Monday, September 28, 2015

Walmart's Autumn 2015 Beauty Box

Hi, all!
I've been getting the Walmart Beauty Box for a while now. It didn't occur to me to review it until now. It's only $5 per box and there's four boxes per year. It's almost all sample sizes and travel sizes. They also include coupons.

Here's what I got and what I thought about some of it. (I have a hard time trying out packet samples. They seriously annoy me.)

  • Dove Advanced Care Deodorant - Pretty good. I didn't get gross and it didn't break me out. (Yes, my pits can break out. TMI?)
  • Schick Hydro Silk Disposable Razor - Razors are expensive, so yay for this one!
  • Crest 3D White Brilliance Deep Cleaning Toothpaste & Whitening Finisher - Haven't tried this one yet.
  • Nivea Extended Moisture Body Lotion - Or this one.
  • BiorĂ© Self Heating One Minute Mask - This one, neither.
  • ACT Advanced Care Clean Mint Mouthwash - Will take this while travelling.
  • aussie mega hairspray - Will take this while travelling.
  • Jergens Wet Skin Moisturizer - Meant to try this one in the shower this morning. Forgot.
  • Neutrogena Healthy Volume Mascara - This is way more natural looking than I feel comfortable with. I'm glad I got to try it in a beauty box rather than pay full price.
  • Caress Body Wash in Adore Forever - Smells so pretty.
  • aveeno positively radiant daily moisturizer - Thick formula, but it absorbs quickly. It didn't break me out.

I'm not going to wreck my head trying to figure out the value of sample packets, but I do feel this box is worth my $5. That's 11 products to try out. What do you think? Are you getting the Walmart Beauty Box? Did you get this same things if you do?


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sean's Oatmeal Soda Bread Recipe

That texture, though!

Hi, all!
My family has been so busy lately, that meals at home are a treat. I'll tell you what else is a treat - Sean's awesome bread. It's delicious and so quick to throw together. The recipe is below.

The ingredients (featuring my new chalk board fox).

Sean's Oatmeal Soda Bread

  • 2 cups instant oatmeal
  • 1/4 coarsely crushed almonds
  • 1/4 cup flax seed
  • 1 tsp (heaped) baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup low fat plain yogurt


  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Combine ingredients.
  • Pack loosely into a greased loaf tin, making sure the entire bottom is filled with no large air pockets.
  • Carve a shallow line down the center with a knife. 
  • Bake 30-40 minutes or until it's brown on the top. Poke it with a knife. It's finished when the knife comes out clean.
  • Remove the loaf from the pan and wrap in a tea towel to cool.
  • Bread should cut easily even shortly after cooling down.
  • Nom!

Sean crushing almonds.

The mixture.

In the pan with the line carved.

The proper shade of oatmeal soda bread brown.

Getting ready for its wrap.

Not a towel burrito.

So pretty!

Mmmm! Buttery! (Also great with jam. And peanut butter. And honey. Need I go on?)

If you give this a try, let me know what you think.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Face Fashion - September's ipsy glam bag

Hi, all!
It's time to Face Fashion...or something. I dunno. Ipsy's glam bag of the month is all bronzey and gorgeous. Love! Love! Love!

1. Evelyn Iona Cosmetics Cream Blush in ASH - I love a good cream blush. It gives such a healthy, natural flush to the skin. This one is a really, really good one. It's a pinky, peachy shade. (I'm great at describing colors!)

It's organic, cruelty free, and $1 of every one sold is donated to YWCA Canada. All good things. This blends out beautifully and is so soft. It doesn't really smell like anything, and, because I'm weird, I tried this on my lips as well. Pretty!
(Full size $18.75. Sample size $10.71)

2. ACURE Argan Oil Cleansing Towelettes - These wipes are pretty good. They removed my makeup and didn't break me out. They're a bit smaller than most other wipes I've tried. They're also on the drier side of damp, if that makes any sense. However, they do work. They removed my eye makeup pretty easily. "Unscented" is a bit of a misnomer. It has a faint scent of something; maybe the argan oil? I dunno. It's not overpowering and I'm sure the "unscented" part is that there is no additional scent added. I guess. If you're interested, they're on sale for $3.50 at the time of this post.
(Value $6.99)

3. J. Cat Beauty #MOTD Waterproof Slide on Pencil for Eyes in Bronze - This eyeliner is So. Flipping. Awesome! It's so creamy. I really love bronze on my eyes. I love this eyeliner! (Can you tell?)

Look at that. Just look at it. Gorgeous!

I ran water over the swatch. It didn't budge. I rubbed it super hard and then it balled up. You can see that the liner is still there, but there are flakes. Never, ever, ever rub your eyes as hard as I did my hand. Ever!

This wore all day on my lash line, however it didn't last in my waterline. Bummer. I don't care though. That's how much I love this liner.
(Value $3.99)

4. Crown Brush Oval Concealer Brush (C224) - This brush is a good brush. It's a concealer brush, but it also does well applying cream eyeshadows. The bristles are synthetic and soft, but firm. I know that doesn't make sense at all, but it would if you could feel it for yourself. Trust me on this one.
(Value $2.98)

5. NYX Cosmetics ipsy Eye Shadow Trio - This particular trio was made just for ipsy. I love NYX. I love ipsy. I should love, love, love this palette. Yeah...

These colors in the palette are fabulous. There are two shimmers (a champagne and a bronze) and a matte (a charcoal). I was so excited!

Right up until I swatched them. The swatch below took three passes of layering and piling them on just to be able to photograph them. Meh.

I did get a couple of very pretty looks on the eye. They were both soft, natural looks. I'm thinking that if I pile the darkest shade on over top of a dark base, I could build up some drama. They're easy to work with and blend very well. I was just expecting more pigmentation.

As I mentioned, this is an ipsy exclusive. NYX does have many other trios. The closest one to this one would probably be the Voodoo Love Spells trio. And it's on sale for $3.00 right now. Yay!
(Value $6.00)

The bag - I really like this bag. In keeping with the bronze theme, it's bronze. Surprise! It's a textured metallic vinyl. I'd definitely carry this as a clutch.

The grand total is $30.67. I'm well pleased and feel like I got my ten dollar's worth. Ipsy is a beauty subscription service that is $10/month. If you're interested in subscribing to ipsy, check it out at or if you want to give me referral credit, click my link. I get points for referring people. Points get me free stuff. I love free stuff. Just sayin'.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Google Translate app

Hi, all!
I recently discovered something I've been having a lot of fun with. No, it's not Hershey's Kisses (although I do love them!). It's the Google Translate app. 

Maybe I'm the last to know about this. I dunno. I've used the Google Translate on my computer often, but had no idea about the app until I saw a commercial for it. I thought it would be useful for traveling. It probably is. Mostly I've just been playing with it. 

Stefon is as excited as I am.

It can use your camera to translate signs, you can type in whatever you want translated, there's a voice feature, or you can write what you want translated in the app. I tried cursive and printed handwriting and they both worked perfectly, which is amazing because my handwriting is kind of the worst. I can't even read it sometimes.

There's many languages to choose from and a "Detect Language" feature. I think that's pretty sweet.

Also, this app is free! You know I love that because I'm cheap.

Get it here - Android::Apple

Have you discovered any new apps that's blown your mind? Let me know in the comments. I'm always looking for interesting new things.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

More Mascaras

Hi, all!
I have a weird thing with mascaras. I keep trying to find the perfect one. At any given point, I have at least three open at once so I can layer them up as needed. I posted previously about six other ones. Well, here's five more in no particular order.

Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara($2.99) - This is one seriously good mascara (and it's cheap!!!). It volumizes like crazy. This gets recommended by so many YouTubers and bloggers, that I had to try it and I'm so glad I did. One drawback is its tendency to clump if you're not careful. A good eyelash comb can take care of that. I found this one at Walgreens, but I've also seen it at K-mart. If you don't have either of those near you, click the link above to take you to their online store.

Essence Lash Princess Volume Mascara - ($4.99) - This one is also soooo cheap, but soooo good! I'm not going to lie. I bought this because of the adorable packaging. #noshame But, also no lie, this is my new favorite mascara. I plan on picking up another tube the next time I'm in Ulta. It gives good volume, but with less clumps. Sometimes I still have to use an eyelash comb, but it's not that often. The brush is shaped differently from anything else I've tried. The bristles on one side of the brush is shorter than the other. I apply this like normal from the front and then I put the brush behind my lashes and use a flicking motion to curl my lashes backwards. I then use the short side for my lower lashes.The bristles do an awesome job of grasping my lashes, curling them, and placing product on my lashes all the way to the tips. I love my dramatic lashes and this gives me drama. Also, the packaging is adorable. Did I say that already?

bareMinerals Flawless Definition Mascara in Black - ($18.00) - You may have noticed, but I don't often (or ever, really) get full sizes of high end mascaras. I have a problem paying that much for something I'll have to toss in just three months. I'm cheap like that. However, I'm tempted to pick up a full size of this one. "Flawless Definition" is a perfect name for this mascara. Each and every lash is perfectly defined from base to tip. Gorgeous!

Too Faced Better Than Sex Voluptuous Volume Mascara - ($23.00) - This one is pretty good. I'm on my second (sample sized) tube of it. It has an hourglass shaped brush that makes my lashes flare out. My one serious gripe about this mascara (besides the name) is that I have to let this one dry out a bit. When I first use it, I'm never that impressed. I'll layer other mascaras with it. However, after giving it a week or so, it's pretty great.

Wet n Wild MegaProtein Mascara in Very Black - ($2.29) - Yeah, this one's a bummer. I tried hard with this. I love the Wet n Wild brand, but it can be hit or miss. This one missed huge for me. I could not get this to leave any product of the tips of my lashes, so, in short, this made my lashes look so stumpy. So. Very. Stumpy.

What mascaras are you raving over right now? And, more importantly, which ones should I avoid like the plague?


Friday, September 4, 2015

How to (not) crochet a hat

Definitely (not) a hat.

Hi, all!
I've been feeling the crafting bug a bit lately and thought I'd try to crochet a hat to match the scarf I made last spring. I was thinking that a slouchy beanie would be cute. So, completely sans pattern (yup!), I started. Here's how I (didn't) crochet a hat.

  1. Decide to not use a pattern or tutorial. Who needs those?
  2. Chain a few stitches, figuring that when you start to crochet around them, they'll go kind of circular-ish.
  3. Notice that the stitches aren't going circular-ish. Ignore and carry on.
  4. Notice that instead of the non-circular-ish area getting wider, it's getting taller. Ignore and carry on.
  5. Realize that this will never work. Continue on for a few more rows.
  6. Decide that your hat is now a doll purse.
  7. Chain stitch a handle and secure to the opposite side.
  8. Have a good laugh.
  9. Look up a pattern to make a slouchy beanie hat. 
  10. Begin again some other night.

Very simple, right? In just ten easy steps you, too, can (not) have a hat.

At least Katie looks happy with it.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Prep School: August 2015 ipsy glam bag

Hi, all!
How's your summer? Mine went fast! The kiddo started back to school Monday and I've bought my first pumpkin scented candle, so that must mean it's autumn. Ipsy must agree, because this month's theme is Prep School. I liked everything this month, but I liked some things more than others. So, in order of favorite to least favorite, here's what I got and what I thought.

1. Trust Fund Beauty Nail Polish in Elegantly Wasted - I'm so in love with this nail polish! It's by a brand I had never heard of before, so I'm so thrilled to be able to try this one out. It's almost a one-coater and Elegantly Wasted is such a beautiful greyed-out purple. It's a color I would buy myself.

The brush is just the traditional skinny brush. The formula coats evenly and dries quickly. It's 5-free, cruelty-free, and vegan. And the packaging is fabulous. Love! I painted my nails Thursday evening and as of now (Tuesday), I have only one small chip and some wearing on the tips. I'm thrilled with that. I'm so hard on my manicures, I feel lucky to get maybe two days without significant chipping. I used this with Gelous as a base and top coat.
(Value $15.00)

2. Skone Cosmetics Luxe Doubler Eye/Lip Pencil in Wine - The idea behind this pencil is intriguing. It's an eye and lip pencil. Together. In one product. I had a hard time wrapping my head around that one. As a lip pencil, it went on smoothly and lasted well past lunch before I felt like I needed to touch-up. I love wearing wine lip colors for autumn.

As an eye pencil, well, it doesn't set on its own. It stays creamy and if you have watery eyes (like I do), that could be an issue. It looked beautiful, but there was some wear at the end of the evening.

I think I'll stick to wearing it on my lips. Bonus tip: to avoid eye infections, sharpen it between uses. I just feel like going from mouth to eye could be a problem. I'm not a doctor, but it sounds a bit sketchy. Sharpen it and you should be fine.
(Value $12.00)

3. noyah Natural Lipstick in Desert Rose - This lipstick is pretty good. It's not long-lasting, but it doesn't claim to be. It smells like unscented lipstick, which I know sounds weird. It's just that waxy scent that's not much of anything. The color payoff is good. It's richly pigmented.

Won't you come
into the garden?
I would like my roses
to see you.
 ~Richard Brinsley Sheridan
This dusty pink was almost a nude on me and it has a semi-matte (kind of satin) finish. It's all-natural and cruelty-free.
(Full size $18.00, Sample size $4.50)

4. La Fresh Group Good Night. Night Cream - I've tried the eco-beauty good day cream before and loved it. This size of packaging took me two or three weeks to get through before and I'm still working on the night cream. I love that that gives me time to decide how I really feel about it. The scent is so light and the formula is very hydrating. The important this is that it doesn't make my skin break out. So, yay! I also love the fact that the packet has a nozzle and cap. It's perfect for travel. You can get the day cream in this travel size, but not the night cream. Maybe that's coming later. Fingers crossed!
(Full size $40.00, Sample size $13.99)

5. Briogeo Blossom & Bloom ™ Ginseng + Biotin Volumizer -  If I used a volumizing spray, I'm sure I'd like this one. As it is, my hair tends to resemble a lion's mane all on its own. I tried it out (for science!) and it smells really good and leaves my hair soft, not crunchy. My hair is big anyway, so I have no idea if it works for volumizing. It does smell really, really good, though.
(Full size $18.00, Sample size $3.53)

The bag - I adore this bag! It's something I would have picked out and actually pay real money for. In fact, I just bought a wallet that matches this bag. I've had an abiding love for houndstooth for as long as I can remember. This one has a fresh look with the radiant orchid zipper and lining. The outer body is a vinyl that will be easy to keep clean.

The grand total this month is $49.02 plus the bag. I'm happy with that. How about you? What did you get? If you're not subscribed and would like to check it out, my referral link is here. I get nothing but points to redeem for free stuff. If you would like to check it out without the link, go to It's $10/month beauty subscription service that is customizable to you own tastes.



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