Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Jungle Stand Tasting BAR - April 2013

It's time for another Jungle Stand Tasting BAR! (Please see my original Jungle Stand post for all the subscription details.)

This month's theme is 'The Treasure Hunt'. 

Front of the card: Welcome to the Jungle Stand. Ahoy, me adventurous Tasters! We're about to embark on a tresure hunt. There are hidden riches in this BAR. A taste in here is highly prized. It has a flavor known as the 'Diamond of the kitchen'. Instead of a map, use your taste buds to find it! Arrrr...X marks the spot!

Back of the card: Before you are 6 gourmet appetizers. 5 of the 6 are hand-stuffed w/  creamy fillings so you can experience how texture plays a role in tasting. Pay close attention as you sample each taste. Strong, familiar flavors OR subtle strange ones may provide clues to the hidden 'Diamond'. (Spoiler alert: the inside bottom of this BAR has the X that marks the spot) Will any of these tastes change your life?

The tastes:

Green - Red Mini Peppers: These are red peppers (aka Pepperoncinis) cut into small tips & stuffed with cream cheese. The moisture comes from canola oil. The peppers have a soft texture & are mildly spicy, But don't worry, they won't set your tongue on fire. Perfect as an appetizer with crackers.

Yellow - Blue Cheese Olives: Green olives stuffed with zesty bleu cheese. Once you bite into the olive, you'll taste the intense flavor of the bleu cheese. The subtle saltiness and meaty texture of the olive perfectly complements the savory cream filling of the bleu cheese.

Pink - Stuffed Mushrooms: Jumbo mushrooms stored in canola oil and stuffed with a cream cheese/red pepper mixture. The overwhelming flavor is umami. Mushrooms are high on the umami scale. They're rich, savory and meaty which is why they're often used as a stand-in for meat in vegetarian dishes.

Red - Greek Olives: These Greek olives are flavored with a mixture of feta cheese, capers, and canola oil. This taste packs a punch. It's very firm, tart and slightly bitter. Probably the most intense taste in the BAR.

Blue - Pepperballs: Sweet picante peppers (imported from South Africa) stuffed with cream cheese and moistened with canola oil. It's a crunchy pepper, mildly sweet-and-spicy. A gourmet appetizer usually served next to cold cuts and warm baguettes.

Orange - Fungi-Cheese Stuffed Olives: Green Sicilian olives stuffed with a Fungi-flavored cheese. The briny (of salty water or the sea; salty) olive with the earthy cheese really come together to create a delicious appetizer.

Treasure HO!!! The card in the bottom of your box indicates that the Orange taste is the buried treasure in this BAR!

Real name - Black Truffle Cheese-Stuffed Olives: A truffle is a fungi that flourishes with the roots of certain trees. They have a mysterious allure and are quite expensive. Some have sold for as much as $6,000/lb. Part of that is because they're difficult to find, available only at certain times of the year and are notoriously difficult to cultivate. The other reason is there simply is no food that tastes like a truffle. Some have described an 'earthy' flavor while others have found it 'syrupy sweet'.

Truffle, the Diamond of the Kitchen

This subscription is $9.92 per month, charges at the beginning of the month, and ships your BAR via Priority USPS in the middle of the month.

Friday, April 26, 2013


Today's manicure started with a base coat, two layers of China Glaze Kalahari Kiss, and a coat of Seche Vite top coat.

Using the Mash-38 stamping plate, I stamped the camo design first with Sinful Colors Exotic Green, and then again with China Glaze Below Deck, so that the two stamps offset and overlapped each other on the nail.

You could do this with any colors and it would look great. Shades of blue, pink, or purple would make a cute camo too! I followed the stamps with another coat of Seche Vite to seal the design.

Products Used:
One coat Beauty Secrets Moisturizing Base Coat
Two coats China Glaze Kalahari Kiss
One coat Seche Vite Top Coat
Mash-38 Stamping Plate
Stamps in Sinful Colors Exotic green and China Glaze Below Deck
One coat Seche Vite Top Coat

Friday, April 19, 2013

Gummys On A Wednesday

Well it was inevitable, I chipped a nail corner yesterday, so it was time for a trim and to start again with fresh, even nails. 

Today's manicure began with a base coat, followed by two coats of Zoya Wednesday. Wednesday is the perfect base color for the glitter that I applied next, one coat of Hard Candy Gummy Green.

I followed this with one coat of Gelous gel top coat to smooth out any glitter bumps, and then added a coat of Poshe top coat when the Gelous had dried.

Products Used:
One coat Beauty Secrets Moisturizing Base Coat
Two coats Zoya Wednesday
One coat Hard Candy Gummy Green
One coat Gelous Advanced Gel Top Coat
One coat Poshe Super-Fast Drying Top Coat

Monday, April 15, 2013

Fancy French Bows

Today I have another french tipped design, I am much happier with this than I was with my French Sequins manicure. I used scotch tape and white polish to create the french tip on each nail. I've attempted to depict this simple process in the photo collage below. 

As always I applied a base coat and let it dry. Then I took a small piece of scotch tape and stuck it to my arm to make it less sticky, you don't want the tape to pull off your base coat. Turn the piece of tape sideways so the flat edge is toward the tip of your nail, and position on the nail leaving enough space to create the desired tip, press down so the tape is flush with the nail. Using Zoya Purity for the white, I painted one even coat across the tip and immediately removed the tape. I followed that with  two coats of Sation - Of Corset I'll Call You, which I received in my April Ipsy Bag (both 1 and 2 coats depicted), plus a coat of Zoya Armor top coat.

The bow stamp is from Bundle Monster Stamping Plate BM-317, and is stamped with Konad white stamping polish. Tiny pink rhinestones add a cute, whimsy touch to the middle of each bow. I sealed the bows and stones with another coat of Zoya Armor.

Products Used:
One coat Beauty Secrets Moisturizing Base Coat
One french tip coat Zoya Purity
Two coats Sation Of Corset I'll Call You
One coat Zoya Armor Top Coat
Bundle Monster Plate BM-317
Konad Special White Stamping Polish
Tiny Pink Rhinestones
One coat Zoya Armor Top Coat
24 hours later - One coat Seche Vite Top Coat

Saturday, April 13, 2013

April 2013 Birchbox & Ipsy

April Birchbox 1 of 2

Caudalie Divine Oil - Made with a blend of grape, argan, hibiscus, and sesame oils, this multitasking wonder gives skin, hair, and nails a gorgeous glow. Value: $1.47

Supergoop! Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream - This next generation CC cream provides corrective coverage and triple protects against UVA, UVB, and infrared-A rays. Value: $2.03

LAFACE Laboratories BEAUX YEUX Beautiful Eyes Concentrate Intensive - A hefty dose of hyaluronic acid amps up moisture levels, while an advanced peptide complex halts wrinkle formation. Value: $16.00

Beauty Protector Protect & Detangle - Great for all hair types, this nourishing elixir performs seven hair-healing functions. Among them: locking in color, adding shine, and instantly detangling. Value: $2.75

Lifestyle Extra: Hail Merry Chocolate Macaroons - It tastes too good to be true: These decadent treats are raw, vegan, gluten-free, and made with only natural, non-GMO ingredients.

Women's Health Bonus: Postcard for free 1-year subscription to Women's Health magazine. Value: $9.99

Box Cost: $10.00
Box Value (including magazine subscription): $33.49

April Birchbox 2 of 2

Mirenesse Glossy Kiss Lipstick (Color: 14. Perfect Kiss) - Launching exclusively in the Birchbox Shop, this user-friendly lip pencil is a quick way to score a high-impact pout. Value: Full sized $26.55

Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-on - A complex of skin-loving ingredients gently revitalizes tired eyes. Pro-vitamin B restores and softens your delicate skin, while cucumber extract and glycerin work together to hydrate and refresh. Value: Full Sized $10.99

Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate - With a hefty 10.5 percent pure vitamin C, this targeted anti-aging serum brightens skin, protects against free radical damage, and softens wrinkles. Value: $5.80

Nexxus Youth Renewal Rejuvenating Elixir - It's not just your skin that needs anti-aging help. This new shine-boosting serum cures dry strands and reduces the odds of age-related breakage. Value: $3.00

LAFCO Fleurs de Baies Bath Soap - Infused with wild roses, black currants, and raspberry, NY-based LAFCO's lush blend is a world away from ordinary bar soap. Value: $3.72

Women's Health Bonus: Postcard for free 1-year subscription to Women's Health magazine. Value: $9.99

Box Cost: 10.00
Box Value (including magazine subscription): $49.06

April 2013 Ipsy

The theme this month is 'Pretty In Pink', and the bag is white patent leather with hot pink trim, and pink striped lining. This month's bag includes 3 full sized items.

Sation Nail Lacquer - Shade 'Of Corset I'll Call You', described as a 'romantic lavender rose'. Value: Full Sized $5.00 (Check out the manicure I created with this color here)

Be a Bombshell Blush - Shade 'Sweet Cheeks', described as 'Pale pink - Medium rosie pink with shimmer'. Value: Full Sized $16.00

Two Cosmetics Eye Shadow Duo - Shade 'Heartache', described as 'blush pink suited for all skin tones & complexions in two finishes, shimmer and matte'. Value: Full Sized $5.75

Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Renewal Nourishing Styling Treatment - Nourishing styling treatment made with Moroccan argan oil that addresses moisture, frizz, smoothness, elasticity, and shine concerns. Value: $4.44

Box cost: $10.00
Box Value: $31.19

Join Birchbox: My Referral link
Join Ipsy: My Referral Link

I used the 25% off discount code for, provided by Ipsy, to purchase a gel eyeliner that was on sale for $5.00, making it $3.75 with the discount. Two Cosmetics is also offering free shipping, I'm not sure if this is a limited special, or if they always offer shipping for free. The eyeliner came with a free #4 liner brush that I wasn't aware would be included. Also, everyone who used the Ipsy discount code received a free lip gloss of a random color, mine is in the shade 'Heart' which is pink with golden shimmer. So I received the liner, liner brush, and lip gloss all for $3.75! I placed my order on Monday 4/15 and it arrived Thursday 4/18.

Friday, April 12, 2013

French Sequins...

...aka Fail Dots.

This is the second of two 'failed' manicures I attempted last night. Even though I'm not totally happy with this, there are things I do like about it, so I wanted to share it anyway. I'll explain some of why it is a fail for me, along with a bonus picture of the manicure I started with, and then redid in favor of this blue tip design.

I picked this Hard Candy Celebrate Sequins up at Walmart a few nights ago, and had visions of a french tip design with a sparkly holographic base. So after my base coat dried, I applied a coat of Celebrate Sequins to the whole nail. I then used french nail tip design guards to section off the french tip, and added a nice coat of China Glaze First Mate to the tips of the nails, immediately removing the tip guards after painting. I was happy with the way it looked with just the glitter and blue, but I felt the need to add something to break it up a bit...and this is where I failed.

I am not one to do free hand nail art, and I don't have a lot of experience with dotting, I like to stick to glitter and stamping for the most part. The dots are too big, erratically spaced, and smudged due to my lack of patience before adding top coat. Sigh. I should have left it at just the glitter and blue tips, lesson learned!

Below is the manicure I did first, which doesn't look too bad in the photo. The fail here came from the pink I chose for the tips, Orly Fabulous Flamingo. It took three coats to get the color opaque, and by then the tips were just too thick for my liking. I do think I did a better job on the dots here, though.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Liebster Award - For Realz??

Holy rusted metal, Batman, what a nice surprise! 

I just received word from Ann @ Marinewife22, that she has chosen my blog to be awarded a Liebster Award! I have never heard of this award, but I believe it is given to bloggers that have less than 200 followers, to help them expand their network and gain more readers. So in thanks to Ann, I'd just like to say, WAHOOO! Thanks so much girl, you rock! 

Also, big huge hugs to Jackie @ Five Two Certified for my second Liebster award!

And now, the rules:

  • Each blogger should post 11 random facts about themselves 
  • Each blogger should answer the questions the tagger has set for you.
  • Pick eleven new bloggers to award the Liebster award to and link them in your post.
  • Pick eleven new questions for the chosen bloggers.
  • Go to that bloggers page and tell them about the award.
  • No tag-backs.
11 Random Facts About Me
  • I own 6 ferrets
  • When I was a baby, my dad was in the Navy and we lived in Europe, so I have been to Buckingham palace and the Eiffel tower (too bad I can't remember!)
  • My birthday is on Saint Patrick's Day, and I'm not Irish at all :p
  • I often eat finger foods like pizza and donuts with a fork
  • My master bathroom is decorated with tons of different butterfly items
  • I have 13 tattoos
  • I have never had stitches
  • I own over 600 bottles of nail polish
  • I am terrified of death (morbid but true)
  • I love to cook
  • I love reality Television
11 Questions From Marinewife22

1. What is your favorite magazine?
I don't subscribe to any magazines, but I love to read the celebrity news headlines in the checkout line.

2.  If you got stuck on a deserted island what 3 things would you pick to bring with you? 
An E-reader with lifetime battery power :p, stocked with all my favorite music and books!  

3. Does your astrological sign match your personality? If so, why do you think it does?
Pisces: Perceptive (yes), emotional (heck yes), reasonable (no, lol), highly sensitive and afraid of ridicule (yep), quietest of all signs (mmm no), and good workers (not really haha). 

4. What is your favorite type of accessory?
A cute Necklace

5. What is your favorite beauty product?
Nail Polish!

6. How many countries have you been to?
Several countries in Europe as a baby, none besides the USA since the age of three.

7. What are some beauty products on your wishlist that you would like to get?
Several expensive makeup palettes from Urban Decay and Sigma!

8. What was the last book you read?
50 Shades of Grey (currently neck deep in book 2)

9. If you had to choose between only wearing mascara or only wearing lipstick/lip gloss, which would you pick?
Lip products

10. Have you ever been to a concert? If so, what was your favorite one?
Yes, many! Top of the list is currently Candlebox

11. If you could be any famous person either deceased or alive, who would you want to be and why?         
Anyone who is filthy rich...I've always wondered what it would be like to have anything you ever wanted.

11 Questions from Five Two Certified

1. Pants, Skirts or Dresses?
Pants, for sure. I have never liked the way my legs look in skirts or dresses, and they just aren't as comfortable to me as a T-shirt and Jeans

2. One food or drink your fridge is always stocked with?

Milk and Apple Juice for my kids, and Dr Pepper for me, I am a Dr Pepper addict (much to the dismay of my waistline!) 

3. Would you ever do the makeup tattoo (permanent eyebrows, lipstick color...)? If yes, which one would you get?

I do have 13 other tattoos, but I'd never get anything tattooed on my face, no thanks!

4. Favorite drugstore and high end beauty brand.

Favorite drug store brand is Maybelline for their Color Tattoo eye shadow, and Revlon for their Lip Butters! Favorite High End brand is Urban Decay for their eye shadows and liners!

5. What is the best beauty advice you've read or heard?

Any advice that helps me tame my shiny face, and make my eye shadow stay put...those are the things I have the most trouble with.

6. What are 3 things that you love about yourself?

My creativity, my attention to detail, and my outgoing nature.

7. Best 3 compliments a stranger have told you?

I love your nails! You are a great mother. And any compliments here on my blog!

8. If you can only wear one makeup product, what would it be? lipstick, an eye shadow, foundation...?

I'll say lip products...even though none would look nice without the compliments of the others!

9. What is your favorite beauty product that is on your dresser right now?

Urban Decay Naked Palette

10. What is the oldest product do you have in your makeup collection right now?

I just began my makeup journey in January 2012, so the oldest items I have are a Mac foundation, lipstick, blush, and primer from that month.

11. Favorite beauty website or Youtube channel or magazine. I know picking one is hard so give us your top 3!


11 Questions For My Nominated Bloggers
  1. Why did you decide to start bogging?
  2. Have you ever tripped and fallen in public?
  3. What was your first pet?
  4. Favorite movie?
  5. What is the most expensive beauty item you have splurged on?
  6. Would you eat something totally gross for a Million Dollars?
  7. Where you build your dream home?
  8. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  9. Were you bullied or picked on in school?
  10. What is your favorite flower?
  11. Do you play a sport?
11  10 Blogs I nominate!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Laters, Baby

Today's manicure is an awesome one! Literary Lacquers - Laters, Baby

This polish was inspired by the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy, and being a huge fan of the books, I was very excited to find and purchase it. The name comes from an affectionate parting line used by Christian Grey's character throughout the books.

Laters, Baby is a charcoal gray polish with an intense, complicated, mysterious, and beautiful holographic captures the spirit of Christian Grey, and the books, wonderfully.

I have used one layer of base coat, three coats of polish, and one layer of top coat. I could have stopped at two coats of this lovely polish, but I bumped a nail and needed an extra coat to patch it I added an extra coat to all nails to make them even. 

I had a teeny bit of tip-shrink (more visible in the top picture), I'm assuming from the Seche Vite top coat as it has a tendency to have that effect on some polishes, but nothing major. I might try a different top coat the next time I wear this polish to see if it makes a difference. I did not find that the Seche Vite dulled out the holographic effect, as it also has a tendency to do. 

All of the above pictures are in direct sunlight, while the picture below is indoors with flash. This polish is absolutely stunning in the light, but also has a lovely shimmering, sparkling effect indoors and at night.

You can find this polish and many other literature inspired polishes in the Literary Lacquers store on

Products Used:
One coat Beauty Secrets Moisturizing Base Coat
Three coats Literary Lacquers Laters, Baby
One coat Seche Vite Top Coat

Thursday, April 4, 2013 - Nature Delivered (My March Boxes)

Today I will be talking about a healthy snack box subscription. The company is called 'Graze', and they send healthy snacks which they personally create and manufacture, through the mail. The company is based in the UK, which is where they ship your boxes from, and the cost is $5.00 per box. I will outline the details throughout this post. NOTE: This is an invite only subscription, you can only subscribe if you know a current subscriber with an invitation code. I will update here as soon as they open subscriptions to the public.

The box

The box is about 7in x 9.5in and about an inch tall. From the website "The cardboard is really strong, so it's great at looking after your snacks and we use as little material as possible (compare it to a normal cardboard box and you'll see what we mean). Our thin cardboard comes from sustainable forests, it's 100% biodegradable & 100% recyclable. Please recycle with your other paper and cardboard." The boxes have been designed to fit in most standard sized mail boxes.

The Contents

Each Graze box comes with 4 snacks, a recycled napkin, and a booklet which holds all the vital information for each of your snacks. The booklets are also made with paper from sustainable forests as well as being 100% biodegradable & 100% recyclable.

When signing up, there are two types of boxes you can choose from. The "Snack Box" includes a selection from all available snacks. The "Light Box" includes a selection from the snacks that are between 50 and 150 calories.

The Snacks

The snack packs themselves are about 2.5in x 4.5in and about an inch high. The weight of each snack varies due to the type of snack, but range mostly between 1oz and 2oz. Each snack comes with the name and it's own cute little artwork on the top.

There are currently 88 types of snacks you could receive in your Snack Box (they claim that over 50 are available for the Light Box). What you receive is always random, but you do have options such as marking certain snacks with ratings like 'Trash' 'Try' 'Like' and 'Love'. Marking an item with 'Trash' will ensure you are never sent that item, 'Try' means you are open to trying it, 'Like' means you would like to receive this item somewhat often, and 'Love' means you would like this item rather frequently. Following these, you can then set your preferences to 'Send more Likes and Loves', 'Send a balance of Tries, Likes, and Loves', or 'Send more Tries'. 

If you have dietary restrictions such as vegan, dairy, or celiac, you can pull up a list of these items and trash them all with just a click. You can also search for certain ingredients you do not like or are allergic to, and trash until your heart's content. For example, I dislike raisins, so I have trashed a lot of the snacks with raisins.

You can change your ratings at any time and they will immediately take effect, unless your next box is already processing. 

Cost, Frequency, and Shipping

The cost is $5.00 per box. For new subscribers, your first and 5th boxes are free. You have the option to receive a box once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month. You can also skip weeks, but I am not sure of how many weeks you can skip at one time. Within a few days of being charged, you can go on the website and view the contents of the box that is on its way by clicking the 'your boxes' tab.

This subscription currently ships from the UK, so shipping can be a little inconsistent. You do not receive a shipping notice, or tracking number of any kind. However, by checking the website, you can see when you were billed for a box, and that date is also when they ship your box. So far I receive my boxes mostly within one week, sometimes within a week and a half, and I received one after 2 weeks. If you are hoping to have your boxes arrive at the same time every week without fail, this is probably not the subscription for you (at least until they open a US facility). If your box takes more than two weeks, you can contact Customer Service and I hear they are more than happy to help however they can.

My March Boxes

Below are my 4 boxes for March, and the contents therein.

(Top Left) Fruit and Seed Flapjack (soft and moist granola bars): rustic rolled oat flapjack with mixed seeds and dried fruits

(Top Right) Chocolate Orange Granola: granola seeds, blanched almonds, dark chocolate drops and orange infused raisins

(Bottom Left) Pear Tatin: pear, raspberry infused cranberries, yogurt coated sunflower seeds and almonds

(Bottom Right) Nacho Libre: salsa almonds, cheesy sombreros and jumbo chilli corn

(Top Left) Walnut and Vanilla Truffle: walnuts, dark chocolate drops, sultanas and vanilla pumpkin seeds

(Top Right) Sweet Goan Curry Crackers: curry rice crackers

(Bottom Left) Strawberry Milkshake: mini strawberries, white chocolate buttons and banana coins

(Bottom Right) Apple and Cinnamon Flapjacks: rustic rolled oat flapjack with apple and cinnamon

(Top Left) Summer Berry Compote: berry compote with wholemeal shortbread dippers

(Top Right) Florentine: pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate buttons and cranberries

(Bottom Left) Black Pepper Pistachios: roasted pistachios with black pepper

(Bottom Right) Marvelous Macaroon: amaretti drops, almond slices, coconut flakes and white chocolate buttons

(Top Left) Orange and Ginger Flapjack: rustic rolled oat flapjack with orange and stem ginger

(Top Right) Bounty Hunter: milk chocolate drops, coconut flakes and cranberries

(Bottom Left) Boston Baguettes: BBQ relish with tomato bread sticks

(Bottom Right) Hot Cross Yum: sponge pieces, cinnamon and honey almonds and orange infused raisins


I am in love with this subscription! I have received 1 box a week for 7 weeks, and in 7 boxes (28 items) I've received one repeat item so far. I have left everything on either 'Try' or 'Trash' in hopes of receiving everything once before I go through and 'Like' or 'Love' certain items. I love getting this pack of snacks every week, and the quality of the items are top notch. In the grand scheme, $20 a month (for one box per week) is not a lot for 16 individually packaged, healthy snacks for on the go or between meals. I just need to make sure I have lunch before checking the mail, or the box becomes a meal!