Influenster Frosty VoxBox

***All products received free from Influenster for testing purposes.***

In this box, I received:

No7 Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum – 3ml sample packet
Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaffeinated Green Tea – 2 tea bags
Ecotools Sleek + Shine Finisher hair brush
Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover – 125mL
Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal pencil eye liner – Black
Red Vines Fruit Vines Bites Strawberry Flavor – 5 oz.
McCormick Gourmet All Natural Thyme – .62 oz.
NYC Expert Last Lip Color – 418 Sugar Plum

So far, I have had the chance to try the NYC lipstick and the Rimmel eye makeup remover. I’ll review those soon. I feel positive feelings about both so far. I’ve had Candy Cane Lane before and I know that I like that.

I look forward to trying all of the things in this box, with perhaps the exception of the brush. I’m pretty attached to my Mason Pearson. I’ll still give it a try though!

Nature’s Bakery Strawberry Fig Bar Review

snack time!

I received a Nature’s Bakery Strawberry Fig bar in a recent Popsugar Must Have box. Today, I decided to try it out!

It’s self described as 100% natural, cholesterol free, dairy free, 0g of trans fat, kosher, and non GMO. All of the ingredients are recognizable and easily pronounced.

They’re chewy and taste good. Sweet but not overly. Pretty much exactly like a cereal bar (Nutri-grain or the like) so if you enjoy those, you’d probably enjoy this.

Highlights from the nutrition facts panel:

110 calories, 2.5 g of fat, 35 mg of sodium, 20 g of carbohydrates, 10 g of sugars, and 2 g of protein.

Will I buy this? No. But not because it’s not a fine specimen in the world of cereal bars. I just don’t eat grains most of the time. And when I do eat grains, I’m usually going all out and it’s going to be some sort of dessert. Nomnomnom, dessert. But I would definitely recommend this if it *is* your thing.

waffle pan

Do you like waffles? I like waffles.

Do you like pancakes? I like pancakes!

What if you could combine the two? You can!

There is a stove top waffle pancake pan from Nordic Ware. This griddle has a non-stick surface (for easy clean up) and makes up to 7 3-inch waffle pancakes at a time. They come out as crisp round pancakes, with a waffle top! Perfect for drizzling butter and syrup or even fruit! Mmmm.

I want one of these!

Things to do with rum

Specifically, I’m really liking Kilo Kai rum lately. It is yummy and mixes well with other things.

I’ve tried it with spiced apple cider (one shot of Kilo Kai in a mug of hot cider), and mixed with Kahlua and Bailey’s (mix in equal parts – I did this as a shot but you could easily serve it over ice in a glass).

Most recently, I’ve used it as the rum portion of my hot buttered rum recipe. This is SO GOOD. You really must try it. The recipe makes a whole bunch but this is not a bad thing. Keep some for yourself, to get you through the cold winter, and give some away to family and friends!

Product Whore’s hot buttered rum

1 lbĀ  salted butter
1 lb dark brown sugar
1 lb powdered (confectioners) sugar
1 quart softened vanilla ice cream
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in brown sugar and powdered sugar. Taste it now because this part is HEAVEN.

Remove from heat, and whisk in the ice cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour mixture into a plastic container, seal, and freeze.

To prepare:
In a coffee mug, measure 1 tablespoon of rum batter (or more, this stuff is delicious!) and 1 shot of rum (try it with Kilo Kai, you will love it!), then fill cup with boiling water. Stir and enjoy!

Variation to try: replace the water with hot apple cider.

What are your favorite rum based drinks? Have you tried Kilo Kai? I’d love to hear your thoughts and favorite drink recipes!

give chocolate! people will love you!

I would love you anyway.

Specifically, Ethel’s chocolate would make an excellent gift! They have seasonal boxes and baskets, including this round box of their limited edition holiday chocolates. I would love to try the Pecan Pie. mmmmm.

Also fabulous are their chocolate bars. I love the buttery caramel and the almond toffee crisp.

You can even design your own collection. I do this every time I go to Chicago. Sometimes twice!

vending machine breakfast

There are some days when I’m sitting at my desk and I am freezing and starving. My only options are remaining freezing and starving or heading down to the basement in our building and seeing what I can find in the vending machines. It’s usually pretty disappointing, unless you really are only looking for combos and cheez-its and itty bitty instant coffee. (and hey- I do have those days!) But most days, I would much rather have more satisfying and healthful options.

Alas. Where is a coffee-and-fresh-pastry-and-fruit fairy when you really need one?


04/08/05 pancakesI just had some delicious pancakes. Surprisingly, they were made using a just-add-water mix from the discount store. I am all for saving money where I can. They come out thick, fluffy and wonderful. That is what a pancake should be. Sometimes I make them and don’t even measure and they still come out perfect! If you have a Sav-a-lot near you, I highly recommend finding some Ginger Evans Buttermilk Pancake mix. Good stuff! I’ve had success with other things from there too. Most of what I consider staples are cheaper there and just as good as name brands. We don’t have one very near here though so I only go once in a while.

(Ginger Evans pancake mix review)

brownie awesomeness

I love brownies. I think they are the bees knees, the cat’s pajamas and all sorts of awesome.

I like my brownies to be moist, dense, chewy – what they call fudge like (or is it fudgey) even though they don’t resemble fudge really at all. I’m not so into cake like brownies. I don’t even think they should be allowed to be brownies. They should just be cake.

My favorite part of the brownie is the edge. Don’t get me wrong, I will happily munch down plenty of the non-edge parts. Brownies are moist chewy bits of happiness, after all. But I will fight someone for the edges. Not just fight them. I will WIN! This is the passion I have for brownie edges.

Sometimes in the midst of my foodgasm, I will sigh and say “I wish I could have a pan of nothing but edges…” in that wistful sort of way that you say things that you know are ridiculous but you wish anyway.

So imagine my surprise and delight when I was reading through assorted food articles and found out that it is possible! There is a thing that makes this wonderful idea a reality! (at least in theory)

Bakers Edge makes an all edge pan. It has a winding channel that snakes it’s way across the pan providing you with edge, edge, and more edge. Wee! I clapped my hands, bounced, squee’d! It is now on my list of things that I must have. And when I have it I will never leave the house again. I will stay home and bake brownies all day.

Brownie edges + me = <3 4EVA