also comes in a jar which is a deal breaker for me. Masks are already so messy, they really should consider that when coming up with the packaging. 

This month's box is disappointing to me since most are products I've tried previously and there isn't one product that is new. I really prefer to have products that have just launched, so that I can see if it's something I would buy in the full size. I'm tempted by new products, not the old ones I've tried before. They really should consider that when picking products for the monthly boxes. Which product do you like the most in this box or your box? If you haven't subscribed yet, tell me in the comment section below why. Inquiring minds want to know. Or tell me what your favorite cosmetic subscription box is.

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 twenty-four boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I've subscribed to over the years. Don't forget to follow this blog via Facebook, so you don't miss any of my future posts.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Macy's Beauty Box Review - May 2018


Macy's May Beauty Box

This is a review of the monthly beauty subscription box from Macy's. In my May box I received the following products:
  1. IT Cosmetics - Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil in Universal Taupe,  made in Korea, .0018 oz, $7.71 retail value 
  2. Benefit Cosmetics - BAD gal Bang! 36 Hour Full Blast Volumizing Mascara, made in France, .1 oz., $8 retail value
  3. Dermablend Glow Creator Multi-use Liquid Highlighter, .13 fl. oz., $8.58 retail value
  4. Tarte Amazonian Clay Matte Waterproof Bronzer, made in China, .11 oz, $10.31 retail value
  5. NUDESTIX Nudies Glow All Over Face Color in Illumi-naughty, made in Korea, .06 oz, $6.42 retail value
  6. Dolce & Gabbana Dolce Garden Eau de Parfum, made in France, .05 fl. oz., $2.93 retail value
The retail value for this month's box is $43.95 which is a pretty good bargain. I received the IT Cosmetics Eyebrow Pencil previously in a Boxy Charm box, but it was full size. This smaller version would be great for travel. I was skeptical that the Universal Taupe color would work for my dark blonde eyebrows, but it actually does. You just apply a little less pressure. It's quite easy to use and it doesn't take long to apply. I haven't tried the Benefit Mascara yet since I have several other mascara samples that I'm trying right now. The Dermablend Liquid Highlighter is a bronze color that would look great with a tan. I'm not sure it looks ok on fair skin. It's very pretty, but quite noticeable. It's a metallic with tiny flecks of glitter that sparkle. The NUDESTIX highlighter is better for fair skin. It goes on a bit oily which I'm not crazy about. I don't tend to use bronzers since I find they look like dirt on my extremely fair skin. So I'm not going to bother trying it. The Dolce Garden Perfume is nice, but not really my cup of tea. It's described as warm florals with hints of Frangipani Flower, Coconut Essence and Ylang-Ylan. The cosmetic bag is pretty and quite sturdy. I didn't include it in the retail value of the box. 

So what do you think of this month's samples? I'm not really excited about anything this month. I guess the best thing for me is the mascara. The item I'm least excited about is the bronzer, that will be a giveaway, traded or sold. 

Check out my reviews of the previous Macy's Beauty Boxes:

April 2018 $43.24 retail value
December 2017 $63.14 retail value
November 2017 $38.21 retail value
October 2017 $55.97 retail value
September 2017 $31.84 retail value
August 2017 $35.36 retail value

Also, check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to compare it to Macy's Beauty Box and check out my Macy's Beauty Box Pinterest Board. In addition, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I've subscribed to over the years. 

Bargain Alert:

Mr. Rebates Cash Back from Macy's

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Monday, May 21, 2018

17th Hello Fresh Meal Kit Review & $40 coupon


Korean Beef Bibimbap with Zucchini, Mushrooms & Carrot


Ingredients


Pan Seared Duck Breasts with Duck Fried Potatoes, Asparagus & Grape Tomatoes


Ingredients


Presto Pesto Panko Chicken with Roasted Potatoes & Green Salad


Ingredients


This is a review of our 17th delivery from Hello Fresh. This week we gave one recipe five out of five stars, one recipe four stars and one recipe three stars. Calories ranged from 600 to 810. Preparation time stated on the recipe cards ranges from 30 to 35 minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from 48 minutes to over an hour.

Korean Beef Bibimbap with Zucchini, Mushrooms & Carrot

We gave this recipe five out of five stars. It was scrumptiously delicious! If you haven't had bibimbap in a restaurant before, you must give it a try. It's so delicious. I would order it more often, but I haven't found a restaurant that gives a decent portion yet. So I'm happy to report that this recipe had a generous portion and we enjoyed every bite. If they repeat this recipe again, I will definitely order it. It's a Hall of Fame recipe, so I agree with many other customers. This one took an hour to prepare yet the recipe cards states only 30 minutes. The flavor is crave worthy. This recipe has 810 calories.

Pan Seared Duck Breasts with Duck Fried Potatoes, Asparagus & Grape Tomatoes

We gave this recipe four out of five stars. The first time I had duck was at Melting Pot, but I didn't like it. I took a risk and ordered this recipe anyway and I'm thankful that I did. It was fabulously tasty. Hubby cooked it just right, so it had the perfect texture and flavor. The texture reminded us of a leg of lamb. It's very easy to overcook and then it doesn't taste nearly as good. The sauce was incredible, but there was very little of it. The only thing I didn't care for in the recipe was the mixture of potatoes and tomatoes. They just don't go together.  It was a healthy portion, but I would have loved more duck. If they offer this one again, I'll definitely be ordering it. This one took 48 minutes to prepare yet the recipe card states 35 minutes. Quite surprisingly, this recipe only has 600 calories.

Presto Pesto Panko Chicken with Roasted Potatoes & Green Salad

We gave this recipe three out of five stars. There was too much lemon in the dressing for the salad and the panko burnt. The pesto mixed with the panko was a unique idea, but I'm not a big fan. I would have preferred it drizzled over the chicken, so it didn't dry out in the oven. This one was a healthy portion. It took over an hour to prepare while the recipe indicates only 30 minutes. This recipe has 700 calories. 

It was an enjoyable week of recipes. Lately, I've been seeing more recipes that I want to order. I'm especially looking forward to the repeat of the Lobster Ravioli & Shrimp. It was so delicious last time, so I've ordered it for June 6th. They also have some new types of recipes which offer you enough food for two meals for only $5 more. It takes most of the same ingredients and changes it up so you have two different meals. It's called "Dinner to Lunch". Take a look at the recipe card for the one I'm ordering and you'll see what I mean. It's a neat idea. At first I thought it was for those ordering for one person so that you could alter your dinner's 2nd portion for lunch the next day, so it wouldn't be boring. 

Check out all the recipes we have made so far on my Hello Fresh Pinterest BoardSo what's your favorite food subscription box or recipe you have tried lately that you love? If you haven't given Hello Fresh a try yet, be sure to snag the coupon below by clicking on the link. Enjoy the savings!

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh - $40 off
Home Chef - $30 Off
Sun Basket - $40 Off

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

GIVEAWAY - Blue Apron Meal Kit Worth $59.94


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. 

The photo above shows an example of one of six servings that Blue Apron provides in each box. Each box contains three recipes with ingredients for two servings each. 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! Note you will have to give Blue Apron your credit card number to redeem. It's easy to skip and cancel online, if you don't wish to remain a subscriber after your free box. It's a limited time offer, so you'll need to redeem in a timely manner. I have reviewed twenty-four Blue Apron deliveries, so be sure to check those out before you leave. Start with my 24th 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 58th delivery. In addition, check out my Hello Fresh reviews starting with my 16th delivery and my Sun Basket reviews starting with 27th delivery.

Bargain Alert: 

Hello Fresh - $40 off
Home Chef - $30 Off
Sun Basket - $35 Off

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Cary Crab House Restaurant Review - Cary, NC


 220 Crossroads Boulevard
Suite 2460
Cary, NC  27518
(919) 233-9828


Exterior View


Interior View


Oysters 12 Piece Steamed - $17.00


Catfish Basket - $10.00


This is a review for a new seafood restaurant located in Cary, North Carolina called Cary Crab House. It's located in the Crossroads Shopping Center left of Men's Warehouse. Finally, a seafood restaurant in Cary and conveniently located. Unfortunately, they aren't open for lunch on weekdays except on Fridays. They open at 3 pm Monday through Thursday and close at 10 pm. They open at noon Friday through Sunday and close at 10:30 pm. I noticed it appears they opened a 2nd location in Raleigh. Their name, websites, menu, hours and interiors look very similar. It's quite surprising they opened two locations at the same time, two weeks ago. I've been doing a lot of Asian restaurant reviews lately, so I thought this restaurant would be a nice change. Imagine my surprise when we arrived and the staff was mostly Asian, we laughed. We were immediately greeted by the friendly hostess and seated at a booth. The interior decor is festive and the booths are comfortable. The only thing I didn't like is that it appears they are allowing people to write on the walls.

The extremely friendly waitress immediately showed up to take our drink order and swiftly delivered them and then offered to take our entree orders. I ordered the Catfish Basket which comes with four pieces of fried catfish and french fries. Hubby ordered twelve steamed oysters with "The Big Bang" flavor and medium spice. You can chose from Cajun, Garlic & Butter, Lemon Pepper or all three which is called The Big Bang. Also, there are four levels of spice to chose from. Hubby enjoyed the flavor, but prefers them raw with lemon and Tabasco. The cajun spice is the strongest in The Big Bang mix. You can also chose from blue crab when in season, crawfish, snow crab legs, king crab legs, shrimp with heads, shrimp without heads, lobster tail, baby clams or mussels. All of those come with corn or potatoes except the oysters. Check out their menu for more information. I really enjoyed the catfish, it wasn't greasy and it came out so hot I had to wait a little bit for it to cool. The french fries remind me of Arby's fries back in the 70's, very tasty. Soft in the inside and crisp on the outside. While you can't tell in the photo since they are hidden by the catfish, there were so many that you could easily share with someone or take them home for later. The amount of catfish was satisfying, if you weren't really hungry you could easily take home a piece or two for later. It was a generous portion. The tarter sauce was your standard sauce yet tasty. Our orders arrived in only thirteen minutes. I'm sure the waitress brought it out as soon as it was ready. She was very attentive and checked on us several times to make sure we were happy with our orders and refills were done before we had to ask. 

It was an enjoyable experience and we shall return. I think I will try the crab legs or fried shrimp basket next time. If you are on a tight budget, I recommend ordering off the fried basket section of the menu. They will run you $10 to $12 and are generous portions. If you are in the mood to splurge, definitely order off the Let's Shake It part of the menu. They range from $9.00 to $29.99. They give you gloves and a bib when you order off the "Let's Shake It!" part of the menu. They also offer hand wipes and lots of napkins are on the table. Plus, they offer beer and wine. What's your favorite seafood restaurant?

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Cary Crab House  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato