Friday, February 5, 2016

Ore-Ida Totchos

I received a coupon from Influenster inside by Jingle VoxBox to get a free bag of Ore-Ida Tater Tots for testing and review purposes. One of our fun tasks was to make some Totchos! Totchos are all the goodness of nachos... but with delicious tater tots! My Totchos recipe was quite simple - Ore-Ida Tater Tots, chili, and shredded cheese. I baked the Tater Tots in the oven following the directions on the package. While they were baking, I heated the chili on the stove. After the tots were done, I took them out of the oven, spooned the chili over them, and sprinkled (okay, more like threw big handfuls) cheese on top. I put it back in the oven for just a couple of minutes to melt the cheese. The result? Seriously yummy! Probably not the healthiest meal, but totally worth it. 

For more recipes, please visit the Kraft Recipes Totchos Hub. I can't wait to try them all! 

Disclaimer: I received the Ore-Ida tots complimentary from Influenster, but opinions are all my own. 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Curel Itch Defense VoxBox

Hi everyone! Time for another review! This time I was fortunate enough to receive the Curel VoxBox free from Influenster for testing and review purposes. This VoxBox included a full-size Itch Defense Instant Soothing Moisturizing Spray and a trial Itch Defense Body Wash.

It's finally starting to get a little cooler outside, which is awesome because I love fall! However, this also means my skin is starting to get dry, itchy, and cracked. This VoxBox came at a great time! Both of these products worked really well. The spray was my favorite - it applies evenly, absorbs quickly, is fragrance free, and is really moisturizing. It helped soothe my skin that was already irritated. The body wash was great, too. I was only able to get a couple of uses out of it, but it seemed to leave my skin feeling very moisturized. Overall, these are great products - I have a feeling I'll be reaching for these all winter long!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster, but opinions are all my own.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

YSL Mascara Review!

It's been a while... a very good, long while! I've decided to revive this blog to use for product testing and reviews. I've recently started using Influenster - it's great to test new products and share your feedback with others!

My first review will be of YSL False Lash Effect Mascara. I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. It came in a very chic black box from Influenster. How gorgeous is this packaging?!?! Love the gold tube. 

So, the False Lash Effect Mascara lives up to its name. It gives my lashes tons of volume! One coat is plenty for daily use, but two coats really gives your lashes a dramatic effect, perfect for evening! The first photo is without mascara, the second is with one coat, and the third is with two coats.

Your typical before and after shot:

Here's a photo with one eye with mascara and the other without. Notice the difference?

This mascara has a pleasant smell and applies smoothly. It has tons of staying power - my lashes look as great in the evening as they did in the morning. I've noticed very little smudging throughout the day. I highly recommend! 

Please disregard the funky eyebrows. I'm in between waxings. :) 

The verdict? I'm super impressed with this mascara! I'd consider purchasing in the future. Thanks, Influenster, for the opportunity to test this amazing product! 

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pigeon Forge Spring Break trip

Chad and I had a nice little trip to Pigeon Forge for Spring Break. Gotta love the cheesiness of Pigeon Forge.

So what did we do right after we checked in at our hotel? We went to a theater and saw The Hunger Games. Loved it! Not as good as the book, but when is it ever? We ate at a place called Smoky Mountain Brewery. It was our first time there. We ordered the soft-baked pretzels with beer cheese dip. Yummy! I got chicken tenders and fries--my usual standby. My meal was good, but I was still pretty full from eating so much popcorn at the movies. Before we headed back to the room, we stopped at Nom Nom's Cupcake Factory. I got this Almond Joy cupcake. It was divine. Seriously, one of the best things I've ever tasted.

We just hung out in the room the rest of the night. I got up early the next morning, thanks to some kids running up and down the hallway. I was eager to get our fun-filled day started! Chad, however, wanted to sleep all morning long. I couldn't get him up until about 10:30. Once we finally got going, we started our "Kid at Heart" alphabet date. We'd been stuck on the letter K a loooong time. It turned out to be a fun date, though!

Our first stop was Adventure Golf right on the Parkway. It's not the nicest or well-kept course. But it's the one we always play at because it's close to our hotel. Plus, we only paid half the normal amount because of the "Buy One Get One Free" promotion before noon.

I will say... Chad wasn't feeling it. He said it was way too early for it. He wasn't even trying and took the maximum amount for most holes. He straightened up a little by the end, but there was no contest. I, on the other hand, got a hole-in-one on TWO different holes. I did go way over par on a few holes, but overall, not so bad.

Chad kept score. I couldn't understand his system at all--slash marks, plus and minus signs, etc. He figured up our scores at the end. I easily won--yay!

Our next stop was the arcade. I seriously love going to the arcade. I know, I know... it's a waste of money. It's a guilty pleasure, though!

We played a few rounds of Skee-ball.

Chad played a couple of arcade games. Then we both moved on to the "ball drop game." I think it's called Monster Drop. Basically, you press a button and it drops a ball into a hole.

There are different values on the hole, from 1 to 50 tickets. There's also a jackpot--which I hit twice! Once it spit out almost 250 tickets and the next time it was around 100. Chad couldn't stand that I hit two jackpots, so he had to keep playing until he hit two, too! We ended up with a LOT of tickets which meant a LOT of points.

But I had my eye on a Hello Kitty plush. We didn't have enough for that, so we decided to come back and play again later. (And yes, I realize I could buy one at the store for much less--but where's the fun in that?)

We took a break from the arcade and ate lunch at Big Daddy's Pizzeria. We got a small cheese pizza and split it. It was okay--not the best or the worst we'd ever had.

We decided to drive to Gatlinburg and walk around for awhile. I always loved going in those shops when I was younger. We definitely did some window shopping, though--no purchasing except for ice cream at Chocolate Monkey.

We got Krazy Kolors ice cream--and it turned our mouths and teeth blue! It was very yummy, though. It was Blue Bell ice cream, so you know that's good stuff!

After we got tired of walking around, we drove back to Pigeon Forge and went to the room for a little while to rest. After about an hour or so, we went BACK to the arcade to finish up. Chad kept up his winning streak--he hit two more jackpots! I didn't fare so well this time. We ended up with more tickets this time than the first time, though.

Added together with the 2,691 from the first trip, we had over 6,000 points! That means we won over 2,000 tickets in all. That was enough to buy my Hello Kitty, a koosh ball thingy, a mini-deck of cards, and a pencil.

We went shopping at the Tanger Outlet Center. You know me... I love a bargain! I couldn't find much--just three shirts at Old Navy and these rad shoes at the Adidas Outlet.

After shopping, we went to a place called Blue Moose. It's a restaurant supposedly "famous" for their burgers and wings. Well, I was mighty disappointed. Overpriced and not so tasty. The fried pickles were decent, though.

We ended our night with three of my favorite words--Hot Doughnuts Now. Love me some Krispy Kreme!

We had to get up early the next morning to check out of the hotel. Our stay was short but sweet! I had to stop at Nom Nom's to get some more cupcakes to go. Yes, I paid $16 plus tax for 6 cupcakes. That's a splurge for me.

I got an Orange Dreamsicle.

White Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Peanut Butter Cup.

Milky Way.

Cherry Cheesecake.

And another Almond Joy.

Some of them didn't hold up so well on the ride home! It was over a two hour trip since we had a couple of stops. I shared them with Chad and my parents. I did sample a little bit of all of them, though! Not as good as that first Almond Joy cupcake. I think they dried out a bit. The icing was definitely the best part!

I wish we could've stayed a few more days! Maybe we'll get to take another trip later this summer.
Now it's back to business as usual. I'll spend the rest of the weekend planning lessons, trying to finish up my Easter decorations, and hopefully working on our taxes. I can't put those off much longer!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sweet Spring Break!

Whoa. It's been such a long time since I've posted! I've still been working, working, working. Teaching is such a demanding job. It's not something I can leave at school with me--I often drag home hours of work each week. I'm not complaining, though. It's what I chose for a career and I feel like I wouldn't be as effective of a teacher if I didn't spend some time working outside of normal contract hours. I love that teaching lets me exercise my creativity! I've still been making things on a weekly basis. But instead of crafty stuff for our home, it's stuff to share with my students.

Anyway! We're on Spring Break next week. Counting weekends, I have 9 glorious days to relax, rejuvenate, and have fun! Oh, and to get caught up on things.

Here's how my first day of Spring Break went:

I woke up at 7:30 to the sound of thunder and a spastic dog in the bedroom. Our Yorkie, who is absolutely terrified of storms, somehow opened up the bedroom door and was trying to jump up on our bed.

After we calmed her down, I went back to sleep and finally woke up at 9:45. This made me too late to go shopping with my mom and grandma. I spent most of the morning browsing Pinterest, catching up on DVR, and rereading The Hunger Games. I want a refresher before I see the movie next week.

My mom brought home McDonald's for lunch. I ate that and watched some NCAA basketball with my hubby. Afterwards, I was so sleepy I could barely keep my eyes open! I took about an hour to hour and a half nap. I called my mom to see if she'd cut my hair, but we decided to go out to eat supper at a local country cookin' restaurant instead. We brought my husband and my dad along with us, as well. :)

I spent the last part of my Saturday evening deciding on my shopping list for my weekly couponing trip. Which, by the way, I have to update my couponing blog, too! I've gotten so far behind.

Now that you've had that not-so-thrilling update on my first day of Spring Break... I hope to get caught up this week! My to-do list is about a mile long. But I have a few projects I was proud of and want to share. I need to share about my Motivation Marbles, Valentine's Day goodies, and St. Patrick's Day mantel. I hope to create something for Easter this week, too.

So, until then... Happy Spring!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine Baking

I decided to bake some things for Valentine's Day for my family. I think I had 6 baskets of baked goods in all. I got this bright idea before I started working again--so I didn't have as much time to make everything perfect. I forgot to take a picture of the finished basket. Boo! Here's what went inside the baskets, though.

Pillsbury Sugar Cookies--these were a great deal!

Brownies with red M&Ms candies on top. Shhh, they were Christmas M&Ms.

Chocolate covered pretzels. I used Wilton candy melts for these--and they were out of a clearance Christmas candy-making kit.

And peanut butter Rice Krispies with Dove chocolates in the middle.

I also had various candy mixed in--Hershey's Kisses, Russell Stover hearts, Reese's hearts, Snicker's hearts, etc. All of that was purchased on my couponing trips. The baggies and cellophane bags were from Dollar Tree.

Overall, the baskets were a big hit! Everything tasted great and my family loved them. I'll definitely do this again in the future. :)

Hubby and I had a great day. We went out to dinner after I got home from school. Then we delivered our baskets to our family. We spent the rest of the evening together relaxing. He surprised me with flowers, Breaking Dawn dvd, and an Adele CD. I gave him a gift card to Game Stop so he could buy the game he'd been wanting.

I love taking close-ups of flowers. So pretty!

I'm lucky to have such a great husband and family.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Valentine's Day Mantel

I decided to get a little festive for Valentine's Day!

We didn't decorate very much for Christmas. I couldn't get to my decorations because of all my teacher stuff in storage. Ugh! Soooo, I thought we'd bring a little cheer into our home by decorating for Valentine's Day.

I guess the whole thing cost around $10--minus printer ink.

I needed 5 black picture frames from the Dollar Tree--two 5x7 and three 8x10.

One 8x10 was for the Conversation Heart Art I made a couple of weeks ago. Another 8x10 was for a wedding photo collage I was able to print for free at CVS (thanks to coupons!) The third 8x10 was for a printable. I found a TON of cool Valentine's Day printables courtesy of this link on Pinterest. The 8x10 was found at Eighteen25. I made sure to find a frame that could be turned horizontally.

The 5x7 frames were a little weird because they had mat insets. So, technically the frame was a bit larger than 5x7. I had to trim the pictures down, so that's why the spacing is a bit off. I found the 1 Corinthians 13 subway art at The Girl Creative and the LOVE printable at Sprik Space. The Sprik Space link is amazing, by the way. It had 15 free printables in various colors! Awesome.

I bought two artificial carnations at Walmart for 94 cents each. I happened to have two empty red plastic bottles that looked pretty cool. One was from Herbal Essences shampoo and the other was from Arizona tea. I liked how they looked, even if the bottles didn't match!

Finally, I made a wreath. I'm not super stoked with how it turned out, but it's not completely hideous. I used a small floral foam circle from Dollar Tree as my form. I'd never worked with floral foam before. I didn't know just how much dust would come off of it. I'd definitely go with styrofoam if I had to do over.

I started by tying a knot with the yarn, and then wrapped it completely. It was far from perfect--I tried to keep it as tight as possible, but I still had some spaces. I ended up going over the wreath again a few times to add a little depth. The third picture is of the back--thank goodness that part isn't visible!

I cut a piece of black and white polka dot ribbon and placed it around the top of the wreath. I put a dab of tacky glue near the top of the ribbon and held it together for a couple of minutes. I didn't glue it all the way at the top because I wanted to cut a little slit in the ribbon to hang the wreath on a nail.

I ended up adding a black flower for decoration. The flower is actually a hair elastic/pin. I just stuck it through the yarn and will remove it before I store the wreath.

So that's my Valentine's Day mantel! I hope to change it out each month. I'm going to put all my printables by month in an expanding file and reuse the frames. I'll try a different wreath approach next time. A ribbon wreath would be fun!