Christmas arrived a little early for me last year and even extended well into the new year! This box was a fun one. Full to the brim with new products for me to test and fall in love with!
Let’s open up the box!
The very first thing that I tried was Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea. I received a sample packet containing 2 tea bags plus a coupon for $0.55 off. I am very picky with my teas. Let’s just say that I don’t like “fuss”, so nothing fruity, herbal tasting, strong, overpowering etc. So, I was expecting to not like this tea at all. I was happily proven wrong! This tea has a slight hint of peppermint, isn’t at all overpowering and above all, it was the most relaxing and calming tea that I’ve ever tried. It will be my tea of choice from now on, especially during those stressful and hectic holiday seasons towards the end of the year. Add a candy cane as a stirring spoon and you have yourself a very cute holiday drink. It’s decaf too, so the kids can enjoy a cuppa as well! I found that Target sells a box of 20 tea bags for $14.94.
My husband’s birthday happens to fall on the day after Christmas. We had plans to eat out on that Friday, December 26th to celebrate. On Saturday though, I made him his favourite; Shepherd’s Pie using McCormick Gourmet Thyme ($4.79). McCormick is well known to me and I’ve often used their spices and dry herbs in my dishes. Head to their website for recipe ideas and inspiration!
The EcoTools Hair Brush ($10.99) was the most surprising item in the box. The bristles on the Sleek + Shine Finisher that I received had me skeptical that it would work on my hair. I have very frizzy, curly & fine hair. I often use a comb to run through my wet hair to avoid damage. Even then, my hair often ends up with some tangles and knots that I end up fighting with using the comb. I gave the EcoTools hair brush a try. It.was.amazing! I LOVE this hair brush. It managed to smooth out my hair without any pulling or knots! A once over with this brush after drying & styling and my hair was left smooth and shiny. Unfortunately, this brush was not useful for styling (I like to straighten my hair). I love the EcoTools brand though, with the very comfortable and sturdy wooden handles, so I will be making a purchase on one of their styling brushes.
I don’t tend to wear a lot of makeup but I do love a good lipstick. NYC Expert Last Lip Color in Sugar Plum ($1.99) was a lovely choice for the holidays, a shade that honestly compliments anyone. Provides a shine that lasts up to 6 hours. What I loved the most though about this lipstick, was that it was also moisturizing, it glided on so smooth. I’m so glad I got to try this particular colour. There are 20 shades to choose from and although I might try a few other shades, I believe that sugar plum is the perfect one for me.
Fruit Vines Bites ($1.28-$1.79), wow were those little bites packed with flavour! My son and I couldn’t get enough of them. So juicy, chewy and delicious. My only issue with these bites though was that they contain corn syrup and artificial colour (red #40). If that doesn’t bother you, then these are a yummy snack. Unfortunately, it does bother me and so I won’t be purchasing these in the future.
I received an incredibly small sample of No7 Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED serum (full sized retails $29.99) plus a coupon for $2 off. The serum is supposedly clinically proven to be effective at reducing the appearance of deep lines and wrinkles, for younger looking skin in two weeks. Well, I’ve only been trying the sample this week, so I can’t say that I’ve seen any big improvements, yet. What I will say though is that the serum is so smooth and silky, it glides on to my skin and leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth. I love that feeling. It’s like giving my face a little spa pampering every morning. The high price has made me hesitant to make a purchase. If I can make the tiny sample that I have last another week and there are visibly noticeable improvements, I may consider buying this product….but perhaps when I’m another 10 years older and really concerned about deep lines and wrinkles. At this point, I think my skin is still young-enough looking to not need it.
Lastly, there were not one but two Rimmel products in the box! Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner ($4.49) and Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover ($7.49). I was so thankful that these two products came together. The waterproof eyeliner glided on easily for easy application. Taking it off though was the complete opposite. They aren’t kidding about the waterproof bit. That’s where the gentle eye makeup remover came in handy. Took a bit of “elbow grease” but it did eventually come off without causing irritation to the eyes.
This was the very first “Christmas/Holiday” inspired vox box that I’ve ever received and I loved it.
See my past Influenster vox boxes here.
Disclaimer: I received the above items courtesy of Influenster for product testing and review. All opinions provided are my own.
I really had no intention of taking such a long break from this space. I had plenty to write about. So much to write about infact. Yet, whenever I sat down with the intention to write…my mind just blanked out. Anyone else experience that? I’ve still got that feeling, even now. Too many ideas? Perhaps. Weather just too good to sit and write? Maybe. Feeling a little drained from work? Definitely a combination of all 3. So, it’s going to be awhile before I break from this slump I’m in.
I am alive though! Actually, life is really good lately. I, along with everyone else it seems, is excited for this new year. So far so good. I kicked off the new year with a cake on Sunday Jan 4th and then found myself making yet another cake on a Sunday about two weeks after that. It might just be a tradition for 2015. Not every Sunday, but I’m going to aim for at least one Sunday a month. We’ll see how it goes.
So, the cakes.
Jan 4th, kicked off the new year with this Irish Whiskey cake! So, so good. The whole house filled up with the smell of deliciousness. The recipe calls for the cake to be made in canning jars but I didn’t have enough empty ones and I don’t own a bundt pan either. Worked fine in a spring-form pan, just needed approx 10 mins more baking time. Seriously, give this one a try!
^I swear, I can totally still smell it just looking at this picture that I took of it baking in my oven^
Jan 26th is Australia Day and I wanted to do something special for my home’s national day. As Australia is a day ahead of us, I made a pavlova on Sunday 25th. Decorated in Aussie colours; green and gold. The recipe was a keeper, except next time I would add a little vanilla essence for a little more taste to the meringue base.
See how I celebrated Australia Day last year, here.
What delicious Sunday Cakes is everyone else making?
I’m not a football fan myself, but enjoy the Super Bowl today, for those who will be watching. Have a lovely Sunday, for everyone else!