Saturday, December 22, 2012


I used one of my sample packets before bed last night. I chose a packet of the Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Facial Cleansing Gel.

It's orangey in color, it reminds me of the liquid Neutrogena liquid facial cleanser, if you're familiar with that.

The smell is nice. It smells light and clean.

The cleanser foams up really well, which I enjoy. Feels like shit's getting done, you know? The cleanser felt very luxurious. Thick and foamy. After I rinsed it off, my face felt soft and not tight. I really liked that it was easy to rinse off, with some cleansers it seems you really have to work at it.

This is $10 for 3.3 ounces and $35 for 8 ounces at Sephora. I don't like spending that much on facial cleansers for the same reason I don't like to spend much on body washes...I don't believe it stays on the skin long enough to do anything great, unlike a cream that stays on and soaks in. With that said, I would definitely use this again. I wish my sample had been for more than one use. I am up to my ears in face wash right now, but if I ever ran out (at this point I don't believe that's possible before the year 2016) and I caught this either on sale, or as part of a deal that included free stuff, I would be game.

Friday, December 21, 2012


I'm not much of a baker, but today my son wanted to make cookies. I didn't have any chocolate chips, or peanut butter, or much of anything, really. I did have a bunch of Hershey's Kisses. (thanks, great-aunt Betty Lou!) so, I made these. They are so delicious. I don't think they'll last past tonight. I will be making more tomorrow.


2 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 tsp shortening (MUST be shortening and not butter or margarine. My shortening was butter flavored. This could have contributed to the general awesomeness of this cookie.)
unwrapped Hershey's Kisses (I probably had 20 or so)

First of all let me tell you how weird it is that I actually have shortening. Totally random, happened to get some extra from my mother in law after we baked holiday cookies this year. Shortening is totally not something that is on my regular grocery list. It does remind me of when my dad would buy big 'ol cans of Crisco. We'd use it to grease cake pans and also to pop popcorn on the stove. OKAY OKAY here is the recipe.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

You'll need two mixing bowls.

In one bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt. Set bowl aside. In the other bowl, beat the butter, both sugars, and vanilla. Then add the eggs and beat again. Gradually add the flour while beating. Lots of beating happening here. Drop teaspoon sized balls onto a cookie sheet that is either greased or parchment papered.

Bake 9-11 minutes.

In the meantime, in a microwave safe bowl, melt the shortening and Kisses for 1 minute. Stir till smooth. After the cookies are cooled, dip half of the cookie into the chocolate. Set in the fridge to cool/set.

Then stuff them all into your face.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Today I am talking about one of my favorite products. I have been using this Philosophy product for about 6 months, every single day. It's called "The Present" clear makeup. I guess technically it's a primer, but it seems like so much more to me. I feel like a "primer" is something that is always worn under makeup, but I wear this stuff alone quite a bit too. It smooths the surface of the skin, and makes fine lines and pores practically disappear.

I'm on my second tube. I truly think it makes me look younger, and more awake. This is important since I often get 6 hours of sleep at night which is NOT ENOUGH for me. I think my perfect amount of sleep is 10 hours. This is unfortunate for me since I reproduced three years ago and will likely never see sleep like that again in my life.

Anyway, this product is lightweight with a light, pleasant smell. Sometimes I wear foundation on top of it...if you are going to do that, then you need to let this set in for 2 minutes first. I have noticed it makes my foundation last MUCH longer.

This product is available on the Philosophy website, Sephora, Ulta, and for starters. It retails at $28 for 2 ounces. Used daily, it lasts 4-5 months. I consider that a bargain.

According to the website, The Present is formulated WITHOUT these things...
- Sulfates
- Synthetic Fragrances
- Synthetic Dyes
- Phthalates
- GMOs
- Triclosan

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Seeing as I'm trying to get into the habit of posting to this blog frequently, I figured why not try some live blogging?

I signed up for Cravebox. As far as I can tell, you have to enter a drawing for each box and if you are picked, you are charged $14 and they send you the box. At least that's how I THINK I ended up with this.

This is my very first Cravebox. All I know about it is that it is called the "Winter Favorites" box and that it cost me 14 bucks.

So please, join me as I open this and we'll see if it's worth the we go.

Here's the box, fresh from the hands of the UPS guy.

Here it is opened.

I immediately turned over that card that lists the products, I want to be surprised. If you can't read what the blue envelope says due to my high-tech Vietnam-war-era iPhone, it says "Look Inside For Recipes and More!". I am putting that envelope aside for now. Next we have a red envelope...inside is...ooh, a coupon for a free International Delights coffee creamer! Along with two recipe cards.

Now we have a green envelope....inside is.....a coupon for a free Nancy's frozen appetizer or dessert!

Then a Mary Kay catalog.

Now I see a handful of sample packets....four Vitabath body wash samples...

And a sample of something called belVita breakfast biscuits, with a Buy One Get One Free coupon...

A full sized Mary Kay lip gloss...

A Campbell's Golden Butternut Squash Bisque...this is great! It's going directly into my mom's stocking since I consider squash to be the work of the devil...

A full sized bottle of Heinz Chili Sauce...

That's it for the box. I am now opening the blue envelope...

oooh! A coupon for free Pillsbury Pie Crust, and a coupon for free Pillsbury Cookie Dough! And a recipe booklet.

Alright, that was fun! (it really is. Gosh, I love getting boxes of stuff in the mail!) Let's add up the retail value of this stuff and see if it's worth the $14.

Mary Kay lip gloss - $14.00
(well, there we's worth it! But I'll keep going to see what the total value of the box is)
Pillsbury Pie Dough - $1.79
Pillsbury Refrigerated Cookie Dough - $2.09
Campbell's Squash Soup - $3.59
Heinz Chili Sauce - $1.99
International Delights creamer - $1.79
Nancy's Frozen Appetizer - $3.99

I didn't include the packets of Vitabath or the breakfast biscuits. We'll consider those bonuses. So the retail value of this box is $29.24. Each of these products will be used....I even like the color of the lip gloss. Add in the excitement of a box in the mail and the surprise of opening it....I hereby proclaim the Cravebox as Worth It.

If you are interested, go to to sign up!


One of my recent samples was a one ounce bottle of L'Occitane Shower Oil. Actually, the full name of it is L'Occitane Huile de Douche d'Amande.

 I have used travel sized L'Occitane products before and one thing that has bothered me is that the caps are always hard to remove. This was no different. WTF. So annoying. 

This "shower oil" claimed to lather up. It doesn't, really. It's more like a filmy soap, as opposed to the lather you get with many body washes. The smell was pleasant. It smells like a spa, in my opinion. Fresh and clean. I found out after using it that the "d'Amande" part means Almond. It didn't smell anything at all like almonds,as far as I'm concerned. The ingredient list includes "sweet almond oil", so I guess it isn't all lies.

My skin felt fine after using this. Not super soft, just normal soft. I would use this again, to use up my sample, but I don't think I'd run out and buy it. An 8.4 ounce bottle retails for $24.00 on Amazon. That's a pretty decent price, but I don't like to spend that much on body wash/body soap. It just gets rinsed off immediately, right?

I think this would be a great product for hotel rooms. Actually, that's what I associate L'Occitane products with...hotel rooms. They are just fancy enough so that you feel like you are being spoiled at The Sheraton (disclaimer: I don't actually know if Sheraton uses L'Occitane. Probably not, would be my guess. Maybe they should?)

Overall, there is nothing wrong with this product but in my opinion, no reason to rush out and buy it.

P.S. It just occurred to me that this would make a great shaving cream. I think that's what I'll use the rest of the sample for.

Monday, December 17, 2012


I'm back! I know, back for my 2nd post in a year. It's crazy how much blogging I do, I'm sure you can barely keep up. You are probably still trying to digest my post from late April, and here I am again already in December, posting ANOTHER POST.

Anyway, I have been a member of various beauty subscriptions over the year, such as Birchbox and MyGlam/Ipsy. I also am a sucker for the "spend one million dollars, we'll give you 8 sample packets" deals. This means that I have two baskets filled with various trial sized products. I need to start using these. I tend to just hoard them like a rat, and there's no reason for that.

So. I bring you. THE DAILY PRODUCT REVIEW. I'm certain all two of you are very excited about this.

The first product I am reviewing is Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment.

I had a small one-use packet of this, and I used it before my shower last night.

The first thing I noticed when I ripped it open was that it was green. Swamp green, and gritty. The next thing I noticed was the smell. It was GLORIOUS. It smells like a holiday candle....maybe some balsam fir with some orange and clove spice. I loved it. I glanced at the directions quickly. (I am really trying to get into the habit of doing this. Once I used a whole tube of Wen Sweet Almond Mint Cleansing Conditioner without realizing you weren't supposed to use shampoo before it.) The directions said to rub in a circular motion on WET skin, and then leave on for up tp two minutes.

The grains in this product are not too big and not too small. They are effective, though. As I was rubbing I felt as if I was actually removing dead skin, which is the whole point. After I rubbed, I turned the shower on, got in, and rinsed it off after I shampooed, so it was about 2 minutes. By the end of the two minutes it was getting tingly/prickly-feeling.

My face felt AMAZING after I rinsed. For real. By the time I got out of the shower, I had already decided that I would be ordering this bad boy. And that I did. I looked it up on Sephora later that day. It's too bad I fell in love with the product because I learned that 5 ounces of it costs a whopping one hundred and seventy five dollars. Two ounces is a more reasonable (??) eighty-five dollars, and half an ounce will run you a mere $19. Now, I'm pretty sure that half an ounce is the same as getting maybe two or three more sample packets, but I ordered it anyway. My face seriously looks like it had a facial this morning, 15 hours after I used the exfoliant. The directions recommend using it twice a week. If I can make half an ounce last a month, then I would consider the price to be worth it. I will let you know how it goes.

Sephora calls this product an "at-home-facial" and claims tthat this is Kate Somerville's most popular product. It uses fruit enzymes to remove dead cells and eliminate bacteria. Its good for all skin types except very sensitive skin.

As an aside, I used the code "YOURGIFT" at Sephora and was able to pick a Deluxe Sample. I chose a Jack Black Shave Soap to put in my dude's stocking.

Monday, April 30, 2012


I recently purchased some Loreal Studio Secrets Primer. A while ago, maybe 6-8 months ago, there was a sample of it in a magazine, and I had tried it and liked it. Then I forgot about it for awhile. About 3 weeks ago, I spotted it in the store and decided to go for it. The primer retails for $10.99. (That's at Target. Pretty much whenever I talk about a product's retail price, I'm talking about it's Target price because everyone shops at Target, right? Or Wal-Mart? It's probably the same at Wal-mart.) Anyway. This is what it looks like.

Here's a real-life picture of it opened.

If you don't enjoy wearing foundation, you probably aren't going to like the texture of this. When you scoop it out with your finger, it feels like spackle. It's thick. You don't need much, though, and TRUST ME ON THIS I WOULD NOT LIE TO YOU once you get it on your face and rub it in, it feels like nothing. It's lightweight and airy once it's rubbed in, I promise. There is no tint other than a very slight pink which brightens the skin a bit. There's no smell.

I absolutely love how this makes my skin look and feel. It evens out my pores and makes my skin feel smooth. I feel comfortable going out in public without foundation when I wear this. Usually when I go out sans foundation my face looks like one of those 3D road maps. That visual would be helpful if I knew the actual word for the 3D road maps. Topographic map? Is that right? Anyway, think bumpy and uneven.

It seems like this stuff will last a fair amount of time for the price of eleven dollars. Probably between a month or two if I use it every day.

I highly recommend this product, peeps.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I'm back!

Man, that was quite the hiatus. I have a good excuse, though. My dad died on December 10th. It kind of rocked my world and I've kind of been a hermit. It was/is very difficult for me to lose him and I've kind of been stumbling around in a haze. In addition to that, I got engaged! So, grieving and planning a wedding and working full time and parenting...yowza.

For the past couple of weeks, though, I have been thinking about this blog more and more. I really want to start posting more often, and making this blog a consistent part of my life. I want to share my product reviews, my thrifting, my fashion tips, and my photography. So I'm going to make an effort, starting tonight.

I think I'll kick this off with some random thoughts.

 - I am really digging avocados recently. I always thought of them as a gross slimy lump of produce, until I had Chipotle guacomole. Since then I have tried numerous kinds of guacomole, and I only like Chipotle and my own. Sorry, guac makers around the world. I am super particular. It has to be REALLY spicy, salty, and a little chunky. The creamier it is, the closer it is to mayo, and....

 - Let's discuss my feelings about mayo. Are you kidding me?!? Who invented this crap?!? How did it even begin?!? Who decided "HEY. I'll bet if we combined raw egg and oil it would be REALLY REALLY AWESOME." (also, they were wrong.) If my sandwich or burger comes with mayo on it, it is chucked in the garbage. I just have no tolerance. I live in a mayonnaise-free world, folks, and if that's wrong, then I don't want to be right.

 - I recently found an old word-find book while I was cleaning out my various bags of crap. I hadn't done a word-find for years, and you know what? I found it super soothing. There's something about mindlessly looking for the few letters you need to start a word...from now on I am keeping a word find book on my nightstand. I feel like it will help me sleep.

 - The author Larry Brown. Read his books. Especially "Fay", it is so good.

 - When you lose weight, does your bra size go down? And is it your band or your cup or both? Because I'll tell you what, I REALLY wouldn't mind going down a band size.

 - cold-press coffee. You guys. For real. BEST summer drink ever and SO easy to make. I have some all ready to go in the morning, for the first time this year, and I can't wait.

 - despite my dad dying in the most UNFAIR way possible, and my engagement ring shattering into a million pieces, and my iphone getting wiped of All The Things I Had In The World, and feeling so tired and somewhat sad all the time....the sun still shines. It does. And there is still joy and laughter. The world does go on, it just is taking me a while to feel like I am still a part of it.