Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Loreal BB Cream Review

I was so excited when I found out I would have the opportunity to review L'Oreal's BB Cream. I am always hesitant to try new moisturizers or foundations because my skin is so sensitive that just about everything makes my face burn and sometimes makes it break out, so I was beyond excited to have the opportunity to try it through SheSpeaks before buying it myself. L'Oreal's Magic Skin Beautifier BB Cream comes in a 10 oz container. There are several different shades to choose from. Since I am pretty light, I picked the fair shade. When I opened the package and squeezed some out, I was concerned about exactly how it would match my shade since the actual cream is almost white. It truly is a magic cream. It blends in very well and provides great coverage. This BB cream is a 4 in 1 product. It's says on the package that it "primes, perfects, hydrates, corrects." I must say that I originally was thinking that I would use this as a primer under my foundation, but when I put it on, I noticed that it really did give some coverage. I also noticed right away it didn't give that make up look where you can tell someone has foundation on. I also felt the hydration it offers right away, which is a HUGE bonus for someone like me who has very dry skin. I definitely have noticed the longer I use this product, that my skin is improving. This BB cream is definitely worth the minimal price you pay for it. I think L'Oreal has really stepped up their game with this BB cream. The added benefit of the hydration alone makes this product a winner in my book. 

Connect with L'Oreal on Twitter

*Disclosure- I received one ore more of the above mentioned products for free via SheSpeaks. All opinions stated are 100% my own.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Chloe's Vegan Desserts by Chloe Coscarelli Book Review

Before I even start this review, I need to mention that I am not vegan. I am working on hard on leaning more in that direction, but that has been difficult for me because of my love of cheese, but that doesn't have much to do with dessert does it? haha! So I thought "Well, I love dessert, I wonder if these recipes will be any good? I might as well give it a try!" And boy am I glad I did!

I have tried several recipes from this cookbook and they were all pretty knock your socks off amazing. And that is not just coming from me, my meat loving, kind of anti-vegan husband tried every recipe I created and thought they were awesome. He was especially impressed by the vegan brownie recipe! My favorite recipe I tried out of this book were for cupcakes with a sea salted caramel frosting. Those were so good, I decided I would send some to the Emergency Room for my husband's co-workers. They loved them! I bake for the ER quite often and one of my husband's good friends at work takes some home often for her 11 year old daughter. She said that these cupcakes were BY FAR her daughter's favorite dessert I have made. That says something about Chloe's talent as a vegan chef and about vegan baking in general. It is definitely possible to have delicious desserts without using dairy products or eggs. This recipe book is proof of that. 

Some other favorite recipes that we tried or are looking forward to trying are:

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sourdough French Toast
Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Glaze
Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Lemon Bars
Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge
Chloe O's
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Mint Cookies 'n' Cream Cupcakes
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Bollywood Cupcakes
...and many more. Honestly I could have pretty much listed out the entire book because I would try anything in it!

Another cool thing about this book is with a tiny tweaks to the recipes (which are noted at the end of the recipes) these can also be gluten free desserts. This is a huge win for people on a gluten free diet! This is probably my favorite recipe book I have had the pleasure of reviewing, traditional or vegan. Hands down, these are delicious recipes that even a person very skeptical of  the vegan diet will enjoy!

Chloe's Vegan Desserts comes out TOMORROW! You can still pre-order on and get this book for less than $13! That's a steal. I will definitely be ordering a copy to add to my cookbook collection. I may not be vegan (yet), but I know a good cook when I see one. This is the first cookbook of Chloe Coscarelli's that I have had the pleasure of looking in, but you can bet it won't be my last!

Disclosure- I received a free advanced reader's e-copy of this above mentioned book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% my own.

Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends Review + Giveaway

We have never been big cold breakfast cereal people at our house, but now that the kids are getting a little older, they like to have a bowl of cereal every now and then. I have kind of avoided cold breakfast cereal like the plague because of it's reputation for being loaded with sugar. However, lately it seems that many companies are trying to make their cereals more healthy which makes this mama one happy lady.

Through the Purex Insiders program (yes, there are other opportunities outside of laundry products!) I was sent a free box of Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends (I got the Crispy Mango/Crunchy Coconut flavor) to taste with my family. My 3 preschool aged kids are all big mango AND coconut fans, so I knew they would love it. They were all excited to see the box when it came in the mail and were immediately asking me to try it. We had it as a dry snack and all of the kiddos devoured it. I had a couple of bites and I thought it tasted pretty good. As a mother (who is always seeking out healthier options) I like that the first few ingredients listed on the box are whole grain wheat and whole grain rolled oats. I also love that it is full of many different vitamins and contains 2 grams of fiber per serving. My only complaint is that this cereal contains corn syrup, which would keep us from purchasing it in the future. If that weren't a factor, we would definitely get this again. It is something different, something with a unique flavor and the kids really seemed to enjoy it. I love that Honey Bunches of Oats has stepped outside the traditional cereal box and created something that kids and adults alike can enjoy.

Win a Free 4 night stay in Waikiki. Hawaii! 

Honey Bunches of Oats has teamed up with Purex and Outrigger Hotels & Resorts for The 2013 Tropical Trio Sweepstakes! One lucky winner will get to go on a vacation to Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach courtesy of the three brands participating in this promotion. Enter for your chance to win a 4 night stay for 2 in Waikiki, Hawaii!

Enter to win a free product coupon for Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends!

I also have 3 coupons good for a free box of Honey Bunches of Oats Tropical Blends to give away to three readers! Enter below via the Rafflecopter form for your chance to win!

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For more information on Honey Bunches of Oats products, head over to the Honey Bunches of Oats Facebook page!

*Disclosure- I received one or more of the above mentioned products for free via the Purex Insiders program. All opinions are 100% my own.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Resolutions Cravebox Giveaway! TWO Winners!

When I received my Resolutions Cravebox in January, I wrote a review about it on this blog, well because I love Cravebox, but also so I could enter the contest that Cravebox offers bloggers and vloggers for each box. They pick several winners and send them two boxes to share with their audience. I am ECSTATIC to have won the contest for my blog post for what has been one of my favorite Craveboxes! If you would like to read my review of the Resolutions Cravebox, you can do so here.

If you haven't yet, sign up Cravebox to find out what great boxes are coming up and to learn about their NEW option- Instant boxes- where they list boxes that are available for purchase right this instant! If you do sign up at Cravebox, please see the "About Me" section of your profile and let them know that CristiMarashi (my Cravebox user name) referred you!

If you want to win a FREE Resolutions Cravebox, enter below via the Rafflecopter! Good luck!

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Etched...Upon My Heart by Jill Kelly Review + Giveaway

About the book: Our lives are made up of moments. Some we hope to remember forever and some we long to forget. But it's the tapestry of these moments that come together to write the story God is telling in each of our lives.

In Etched...Upon My Heart, Jill Kelly shares some of the unforgettable moments in her life- some sorrowful, others filled with joy-as a "living epistle" to her daughters. Kelly's raw and honest replections provide encouragement and inspiration for women and mothers who long to pass on hard-won knowledge of God's stedfast love and healing grace to their children.

As she writes, "God will break our hearts, but He will hold the pieces. He will cradle us and redeem every tear we cry." Although great personal pain informs these pages, Kelly's story is ultamtely one of forgiveness, reconciliation, and hope. Through the moments in time that Jill Kelly recounts, you will recognize the daily reality and eternal value of God's plan for your own life.

My thoughts: I found this book both heartbreaking and inspiring. Jill Kelly is wife to NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and they have faced some heavy trials together, the biggest being the loss of their very young son Hunter. Kelly is open and real as can be opening her heart and sharing some of the most painful times she has been through and how God got her through it. I love the weaving of her personal stories with the chapters different focuses. The chapters are divided by different subjects,  Love, Suffering, Prayer, Forgiveness, Giving, Death, ect. Each chapter contains Kelly's personal story relating to the matter, as well as insight from the Bible relating to the subject. At the end of each chapter, there is a prayer relating to the subject as well as several Bible verses to encourage you and "Etch  Upon Your Heart. I like the way the book was laid out and felt just like Kelly said she wanted readers to feel at the beginning, like I was talking to a girlfriend over coffee. The thing I like about this book is how honest the author is about the things she talks about. She doesn't deny her struggles and she also talks about profound moments she has had spiritually. I felt it was a very well rounded book. I think this is a great book for a mother or any woman really. It's a reminder that we all face some big moments, sometimes big ugly moments, sometimes unbearably sad moments, sometimes joyous moments. Sometimes it good to be reminded we are never alone and even when we feel we are, God is working on our lives in that very moment.

About the Author: Jill Kelly is the wife of former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly. In September 1997, months after their infant son, Hunter, was diagnosed with a fatal disease called Krabbe Leukodustrophy, Jim and Jill founded the Hunter’s Hope Foundation. As chairman of the board of Hunter’s Hope, Jill helps children suffering from Leukodystrophy, and their families by raising awareness and research funds to fight this devastating disease. She and Jim live in Buffalo, NY, with their two daughters and three dogs. Hunter’s Hope Foundation can be found online at Jill is also the author of Without A Word.

Connect with Jill Kelly on Facebook
Connect with Jill Kelly on Twitter
Jill Kelly's Website

Enter via the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a copy of Etched...Upon My Heart!

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