Monday, October 29, 2012

October 2012 GLOSSYBOX USA

The October GLOSSYBOX was focused around "Spa Luxe" products "designed to refresh and rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit... ideal for creating a sense of well-being and the ultimate beauty oasis."

I was excited when I heard the October GLOSSYBOX would have a spa theme.  With the weather turning cold around this time of the year, my skin always goes a little crazy with adjusting to the new season, and I was looking forward to receiving some products to pamper myself.  This month I received a nice assortment of products both to pamper and to beautify myself.

1. Alterna Bamboo - Luminous Shine Mist ($22/4 oz)
An eco-certified shine mist made with Indian gooseberry and organic bamboo that controls frizz and flyaways.  It is a brilliant and weightless gloss for any hair type.

Sample size: 0.85 oz
Sample value: $4.68

2. Kryolan for GLOSSYBOX - Blusher in Glossy Rosewood ($9/2.5 g)
The micronized pigments in this semi-transparent cream powder allow for a vivid yet light application.  Perfect for the cheeks and can be used on the eyelids too.

Sample size: 2.5 g
Sample value: $9

3. Heartland Fragrances - Exfoliating Loofa Soap ($8/6 oz)
A truly unique hand-poured loofa soap encased in gentle glycerin provides the perfect blend of moisture and exfoliation.  This soap is designed to improve circulation and is great for exfoliating those tricky rough, dry areas.

Sample size: presumably full size
Sample value: $8

4. Modelco - Lip Duo Lipstick & Ultra Shine Lip Gloss ($39/.13 oz & .07 oz)
An ultimate pairing in lip color - a flawless, long-lasting lipstick & an intense beaming gloss.  Each may be worn separately or layered for an individually tailored hue.

Sample size: presumably full size
Sample value: $39

5. Natassja Skin - Enzyme Facial Peel ($40/2 oz)
This revolutionary facial peel is infused with vitamins and nutrients.  It exfoliates with papain, a naturally occurring enzyme in papaya, and gently eliminates dead, dry skin cells to reveal a more radiant you.

Sample size: 0.25 oz
Sample value: $5

Total box value: ~$65.68

Yet another great assortment of samples!  I really love the color of the lip stick/gloss duo and the blusher.  I think both are lovely colors for fall.  I look forward to trying the spa products as well.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Catching Up

It's been a little while since my last post, so I thought I'd stop in and share a picture of the chins.  This was taken yesterday (while they hung out in their little cage while I washed the fleece I use to line their larger cage).  I've really enjoyed watching Goose grow over the few months since we brought her home and seeing how the relationship between her and Lucy has blossomed.  They can be so incredibly tender towards each other and it's fun to watch Goose learn from and imitate Lucy.  Lucy has the habit of biting down on the horizontal bars of her cage and just sitting and watching whatever is going on around her.  Goose started copying Lucy yesterday while she did this and I found it amusing so I took a photo of them.  Aren't they adorable?

I have a full weekend ahead.  Tonight I'm dressing up as Daria and enjoying a low key Halloween celebration.  Tomorrow I'm checking out the Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show here in Lexington.  Then on Sunday I'm going to apple picking with a group of friends!  Hopefully I'll have some photos of the weekend to share with you in a few days!

I hope you're all doing well and that you have some fun weekend plans of your own.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Nail of the Day: Essie Power Clutch + Set in Stones

Essie is definitely one of my favorite polish brands.  Their fall collections each year consistently offer some of my favorite shades.  Today's manicure features a shade from their fall 2011 line.  Power Clutch is a deep gray that in certain lights has a hint of green. It's a gorgeous, sophisticated shade on trend for fall.

I topped my accent nail with a coat of gorgeous silver glitter, Essie's Set in Stones, which is part of their stunning luxeffects line.  I really like the sophisticated look of wearing Power Clutch alone, but the sparkle of Set in Stones adds a feminine playfulness that I quite enjoy as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October 2012 Birchbox

My October Birchbox arrived yesterday and I was really hoping for something exciting seeing that my boxes the past couple of months have been utterly disappointing.  This month I opted to partake in a special collab box between Birchbox and Goop.  I had honestly never heard of Goop before Birchbox announced the collaboration, but I had high hopes because most of the past collab boxes have been pretty great.

Unfortunately this month was another so-so month for me.  I am honestly getting a little tired of how repetitive Birchbox can be.  How many snack bars, cleansers, and foil packet samples can one girl try?

My October Birchbox included:

Chantecaille - Faux Cils Mascara ($42/0.32 oz)
Meet your new wand love - this water-resistent mascara delivers exceptional volume, length, and curl.

Sample size: 0.14 oz
Sample value: $18.38

DDF - Wrinkle Resist Plus Pore Minimizer ($85/1.7 oz)
This high-tech moisturizing serum fills in pores and wrinkles for instantly smoother skin, while peptides and vitamins provide long-term anti-aging benefits.

Sample size: 0.23 oz
Sample value: $11.50

Eve Lom - Cleanser and Muslin Cloth ($80/100 ml)
The balm-like cleanser gently purifies and tones skin, while the matching finely woven cloth exfoliates without causing irritation.

Sample size: 5 ml
Sample value: $4.00

per-f├ękt Beauty - Lip Perfection Gel ($24/10 ml)
Part tinted gloss and part moisturizing lip treatment, this multitasker has you cover on all fronts.

Sample size: 0.05 ml
Sample value: $0.12

Luna - LemonZest ($18.75/15)
These zesty snacks are a goop fave.  They're perfect to keep you full in between meals (plus they can double as a healthy dessert!).

Sample size: 1 bar
Sample value: $1.25

Total box value: $35.25

My box this month included a seriously miniscule lip gel sample, a tiny cleanser sample, and cruddy "lifestyle extra," and two reasonable samples.  I do look forward to trying out Chantecaille mascara and the DDF pore minimizer; however, both of these products are so ridiculously expensive that even if I flipped over how amazing they are, I would never purchase them myself.  Seriously, who pays $42 for a mascara?!  I suppose if they're wonderful, I'll enjoy the samples while the samples last.

If you received an October Birchbox, what did you receive/think?

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Ginger Spice Cookies

We've been having some delightfully chilly weather in Lexington lately and I've been craving fall treats full force.  I've already made some Pumpkin Cookies with Brown-Butter Icing and Maple-Pecan Shortbread this fall, so I figured it was time I whipped up some Ginger Spice Cookies.

There is something so comforting about the perfect Ginger Spice Cookie.  Crisp around the edges and unbelievably soft in the middle, just bursting with the warm flavors of molasses and spices.  They are absolutely delightful and I insist you give these a try.  I whipped up a double batch so hubby and I could enjoy a few before he treats his coworkers to the rest.

Ginger Spice Cookies
via Splash of Something
makes about 3 dozen

3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar, plus more for rolling
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
3 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
2 heaping teaspoons ginger
1/2 heaping teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, then add the egg and molasses, mixing until combined.  Sift the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a separate bowl, then add slowly to the butter/sugar mixture.  Mix until just combined.

Scoop dough by 1 1/2 tablespoon portions, then roll in sugar to form a well coated ball.  Place dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet (about 1 1/2 inches apart, allowing them plenty of room to spread).  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in a preheated 350 degree oven, until just firm on the outside but still soft on the inside (they will likely appear a little underdone when you remove them, but they'll set up and be perfect).  Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Nail of the Day: Revlon Spanish Moss

natural light, two coats

Today I wanted to share with you all another polish I'm loving for fall.  Spanish Moss, from Revlon's Colorstay Longwear Nail Enamel line, is a gorgeous grayish green with the most subtle pearlescent shimmer (so subtle that it really appears as more of a creme finish on the nails).

I have a few polishes from the Revlon Colorstay line, and I have to say I'm really in love with the formula of these.  All the shades I own go on beautifully, are completely opaque in two coats, and have possibly the best lasting power of any of the polishes I own.  What makes me love these polishes even more is that I purchased mine at CVS for only $0.99 a bottle (thanks to a fantastic sale they offer every once in a while).  I truly think these polishes are worth their retail value, but I tend to hold out for a good sale, then I pick up a new shade or two.  I high suggest you keep an eye out for a sale on these at the drugstore, then grab one or two to give them a try.  I think you'll love them as much as I do.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Maple-Pecan Shortbread

These Maple-Pecan Shortbread have become one of my all time favorite cookie recipes.  I've been making these every fall/winter for the past few years and they are hands down the most requested cookie recipe I make.  My mother-in-law once invited me to a holiday cookie swap and insisted that I make these cookies.  I'm pretty sure she had ulterior motives when she invited me to the party, but I can't blame her.  Honestly, these cookies are just that good.  The only person that can resist these cookies is my hubby, who refuses to try any dessert that includes nuts.  He's missing out, but that means more cookies for everyone else to enjoy.

These have a lovely, delicate shortbread texture with a subtle but lovely maple flavor and a wonderful texture added by the nuts.  They're kind of reminiscent of Pecan Sandies, but with the addition of maple flavor and SO much better.  You can roll this dough and cut your cookies into any shape imaginable.  Normally I use a round cookie cutter and top each individual cookie with a sprinkle of turbinado sugar and a whole pecan half.  This time I decided to use some adorable miniature leaf and acorn cookie cutters to make mine a little more festive for fall.  I topped some of the cookies with turbinado sugar and others with finely chopped pecans.  If you want to save the time of rolling and cutting dough, you could also shape the dough into a log and slice the cookies.  Next time you're baking for a fall/winter gathering, I highly suggest you give these cookies a try!

Maple-Pecan Shortbread
makes about 2 dozen

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, plus for more topping (if desired)
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure maple extract
1 large egg, lightly beaten
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

In a medium bowl, sift flours and salt.  Whisk in 1/2 cup chopped pecans; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and light, about one minute.  Add the maple syrup, egg yolk, and extract; beat on medium speed until well combined.  On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.  Dough should be smooth and pliable.  Flatten into a disk.  Wrap in plastic; chill until firm, 1 1/2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out rounds using a two-inch cookie cutter (or desired cutter); place one inch apart on prepared baking sheet.  Brush tops with beaten egg; sprinkle cookies with turbinado sugar and/or chopped pecans.  Chill prepared cookies in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.

Bake cookies, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool completely, then store in an air tight container.
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