Saturday, February 28, 2015

Review: Born Pretty Store Bunny Nail Art Stickers

Born Pretty Store Nail Art Stickers K1018 4
Born Pretty Store Nail Art Stickers K1018 3

With March beginning next week and Easter just around the corner, designs featuring pastels, polka dots, decorated eggs, chicks, flowers, and bunnies will soon show up on nails again.

This cute set of rabbit-themed Nail Art Stickers* from Born Pretty Store is my first attempt at a spring nail look for 2015.

Born Pretty Store Nail Art Stickers K1018
Born PrettyStore Nail Art Stickers K1018 2

This set comes with 14 nail art stickers with polka dots, bunny paw prints, and bunny faces in shades of pink, white, and chocolate brown. They are meant to last for seven days and require zero drying time. They are very easy to apply and have a similar application procedure to stickers from other brands like Sally Hansen and Incoco. I had to trim some of them just a bit because my nails are so tiny. As you can see from the photos above, I’m not wearing any of the bunny face stickers. This is because they were much larger than any of my nails. I think they would look very cute on my big toes though.

What I really like about these nail stickers is that they really don’t have much of a nail polish smell like some of the nail stickers that I have tried from other brands. Not to mention, they only cost $1.67 USD with FREE worldwide shipping! Compared to the other brands which can cost $10-$15 at drugstores in Canada, these stickers are a real bargain. You can also save 10% by using the code Beauty4K31. One downside is that they did start to lift a bit in the shower after a few days of wear. I was able to smooth them back down though.

Overall, I think that these Nail Art Stickers are a great product for the price. If you are looking for a inexpensive, quick and easy spring nail look that involves no drying time and no nail polish smell, you may want to give these Nail Art Stickers a try. Click here to check them out and see the other available designs as well: http://www.bornprettystore.com/14pcs-full-nail-sticker-cute-bear-polka-patterned-p-11989.html

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 2015 KitNipBox Review

February 2015 KitNipBox 1

I’ve had a difficult time finding a cat subscription box that ships to Canada, so I was very excited to discover KitNipBox

If you are not familiar with this subscription service, it ships unique boxes to its feline members every month. Each box contains items designed to keep cats healthy, happy, and fit. There’s a Happy Cat box for $19 per month that comes with four or more items. It’s recommended for single-cat households. The company also has a Multi-Cat box for $29 per month that comes with six or more items. Although this option is ideal for multi-cat households like mine, I ordered the Happy Cat box since my cats tend to share toys well. KitNipBox ships to customers in the USA, Canada, and the UK. Shipping is free to the USA, and additional fees are charged for boxes shipping elsewhere. You can use the code BEAUTYWRITER to save 15% on your first box

One great aspect of this service is that customers can choose to receive boxes that are free of treats and food for cats that have allergies or a sensitive stomach. I chose this option for my cats just in case.

Another wonderful thing about KitNipBox is that every month the KitNip team works with organizations to support shelters, rescue organizations, and the cat community. My cats were adopted from shelters, so I’m happy to know that by ordering them a box of fun toys I’m also helping other cats in need while they wait for their fur-ever homes. This month, a portion of the company’s proceeds will be donated to Philadoptables in Philadelphia. 

All items in the February box include catnip. I’m not sure if this is a trend across boxes, but it’s something to consider depending on how your cat feels about catnip. My cats enjoyed the toys as much as they like any toys, with or without catnip. 

February 2015 KitNipBox

The February items were wrapped in red tissue paper and sealed with a cute cat sticker. 

February 2015 KitNipBox 2

The box came with a cute card featuring a historic map of Philadelphia felines & humans. Information about each product in the box is printed on the back of the card. 

February 2015 KitNipBox 4

1. Refillable Catnip Heart Toy - This toy contains AAA grade catnip. It’s very soft and my cats liked to chase it when I threw it across the room for them. 

2. Festive Fun-Filled Felt Toy - I knew that my cats were playing with this one because I could hear the little bell. It crinkles a bit which the cats found amusing. 

3. Handmade Catnip Liberty Bell - This item is handmade with 100% wool felt and stuffed with natural, locally grown catnip. One of my cats prefers smaller toys, so she wasn’t as excited as my other cat about most of the toys in the box. However, she did like this bell and claimed it as her own. To show it was hers, she carried it around the house and occasionally dropped it in the dog’s water bowl or her water fountain. The water turned green from the catnip. This is a fairly regular occurrence in our house with a few different toys. 

February 2015 KitNipBox 3

4. Petlinks Woodsy Pal Catnip Toy - This toy was not described on the card that came with the box, but my cats have tried other Petlinks toys and enjoy them. My cat who liked the bell liked this one as well. When it comes to toys, tiny mice, balls, and other small toys are of interest to her. 

5. Caterpillar Kicker - This toy is very appropriately named as my toy-loving cat spends lots of time hugging and kicking this toy. It’s very light, soft, and squishy. So far, it is not showing and wear despite all the kicking with claws. 

Overall, I think KitNipBoxi s a great subscription box for cats. It allows owners to opt out of food and treats to keep their cats healthy and safe, and it helps provide support for cats in need. Where I live, there are only a couple pet stores that rarely get new toys. Most of the cats around here have what’s available already, so a box with a brand new selection of toys is a good way to keep cats interested and active. While my cats did enjoy the toys, I’m not sure if they need more than four new toys every month. For cats who do order the option that includes food and treats, once a month may be perfect. Also, houses with many cats who go through toys quickly will benefit from the monthly subscription. I think that for now I’m going to order boxes for my cats during their birthday months and at Christmas. I will also keep this subscription in mind for the cats of my friends and family members.

Did you receive the February KitNipBox? What did your cats think of it?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Giveaway + Review: February 2015 Healthy Surprise Box

February 2015 Healthy Surprise Box 1

For many of us, the most difficult aspect of eating healthy is snack time. Sometimes we just want something sweet or salty! While a bag of greasy potato chips or a box of sticky candy is often easy to grab for a quick snack, having healthier snacks on hand can prevent us from consuming foods that are bad for us out of convenience.

Sometimes it seems hard to keep healthy snacks on hand, but it doesn’t have to be. The snackologists at Healthy Surprise make it fun and easy to eat healthy snacks by delivering customers a box every month filled with full-size snacks that are delicious, gluten free, soy free, corn free, wheat free, vegan, and natural. 

Healthy Surprise offers many different options including the Classic Box, the Big Box, and the Paleo Box. All boxes can be purchased for yourself in monthly, every other month, or quarterly subscriptions, or they can be sent as gifts.  There’s also a Chocolate Box that can be sent as a gift (photos below). I really like the idea of the gift boxes. Instead of sending a loved one a box of chocolates made from chemical ingredients and refined sugars, I could send them a box of healthy treats that they could eat throughout the month. The company ships worldwide, so you can order a box wherever you live or even send a gift to a friend on the other side of the world. You can get $10 off your first month by using the code HSBAF10. You will also receive a free $25 gift card in the first box of every new subscription and gift. Boxes also include brochures with recipes and health facts. 

I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to try the February 2015 Healthy Surprise Classic Box*. As you can see from the photo above, I received a lot of healthy snacks this month. Read on to learn more about what I received and to have the chance to enter a GIVEAWAY to win your own Healthy Surprise Classic Box

Healthy surprise front closed

February 2015 Healthy Surprise Box

The first few items are for those snack cravings that demand something crunchy and salty. As a bonus, they all contain one gram or less of sugar per serving. 

1. Beanitos Hot Chili Lime Puffs - These bean puffs are free of corn, trans fats, preservatives, gluten, MSG, and cholesterol. They are kosher, vegan, low glycemic, and high in fibre. One bag is only 80 calories. This is the perfect snack to replace unhealthy cheese puffs. They’re very crunchy and have a lot of flavour. 

2. Sensible Portions Sea Salt Garden Veggie Chips - These chips contain 30% less fat than regular potato chips and are free of artificial colours and flavours, preservatives, trans fat, and cholesterol. They are non-GMO, kosher, and vegan. One bag of these crunchy chips is only 130 calories. Unlike potato chips, these veggie chips are very light and non-greasy. I had them as an afternoon snack along with a banana.  

February 2015 Healthy Surprise Box 2

3 and 4. Laiki Black Rice Crackers and Red Rice Crackers - These crackers contain only three ingredients: rice, sustainably farmed palm oil, and sea salt. As a result, they are naturally gluten-free, vegan, and allergen friendly. One bag contains only 100 calories. I ate mine with a bowl of soup and sliced vegetables for lunch. Despite containing only a few ingredients, they are very flavourful. 

5. Beanfields Salt N’ Pepper Bean & Rice Chips - These chips, made from black and navy beans and long grain rice, contain 29% less fat and twice the fibre and protein as most tortilla chips. The are free of GMOs, gluten, corn, peanuts, seeds and dairy. For 1 oz of chips there’s only 140 calories. These chips are flavourful and delicious with homemade salsa. 

February 2015 Healthy Surprise Box 3

These next few items are perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth while avoiding refined sugar. 

6. Freeze Dried Strawberry Banana Crunchies - The only ingredients in this snack are strawberries and bananas. These’s no preservatives, gluten, GMOs, or added sugar. There’s one fruit serving per pack and only 35 calories. As someone who loves fruit, I really enjoyed this snack. It’s much easier to carry in your purse than a banana and a handful of strawberries. 

7. Sea’s Gift Sweet Seaweed Snack - These seaweed snacks are rich in vitamins and minerals, vegan, gluten free, and low in calories (35 per package). Although they are meant to taste sweet, they contain less than 1 gram of sugar. They are very crunchy and light, yet satisfying. 

8. Plum Organic Mash Ups Apple Sauce + Fruits & Veggies (Blueberry Blitz) - This organic applesauce is a good source of fibre and vitamin A and an excellent source of Vitamin C. It contains no added sugar and has 50 calories per pouch. It’s easy to eat on the go and is in BPA-free packaging. This product is a great substitute for sugary, flavoured yogurt or pudding. 

February 2015 Healthy Surprise Box 4

The next items include easy and healthy snacks that you can keep in your car, purse, or school bag to fight hunger on the go. 

9. PocketFuel Banana Blueberry Almond Butter Blend - This almond butter snack is vegan and free of gluten, dairy, and soy. This energy boosting product contains 169 calories. It’s perfect as a mid afternoon snack. I ate mine with an apple. 

10. Veggie-Gos Carrot Ginger Chewy Fruit & Veggie Snacks - The only ingredients in this snack are organic fruit  and vegetable purees. Each pack contains half a serving of fruit and half a serving of veggies. It’s also gluten free and does not contain any added sugar. This is a great replacement for chewy candies or sugary fruit snacks. 

11. Laughing Giraffe Organics Chocolate Snakaroons - There’s nothing that I love more than cookies, especially when they’re gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, high in fibre, and nutrient-rich. These are a great alternative to store-bought cookies containing preservatives and refined sugar. They have a very rich, chewy texture that really satisfies a dessert craving. 

12. Apple Raspberry Just Fruit Bar - This bar is free of preservatives, gluten, added sugar, dairy, nuts, and soy. It’s also vegan. This is a great afternoon snack when you’re looking for an energy boost without consuming processed sugar. 

13. Nakd Cocoa Mint Raw Fruit & Nut Bar - This gluten, wheat, and dairy free bar is made with dates, cashews, raisins, cocoa, natural mint, and chocolate flavouring. It’s a much healthier alternative to a traditional chocolate bar or even a sugary granola bar. It’s vegan, cold-pressed, and free of added sugars or syrups. It’s easy to chew and has a rich, natural chocolate flavour with hints of refreshing mint. 

 February 2015 Healthy Surprise Box 5

The last category features one of my favourite, non-sweet snacks—olives! 

14 and 15. Oloves Lemon & Rosemary and Chili & Oregano Natural Green Pitted Olives - These olives are low in calories, low in saturated fat, gluten, wheat, dairy, and nut free, and vegan. One package is only 50 calories. I love the idea of flavoured olives. They are healthy and a great alternative to other flavoured snacks like potato chips. The flavour is present but not overwhelming and the olives are very fresh and juicy. Before I knew it, the whole package was gone. 

February 2015 Healthy Surprise Box 6

And here are some pictures of that amazing chocolate gift box. I’m definitely putting this on my wish list. 

Hs chocolate wrapped angleHs chocolate2

Overall, I’m so impressed with Healthy Surprise Box. The amount of snacks and the variety of options make this box worth trying. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to find healthy snacks that actually taste good, so I think it would be very exciting to receive them by mail every month or even a few times a year.  I will also keep Healthy Surprise Box in mind for gifts, especially for my friends and family members who are always hard to buy for because they never want or need anything. Who wouldn’t want or need healthy snacks? It’s also a nice care package to send to a student who is away for school and struggling to eat healthy between classes, studying, homework, and adjusting to a new city and social environment. 

Healthy Surprise Box was kind enough to allow me to give a Classic Box away to one of my lucky readers. The giveaway is open until March 7, 2015 at 11:59 PM. The box will be sent directly to the winner by Healthy Surprise. It’s open to those in Canada and the USA. To enter, please fill out the Rafflecopter form below. If you are an international reader, you can enter my worldwide giveaways by clicking HERE or visiting the Giveaways page on my blog. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Affiliate links present

Thursday, February 19, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Bare Escentuals / Bare Minerals Makeup

Bare escentuals bare minerals giveaway

I thought it would be nice to give away some red and pink products before February ends. This Soft Sweep Cheek Brush and Intrigue Blush (soft rose) are limited edition products that came out in the Bare Escentuals / Bare Minerals Surprise Collection. The brush handle and the lid of the blush feature shiny berry red accents. 

You can enter to win these items by filling out the Rafflecopter form below. 

Good Luck!

****This giveaway is open internationally and will close on March 6, 2015 at 11:59 PM****

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lots of Love from GLOSSYBOX

IMG 3238

Soon February will end and spring will be just around the corner. Before this month that we all love (or love to hate) passes us by, I wanted to tell you about the February box from GLOSSYBOX so that you have the opportunity to get your hands on it before it’s too late. 

This box is designed to soften even the most jaded of hearts. From innovative, fruit-scented body and hair cleansers to rosy, feminine color cosmetics, this box is a girl’s best friend and a great present (perfect for a belated Valentine’s Day gift). 

Every February box will include a full-sized Yogi Flow Foaming Shower Gel from Rituals Cosmetics, which transforms into a rich, fragrant foam on contact with water. It combines the ancient Ayurvedic ingredients of sweet almond oil and Indian rose, the classic symbol of romance. All subscribers will also receive their future favorite hair product, Unwash Bio-Cleansing Conditioner, which replaces the classic two-step shampoo and conditioning process with a gentle moisturizing and volumizing formula. It also smells divine.

In addition the February GLOSSYBOX comes with three more products. The cost of the box is $21. The company ships to the USA and now ships to Canada as well!

If this limited edition box is something you’re interested in, check it out at http://www.glossybox.com. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Julep Cupid's Mystery Clutch Review

Julep Cupid s Mystery Clutch 2015

Lately, I’ve been enjoying the unique polish sets from Julep. Don’t forget that from now until March 31, you can get a free polish with orders over $15 by using the code GETCOLOR. The code can be used twice per person.

Normally, I avoid purchasing anything with “mystery” items since I prefer to know what I’m getting before ordering, but the two glitter polishes and sequin clutch were enough to make me want to find out what else would be included in Julep’s Valentine’s Day mystery box. Not to mention, it was only $24.99 for over $100 worth of products.

Julep Cupid s Mystery Clutch 2015 1

When I first saw the polishes, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they were all in shades of pink and purple—my favourite colour categories for nail polishes. I love how they are all in different finishes as well. There are two cream finishes, one shimmer polish, and two confetti glitter top coats.
From left to right, the polishes include Fifi (tea time pink creme), Yuki (snowy heart glitter top coat), Valentina (pink chevron glitter top coat), Joanne (smoky plum creme), and Logan (sultry aubergine shimmer).

So far, I have already used Yuki for my Valentine’s Day Nail Look.

Julep Cupid s Mystery Clutch 2015 2

The clutch also came with a Julep Gel Eye Glider in the shade Navy Smoke. I was very excited to receive this shade as I think that navy blue really complements all eye colours. It’s less harsh than black and makes the whites of the eyes look brighter.

Julep Cupid s Mystery Clutch 2015 3

The last item is a lip gloss. Earlier this month I received one of these glosses in my February Julep Maven Box. I really like it and have used it every day since. It’s not sticky, it’s long lasting, and it has a nice sweet scent. The colour I received in my Maven Box is a red shade. The one I received in Cupid’s Mystery Clutch is in the shade Posh, a sheer black honey.  Since the shade I already have is similar, I will save Posh for my upcoming Julep giveaway.

Overall, I’m very impressed with this mystery box and will consider purchasing others in the future.
Did you order this Valentine’s Day box? If so, what are your thoughts on it?

*referral links present

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's Day Nails

Valentine s Day Nails Zoya Odette Julep Nell Julep Yuki Madam Glam Flirty Mood
Valentine s Day Nails Zoya Odette Julep Nell Julep Yuki Madam Glam Flirty Mood 2
Valentine s Day Nails Julep Nell Zoya Odette Julep Yuki Madam Glam Flirty Mood
For this year’s Valentine’s Day nail look, I wanted to add a bit of sparkle.
I began the look with a base of Zoya Odette and then added lighter purple accents with Madam Glam Flirty Mood. To create the stripe of glitter between the two purple shades, I used Julep Nell. I finished off the look by adding white and pink confetti and a white heart on the ring finger using Julep Yuki.
I love this look because it’s festive but still classy. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear this design to work and I’m looking forward to wearing it for Valentine’s Day.
To see my Valentine’s Day nails from last year, click here. To see five other Valentine’s day nail looks, click here.
What will you wear on your nails this Valentine’s Day?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February 2015 Little Life Box Review

February 2015 Little Life Box

February 2015 Little Life Box 2

In my search for healthy snacks, I came across Little Life Box, a monthly subscription service that ships up to a dozen healthy alternative samples to its members each month. Items include snacks, cosmetics, supplements, vitamins, and more. When signing up, you can choose to receive the original box or the vegan box. Products can also be purchased individually in the Little Life Shop

This Canadian subscription service starts at $19.95 per month + $3.75 per box for shipping. I signed up for a one month trial for $22.95 and chose the original box. 

I received a variety of items in the skincare, health, and food categories. I like that not everyone receives the same box each month and that the product information is listed on the company’s website so that it’s easy to access. 

The packaging of this month’s box is very cute with red and white polka dot tissue paper and an adorable penguin postcard. 

February 2015 Little Life Box 1

The first three items are my favourite since I signed up for the box mainly for the snacks. 

1. Camino Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Bar | $4.29 - This chocolate bar is certified organic, fair trade certified, kosher, and gluten free. This bar is one of the first items that I ate from the box. It was very creamy and contained lots of delicious hazelnut pieces. I really enjoyed the fact that it did not taste overly sweet or sugary. I would love to try other chocolate bar flavours from this company, especially the dark chocolate version. 

2. GoGo Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies | $6.49 for a 198g box - GoGo Quinoa products are gluten-free, organic, and vegan. I ate these cookies right away as well. They were very crunchy and delicious. I loved the little chocolate chips and the rich flavour. I will be purchasing more of these in the future. 

3. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts | $2.99 for 56g (sample contains 15g) - Hemp Hearts contain plant-based protein, fibre, and omegas. I haven’t tried these yet but plan to sprinkle them on cereal or yogurt. 

February 2015 Little Life Box 3

4. Tasty Bite Channa Masala | $7.98 for 6 packages - This one minute dish features slow-simmered chickpeas, onions, tomatoes, and aromatic spices. This product is very convenient for those of us who don’t have a lot of time to prepare healthy meals. I’m looking forward to trying it with some basmati rice.

5. Pure Organic White Royal Quinoa - This quinoa is from Bolivia and is GMO free, certified organic, and gluten free. I love quinoa and enjoy making a range of different dishes with it. I will get a lot of use out of this product. 

February 2015 Little Life Box 4

6. GoGo Quinoa Instant Soup | $4.99 for 2 packages - This gluten free soup is a good source of protein and calcium. I love soup and eat it almost daily, so I was very excited to try this product. Sadly, I was very disappointed after trying it. It was very bland and tasteless. I attempted to finish the whole bowl but just couldn’t stand the taste. I think it would benefit from more flavourful spices and a pinch of salt.  

7. Symbiotics Colostrum Plus Chewables | $24.99 for 120 capsules (sample contains two) - This gluten free pineapple flavoured dietary supplement supports healthy immune response and normal GI tract health. While I think this product sounds like a good concept, I probably won’t try it as I cannot determine if I will enjoy a supplement by trying only two capsules. I already have a probiotic supplement that I enjoy. 

8. Naturade Total Soy Meal Replacement | $17.88 for 12 packages - This lactose and gluten free non-GMO soy product can help reduce cholesterol. While it sounds like a beneficial product, I will not be trying it as I am not a fan of soy. 

February 2015 Little Life Box 5

9. Neolia Fortifying Shampoo and Conditioner | $7.99 per 400 ml bottle (samples contain 10 ml each) - These products which are designed for normal hair in need of hydration, protection, and softness, are made with 100% organic extra virgin olive oil, aloe vera and moringa. I’m going to do a bit of research before trying these as the ingredients may weigh down my fine hair. 

10. Goddess Garden Organics Natural Sunscreen | $19.99 for 6 oz (sample contains 1 oz) - This natural sunscreen is 100% biodegradable and contains aloe vera and sunflower oil. It provides 40 minutes of water resistance and broad spectrum UVA/UVB SPF 30 protection. I wear sunscreen daily, so I will definitely use this product as long as it’s not too sticky. 

11. Natracare Cleansing Make-up Removal Wipes | $9.29 for 20 wipes - These wipes contain natural ingredients, such as organic essential oils of almond, apricot, and chamomile. I will save these for travelling. 

12. Wood’s Body Goods Choco Latte Lip Balm | $4.50 - This lip balm is paraben and gluten free. I’m not a huge fan of coffee scents, so I may pass this on to someone who is. However, I would consider trying some of their other flavours in the future. White Chocolate and French Vanilla sound delicious!

February 2015 Little Life Box 6

Overall, I’m happy that I purchased this box to try. I discovered a few new favourite products like the chocolate bar and the quinoa cookies. I also enjoyed the variety of the box items and the large amount of items that were sent this month. At this time, I’m not sure if I will purchase a subscription or if I will just buy a few individual products off the site that interest me. If I do sign up, I will likely go with a three month subscription in case I decide that this box is not for me after receiving a few more. 

What are your thoughts on Little Life Box?

 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

February 2015 Julep Maven + Get a Free Polish (Classic with a Twist Box)

February 2015 Julep Maven Classic With a Twist

In 2014, I signed up for Julep and took the Maven quiz. I was sorted into the Boho Glam group and got my first box for free by using the code FREEMAVEN at checkout. If you are interested, you can sign up for Julep HERE and get started on your quiz. If you don’t like what is offered in your category, you can opt for another. Even if you’re not interested in the monthly subscription, Julep also sells individual polishes. From now until March 31, you can get a free polish with orders over $15 by using the code GETCOLOR. The code can be used twice per customer. 

What I really like about this service is that you can skip boxes and send boxes to a friend. Since I already have a decent collection of nail polish, I skip a few months here and there. I only opt in for boxes that are truly unique and contain products that are not similar to any in my collection. I also love that sitewide shipping is always free for Mavens, even for those of us in Canada!

For February, I decided to opt in but chose the Classic with a Twist box instead of Boho Glam. I chose one outside of my assigned category because it featured three types of products that I use almost daily—nail polish, lip gloss, and highlighter—in shades that I like.

February 2015 Julep Maven Classic With a Twist London and Hartleigh

When I received the box, it was even better than I had expected and contained a lovely free gift from Julep that I was not expecting.

The gift is a full size holographic heart glitter top coat called Hartleigh (pictured above). It has a pink-tinted translucent base with tiny iridescent glitters, white confetti in different sizes, and shiny red hearts. It came in a bright pink mesh bag with a note from Julep that reads, “I snuck a holo glitter top coat in your box…I hope you love it! We put the heart in Heartleigh just for you, Maven. Happy Valentine’s Day!" I thought this sweet addition was a very nice Valentine’s Day surprise from Julep. I’m looking forward to trying it out over different polish shades. 
The other polish in this month’s box is called London, a heather blossom creme. I love cream polishes and shades of purple so this polish helped me decide to opt in in this month.

February 2015 Julep Maven Classic With a Twist Lively Lip Gloss

The February box also came with a lip gloss in the shade Lively. It’s red with a hint of pink. It’s sheer and really complements my pale skin. I love that it’s not sticky at all and it has a sweet caramel scent.

February 2015 Julep Maven Classic With a Twist Champagne Glow Highlighting Powder 1

February 2015 Julep Maven Classic With a Twist Champagne Glow Highlighting Powder

The last item is a Glow Highlighting Powder in the shade Champagne. It may not be evident in the photos but this is a huge compact of powder containing 12 grams of product (for reference, a MAC Mineralize Skinfinish contains 10 grams). I like that it comes in a sleek palette with a mirror. The product is a touch darker than my skin tone so it gives me a glowy, almost bronzy look that’s very pretty.

Overall, I am very impressed with the February 2015 Julep Maven Classic with a Twist box. In fact, it’s my favourite one yet. The retail value of the products is approximately $50 (without the free gift), which is more than double the cost of the box. I’m looking forward to seeing what Julep has in store for March.

What are your thoughts on the February 2015 Julep Maven box?

*referral links present*

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Glitter polishes from Deborah Lippmann, China Glaze, Cuccio Colour and Nanacoco

Deborah Lippmann Giveaway  Nail Polish Giveaway

I wanted to give away a few glitter polishes to add a bit of sparkle to the winter season. Polishes include Deborah Lippmann Across the Universe, China Glaze I Herd That, Cuccio Colour Remix, and Nanacoco Beatbox. 

You can enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

****This giveaway is open internationally and will close on February 20, 2015 at 11:59 PM****

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies 3

A few weeks ago, I blogged about one of my grandma’s recipes: The Best Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. Today, I have another one of her cookie recipes. This one is a family favourite that my grandma made for us so many times. She made different versions depending on the ingredients she had on hand.

This sweet treat features a deliciously rich melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookie rolled in chopped almonds and filled with a generous spoonful of raspberry jam. It’s hard to eat just one of these. I made 60 of them on a Friday morning and only a few remained by Sunday evening.

Set aside a bit of time when making these if you are a perfectionist like me. I spent a while shaping the dough to my liking before filling each cookie with jam. I was motivated by the idea that a wider indent would allow for more jam.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies

I used a homemade jam that I was given over the holidays as a gift, but you can use any jam that you like.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies 1

I even made a few with peach jam.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies 2

You don’t need to leave much room between each cookie on your baking sheet since they spread very little while baking.

Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies 4

Recipe

Ingredients:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg at room temperature
1 tbsp milk (I used almond milk)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (I used almonds and ground them into small pieces using a food processor)
1/2 cup jam of your choice (I used raspberry and peach)

Directions: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together butter, sugar, egg, milk, and vanilla. Add wet mixture to dry and mix to combine.
3. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and then roll each ball into chopped nuts. Place cookie balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
4. Using your thumb, make an indent in each ball and then use your fingers to shape the indents to your liking.
5. Add a spoonful of jam to each indent. Do not overfill.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until edges of cookies turn golden brown.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cherry Blossom Nail Art

Cherry Blossom Nails 2

Cherry Blossom Nails

One of my favourite aspects of floral nail art is how easy it is to create by hand. It doesn’t take a lot of artistic skill and can be created with a steady hand and a few helpful tools. 

I drew the flowers in this look with a nail art pen and a dotting tool. The base is a soft “greige” (grey-beige) colour from Essie called Chinchilly. I ordered this polish online after hearing lots of hype about it and was very underwhelmed when I first saw the colour. It looked like a mud mask and I was afraid to see how it would clash with my pale skin. 

It sat in my polish drawer for months before I was brave enough to try it. As I had expected, I didn’t really like how it looked on its own. But then I had an idea: perk it up with a bit of pink. I created the pastel pink petals in this cherry blossom nail look using Something Sweet from China Glaze and the brighter pink centres using Bianca from Zoya. Once this look was completed, I decided that I really like Chinchilly…when it’s paired with pink. 

To see a tutorial of this look, click here or on the photos above. 

What do you think of this nail art? How do you wear Chinchilly?