Thursday, October 30, 2014

BOXYCHARM Review - October 2014 Box

I am excited to review my first box from BOXYCHARM! BOXYCHARM is a beauty and makeup subscription box that delivers deluxe-size and full-size samples.

The Details:
BOXYCHARM costs $21 a month and ships inside the continental US. The box will usually contain 4 to 5 full-size products.

This month's theme was "Bewitched" and it contained some fantastic items!

Coastal Scents Eclipse Palette (Full size, normally $19.95, currently $14.95): I am so excited about this product! It is a concealer palette and has a wide range of colors so that you can blend, contour, and disguise anyway you want. I have always been curious about the concealers that are not flesh colored, so this will give me a chance to play!

Palmetto Derma Collagen Booster & Restoration Serum ($48 value): A full-size, cruelty-free, vegan skincare item that is free of parabens, sulfates and alcohol? Yes, please! This serum is applied after cleanser and toner, and is meant to fight free radicals and increase collagen growth in your skin. I cannot wait to see if this makes my skin glow!

CULT/COMMERCE & BOXYCHARM "Shady" Nail Polish Collection in B'Witched and Spell On ($21 value): This collaborative set launched in BOXYCHARM and is perfect for the Halloween season. I really want to rock these polishes tomorrow, but I would have to remove them and repaint for a wedding Saturday afternoon. Decisions, decisions! 

Be A Bombshell Eyeshadow in Corrupt ($14 value): This is such a great color! You can create so many looks using this nice charcoal grey.

Starlooks Ultra Gem Eye Pencil in Ultra Turquoise ($14 value): I could not find this exact item on the Starlooks website, but it goes on as a beautiful blue. This seems more like something I will use when I go to holiday parties.

Overall, I am very pleased with my first box from BOXYCHARM. The box is values around $112-$117 depending on how you price the Coastal Scents Palette. I will get more than my money's worth out of this box.

Do you subscribe to BOXYCHARM? What did you think of this month's box?

Disclosure: This post contains referral links.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Book Review: The Skinnytaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka

After years of following Gina Homolka's blog, Skinnytaste, I was thrilled when she decided to write a cookbook. The Skinnytaste Cookbook was released September 30, 2014 and is available in hardback or eBook format.

The Skinnytaste Cookbook features 125 new recipes as well as 25 favorites. All the recipes are low-calorie and waist-friendly. A majority of the recipes are accompanied by beautiful, full-page photographs.

The book begins with an introduction that explains the intentions of this cookbook and provides the Skinnytaste origin story. This section also provides you with a recipe key which is one of my favorite parts of the book. The key is used to identify vegetarian, gluten-free, quick (ready in 30 minutes or less), freezer-friendly, and slow cooker recipes.

The chapter titled The Skinny Basics provides readers with tips for a healthier kitchen as well as a healthier lifestyle. I think this was an important addition to the book, because sometimes changing the way you eat or cook can be a daunting task, so tips from a professional or role-model are always appreciated.

Once you get past the introduction and basics you get into the most exciting part of the book: the recipes. The recipes are grouped into chapters such as Sunny Mornings, Skinny-Licious Soups & Chilis, Sandwiches On The Lighter Side, Skinny Bites, Fabulous Main-Dish Salads, Perfect Poultry, Lean Meat Dishes, Fabulous Fish, Meatless Mains, Veggie-Licious Sides, and Skinny Sweet Tooth.

Throughout the recipes Gina added helpful hints and tips to make your meal prep easier. Pairing options, storage tips, and tool suggestions are just a few of the tip topics. This is in addition to the nutritional information that is provided for every recipe. As a professional calorie counter this is what I am most grateful for.

Overall, I am thrilled with this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a low-calorie cookbook.

FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own and are completely honest.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Quick Update After A Long Absence

I am excited to be back after a long absence from writing. Due to the increased and unexpected demands of my day job I had to leave the blog alone for several months. Life is now much calmer, and I look forward to spending more time writing posts. Have a beautiful day!