Friday, January 31, 2014

Win a Year of Shu Uemura Lightbulb Foundation

How would you like to win a year's supply of Shu Uemura lightbulb foundation? It's been getting rave reviews and is supposed to give you gorgeous, luminous skin. I'm in! Check out the photo below. How gorgeous is her skin?!

Click here to enter and good luck!

Photo from

Thursday, January 30, 2014

February 2014 Julep Maven Box

I was really happy with this month's Julep Maven Box, not only did I get my two polishes and beauty product, but there was a bonus polish as well! This is one of the few months that I remembered to log into my Julep account on the 20th to scope out the selection. I was super tempted to do the biggest upgrade since the polishes this month were all gorgeous! I'm attempting to be low buy right now, so I didn't, but this box didn't disappoint.

 This month Julep introduced their new Eye Sheen Liquid Eyeshadows. I thought this would be like some cream eye shadows I have tried in the past, but they are totally different. These are truly liquid and I used a very stiff flat brush to apply it, but you can use your fingers. The pigment is very rich and I had great color density with just one thin layer. It does feel a little funny while you're applying it and as it dries. I kept my eyes closed while it dried because I was afraid of it creasing. Julep included a look card on how to use some of the colors together, but I only got the one so I tried combining it with some other products I already have. My color was warm fig shimmer which is a plummy brown and is really gorgeous on, I think it would work well on any skin tone and it is extremely flattering. It held up really well and didn't crease through the day. It did start to fade along the upper edge by the end of the day (I used no primer to test it.) The following day I tried it with one of my Makeup Forever Aqua Shadow pencils as a highlight in the inner corner and they played well together. I hope the Julep expands their color range with these. I think these would be awesome for more talented makeup artists who create those amazing works of art like liner art.

 On to the nail colors! The photos just don't do them justice. I really loved this month's shades. Can we just talk about the fact that until this month I kept complaining that the Swatch Me was on the top and I had to use q-tips to swatch them... and then this month I figured out that the top pops off... I'm human, I make mistakes.

So first up is Judi! It looks a little bright in the photo, but they call it an English Violet Creme and I would say that's pretty close. This is one of the few Julep polishes I would recommend at least two coats on to achieve the true color. One coat looks fine, but isn't quite as deep as the bottle color.

Next up is Kristen! Julep describes this as a deep sea teal. It's a really gorgeous deep teal color with a silvery microglitter. The picture truly doesn't do it any justice.

The bonus color is Love. I couldn't even find it on the Julep site and I think it may have been for Mavens only. It's a gorgeous glitter shade with microfine pink and champagne gold. I think this would be great alone or over another color. It's just such a happy little glitter polish and I absolutely love it!

Want to get your own Julep Maven Box? Sign up here and take the style quiz!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Get Well Soup Recipe

Tis the season for sniffles and sneezes and flus. Sometimes all you need is a nice big bowl of soup to start feeling a bit better. This is a chicken noodle soup that is easy and great at any time, but can really help turn a cold around. It's hearty, but not heavy and there's a little kick of cayenne which can help a stuffy nose to unblock. My boyfriend was home sick for a week with a particularly nasty cold and I made this soup for him and he was able to heat up a bowl as needed, quickly and easily and much better than the stuff from a can. You can double or half the recipe or adjust it as you like very easily. I use boneless, skinless chicken breast because I find it easier to prepare, but my mom uses thighs since she finds them more flavorful. If you are using a bone in meat you may want a little bit more by weight.

~ 2 pounds of chicken, cleaned
2 tbps canola oil
1 small or 1/2 a large yellow onion, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 boxes chicken broth (you can use any variety you like, low or no sodium, organic, etc.)
Salt and pepper
Ground cayenne pepper, to taste (I use about 1-2 tsp)
Egg noodles

You want to make sure your chicken is cleaned, fat, cartilage and blood vessels removed. Season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper. I sprinkle a little cayenne on only one side, start with just a teaspoon, otherwise it can be overwhelming. You can always add a little to the broth later on.

Heat the oil over medium high heat in a LARGE pot. I cook about 3 breasts at a time so as to not overcrowd the pot. You want them to be golden brown on each side and cooked through. Once cooked remove to a cutting board.

While the chicken is cooking you'll want to prepare the vegetables for the mirepoix (onion, celery and carrot.) If you like more vegetables in your soup, feel free to add more.

Once all the chicken is cooked, add only the onions to the remaining oil in the pan. You don't want to overcook them, just let them sweat a bit and lose some of that bitterness. You can lower the heat to medium low.

In the meantime you want to dice or shred your chicken, it's all about preference. I personally like mine diced.Set the chicken aside.

Next add the celery and carrots to the pot and let them cook for a few minutes, you don't want them super cooked, you just want them to build some flavor.

Add the chicken back in to the pot and then add the broth. Turn the heat back to medium/medium high.

I realized a little too late that my pot was too small for the second box of broth and had to switch, that's why that last picture looks like very little broth.

Let this simmer on medium for about 20 minutes. If you will be serving the entire batch you can then add the noodles and cook for about 7 minutes. However, I don't recommend adding the noodles if you aren't eating it all right away. The noodles will absorb the liquid and end up soggy and the soup will lose a lot of broth.

Here's what I do:

Measure out a serving of noodles into a sauce pan.

Ladle in the desired amount of soup (don't forget your veggies!)
Boil for about 7 minutes (follow package recommendation on the noodles) and serve while still hot.

Enjoy and feel better soon!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Le Métier de Beauté Beauty Vault February 2014

I feel like every month of my Le Métier de Beauté Beauty Vault is a present! they always wrap them up so nicely and include a hand written note. I know I mention it each and every month, but it's just such a nice little touch in a time where so few people take the time to do anything hand written anymore.

This month's box included a Colour Core Moisture Stain Lipstick in Ibiza ($32 value.) The photo doesn't do this color justice, the flash sort of washed it out a bit. It's sort of a warm pink with some coral undertones. I'm very fair so I have to be careful with these sort of shades. Depending on the rest of the makeup determines whether it's hit or miss. I love coral toned lip colors, but they don't always love me.

Also in this month's box were two of their nail lacquers, Riviera and Cocoa Cabana ($18 value each.) Riviera is a punchy red with some slight coral undertones that is pretty universally flattering. Cocoa Cabana is a milk chocolate brown that I don't know what to do with. Brown is one color I've never really rocked, but I'll give it a try.

 It's like chocolate covered strawberries in nail polish form. It might actually make for some cute nail art.

This month's total value was $68. The subscription only opens in July and is $348 for one year of monthly boxes

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 2014 KlutchClub Women's Box

Every month when I open my KlutchClub Box I think how much I'd like the people who pack it to reorganize my house. It amazes me how much they fit in there!

 It doesn't look like much until you start unpacking it!

This month's box featured some products seen in previous boxes. 

I'm super excited about the Good Boy Organicsaurus snacks! They came in a previous box and I love them and there are two bags this time. They are light and crunchy and great if you're a grazer like I am.They're somewhere between a Cheeto and Goldfish, so yummy, but still fairly healthy. 

I'm curious about the RealBeanz coffee since it's made with coconut water, which I cannot stomach. I don't know why, but I have a really hard time drinking coconut water. 

The Premier Protein Crisp bar was like a thin mint cookie in protein bar form. Really good, slightly crispy and great for holding me over.

The Numi Savory Teas are interesting to me. I know that many people drink broth, but I am not a fan. I don't even like most soup, I know I'm super picky. I almost wonder if I could use this to cook with instead of drinking. 

The Nektar Honey Crystals are an awesome idea. I sometimes take tea in my honey, but it is difficult if you're trying to drink tea on the go or at work and don't want to carry a honey bottle on you. These are just like sugar packets, but are real honey. Super innovative and convenient. This is something I would definitely buy for my boyfriend who almost exclusively uses honey in his tea and has taken to drinking tea more often.

DetoxRx Cell-U-Firm... oh why couldn't they have just mailed me a tub of this?! I have to admit I'm not sure it will work, but am skeptical of what one small sample can do. Now if they'd let me soak in a vat of the stuff...

Sukitz... well then... This is supposed to be a high energy lollipop that gives you the  same jolt of energy as an energy drink would. I'll have to see how this measures up to my daily coffee.

Everything else was considered extra gifts and I'm guessing are just random filler gifts in each box from whatever is left over. All of these items were in previous boxes. My variety included Almost Nuts chocolate covered roasted soy nuts as well as some herbal and mineral supplements. 

KlutchClub always has a great variety of products and a fairly high value for the cost. There are always great deals and I recommend trying out at least one and seeing what you think. Join KlutchClub


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Quick & Easy Quiche Recipe

When I was younger I didn't really care for quiche, what was wrong with me?! I love quiche now, it's great for breakfast, brunch, lunch and even dinner. I have a tried and true recipe for quiche that works well for appetizer or full sized quiche, but it had a fattening and a bit time consuming crust. So I fooled around in the kitchen for a bit and ended up trying it with crescent rolls... and it worked!

The wonderful thing about quiche is you can put just about any combination of things in it and it always turns out great. Quiche is a wonderful opportunity to use up leftovers. For example if you make a roast chicken and have carved up the odds and ends pieces, you can dice a vegetable and toss in a little cheese and you've got a quiche! I happen to love a ham and cheese quiche and it was what I had on hand so it's what I made, but you can get creative!

8 oz ham, diced
6 oz gouda cheese, diced
dried oregano to taste
salt and pepper
1 tube crescent rolls
1/2 - 1 cup milk*
1-2 eggs*

Preheat your oven to 350F. I use a shallow pie dish for my quiche and just grease it lightly with some cooking spray.

Next you want to unroll the crescent rolls and place them into the dish with the pointed ends in the center. There will be a little room between them, just try to keep them evenly spaced. Your then going to use your fingers to press the seams together, if you end up with a little extra in the middle like I did, you can use it as "glue" in other spots.

Next you are going to add your filling, again I used ham steak and gouda cheese, but you can use what you like. I use a little salt and pepper and about a half tablespoon of dried oregano. Make sure to spread the filling out evenly.


 In the ingredients I noted 1/2 to 1 cup of milk and 1 to 2 eggs. If you are making mini quiche or if you have a lot of filling, you might only need 1 egg and 1/2 cup milk, however, in a less crowded quiche and many times in a full size quiche you will need 2 eggs and 1 cup milk. These should be beaten together and poured evenly into the quiche. I suggest starting with the 1 egg and 1/2 cup of milk and adding more if necessary. 

Now you'll want to put your quiche in the over for 30-45 minutes. Keep an eye on it around the 30 minute mark. I like my edges a little more browned, but if you like a lighter colored crust you may want to use a pie guard or a bit of foil around the edges to prevent over browning. The time will also vary depending on your oven and the amount of filling. The quiche should be golden and the egg should be settled and solid. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before cutting to serve.

This is a recipe that reheats very well and is great for brunch or an easy dinner. Remember to get creative and use what you have. Another favorite quiche of mine is chicken and red peppers and a little cheese.

What do you like in your quiche?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Diamond Candles for $19.95!

Just got this awesome news and my inbox and had to share it with all of you!

This is an awesome time to stock up. Comment below with which scents you'll be stocking up on!

*image property of Diamond Candles

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January NatureBox

So as you may have noticed I reduced my NatureBox subscription down to once every 3 months. NatureBox is really nice and flexible and will let you take a break from your subscription if you ever need and it's hassle free. Their customer service is really superb. I decided once a month was too much for me and I couldn't get through the snacks fast enough since it's just me eating them. I think I'm going to start logging into my account to choose my snacks though since I like that they send me things I wouldn't normally get, but some months I'm getting things I just don't eat.

This month was a mix of hit and miss. Check out the photos below!

Ranch Sunflower Kernels: I've mentioned before I don't love shelled sunflower seeds. I like the shells, it's part of my sunflower seed eating experience. Weird, I know. But my boyfriend seems to like these a lot so they won't go to waste.

Seaweed Rice Pops: Where do I start with these... I don't like seaweed for it's taste or texture so I've been hesitant on trying these. I have a feeling Greg will be eating these too, but I will give them a fair chance.

Mango Almond Bites: This is where this box caught my attention! I love sweets and I love crunchy snacks so this is a good alternative for me.

Homestyle Cheddar Mix: This seems like a healthy version of Chex Mix and looks pretty good!

Fuji Apple Slices: I wholeheartedly thought I would love these. The texture is just a bit weird and chewy. It almost feels like stale, chewy cardboard texture. There has to be a way to re-purpose these, because the taste is awesome. Somehow they just don't live up to the pineapple slices from Summer.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Quick & Easy Dinner: Tilapia with Pepper and Artichoke Bruschetta

So you read that title and it sounds like a ton of work right? Wrong. I made this not that long ago when I wasn't feeling well and it was a huge hit. It literally took me 15 minutes. I was sent a sample of Dipin Natural Dips in the Pepper and Artichoke Bruschetta. I thought about using it either as a dip or as a bruschetta and then this idea dawned on me. I had some tilapia and it can be a pretty bland fish, so I thought this would really jazz it up. I salted and peppered the fillets liberally and just pan seared them with a little olive oil. I made some rice as a side. With the fish hot out of the pan I spooned some of the bruschetta over it and voila, instant pizzazz! It was a huge hit and thankfully not much work and I was able to get my sick butt back in bed. I think their bruschetta (and probably their tapenade too) would work great for lots of other dishes, chicken and other fishes definitely come to mind.

Have you tried these dips before? What did you think?