Wednesday, October 1, 2014

September Favorites...

I thought I would start a new column - of sorts.  I don't know if "column" is quite the right word especially since this is neither a newspaper or a magazine (at least in the traditional sense), but I'm going to use the word "column" for lack of a better word.  I know!  I'll use the word "feature."

The new feature I'm going to do for this blog is a monthly favorites list.  It will recap the discoveries, obsessions, and bits which dominated the previous month.  And since today is October 1st... I thought I would launch this feature today!  Applause... Applause...  So, let's begin...

September was a very busy month.  Come to think of it, the past six months have been incredibly busy (which would account for my lack of presence on this blog), but there were a few discoveries and obsessions that I'd like to share for the month.

Autumn officially begins in September, but the leaves began turning well before the official autumn start date.  This is one of my most favorite things about September... The leaves begin to burst with color.  Isn't it gorgeous?!?! Come to think of it... it does remind me a bit of Christmas with all the red and green.  But, I digress...

With autumn comes my inevitable obsession with soup.  Well, actually chowder.  I'm not a big soup fan.  However, Panera's Baked Potato Soup steals my heart every time.  It is thick and rich (just like a chowder), but their soup as a jalapeno kick that is subtle and delightful.  When September's cooler temperatures roll around, I can be found in the drive-thru... Placing my order for dinner.

Speaking of food, I've been obsessed with this simple salad.  It is nothing more than romaine lettuce, carrot sticks, purple cabbage, Parmesan cheese, and croutons.  I've had it every night for most of September, and I am pretty sure the trend is going to continue into October.

My next obsession are these InkJoy pens.  I LOVE them!  I keep them in their original packaging but alternate using each pen for each day of planning. 

These pens write smooth, the colors are vibrant, and they feel good in my fingers.  I am pretty certain they're going to run out of ink soon, so I think I may have to get back to the store and purchase me another package of them.

On the discovery front, I found these Burt's Bees towelettes.  They are fabulous! I'm a big fan of Burt's Bees products.  I go through several tubes of their lip balm each year, and while in the store looking to purchase a new tube of the stuff - I stumbled upon these.  I need a simple towelette for when I travel, so I thought I would give them a whirl.  Well, I can say that I'm not just using them for travel.  I'm using them every day!  They have a great fragrance, and my face feels great after I use them.  I've used facial towelettes before, and they always seem to leave my face feeling as if it has been doused in chemicals.  Not to mention the filmy (residue) left behind.  But these babies are fantastic.  I'm one of the lucky ones to have never been plagued by pimples/zits, and I have a cream-colored complexion.  However, these towelettes make my skin feel even softer.

And finally (and also on the discovery front), another Burt's Bees product... Lip Shimmer.  I don't wear lipstick.  I don't wear make up of any kind.  The extent of my beauty routine is to wash my face, use SPF, and generously apply Burt's Bees lip balm.  However, while buying a second package of the Exfoliating towelettes mentioned above, I saw these beauties in the Burt's Bees' Section.  I bought one to give it a try.  I LOVE them!

They have the same peppermint oil that Burt's lip balm has, so when I apply it - it makes my lips feel tingly.  And the color is amazing.  They don't make my lips feel like they're covered in a thick paint.  Instead, it is a light shade of color (the shades are named after fruit) with one application or you can go darker with a second application.  They feel just like the lip balm (light and energizing) but have the punch of color that lipstick would provide.  I'm so obsessed with them, I ended up purchasing four different colors.

Well, that is my September list.  If you try some of these products - come back and let me know how you liked them.  In the meantime, welcome to October!

The products reviews mentioned in this blog post belong to the author of the post.  They are not paid affiliations or advertisements for the companies represented.

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Bouqs... A Review

Hey, Folks! I did something I haven't done before... I ordered flowers for myself.  I've ordered flowers for others, but not simply for myself.

While at BlogHer 2014, I was introduced to a company called The Bouqs.  They were letting bloggers know about their company and giving away stems of their flowers.  Those flowers were incredibly fragrant and in such vivid colors.  Never missing an opportunity to add a little pretty to my office, I returned from California and ordered an arrangement.

The arrangement I picked out was called Confetti, so I thought I would share my experience with the company and the flowers.  Here we go...

Maneuvering through the website is easy.  It is very user friendly.  Keep in mind, when you want to order flowers - whether it be for yourself or someone else - you need to order in advance.  It took a week for my flowers to arrive.  And when they arrived, they can in a very distinctive box (see above).

When opening the box, you are greeted by a note from The Bouqs company.

The flowers come securely wrapped.  Be careful, though.  The Confetti arrangement is roses, and I neglected to take the thorns into consideration.  So, when opening the box and pulling out the flowers - I managed to stick myself several times on those thorns.

The flowers were tightly encased by cardboard to protect the blooms.  Aren't they lovely?  I was quite pleased, and the fragrance of these petals were as strong as the ones I was introduced to back at BlogHer 2014.  

After the flowers were cut free from their bindings, I put the blooms into a vase for a nice arrangement.  The Bouqs arrangement was lovely, vivid colors and incredibly fragrant.  My only complaint was the flowers didn't last very long.  But, then, with flowers this fragrant - I wanted them to last for months.  Not very realistic of me, but I cannot help myself.

The Bouqs - Premium Farm Direct FlowersSo, if you want to order yourself a gorgeous bundle of flowers from The Bouqs - here is what you should do. Click on the link on The Bouqs' image on your right, and it will dash you over to The Bouqs website. If you order flowers for yourself or someone you adore, be sure to come back to this post and tell me what you think of your Bouqs delivery. 

Happy Monday!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Recipe: Black Bean Casserole

We're finally in San Jose, California - checked into our hotel and settled in for the next four days.  By the time you read this, we'll be exploring San Jose a little but anxious to go to the opening event for BlogHer 2014.  So, in the spirit of fun... I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes.

One of my all-time favorite dishes is Black Bean Casserole.  It's one of those comfort food dishes that is perfect for warming you from the inside out.  And, it's vegetarian!