12.30.2012

Unboxing: Cravebox Winter Favorites

I had hoped to do a vlog for you guys but I'm not gonna lie... I have been swamped 24/7 since BEFORE mine arrived. The holiday season is always a tough one for me because I find that people assume since I'm a SAHM that means I'm free to bake and clean and cook and volunteer for everything. It's also the time of year my kids have a ton of stuff going on and my older two are Thanksgiving and Christmas babies... so you can imagine what that entails.

Alas, my Winter Favorites Cravebox arrived right as I was about to rush out the door. I only had a few moments to snap photos and then it was boogie time. I'm only even getting time to put this up tonight because the guys decided to go out for a movie and then burgers and beers, the teen went to a friends, and the tot's bedtime rolled around. lol So please forgive me for not having this up sooner, I've wanted to at least post pics and even moreso a vlog but well... such is my life. ;) Enjoy!

 
I was immediately doing a happy dance because the pretty colored envelopes felt like presents!


And then underneath it was obvious really fast there was a TON of great stuff. I've generally liked every Cravebox's overall presentation save for one and this one was quickly a favorite just based on how much was packed into it.

 
I haven't had the time to go use any of my goodie coupons are even do a value estimate on the box but if there's one thing I love finding in a Cravebox it's coupons to try a product for free. I've actually never seen Nancy's products before so when my company finally goes home next week I'll hopefully get time to find a local retailer that carries them.

 
I know there was a bit of fuss from some Cravers on Facebook over these International Delight coupons being in this box. Originally these were to be included in the Thanksgiving one and I do feel it would have been fair to mail these out to those Cravers but since I was one of those I was happy to find these in my Winter Favorites. I don't buy coffee creamer a lot in all honesty (it always upsets my tummy) but I was eyeballing the holiday flavors the last time I was in the store. Can't wait to try the Iced Coffee too!
 
 
These will definitely get used in our house. The hilarious part? I had literally JUST made the Double Peppermint Crunch Cookies from the recipe book the day before! I used semi-sweet chocolate instead of white 'chocolate' and they were a hit. Really delicious if you like candycanes and chocolate. Be sure and grab the recipe on the Pillsbury website and save it for next year.

 
The one item I couldn't get to photograph well for the life of me! Mary Kay Lip Gloss in a super sparkley shimmery red. I had actually seen an add in a magazine featuring this gloss and was surprised when I discovered it was Mary Kay. I'd always kind of thought of the brand as a bit dowdy and matronly. Way to bring the image forward. I'm totally planning to wear this for tomorrow's NYE bash at home. lol

 
If I like it I may just have to see if my cousin still sells it because it looks like there are more nice products including fragrances, which are my weakness hands down.
 
 
Now I'm sure we've all heard of belVita by now. They have some odd advertisements that I remember scratching my head at a while back. I'm still trying to get past the fact they strike me as breakfast cookies. If you're a sweet tooth like me, chances are your tummy just growled at that but my inner voice of reason tells me cookies for breakfast = bad. My coupon is torn, not sure if the store will accept it but I'll hopefully dig into these with my coffee tomorrow (thanks for the Keurig for Christmas honey).  What do you guys think of these?
 

This time of year our temps go below zero and pretty much don't rise above freezing for the next four months. I hate it. It kind of withers my soul. The only thing I really like about cold weather is soup. Seriously. I am a soup fiend. I grew up really poor so sometimes soup and nothing but soup was our meal. Thank goodness I don't have to live off soup now, but there's nothing like a yummy soup and a thick slice of buttered bread on a chilly afternoon. I've been wanting to try Campbell's Gourmet Bisques but in all honesty, they seemed intimidating. Golden Butternut Squash should make a tasty soup alone or with something added to it, I can't decide what though. Plus, there are three other flavors that sound even more daring!


Just when I thought everything in the box was going to center around my mouth between the food and lipgloss I found samples of four different Vitabath body washes! I actually have been reeeeally wanting to try the Dreamy Pink Frosting ever since seeing it featured in another subscription box that I don't get. Can you ever have enough lovely body washes? ;)


Last—and actually least for me lol—was Heinz Chili Sauce. How have I not heard of this before? I literally have no idea what to do with it. Is it for fries? Cooking? The American cousin of Sriracha? lol The recipe included with it for Ultimate Party Meatballs sounds promising but our party plans for the week fell through so I may have to hold it off for something later this month.

Overall, it was a fabulous box featuring mostly products I was aware of but didn't know intimately. I think as a product discovery situation it was excellent and now that the holidays are almost over I can finally sit down and take the time to get to know them all more. Because that... down there... in that pic... is literally me trying to figure out cooking time for our ham a couple nights before Christmas. My hubs let our 3 year old play with the camera... and as you can see my poor Cravebox was keeping vigil as I did lots of holiday prep work.

 
Next week I'll have the deets on how YOU can win one of two Winter Favorites Craveboxes that I received in the mail on Friday. Man do I wish I could keep these for myself. ;) And be sure to drop by Cravebox's website to enter the drawing for the Resolutions box. I'm really hoping to be one of the Cravers who gets one because I have some big motivation for improving some key areas of my private life in the near year. :) Till then... be safe, stay warm, and Crave on! 
P.S. -- If you'd love to get a Cravebox of your own... you can learn more about this unique subscription box on the website: www.cravebox.com
 

12.12.2012

Wino Wednesday: Guinness Generous Ale


My history with alcohol is a long and not always pleasant one. When you grow up as the child of a pretty functional alcoholic you develop some twisted attitudes about certain things, drinking being the obvious one. As the holidays approach I'm reminded of the few holidays I remember my dad being a part of them and why I chose to allow myself to enjoy my beer, wine, and spirits in spite of the family history. So before I plunge in to today's Wino Wednesday post let me remind you all... please drink responsibly!

At the beginning of the month as I grocery shopped I passed by the beer in hopes of finding some more of the hard cider I've been mildly obsessed with. Alas, it was all out but I found the most beautiful thing instead...

I think I may have actually done a *squee* in the aisle. The Guinness Winter Selection features 3 bottles each of Guinness Draught, Guinness Black Lager, Guinness Foreign Extra Stout, and Guinness Generous Ale. Since Guinness is pretty much my favorite beer it was all I could do to hold back and only buy the one box since they had two. I was picturing the second one sitting under the Christmas tree with a big red bow and my name on it... ;)

Since I've already enjoyed the classic Draught and the new Black Lager—which has good Guinness taste but lacks the thicker body I like about the Draught—I decided to sit down and sample my taste of the new Generous Ale first.

I was surprised at the lack of head when I poured it the first time but my second bottle actually gave me a nice fluffy little one (I'm not beer geek so I assume this has something to do with the differences between ales, stouts, and such). The flavor lacked the chocolately tones I've always attributed to Guinness and have used as a 'selling' tool to convince other ladies who don't care for beer to try it. Instead a certain brightness that's not quite fruity or spicy but very warm and homey. It really does unfold like a Christmas party on your tastebuds. lol

Drink me! Love me! Give me!
The hubs, alas, hated it. Which on the one hand I wanted to chide him for—and I did tell him that I hadn't liked my first sip so he should try a little more—and on the other thought: 'Yay! More for me!'. If you're a hardcore Guinness fan it's worth noting that it's definitely NOT the Draught. Don't expect a dark, stewy flavor. While I definitely wouldn't want to sip Generous Ale in the summertime it has the warm flavors I associate with a great winter variety.

If you're in the mood for something special to bring to a friend's holiday bash or to sip while watching all the season finales (I downed mine to the crazy SOA finale) I highly recommend giving the Generous Ale from the Guinness Winter Selection a try. Beer not your thing? The Winter Selection box makes a nice gift for your favorite Guinness lover of legal drinking age... *ahem*... honey, are you reading this?

12.11.2012

Beauty Rhi-view: COVERGIRL flipstick (3 Stars)


I love any makeup product that lets me play around and customize my look so COVERGIRL flipstick was something I wanted to check out before the BzzCampaign came around.

Vixen, Stunner, and Minx were great colors to send out since each falls into a different shade family (pink, red, and brown, respectively). I was really iffy on whether any of them would work with my fair skintone, especially Stunner. Once I saw that Stunner looked great on both Sofia Vergara and Taylor Swift's complexions I went bold and found that it was a great shade that could be toned down with the gold-ish side. Minx didn't work as well but wasn't as bad as I had anticipated, I would definitely not wear it for anything other than a very bold-makeup appropriate situation but it might look great on someone with darker skintones. Ultimately, Vixen was the most flattering of the trio for my fair skin.

vixen deep shade all over +
shimmer on bottom middle
Though pretty long lasting two major factors played in COVERGIRL flipstick only earning a 3 star rating from me. #1 being that all of the colors were shimmer based which I actually avoid like the plague in everyday lipstick. I prefer a creme lipstick and usually put a little bit of shimmery lipgloss in the center of my bottom lip (a pro trick used to make lips look fuller). #2 being that the formula is SOOOO dry! My lips looked like plastic within an hour because the flipstick dried out super fast. Even after layering some clear balm to lock in moisture over it COVERGIRL flipstick was an unattractive dry mess by midday. I do live in a VERY dry climate though, so if you're in a humid area you may not have the same problem.

Overall, COVERGIRL flipstick has turned out to be something I personally wouldn't buy. It's just not for me. Shimmer overload, dryness, and a lack of creme-shade options make it a product that doesn't meet my needs as a makeup lover. If you have medium skin, like shimmer, and dryness isn't an issue I would definitely recommend giving it a try though. It's a fun product with pretty colors to play with and lots of potential for creative liplooks. If COVERGIRL adds in some creme based shades on one side of the flipsticks I will definitely reconsider adding them to my makeup stash.









Notes: I received this product for free through BzzAgent in exchange for creating Bzz about it through social media, review, and real life conversational outlets.
 
What's the Bzz?
 
BzzAgent is a word-of-mouth social marketing company. Basically, I get invited to campaigns for products I fit a demographic for and get supplied with products to try for which I give my honest opinion and spread the word about. Want to know more about how it works and find out how you can be a BzzAgent like me? Check out the BzzAgent FAQ.

12.05.2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Dino Lingo Language Learning Programs for Kids


Earlier this year my husband and his cousin got into a geneology project that ended up with them finding out they're more Irish than I am. Why? Because my Irish great-grandma turned out to be 100% Swedish. Isn't that funny? That'll teach them for teasing me about my Irish-American pride.

The discovery, however, got our son interested in learning Svenska/Swedish but our local schools don't teach it. Fortunately, Dino Lingo has exciting language learning programs for kids!

Dino Lingo Swedish for Kids is a Swedish language learning set where cartoon dinosaur characters introduce the most common 200 words and phrases in Swedish. The Swedish learning DVD set includes 5 DVDs and flash cards.
 
While Dino Lingo's language learning programs are a bit too juvenile to appeal to my 13-year-old... I just sat down with the tot and we watched a complimentary video clip from the Dino Lingo Swedish for Kids DVD set. Focusing on animals I was amused to discover that I did know a few of the words and phrases already. The tot wasn't as interested as I would have liked... but it's been one of those days when she's just not in the mood for watching anything longer then about 5 minutes. We'll have to give it another go after her nap I think. ;)

In the meantime you can check out Dino Lingo video clips on their official YouTube channel to see which languages would appeal to your kids or grandchildren.

While we'd probably choose the Swedish set since it would give the big kids something to do with little sis, there are several more languages available from Arabic and Irish to Hebrew and Thai. One of the reasons I think it's great is that you can teach your small children about their heritage through the languages their ancestors spoke.

Aren't these cute & colorful?
This program consists of 5 DVDs, 100 flash cards, posters and the parents guide.After watching the DVDs several times and playing with the flash cards, most children can easily name everyday objects and understand basic phrases in Swedish. Dino Lingo Swedish for Kids is suitable for all children between the ages of 2 to 7 years old.
 
Why not check out Dino Lingo and start your own Pinterest board to collect things for teaching your children about their heritage just like I did?

The sets have different price ranges depending on whether you opt for just the DVDs or add in the flash cards and posters. They make a great Christmas gift for the kid who already has too many toys and right now Dino Lingo has a 10% off Christmas Sale plus a FREE gift!









Notes: I received a complimentary viewing of the above mentioned video clip through Influenster in exchange for writing a post about said clip.
The Rhialist (Rhianna Walker) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.