Ipsy: May Glam Bag

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Apologize for the photo quality here. Quick cellphone snap.

If you’ve been following this blog, you know I made the decision to switch from Birchbox to Ipsy and love it. (You can read my comparison of the two here.) Well I received my second Glam Bag and just have to share all about it.

The theme of the May bag was “Beauty’s Fresh Picks.” The bag itself went along with the fresh theme, featuring a leaf print on a neutral background. Inside the bag were five items: Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask, Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadow Duo, Avene Thermal Spring Water, Calvin Klein Endless Euphoria and Jersey Shore Sun Sans Tan Anti-aging Sunscreen.

I actually had a small issue with the bag. My eyeshadow duo came broken! Tiny gold dust was all over the other products in my bag. I went online and found out I was not the only one this happened to. However, I contacted Ipsy and was sent a new eyeshadow. Unfortunately, the new duo was not the same color as the old one, but that’s fine. It came super fast so I really couldn’t complain.

My favorite product from the bag (and I admit I haven’t used them all yet) is the Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask. I love it! I use it once every one to two weeks and it leaves my hair nourished and looking great. Plus, it smells amazing. I only wish the bottle were bigger. I’m definitely going to be purchasing this one in the future.

20140606_234409Other things I love: the eyeshadow duo is fun and really, can you ever have too much eyeshadow? I love the little sunscreen. I like tiny sunscreens that I can toss in a bag and carry to the beach, the pool or even an outdoor photo session. They’re great for the face, which is an area that easily gets sun burnt.

Things I’m not so sure about: I’m not a fragrance girl so I’m not entirely loving the endless euphoria. I’m sure it’s great, but it’s not my thing. Also, the spring water, I doubt I have much use for it. I just can’t see myself running around spritzing my face with water. Maybe I’ll just decide to go for it one day and try it out, but I doubt it. We’ll see.

Bottom line: I love my bag and I love my hair mask. I’m definitely still a fan of Ipsy. Let’s see what next month brings.

Want to try it yourself? Visit this link. It’s only $10 a month and you didn’t need that Chick-fil-A extra large combo anyway, right?

This post represents my own experience with Ispy. I was not compensated in any way.

 

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Hold the veggies, keep the loaf…

20140529_144757If you’ve read this blog, you know that I’m a gluten free goddess. No, I don’t run around referring to myself as “the goddess” or “gfg” because then you’d hate me, but I am gluten free and what that means is sometimes I find myself eating some unusual things in the sake of time. It’s not easy being gluten free and having to figure out what to take for lunch everyday, especially when you work in a rural area where there’s gluten aplenty.

Behold, the veggie loaf. Paired with mashed potatoes and peas and carrots, plus made by Amy’s, it can’t be bad, right? Wrong. I’m fairly open-minded, I can try new things, but veggie loaf won’t be on my shopping list again any time soon.

20140529_150017You think it’s going to be like meatloaf, but made out of vegetables, kind of like one of those MorningStar chicken nuggets that taste fairly close to chicken, but aren’t chicken. Veggie loaf is a whole other ballgame. It’s a loaf and it’s made out of veggies, but not how you would think. It’s kind of green inside and has whole peas and other vegetables in it. Plus, it’s mushy and all of that combined doesn’t make for a good non-meat loaf. The mashed potatoes and peas and carrots were great, but the veggie loaf is not my thing.

I love Amy’s, in fact I had a great broccoli and cheddar bowl made by them yesterday, but I won’t be venturing down the veggie loaf path again for a very, very long time.

I was not compensated for this review. It represents my own experience with the product.

Baking With Buddy: Taco Casserole

20140505_213921A few weeks ago I saw a recipe pop up on Facebook that I figured I would try. It didn’t hurt that it was a Mexican dish and I saw it on Cinco de Mayo. I’m not a margarita girl, but I love tacos so I chose to observe the holiday through food, not booze.

I made several substitutions with this recipe because I’m gluten free and also it just seemed a little too unhealthy. Here it is via Food.com.

Taco Casserole

By Dawn Reid on February 03, 2007

  • Prep Time: 0 mins
  • Total Time: 20 mins
  • Servings: 12

Ingredients

    • 1 lb ground beef
    • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) envelopes taco seasoning
    • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) cans mushroom soup
    • 1 (8 ounce) cans beef broth
    • 1 (14 ounce) cans rotel
    • 6 slices cheddar cheese
    • 1 (8 ounce) bags tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Brown ground beef.
  2. Add taco seasoning, mushroom soup, beef broth, and Rotel tomatoes.
  3. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Pour chips into bottom of casserole dish (leave whole).
  5. Pour beef mixture over chips.
  6. Place sliced cheese on top.
  7. Bake at 375° for about 10 minutes or until cheese looks melted.

20140505_211251Ok, so first, I’m not a huge fan of Rotel. Unfortunately, it’s not just tomatoes and spices. Instead, I picked up a can of organic diced tomatoes. I wanted to stick with a canned tomato because it would add more juice than a hand-diced tomato would. The juice is important because it’s very hard and very expensive to find a gluten free mushroom . Because of that, I eliminated it altogether. To get more of a Rotel flavor, I added a diced jalapeno to the diced tomatoes to spice them up a little.

I also used lean ground beef, Wegman’s Organic Beef Broth (love this stuff and always keep it and the chicken broth on hand), low fat shredded cheese instead of cheese slices, Oretega taco seasoning (I know it’s not as good for you as homemade taco seasoning but the flavor is on-point) and all-natural yellow tortilla chips.

20140505_212607Making the dish was super easy. Brown the beef, add the taco seasoning, beef broth and diced tomatoes with jalepeno and bring it to a simmer. I found even without the mushroom soup, the mixture was still too moist so I let it simmer about 15-20 minutes versus the 5-10 the recipe calls for. Meanwhile, I filled the bottom of a Pyrex casserole dish with the corn chips and then poured the meat mixture over them, added the low fat shredded cheese and baked it in the oven for about 10 minutes.

20140505_213207I was pleased with the end result. It was more like nachos than a casserole and would be perfect for a get together. It’s easy to eat and had a great taste. Even with the meat and cheese, it made for a fairly light dinner. I do think next time, I’ll add some shredded lettuce and fresh tomato once it comes out of the oven. Overall, it’s definitely a recipe worth trying, especially if you’re looking for a different take on traditional tacos.

I did not receive compensation for this review nor do I own the original recipe. This post represents my own experience with the recipe.

Reviews You Can Use: Battle of the Blades

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Hydro, Glow, Soliel

As a BzzAgent, I recently had the opportunity to test out the new Bic Soleil Glow razor. I’m a  huge fan of the original Soleil, so I was more than excited to try it out. Incidentally, I also received a Schick Hydro razor sample in the mail. Perfect timing on that one Schick. What better way to check out the competition than reviewing both at once?

Let’s start with the Soleil Glow. The razor itself is similar in shape to the original Soleil with a handle that has a grip underneath for the palm of your hand and one on the top for your forefinger. Like its predecessor, the Glow also comes in nice pastel colors, perfect for summer. Men may like their black razors, but us women like them to be pretty. It is what it is.

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Glow vs Soliel original

That’s where the comparison between the Soleil and Soleil Glow stops. The Glow features a swivel head, previously unseen in the original and also has a slightly larger blade setup. Both would be perfect if not for the large amount of plastic surrounding the blades. This one design flaw keeps the razor from being a true upgrade from its original form. Because the blades are set deep within, the plastic prevents a close shave. While great for a preteen girl just learning how to shave, it isn’t so great for us veterans. Every woman wants a close shave and that just isn’t possible with this razor.

Meanwhile, the Hydro excels where the Glow doesn’t. It’s slightly larger, but also features the swivel head and has a similar shape with grips underneath and on top. It also has a larger blade head which isn’t marred down with the unnecessary plastic of the Glow. It should be noted that the Hydro is a reusable, meaning the blade heads can be 20140604_213805switched out, whereas the Glow is a disposable. You use it up and toss it away. What does that mean? Razor heads are usually fairly expensive compared to disposables and I won’t pay the money for them. Once the Hydro’s blade is used up, I’ll be dropping it into a basket under the sink somewhere, likely never to be seen again. Don’t rejoice yet Glow fans, because I won’t be buying that one either. When it’s finished I’ll toss it in the trash and likely move back to its predecessor. It’s cheap and it works like a dream. Should Bic change the Glow then we’ll reevaluate, but until then, it’ll be the original all the way.