Saturday, November 30, 2013

December: Benefit Countdown to Love

I'm probably the only person who bought the Countdown to Love from Benefit and didn't immediately tear it open. I've never had an advent calendar before and it might sound silly, but I kind of want to enjoy opening a new gift each day. Each day I'll be posting about that day's gift with some information about it and swatches.

Let the holidays begin!

Friday, November 29, 2013

December Julep Maven Box

December is my favorite month of the year, not just because of Christmas and snow, but because it's my birthday month! It's like Julep read my mind because everything in this box is so me. This month colors are Cara and Andrea. Cara is a fun deep rose pink with a high sheen that almost looks a bit metallic. Andrea is a dense gold glitter polish. I would have expected it to be like a top coat from looking at it, but I was pleasantly surprised with how much glitter coverage you actually get. I love these colors so much! This has probably been my favorite color duo I've received to date.

Also included in this month's box is the Sweep Eyeshadow Palette in Neutrals. its a nice range from champagne to chocolate and the formulation is very soft with good pigmentation. It's small size is something I also like because I can bring this to work or on the go. I only wish that it came with some kind of brush.

I also got two twistbands which are those non snagging, non damaging hair bands that have been really popular. I got one lavender and one silver. I'm curious to see how these hold up with my thick hair since I'm always breaking elastics.

This month also includes a 40% off entire purchase coupon which is nice.

Take their personality quiz and become a Maven too! 

Stila Countless Color Pigments

I have been wanting these for ages! These Stila eye shadows were part of a summer collection, but were $20 a piece. I recently saw them on HauteLook for $6 each and had to have them. I got 3, Indie, Melody and Center Stage (as shown from left to right.) As nice as they look online, they are so much more gorgeous in person.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Ulta and Sephora Black Friday Deals

Ulta is having some great deals for Black Friday,  but they are going really quick. I tried to get the Too Faced Better Than Sex trio for $15 and in the time it took me to check out it was sold out. Philosophy 3 in 1 gels are just $10. Certain Chi straighteners are half off. There are tons of other deals.

Sephora has some great $10 deals. They may have other deals throughout the day. They also still have the 12 sample set with purchase with code FIXIT.

Here's the list of deals from Sephora's Dealtopia:

  • Wei Pore Purifying & Brightening Collection (miniature sizes)
  • Tocca Florence Travel Fragrance Duo
  • Philosophy Purity Made Simple (12 fl. oz.)
  • bareMinerals Enchanting Eyes (Eyeshadow Duo and Miniature-sized Prime Time)
  • LORAC Fan Favorite (Eyeshadow and Eyeliner)
  • Clean Rollerball Set (miniature sizes)
  • Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Grapefruit (miniature size)
  • Nails Inc. Crystaltastic Nails
  • Bliss Soay Suds Body Wash + Bubble Bath (16 oz., available in four scents)
  • Tarte Little Miracles Best Selling Essentials (miniature sizes)
  • Josie Maran Argan Hand Healers Set (miniature sizes)
  • Vita Liberata Rich Face + Mini Mitt Duo (miniature sizes)
  • Stila Artful Eye Collector’s Palette (available in three varieties)
  • Stila Collage of Color Lip & Cheek Palette
  • Kate Somerville Dermal Quench Liquid Lift Treatment (miniature size)
  • Buxom Curtain Call Set (Mascara + Full-On Lipstick)
  • Sephora Collection Sparklers Brush Set
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex Amazing Eyes Set (miniature sizes)
  • Buxom Havana Full-On Lipstick
  • Alterna Caviar Moisture Trio (miniature sizes)
  • The Art of Shaving The 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave Set (miniature sizes)
  • Living Proof The Full Collection (miniature sizes)
  • Boscia Pore Perfection Set (miniature sizes)
  • Formula X Asap Real Nail Lacquer Duo Pack
  • Ole Henriksen Clean Sweep Duo (miniature sizes)
  • Bite Lush Lip Trio (miniature sizes
  • Tarte Black Friday Sale

    Happy Thanksgiving! Recipes and Tips!

    Happy Thanksgiving (and Hanukkah) to all of you! I'm grateful for all of you! I know it's a little late, but I figured I'd share my turkey day tips and recipes.

    First things first, make sure your bird has had about 3 days to defrost.
    Make sure you clean your bird well. Remove excess fat and skin, remove gizzards and neck. Some people make these on the side, but you don't want them inside the bird.
    I started brining my turkey about 4 years ago and what a difference it makes! I use Alton Brown's recipe, except for the candied ginger since I never seem to have any on hand. I give it 24 to 36 hours and make sure to flip it. This extra step of brining is so worth it at the end when you have an ultra moist turkey.
    I highly recommend some aromatics in the cavity of the bird. I often use an apple and an onion and some herbs, usually rosemary. You can use any combination you like, this just happens to be my favorite.

    Last year I also started trussing the turkey, it really isn't as hard as it seems and Alton Brown comes to the rescue again with a great video on how to, however at the start of the video he says he has 12 feet of rope/twine and you really don't need that much. However, it is better to have some extra you can trim off than to come up short and have to redo the whole thing. Trussing has two main benefits. Firstly, you get a classically "nicer" looking turkey with all the limbs where they ought to be. Secondly, you get more even cooking. Larger parts like the breast are still fully exposed, but wings and drumsticks are tucked a little closer to the body and so they won't be overcooked by the time the breast is done. This also helps to keep the meat from drying out in those places.

    To get a nice crispy skin, you can brush the whole turkey with little canola or vegetable oil. Personally I love butter, so I rub the skin with a little butter and also tuck some under the skin. I think butter gives it such a nice flavor, but you still get the crispiness of the skin.

    A few extra unnecessary steps I usually do. I like to use a flavor injector to flavor the meat a little more. You can use anything from stocks to juices. I like it, but after brining and aromatics you don't necessarily need to do this. I also like to make a spice mix that I rub onto or under the skin. Usually some ground sage and rosemary with salt and pepper and sometimes a little garlic powder and a pinch of cayenne. Really, if you're going to do this step, you can do whatever your heart desires. Feel free to experiment with spices and herbs you like.

    There's a debate between whether it's best to brown the skin at the beginning or the end of cooking. I usually save it for the end and have had good results, but I've also done the browning at the beginning once or twice. I usually use a covered pan or aluminum foil to help keep some of the moisture in.

    I NEVER put the stuffing into the bird, in my house we've always made it separately. There are a few reasons. The stuffing can end up over or under cooked and comes into contact with raw turkey and that can be problematic. It's also much messier when serving and transporting to the table. It's just easier and safer to make it separately.

    New to making Thanksgiving dinner or only cooking for a few people? Save yourself a lot of trouble and make a turkey breast. You can do a lot with a turkey breast and it can be a lot less work, especially for the first timer. You'll have less mess and trouble and equally good results. Plus you won't have mountains of leftovers.You can also do a potluck to help take some of the stress off. My mom always makes the stuffing and I do the turkey. It helps to take a little stress off. Click here for my mom's homemade stuffing recipe.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Hope these tips make it easier for you! Please share your tips, tricks, and recipes in the comments below.

    Mom's Homemade Stuffing Recipe

    My mother makes this stuffing recipe every year and she's letting me share it with all of you. This recipe makes a very full 13x9 pan. Also, fair warning, this is one of those recipes where much is by eye or approximated, so together we tried to pin it down into a written recipe.

    What you need:
    3 loaves of stuffing bread, torn into approximately 1 inch pieces
    4-6 large eggs, see note in recipe
    1 pound of ground Portuguese chourico or linguica, not Spanish chorizo, can be cooked before hand.
    Bell seasoning, 2-3 tbsp to taste
    1 large onion, chopped
    Celery, chopped, 4-6 stalks, to taste
    1 tbsp ground red Portuguese pepper (not the dried flakes, this is found in glass jars)
    1 stick of butter, softened
    Milk, enough to moisten, but not soak the mixture. 1-2 cups 
    Optional: 4-6 ounces lightly toasted pine nuts
    Optional: add 1 pound of cooked ground beef, drained
    Optional: 1/2 cup of dried cranberries or raisins

    Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure meats have cooled before mixing. For the eggs and milk, start with less and add more as needed. The mixture should be sticky enough to hold together, but not soggy. Hands are the best tools for mixing everything together. Once thoroughly incorporated, transfer to a 13x9 pan and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes and then uncover for the last 15 minutes. It should be golden brown, but not overly dried. Enjoy!

    Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    ModCloth Black Friday Sale

    ModCloth has launched it's Black Friday deals early for anyone using their mobile app. Tons of brand new pieces and much loved favorites are as much as 50% off! Plus with coupon THANKS15 you can get an additional 15% off. I had to restrain myself, but I got quite a few good deals. I'll be posting them as soon as they come in!

    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    November KlutchClub Women's Box

    This month's box was energy themed and made for the woman on the go! If that isn't me I don't know what is! I love that there were 2 bars of Green & Black's 70% dark because man did I need that fix. I love chocolate and the older I get, the more I love dark chocolate.
     The Medjool Dates I've actually been keeping at work so I don't snack on something awful, so I have those little packets just in case. *Edit: These are super sweet and I actually can't eat them. I love sweets, but they are just too much for me. My mom likes them though.
    The Almost Nuts Milk Chocolate Covered Flame Roasted Soybeans... I have to say I haven't tried them yet, but I'm so intrigued. I imagine they'll taste like chocolate covered nuts , but I'm a little apprehensive to be honest.
    Honest Tea Honey Green Tea: I've tried a few Honest Tea flavors before, but for someone reason I didn't love this one. I haven't really been loving honey lately and I have to wonder if that's why. It was okay, but not great.
    The EAS Energy drink was okay. I don't know what I was expecting exactly, but the taste reminded me of fruit punch flavored Speed Stack. Slightly tart as if it were meant to be carbonated, but flat. Not bad, but not great. Drank it sort of quickly so I could get my energy boost before my workout.
    I have the ENERGEMS in my purse and keep forgetting them. I'm keeping them on hand for those moments where I start to nod off.
    I'm not sure why the women's box had a children's supplement, but I don't have any kids
    OMG Sports Spray: I need to just keep this in my gym bag. I used it on some stinky sneakers and my boyfriends gym stuff and it really just makes it smell so fresh. It's almost a light minty smell, but the bottle is big and you only need a tiny bit. It works so well! This was probably my favorite product this month!
    I have gotten the Snapea Crisps like 3 or 4 times in different subscription boxes. I don't eat peas or snapeas. I gave a pack to a friend and she liked them, but I'd rather get something else to be completely honest. 

    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    The Tarte of Giving

    My Tarte of Giving gift set finally came in! I am so excited! This set was a crazy good deal, $490 value for $59. You can find it at Sephora, but I don't know how long it will be available because it's flying of the shelf. Check out the photos below, I'll be reviewing them more completely soon! Happy Holidays cupcakes!

    Teavana Friends and Family Sale

    I don't think I've ever talked about it on here, but I love tea! I love bright summery fruit teas iced when it's hot, I like spicy warm cups when it's chilly out. I like them to wake me up in the morning sometimes and to wind down at night. I love Teavana especially, but they don't often have sales. Right now they have 30% off including on gift sets! I just placed an order for a Christmas gift and for what I normally would have paid for the gift set, I also managed to get 5 additional teas, free shipping, and a free sample.

    Sale ends tonight so head on over! Use code FRIENDS30 for your 30% off.

    Sunday, November 17, 2013

    Morphe Brushes That Look Like Cotton Candy

    I was browsing through my Facebook feed when I saw another beauty blogger talking about Morphe Brushes makeup. When I looked them up I found these adorable brushes that are right up my alley! They look like cotton candy and are priced really reasonably ($19.99 for a 10 piece set and they're Vegan if you're interested.) I've never heard of this company before, but I'm wondering how the quality is. I might just have to pick them up.

    Photo Credit

    I also took a peek at some of their makeup and the prices are ridiculously low. I really want to try some of their shadows and I love that you can buy them individually and get the magnetic case for them so you can build a custom palette. 

    Saturday, November 16, 2013

    Laura Mercier on Hautelook

    I've only just started using some of the Laura Mercier cosmetics and I like what I've used so far. I'm also new to Hautelook and pretty impressed. Well now, the Laura Mercier Anniversary Sets are on Hautelook.
    Check out this awesome deal:
    Flawless Colour Favorites for Face, Eyes, & Lips
    - Foundation primer, 1 oz.
    - 3-well custom compact
    - Tightline cake eye liner in violet asphalt 0.05 oz
    - 2 eye color duets in chocolate/cashmere and sable/morning dew 0.03 oz/shade
    - Deluxe travel-size full blown volume lash building mascara in black 0.2 oz
    - Deluxe travel-size matte radiance baked powder in bronze-03 0.06 oz
    - Full-size lip glace in cherub 0.159 oz

    Total value is $146 but it's selling for only $69. This a great deal to try out a good range of Laura Mercier products and is well worth it. Hautelook also has lots of other great deals. Check them out here!

    Image Credit: Hautelook

    $2 Game Day KlutchBox and 20% off

    KlutchClub has a special limited edition game day essentials box for only $2! I always find that these $2 boxes are an amazing deal and you get so much value. There are less than 200 left so hurry and order yours!

     Also get 20% discount on all regular box subscriptions! Use code ZZFBGAME on any 1, 3, or 6 month Men's, Women's, or Mom's subscription! Code is valid through 11.20.13.

    100th Blog Post

    This is my 100th blog post and I want to use to thank all of you who take the time to read my blog. It seems like such a silly thing, but I really am so appreciative. I'm only at the beginning of my journey as a blogger, but as I look back I've already seen myself grow and it's because of you. I'm hoping to make lots of improvements to the blog over the next year and am open to your input and suggestions because I do this for you. I hope you'll join me for the next 100 posts!

    Friday, November 15, 2013

    15 Free Samples from Sephora Plus a Makeup Bag

    Beauty Insiders, the season of giving is in full swing at Sephora.You can get some amazing deals right now with their holiday gift sets and snag this sample set with a makeup bag of your choice!

    Right now with code FIXIT you'll get to pick one of 3 makeup bags that comes with 12 samples to get you through the holidays, plus the 3 free samples you get with every order. That means 15 samples!
    Check out the screenshot from below:

    Wednesday, November 13, 2013

    The Ultimate Makeup Lover's Gift

    Wanna get a make up gift that completely wows? Urban Decay has got your solution with The Mother Lode. This collection has all 68 of their awesome eye shadows plus a Build Your Own 4 pan so you can have a custom palette on the go . I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay eye shadows and I think this set is amazing, if only they'd bring back the 24/7 eyeliner vault. The set seems pricey at $595, but the value is $1224 for the eye shadows plus the $10 BYO. That's a crazy deal and you won't need eyeshadow for forever. This is a gorgeous set and anyone would be lucky to unwrap it this holiday!
    Photo from

    Thursday, November 7, 2013

    Get It While You Can! Benefit Countdown to Love

    I had been debating on waiting to get this amazing advent calendar by Benefit, maybe I could get a few more gift cards or it would go on sale. Not the case. I decided I had to have it and I'm so glad I ordered it when I did. The day after I placed my order it sold out on (it's also web exclusive so I wouldn't have been able to find it in store.)
    I had heard and still had it, but as of this morning, they are also sold out.

    Seems that the Benefit website is the only place to find it right now, so hurry! I'm sure they're going to sell out too!
    (Currently someone is selling theirs for $189.99 on Amazon! and I found some pricier ones on eBay!)
    I can't wait to get mine and I'll be posting pictures daily!

    Here's some sneak peaks from the Benefit website. Enjoy FREE US Standard Shipping on ANY purchase using code HOLIDAZE.
    Not combinable with any other promotions. Offer valid through 12/23/13.

    8 Free Sephora Samples

    Right now Sephora has an awesome deal. On top of their usual 3 free samples, you can get a nice free makeup bag with a selection of 8 free samples. There are four collections to choose from and they are all awesome. Supplies are limited to definitely get them while you can! The code is BLITZ.


    Monday, November 4, 2013

    My first grey hair...

    Or should I say, my first WHITE hair. That's what it is, white, completely white. Short, bright, white and right at the front of my hairline. I found it yesterday morning. I just about died, but I knew it would come eventually, my mother had them by 17 and I'm almost 24. It's like everyone says, I didn't think it would happen to me. There isn't much I can do but accept it. I've been dying my hair for years anyway, though I do have to wonder if my red will start looking brighter now.

    When did you start going grey? (or white?)

    Saturday, November 2, 2013

    November Julep Maven Box

    This month's box is full of warm, rich Fall colors. Both a lip gloss and nail color in deep dark cherry/plum tones as well as a true pumpkin orange polish. I'm particularly loving the vampy dark cherry color as we move into cooler weather.