Birch Box #5!

photo (1)Another awesome box from Birchbox this last month! I can’t wait to share my favorite products with you! The way it works is you sign up for the monthly subscription at just $10/month. You fill out a short beauty profile so that they send you colors and products that match you. Then once a month they send you 5 products. They are usually a sample size, however at $2/item it’s totally worth! They have a men’s box too! It’s a little more expensive but the men get larger items (t-shirts, socks, etc). To sign up, use my referral link https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5qgbj 

So what did I get this month!?

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Number 4™ Hydrating Shampoo & Conditioner ($34 & $36). I’ll start with this one because it was the only item that I wasn’t super excited about it. It seemed like a good product, but honestly nothing about it was totally amazing me. I got a small bottle of the shampoo and a little envelope of conditioner.

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COOLA Tinted Matte SPF 30 for Face ($36). This was my favorite from this box! This stuff is so awesome! It goes on so light and smooth and the tint is perfect plus its SPF 30. I am seriously considering getting some of this to use long-term. It’s so great!

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Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator ($34). Another winner from this box! This stuff is so great. Not only does it feel good while I’m massaging it into my face, but my face feels sooooo smooth after! It’s totally great!

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Folle de Joie eau de parfum ($98). I definitely prefer this scent to the one I received last month. It’s fruity and summery and just light enough! Unfortunately this one is bit out of my price range ;)

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Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion ($16). I have really been enjoying this lotion. I love the scent and it goes on really great. I think I may be purchasing this one in the future!

One of my better boxes for sure (but really I’ve loved all of them!)!

 

 

 

 

Birch Box #4!

birchbox4I got my box this month and immediately peeked inside, but it was a busy day so it sat on my counter for a while. Then I finally went to take everything out and I couldn’t find it! I looked for a couple of days and finally blamed Jeremy and insisted that he must have accidentally thrown it away. Well, a couple of days after that I was packing for our Memorial Day Weekend Trip and found it sitting in my closet! So, I guess I put it there, but I have no idea why! I’m just glad I found it because I would have hated to miss these products! The way it works is you sign up for the monthly subscription at just $10/month. You fill out a short beauty profile so that they send you colors and products that match you. Then once a month they send you 5 products. They are usually a sample size, however at $2/item it’s totally worth! They have a men’s box too! It’s a little more expensive but the men get larger items (t-shirts, socks, etc). To sign up, use my referral link https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5qgbj 

So what did I get this month!?

whish_shavecreme_acaigrapefruit_900x900Whish Shave Crave Shaving Cream This shaving cream smells amazing! I totally loved it! It was creamy and Jeremy even commented that my legs seemed smoother than normal! However, at $20, I think I’ll stick with what I have been using. Although it was creamy and smelled good, I felt like I needed a lot more than I do with my normal shaving lotion. caldrea_bodywash_aloewaterapricot_900x900

Caldrea Body Wash and Lotion.  This body wash was quite refreshing and I really enjoyed it. The body wash came in a small bottle so I got to use it quite a few times. The lotion, however, was just in a little envelope so I really only got to use it once. I liked it, but again, one time isn’t really enough with something like that. I liked how milk the scent was – aloe water apricot – so nice!

cynthiarowelybeauty_eyeliner_black_900x900Cynthia Rowley Beauty Eyeliner At first I was a bit disapointed to receive an eye pencil, especially black since I don’t normally do black. However, this turned out to be my favorite product! It goes on so smoothly and it for real stays on all day! Even stayed on when I was sweating at the splash park! I am sold! When my sample is gone I will be ordering another one! Plus, I have been using the same eye pencil since I started wearing make-up…not the same brand, the same exact pencil…for 15 years! That can’t be good. Apparently it’s time to branch out!

supergoop_everydayspf30_endlesssummerpump_new_900x900Supergoop! Everyday SPF 30 with Cellular Response Technology  I have been using this sunscreen every day on my face under my make-up. My make-up has sunscreen in it, but I still always put sunscreen on my face in the summer months. I burn so easily and I really try to protect my face. I have been really happy with this. It’s light and not super oily. The full size is actually an 18 oz bottle which is a lot, but still quite a bit more than I would normally spend on sunscreen. However, it’s oil-free and doesn’t clog pores, plus it has a lot of other good stuff in it…maybe I would consider it (but not gonna happen this year!)

smartypants_all-in-onegummyvitaminsforadults_900x900SmartyPants All-in-One Gummy Vitamins for Adults I am always torn about gummy vitamins. It disturbs me that adults in our society need gummy vitamins because we are stuck in our childhood. At the same time, I freakin’ love gummy vitamins and am way more likely to eat them that way! These came in a little envelope so I only got 2, not really enough to decide if I like them or not or to see a difference in how I am feeling. Furthermore, on the webpage it says to take 6 a day (!)…

My next box will be arriving any day and I am so excited!

 

Clean Eating for Busy Families

downloadI am totally enjoying Cleaning Eating for Busy Families! The recipes have been quick, simple, relatively healthy, and don’t use a bunch of processes ingredients…oh and delicious! You know that I’ve said how much I love The Sprouted Kitchen, but somethings I can’t afford the money and/or the time to make a lot of those recipes, and this book has been the answer to that for me!

What have I tried so far?

Red Potato Salad with Scallions & Greek Yogurt – I made this one night for our small group. Of course I went to add the mayonaiise and realized that ours had expired…a while ago…turns out we don’t eat it a lot. I was hesitant to serve mayo that had expired months ago to others, but I didn’t have enough Greek yogurt to just use that. I ended up whipping a mixture of half and half and heavy whipping cream to try to make it work. It was a little runny but it worked out! It was a very fresh tasting potato salad and I really enjoyed it!

Cajun-Crusted Tilapia Tacos with Pico de Gallo – These were excellent! I made the pico ahead of time and added corn and mangoes since I had them on hand and I put the avocado right into the pico instead of on the side. I love a good fish taco!

Hearty Pinto & Kidney Bean Tamale PieJeremy wasn’t a huge fan of this one but I thought it was pretty good. I loved that I could use my cast-iron skillet and make it a one-dish meal. Unfortunately in the past I have made an amazing cornbread recipe that uses A LOT of butter so the cornbread on top just wasn’t the same, however I almost didn’t care since instead this recipe used whole grain corn meal, whole wheat flour and a mere 3 T of oil, it seemed like a much healthier option!

Quinoa Pilaf with MirepoixThis is the only recipe that I wasn’t a huge fan of. It wasn’t bad, I just didn’t love it, although it is a simple way to dress up quinoa. We had it with fried shrimp, so honestly, it had a lot to compete with…

Four Seasons Fruit Pizza – This was a HUGE hit in our house. Kind of like a healthier, thicker, cakier, (and easier to make) sugar cookie that is topped with a coconut whipped cream and decorated with fruit! This is our new go-to for ‘cookie’ decorating. I let them put sprinkles on them too, because they love sprinkles. Jeremy thought these were amazing and has been hounding me to make more!

Dark Chocolate Whole-Wheat Brownies – I had planned on making these for just our family, however I was making a dessert for a wedding shower recently and realized I wasn’t going to have enough so I whipped these up too and cut them into hearts with a cookie cutter. I wasn’t a huge fan at first, but I got a lot of complements on them. I think I will try them again and make them in a smaller pan. They were not very thick and mine were a little over-cooked even though I cooked them less time than suggested. I also sprinkled chocolate chips and flaky sea salt over the top…

Later this week I’m looking forward to trying Skinny Chicken Parmesan with Spinach and Quick Polenta Griddle Cakes with Wild Mushroom & Cherry Tomato Saute!

Coconut Lime Tart and other recipes I made forever ago…

I am so behind! I have stuff to post, but just have not sat down at the computer to actually upload the pics and write something! Everything in this post I made at least a month ago!

 

photo 2 (3)When we went camping I made this Coconut Lime Tart from the Sprouted Kitchen. It was over a month ago, but guys, I can still taste how yummy and refreshing it was! This is still one of my favorite cookbooks – almost everything I have made from it has been outstanding! I also made the Beer Bean and Cotija Stuffed Poblanos from this book while on the same trip. I had made them before and still so good…we had leftovers and I heated one up the next day and put a fried egg on top – OMG!

photo 1 (3)Still trying out some recipes from Super Natural Every Day. One day for lunch (after the girls had gone down for a nap) I made myself a big bowl of the Avocados with Mustard Seeds. Definitely a little more work than I usually go into for lunch sometimes it’s just peanut butter and celery…but totally worth the effort! It was so delicious that I ate the whole bowl! (Note to self: you get heartburn when you eat a whole bowl of this kind of yumminess, but you don’t care because it was worth it!) You can find a PDF download with 6 recipes from this book here. It includes this recipe and the Millet Muffins that I have mentioned on here before!

photo 3 (2) We had a beer-tasting birthday party for Jeremy back in March (see how long it’s been!) and I made these Pretzel Rolls again for the party. They are the best right out of the oven but people still loved them! They are so good! Takes several steps and little time but good for a special , or if you are really in the mood for a hot pretzel. I also made a Guinness and Cheddar Dip that I had made for a previous birthday and it was awesome with the pretzels…and all the beer :)

photo 4Finally I made a Tall, Dark and Stout Chocolate Cake. There are a lot of good recipes out there for a chocolate stout cake. To be honest, I picked this one because I thought it would be the easiest. I had a lot to do and wanted to make it a bit easier on myself. It tasted good, a little drier than I would have liked, but still good. Jeremy probably would have preferred a strawberry cake (in fact, I’m not sure he even tasted this one), but I told him I thought this would go better with the theme of the party and promised strawberry cake on the girls’ birthdays!

Birch Box #3!

20140422-171058.jpgStill LOVING my Birch Box! This was the last month of my fabulous gift subscription, so I went ahead and signed up for a monthly subscription. The way it works is you sign up for the monthly subscription at just $10/month. You fill out a short beauty profile so that they send you colors and products that match you. Then once a month they send you 5 products. They are usually a sample size, however at $2/item it’s totally worth! They have a men’s box too! It’s a little more expensive but the men get larger items (t-shirts, socks, etc). To sign up, use my referral link https://www.birchbox.com/invite/5qgbj 

So what did I get this month!?

harvyprince_yogani50_900x900_1Harvey Prince Yogini. This is the second time I have gotten a fragrance. I really liked the one I got the first month. This month, I’m really not sure about it. However, that is one of the things I love about this box – trying new stuff that I might not have picked out on my own. And I love getting a sample size fragrance. Just enough to last about a month so I don’t get bored with it but enough time to decide if I really like it! Fragrance is so personal, so I won’t really give it a review…

beekind_bodylotion_900x900BeeKind™ Body Lotion. I am loving this body lotion! It smells great! And I just finished using up the body BB cream from my first box, so now I have a new lotion to use! Part of the proceeds of this lotion go towards helping a healthy honeybee population! Still a little more money than I would normally spend on a lotion, however I think it’s still accessible!

davines_oi_allinonecleasingmilk_900x900_1Davines OI / All in One Milk This leave in product is pretty cool. It even protects against UV damage. The description on the webpage mentions it’s apothecary style bottle and that is exactly right. I’ve only used it once because I was finishing up the other leave-in product they sent me, but so far I really like it!

thebalm_howboutthemapples_900x900theBalm® cosmetics How ‘Bout Them Apples?™ Ok, definitely my favorite in this month’s box! This lip creme, that can also be applied to your lips, is super cute. I just got one of the colors but the full-size has all 6 colors in it. It comes in an adorable little booklet with an old-school pin-up girl on the front and a shirtless cowboy on the inside (Capri thinks it’s Jeremy!). Kind of classy but kind of feels naughty too ;) I love how it goes on, creamy and not sticky at all and fun light colors! At $32 for the set of 6, I still think it feels a little pricey but I might have to splurge someday and get it!

kind_healthygrainsbars_darkchocolatechunk_900x900KIND Healthy Grain Bars I admit, I was a little disapointed when I opened my box and saw a KIND bar. Not that they aren’t good, but I can get them at the local grocery store. However, I saved mine to have with my coffee one afternoon. They sent me the Maple Pumpkin Seeds with Sea Salt – WOW! It was SOOOOO good! I went to the grocery store that week trying to find it (no success :( ) Hopefully I will find it at the store soon because it was super yummy!

 

Millet Muffins

Sadly I didn’t take a picture of these, although they turned out nicely! I made Super Natural Every Day’s Millet Muffins a couple of weeks ago. I had planned on making them for just our family, but remembered at the last minute (when I got a reminder email) that I was supposed to bring ‘treats’ to church on Sunday morning. My girls weren’t big fans and both Jeremy and I were a little unsure of the crunch that the millet added to them. I did like how they were not very sweet and had just a hint of lemon to them. They were good but I’m just not sure I will make them again (even though a lot of people said they liked them!). My favorite muffins to make are still, by far, Sprouted Kitchen’s Multigrain Carrot-Date Muffins.

Pan-Fried Mung Beans with Tempeh

photo 3Even though it didn’t sound awesome, I tried Super Natural Every Day’s Pan-Friend Mung Beans with Tempeh. I had never eaten mung beans and can’t remember if I’ve ever tried tempeh before…This was a very ‘healthy’ tasting meal. I was thankful for the soy sauce. It wasn’t amazing, but Jeremy said it was good. My girls liked the tempeh. I do think I prefer tempeh to tofu – the texture is better. Not gonna lie, probably not one I will try again…(I may have had extra mung beans and instead of saving them to use for something else, used them in my preschool Sunday school class to make a craft…they weren’t my favorite)