Tuesday, November 13, 2012


I'm sure you've noticed I'm on a "Reviewing Kick." I'm an opinionated person, naturally, so its really cool that companies are now looking for people to try products/services and publicly give their opinions.

One of the coolest sites I've found for this is Influenster.

Influenster has recently relaunched their website, but unfortunately, I was unable to see what the site was like before. I can only assume it was not nearly as easy to navigate as it is now. Everything is fairly easy to find, and it takes no time at all to get active and flowing so you can get your first VoxBox.

What is a VoxBox? It's a box of products they send you so you can try and review. It's completely free, but if you don't complete the required tasks (and some of the extra tasks), you won't get another box. Its a fair trade, if you ask me.
The boxes you get depend on the badges you unlock. You unlock badges by completing surveys and showing them you have access to more than one outlet on the internet (Facebook, Twitter, a blog (or blogs), a YouTube channel, etc.). The more vocal you are online, the higher your chances of getting a box become.

There are certain categories you'll probably never really get into, though, and that's okay. Not everyone is in college. Not everyone is planning a wedding. You might not be a gamer or a pet owner. The surveys and badges are how you tell them what products and situations are relevant to your life. Personally, I'd have no use for a dog-based VoxBox, as I only have cats. I won't ever earn a high enough rating to get a dog box, and I'm completely okay with that!

So many people out there are just interested in getting something for free. If this is you, Influenster is NOT the place you need to be. They've found ways to help limit how many "freeloaders" get boxes. If you're willing to do the "work" involved and can prove it to them on their site, you're gonna get a box eventually. It might not be immediately, but you'll be on their list! Think of them as a year-round Santa. :)

Happy reviewing!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

One's Better than None, Right?

I was going to do a second laundry list this entry, but I just don't have the time for it right now. You'll get another set of reviews, shortly. Until then, enjoy this one!

*Goody Spin Pin*
Oh. My. Goodness. Before I get going on why I LOVE this product, I have to give you some background about my hair. It's incredibly fine and thin. I don't know that I've ever had my hair in a braid for longer than 10 minutes before it just completely fell out. Perms don't last. Hairspray is worthless. The only thing that I can do with my hair, aside from just leaving it down? Put it in a ponytail. Yep. That's it. And most of the time, it falls out, unless I wrap the band around my hair a million and ten times. Yes, I know, I'm killing my hair. On top of the damage being done from the ponytail holder, I color my hair. From a box. So yeah, my hair's not in the best of shape.
Back to these Spin Pins. AMAZING. I can have my hair back with them holding it ALL DAY, and NO DAMAGE. No hair band lines, nada. AND my hair actually stays back!! Who would have thought?? If you haven't already, you need to try them. I don't know how else to explain how great these are, other than to tell you to try them yourselves!!

Oh, and did I mention I got these pins for FREE in a VoxBox?? Yeah. Double awesome. Check out influenster.com.

Later, Critters!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Laundry List of Reviews - Part 1

I've been promising myself for quite a while now I would start reviewing things. Over the course of this time, I've come up with a long list of things to review. Some of which I noted in my last post.
In this post, I'll go ahead and get those reviews out of the way. My next post will include a few other reviews I wanted to catch up on, too. Then, I'll start posting a one-product review post. So many products, so little time! :)

*Subway's Turkey Avocado Sub*

When I first saw the commercials for this sub, I was so excited to try it. They showed the regular turkey sub upgraded with slices of avocado. I love the turkey sub AND avocados, so I figured I couldn't go wrong! A couple weeks after the commercials started airing, I finally went and got one. Boy, was I disappointed.
The employee started making my sub, and I had to remind him twice to add the avocado to it. When he finally did, he picked up a bag of green slop and over-generously "piped" it on my sub. Just the sight of it was unappetizing. I was still determined it had to be decent. The green slop looked like unseasoned, over-pureed guacamole. I figured with the tomatoes and spices on my sub, it might taste decent. After one bite, I wanted to gag. The "avocado" mess was disgusting. It did not taste like avocado at all. I ended up wiping all of it off my sandwich to try and save what was left. It was bland and the texture was disgusting. No amount of seasonings on my sandwich could have saved that horrendous paste.
I've since noticed the commercials no longer show avocado slices on the subs. They now actually feature the green paste. BUT, in the commercials, the paste is chunkier and does not look as hideous as it did in person. I'm telling you, this stuff rivaled a middle school lunch line. Never again will I get anything from a "fast food" joint that advertises any sort of "avocado" anything!!

*Pepsi Next*

I'm one of those people who loves trying different things, especially in soda form. Pepsi Next was no exception. I was thoroughly impressed with Pepsi Next - it was actually a refreshing soda! You know how most of them can make you even more thirsty than you were when you first started drinking it? Yeah, I did not have that experience with this beverage.
Pepsi Next soon became a staple in my house. I almost threw a party in the grocery store when I found 2 liter bottles of their Cherry Vanilla and Paradise Mango flavors! I just wish I had been as happy with the actual products as I had been with the idea of them. The flavors were sickeningly sweet. To me, they defeated the purpose of the reduced-everything soda. It was no longer a refreshing beverage, and the only way I could manage finishing off what I had purchased was to load a glass with ice and let the ice melt into the soda, watering it down. My husband had the idea to mix it with regular Pepsi Next to try and help, but even that did not cut down on the sweetness as much as I would have liked.
Even though I didn't enjoy the flavored options as much as I wanted to, I am still a huge fan of Pepsi Next and hope it doesn't meet the fate of Crystal Pepsi!!

*The "50 Shades" Trilogy*

I have a tendency to jump on bandwagons when it comes to books. I waited and waited and waited until I couldn't avoid it any longer to read the Twilight Series and fell in love with it. The same thing pretty much happened with the Hunger Games series. After seeing so many people reading and loving the 50 Shades series, I figured I'd reach the same conclusions. Oops.
While I did find the series to be entertaining, it was, in my opinion, poorly written. I could have overlooked that, but I made the mistake of reading some reviews and other information about the author and the series before reading the books.
One thing I read stuck out and plagued me throughout the entire trilogy. The author originally started the series as Twilight Fan-fiction. It had been posted on a message board for Stephanie Meyer fans and so many people told her to continue the story and get it published. Of course, she had to change the names of the main characters, but everything else remained the same. Knowing that, it was hard for me to look at "Christian" and "Anastasia" as anything other than "Edward" and "Bella" knock-offs.
I also felt the description of the books I read was deceiving. It said something about the books having tones of the "supernatural." If you've read the series and found these "supernatural" references and nuances, please, please point them out to me!
The series wasn't bad, but I was disappointed with the ending. It felt like the author got to a certain page number and was like, "Oh, crap! I only have x number of pages to wrap things up in!" and just kind of threw it all together to put an end to the series. I dunno, maybe the hype was just too much for what it was. I might have liked it more had I not paid attention to any of it!

Well, that's it for now! I promise, not all my reviews are negative! And don't hesitate to ask any questions for further information - I'll answer based on my experiences! ~All images courtesy of Google Images~ Ciao!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Long time no type!

I was doing well updating this blog for so long, but it gets discouraging when you're basically writing for yourself. C'est la vie, right?

Since my crafting has pretty much gone by the wayside (paper crafts, anyway - still knitting and crocheting), I don't have a whole lot to update in that direction. Food-wise, Hubby and I have hit a stand-still on the things we make. We've found a few recipes we love, and we alternate between those. To be honest, having a ridiculously small budget for anything right now makes life less post-worthy! :)

There are a few things I plan on posting about, but they're mainly my own product reviews. Some of the things in the works include reviews of the following things:

- Subway's Turkey Avocado Sub

- Pepsi Next (they have flavors, now!)

- The "Fifty Shades" Trilogy

The main point of today's post, though, is to give myself a reminder of something I want to do that I found on Pinterest. The poster put the directions in the post description, and that just bothers me. I'd rather have the picture with a short(ish) title/description or a reminder for myself and then have a link to the directions via the picture. We also have to remember, I'm a bit of an OCD Control Freak! ;)

Anyway, here's the craft project on the top of my "to do" list (Image courtesy of pinterest):


Acrylic Paint

Paint Brushes



Using the back end of a paint brush, dip the brush into your paint and dot on to your clean glassware in the colors/patterns of your choice. Once you're satisfied with the design, place the glasses into a cold oven. Begin heating your oven to 350 degrees. Once the oven has preheated (with the glasses inside), set your timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes have passed, turn your oven off and let it cool down with the glasses still inside. When the glasses have cooled, you're done! Your glasses are now safe for drinking!

I would recommend hand-washing, though. I'll experiment with the dishwasher and let you know how things go, just in case. I would assume that once the paint has been baked on, they should be dishwasher-safe, but you never know!

The possibilities are endless - I see wine glasses, shot glasses, coffee mugs, and pint glasses in my future! Maybe I can even find clear glass (or white!! oooh!!!) plates and bowls at the dollar store - oh, I'm excited now! haha

Aaaand - if you haven't already, check out some of the things I've been working on the last few months: Beer Mittens! Everyone thinks I'm crazy, making these while it's 100+ degrees outside, but the fall will be here, soon!!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Holy Guacamole!

Not a creative title, I know. I'm out of steam tonight, though. I just spent my last bits of creativity on making an AWESOME guacamole for tomorrow's festivities! What's so exciting about my guacamole recipe? I came up with it! haha It's very basic, but I'm proud of it. It was my second attempt at making it, and my first attempt without using a spice packet!

Here's what you'll need:

2 large avocados, pitted and mashed
1 medium tomato
Spices of your choosing. I used:
Red Pepper
Garlic Powder
Jerk Rub Spice Mix (Pampered Chef makes an awesome one)

I ended up using only about half of my tomato, but I also only used the firm, outside edges of it. I kept the softer interior and had a snack. :-P I didn't want my guacamole to get all mushy and gross from the juicy tomato seeds!

I put the guacamole in my blender since I don't have a food processor. It came out kinda chunky, but it worked for me. I added my spices (about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of each - I didn't really measure, sorry) and then added the diced tomato pieces. The jerk spices actually made it a bit sweeter than I expected, but it tastes pretty good!

My dad always told me it was hard to cook if you measured your ingredients. Up until recently, I never agreed. In certain cases, he's wrong - you need directions and measurements to make sure everything comes out perfectly! Today, not so much. Its really a "to taste" kind of recipe.

Hubby's actually impressed. My "to taste" recipes always end up awful. Looks like I'm on a roll!


Chocolate Hummus

I found this awesome recipe on a blog by a woman named "Chocolate Covered Katie." Google her. Her blog is awesome. She calls this "Dark Chocolate Brownie Batter Dip." I call it "Chocolate Hummus." My recipe is SLIGHTLY different from hers, but it's essentially the same thing.

I don't have pictures of my concoction, but she's got a few on her blog. It turned out FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. Even Hubby likes it! Granted, he's not a picky person, but he's not a huge fan of hummus.

Here's the recipe:

1 can Garbanzo Beans (chick peas, just in case you have a brain fart like I did)
4 Tablespoons Cocoa Powder
2 Tablespoons Soy Milk
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3c sugar

Mix in blender or food processor until smooth. Serve with grahams, Nila Wafers, and/or fruit.

Yes, it really is that simple.

Just make sure you drain and rinse your chick peas very well. Obviously you can substitute as you see fit, which is what I did. Katie said to use "nut butter" instead of the oil, but the only "nut butter" I know of is peanut butter and I didn't want that flavor today. She also uses Almond milk, but I like Silk better.

I used Nestle cocoa powder when I made this, and I know it doesn't have quite as bold of a flavor as Hershey cocoa powder does. You could probably get away with using less than 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder if you use Hershey's. Your call, though - in my opinion, the more chocolate the better!!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

HAPPY 2012!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's Celebration!! I also hope your "winter holidays" were happy and safe!

Hubby and I spent New Year's Eve with some good friends. We went to K's house, where we spent the evening celebrating with her, our other friend KJ, and KJ's hubby, M. K made us dinner, and KJ and I provided veggies and desserts. The five of us exchanged Christmas presents, played games, drank, ate, and had fun. K and KJ did their third annual “run down the street” at Midnight. M and I recorded it so we can all laugh at them when we're too old to continue the tradition. :)

While we were there, I was able to place the final order I needed to reach all of my Stampin' Up! goals for 2010! I reached the quarterly re-start goal the company set for me, as well as the title promotion!! PLUS, I managed to get the monthly goal which allows me to get a commission check!!! It's not much, but every little bit counts! Now I'm trying to think of a “business building” incentive to offer people for the quarter to celebrate my achievements. I was thinking something like, 10% off all orders or something? I'm still working on that, though. I'll certainly advertise on here, though!!

My lia sophia business is still at a stand-still, but I'm kind of at peace with that right now. I have a couple of prospects for the new quarter, which is great because the new catalog has been published and LOTS of pieces are retiring come the end of January! My Upline Manager is challenging her downline to complete certain tasks throughout the month to earn some of the new line jewelry, so I'm going to certainly give it a try!! Now I just have to figure out how I'm going to come up with the money to order the new catalogs... :-P

Oh, and in case you forgot (or didn't know), my birthday is only 22 days away!!! (Jan. 26) Feel free to celebrate – I know I will be!!!

HAPPY 2012!!!!


Interesting Dinner

So, last week, I found a recipe on Pinterest for a Foil-Wrapped Ranch and Bacon Chicken Dinner. I bought all the ingredients for it, but didn't get around to making it until tonight. It did not turn out as I had hoped, but Hubby said it was good. Let me just tell you - it did not SMELL good at all! At least, not while it was cooking. Once we took it out of the oven and unwrapped the dinner, it started to smell better and was more appetizing.

It tasted pretty good, but again, it wasn't what I was expecting.

Here's the recipe if you want to try it - it might be worth it for you and your family!!

4 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package of chicken stuffing
1 1/4 cups water
4 cups broccoli florets (I just got a 12oz bag of them in the bagged salad section at my grocery store)
4 slices bacon, crumbled
1 bag (12 oz) Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Ranch Dressing
Tin Foil
Cooking Spray

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, Fahrenheit
2. Spray four large pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil with cooking spray
3. Mix stuffing and water together
4. Spoon 1/4 of the stuffing mix on to each of the sprayed aluminum foil sheets
5. Place one chicken breasts on top of the stuffing
6. Add 1 cup of broccoli to each of the foil sheets
7. Cover each stuffing/chicken/broccoli pile with shredded cheese and one slice of bacon, each.
8. Drizzle approximately 1 tablespoon of Ranch Dressing on each chicken pile.
9. Fold up the aluminum foil sheets over the chicken pile so it makes a completely sealed pouch. **Be sure to leave room inside the pouch for heat to flow through!!**
10. Place all four pouches on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
11. Take out of oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes, cutting slits in each of the aluminum foil pouches for ventilation.

If you end up using large chicken breasts like I did, you may need to check your chicken after the 30 minute cooking time. I ended up having mine in the oven for 50 minutes, total. The chicken pieces I used were VERY thick, so it took them a lot longer to cook. PLUS, I'm overly cautious with my chicken. As long as the internal temperature is 165 degrees, Fahrenheit, you'll be fine.

Like all my other shared recipes, you'll have to let me know if you tried this and what you thought of it!