Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Escape Monthly London - October 2014

Escape Monthly London

Escape Monthly is a monthly subscription service that brings you a taste of a vacation destination, a literal vacation in a box! Normally $49.95 per month, they also have a mini-box for $24.95. Half the size of a regular box, but just as much fun! I thought about ordering a mini box, but they sent me an email with a really good deal for the full size box, so I signed up for that one instead. I just can't resist a good deal!


Escape Monthly LondonEscape Monthly London
The info card. I like that it's a pamphlet with city information instead of just a small card.

Escape Monthly London
First look!

Escape Monthly London
My October goodies!

Rick Steve's Pocket London guide
Rick Steve's Pocket London guide. 
Love Rick's books and this pocket guide will come in handy during our next visit!

Orico Jazzy hand lotion
Orico Jazzy hand lotion
This was a bonus for new subscribers. Has a citrusy scent, but haven't made up my mind if I like it or not. I have a ton of handcreams and lotions, so may pass this one on to someone else.

Soapsmith 3-piece soap sampler
Soapsmith 3-piece soap sampler
There are 3 small slivers of soap in this sample, a little smaller than hotel bars. They smell good, but I don't think that the samples are large enough and would have preferred one larger bar to 3 tiny ones.

London Taxi toy
London Taxi toy
This is an odd item to include in an adult subscription box IMO. I would have preferred another beauty item or snack to a toy I'll never use. 

Rush Hour Vibrant Dry Body Oil
Rush Hour Vibrant Dry Body Oil
Thank goodness these were both in little bags, as they both leaked! Not a big fan of body oils, so not sure if I'll clean them off to try or just toss them.

Walkers Nonsuch English Creamy Toffee
Walkers Nonsuch English Creamy Toffee
My favorite item in the box! These are delicious and almost gone!

Corkers Natural British Crunch
Corkers Natural British Crunch
Pork sausage and English mustard potato chips? Can't say that I've ever seen this flavor on the shelves before and, to be honest, I'm a little afraid to try them.

Hill Custard Creams
Hill Custard Creams
Vanilla cookies with a cream center, these are a little dry for my taste but not bad.

Westminster caddy of English tea
Westminster caddy of English Breakfast Tea
Very cute tin! I love English Breakfast tea, so looking forward to trying these!


Am a little disappointed with this box as London is one of my favorite cities in the world and I had really high hopes. The listed prices are inflated on the info card for some reason, as I remember seeing the toy taxi in stores for only a few pounds so no way is it worth $12! And the guidebook has a printed price of $12.99, but the info card lists it at $19.99. Maybe they were going to give us the full guidebook then switched to the pocket edition at the last minute? Either way, this doesn't sit right with me. Maybe they're trying to justify the high subscription price or something?

I really liked previous boxes, but the selections seem to be deteriorating recently from unique items to cheap souvenirs and samples. I was going to give this as a gift for Christmas, but think I'll wait and see what next month's box is like before making a decision. It's a shame because I really love the idea behind this box! Fingers crossed they get their act together and live up to their potential!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Julep Kimberly nail polish


Julep Kimberly nail polish

Two coats of Kimberly. I really, really love the look of this polish, but it was a total bear to remove. The color itself came off fine, but left behind the hard, glitter-like dots that were harder to remove than regular glitter! It's strange, because the polish was smooth and not rough like regular glitter polish. 

Despite my love of this look, I'm not sure I'll ever wear it again.

Julep Kimberly nail polish

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Glossybox - October 2014


Glossybox - October 2014

Glossybox is a monthly subscription service that is available by the month ($21), or you can sign up for 3,6,or 12 month plans. Once you select a plan, you fill out your beauty profile, sit back and wait for your box filled with 5-6 luxury-sized samples! A little too pricey for me so I usually wait for discounts or special gift-with-purchase offers.

Glossybox - October 2014Glossybox - October 2014
First look at October's box! I really love how they tie a ribbon around the tissue-wrapped items so it's like opening a gift. Nice touch!

Glossybox - October 2014
October goodies!

Proganix Volume Root Boost Finish + Body Builder
Proganix Volume Root Boost Finish + Body Builder
When it comes to hair, bigger really is better. Add body and volume with this blend of strand-boosting soy protein combined with energizing caffeine, meant to infuse your style with lift, life and shine.

Sesha Botanical Hydro Mask
Sesha Botanical Hydro Mask
Detox after a long day with this skin-calming one-time use sheet mask, which delivers extracts of moisturizing cucumber fruit, green tea and marigold, included for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat
Nails Inc Westminster Bridge Matte Top Coat
Double your nail polish collection with this handy matte top coat from the fashion-forward British brand, which takes even the shiniest of lacquers into soft-touch territory.

Tarte Cosmetics Power Pigment in Flush
Tarte Cosmetics Power Pigment in Flush
Inspired by tarte''s cheek stains, this sheer berry-hued lip tint features a slim, twist-up design for precise application, no sharpener needed. Part lip color, part lip treatment, the creamy formula is made up of vitamins, shea butter and a hint of mint.

Vince Camuto Amore Eau de Parfum
Vince Camuto Amore Eau de Parfum
Relive the feeling of falling in love with this limited-edition olfactive homage to romance. Starring the ephemeral scent of fresh-cut flowers and fragrant fruits atop a base of comforting cashmere, rich amber and earthy sandalwood, this scent from the prolific fashion designer is both flirty and sensual.

Hello Fresh $40 gift card
Hello Fresh $40 gift card


Not a bad box, but not my favorite either. I like the nail polish top coat and the lip color, and I'll try the hair product. Doubt that I'll use the Hello Fresh gift card as we're picky eaters so I gave it to my niece. I don't usually use face masks, so might try to trade that for something else. Same with the perfume sample, as I have enough perfume samples to last a lifetime now!

FrenchBox - October 2014

FrenchBox is a subscription box that you receive each month in your mailbox. It contains 5 products from French brands: fashion, cosmetics, gourmet and others surprises! FrenchBox is the best way to discover or share the latest products from France. (website)

FrenchBox
Really impressed by the box they use! It's nice & sturdy, like the one Glossybox uses. Definitely going to save this one to reuse!

FrenchBox
Nice presentation, complete with a ribbon. Appearances really do count!

FrenchBox
This postcard was right on top. Nice saying!

The info card
The info card

FrenchBox
October goodies! This month's theme is The Warmth of Provence.

FrenchBox blank book
This is a blank book. It's not listed on the info card, so guess it's an extra.

Oshibori refreshing towels
Oshibori refreshing towels. There are 4 different types of towels in this sample. 
Oshibori is a 100% cotton-made hand towel infused with green tea scent.

Provence French Herb Mix
Le Panier Francais Provence French Herb Mix.
Bring a touch of elegance and delicious flavor to any of your dishes (barbecue, vegetables).

Matis powder brush
Matis powder brush
Matis brush applies pressed and looser powder, bronzer and mineral makeup effortlessly. This brush is made of soft goat hair and is small enough for travel, allowing for flawless touch-ups while on the go.

Couleur Calisson
Couleur Calisson
This calisson is a traditional and quality product from Provence; equally famous as the macaron in the South of France.

Durance Marseille Soap
Durance Marseille Soap
These solid soaps are made up of essential oils, and flower or fruit extracts. The smooth colors of these soaps will bring a luxurious touch to your bathroom and they make a great gift.

Sothys contour concealer base.
Sothys contour concealer base. This was not on the info card either, but had a separate card. Guessing it was a late addition to the box?
Sothy's Make-up, a beautiful collection with glamorous color, for an ultra chic Parisian look.

Atelier Cologne
Atelier Cologne
I received Santal Carmin. I like perfume samples as they let me try new scents, but I really hate these little samples that make you pop the top to open the vial. I usually wind up getting the scent all over my hands because the top is hard to get off. True to form, this spilled all over my hand. Don't like the scent enough to take another handbath. Why can't all perfume samples be sprays?


So all in all, not a bad box. It's $24 per month, but new subscribers can get it for $14 using the code FIRSTBOX. I'm going to try one more month before I decide if it's a keeper or not. I love France and all things French, but it's a little on the expensive side for me.

Do you get FrenchBox? If so, I'd love to know what you think of it!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Grandma Pizza From Cook's Country

Grandma Pizza From Cook's Country

Grandma Pizza From Cook's Country

INGREDIENTS 

Dough 
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups (8 1/4 ounces) bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast (1 packet)
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt

Topping 
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

INSTRUCTIONS 

FOR THE DOUGH: 
Coat rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons oil. Combine water and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in 1-cup liquid measuring cup.

Using stand mixer fitted with dough hook, mix flour, yeast, sugar, and salt on low speed until combined. With mixer running, slowly add water mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 1 minute. Increase speed to medium-low and mix until dough is smooth and comes away from sides of bowl, about 10 minutes.

Transfer dough to greased baking sheet and turn to coat (oil hands from baking sheet so the dough doesn't stick to you). Stretch dough to 10 by 6-inch rectangle. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.

Stretch dough to corners of pan, cover loosely with plastic, and let rise in warm place until slightly puffed, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees.

FOR THE TOPPING: 
Place tomatoes in colander and drain well. Combine drained tomatoes, oil, garlic, oregano, and salt in bowl.

Combine mozzarella and Parmesan in second bowl. Sprinkle cheese mixture over dough, leaving ½-inch border around edges.

Top with tomato mixture and bake until well browned and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Slide pizza onto wire rack, sprinkle with basil, and let cool for 5 minutes (trust me, these 5 minutes are important!).

Serve.

Results

Love it! We've made this pizza twice now and it's our new favorite! Takes time so it's not a last minute dinner idea, but totally worth it! 

We left out the garlic, Parmesan cheese, and basil for the topping and used more mozzarella and oregano because that's what we like. Going to add olives next time. Customize it however you like!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Julep nail mail

 photo Julep023.jpg

Had a 50% off coupon for Julep, so couldn't resist buying some new polish! Bought the Pumpkin Spice Latte set and Quinn.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte set includes:
  • Brielle - deep autumn orange creme
  • Winter - grey cloud creme
  • Tatiana - golden burnt orange microglitter
Quinn is a charcoal purple satin that I couldn't resist because it's my last name!

I don't see this set online anymore, but it's a great collection of fall colors and I'm excited to try them!


Birchbox - October 2014

Birchbox is a monthly beauty subscription where you receive a mix of beauty products (samples and full size). At only $10 per month, it's one of my favorite beauty boxes and a great deal!

Birchbox
I love the boxes they use and save all my empties to reuse when giving gifts. Sometimes I wrap the entire box, but usually I just wrap the top for a cute little surprise. 

Birchbox
My info card

my October goodies!my October goodies!
First look at my October goodies!

Essential Elements Wake Up Rosemary shower gel
Essential Elements Wake Up Rosemary shower gel
While many soaps strip skin of its natural patina, this gel does quite the opposite, infusing skin with botanical oils to keep it calm, cool, and collected. The garden-fresh scent of mint and rosemary serves as a natural mood-booster.

Dr. Brands Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner
Dr. Brands Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner
For too long, stubborn blackheads have evaded our best offensives, digging in their oily heels in the face of every cleanser under the sun. Not now. Like its namesake device, this award-winning vacuum cleaner™ gel sucks the grime right out of our pores. The results are as satisfying as they sound. What’s more, it does it all without abrasive agents - or painful extractors.

ModelCo PowerLash High Impact Black Mascara
ModelCo PowerLash High Impact Black Mascara
This mascara will super-size your lashes with the help of a unique brush that coats even the tiniest, sparsest lashes with an even layer of true black.

Harvey Prince Petaly Noir perfume sample
Harvey Prince Petaly Noir perfume sample
Opening notes of jasmine, tropical orchid, and lily of the valley give way to sandalwood, amber, and patchouli for an elegant, woody floral scent. Hints of vanilla and musk add warmth and depth.

Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick
Mally High Shine Liquid Lipstick in Petal to the Metal
Formulated by celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal, these ultraglossy, opaque hues acts as a lip primer, lipstick, lip gloss, and lip liner all in one. Bonus: The handy brush applicator gives you excellent control.


While I have enough mascara to last a few lifetimes, I'm pleased with the majority of this box. The Mally lipstick was my choice for October and I'm happy with the shade. The shower get has a really strong scent, but it's sure to wake me up in the morning! Another great job Birchbox!