Surprise Jewelry Bag

Hello friends!

One of my absolute favorite websites to do a little online shopping on is GroopDealz (the same thing as Eleventh Avenue…not really sure why they have two different names/websites?) Anyways. Basically, small businesses and boutiques can sell items for insanely cheap prices on the site, so you’re almost always guaranteed to find something you just need. Every time I get a GD update email, I have to restrain myself from making a purchase. But it has been great for finding unique gifts and inexpensive treats for myself.

Recently, a shop called Shamelessly Sparkly (love it) based out of New Jersey had a deal on GroopDealz that I couldn’t pass up. $9.99 for a 5-piece grab bag of jewelry. They guaranteed to include at least one necklace, bracelet, and pair of earrings, and then two other items. I thought it would be a fun, and cheap, way to add to my accessory collection, so I gave it a shot! It was fun to open up the envelope when it arrived a little over a week later.

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I’m pretty pleased with what they sent me! Some pieces I will definitely hold off on wearing until the spring/summer months simply, because of the colors, and I’m not a huge fan of the large earrings, but not bad for only $10! My favorite piece, surprisingly, is the gold cord wrapped bracelet. I think it will be great for stacking with some other gold bangles, and a watch.

What I worried about most, was what the quality would be like. I assumed it would be cheap, costume jewelry – similar to some of the stuff you find at Forever 21. The chains of the necklaces don’t seem to be too flimsy, but the true test will be the first time I wear them. Some fashion jewelry gives me a slight allergic reaction wherever it is touching my skin, leaving pink marks and a burning sensation. It’s nothing life-threatening, of course, just not the most comfortable feeling in the world!

I’m sure that the reason behind this shop doing this cheap grab bag was to help them clear out some old inventory, but one shop’s “trash”, can be another girl’s treasure! Hopefully that treasure doesn’t turn my neck green…Either way, just thought it would be fun to see what came in the grab bag, and I’m pleasantly surprised.

Keep an eye on GroopDealz/Eleventh Avenue’s site. There are deals like this all the time!

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤

Birchbox – December 2015

Hello friends!

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I am back with my December 2015 Birchbox! I was pretty happy with last month’s box, so I was excited to see what they sent for December. I went with the option to get the “Winter Essentials” themed box, and the box itself is so cute and wintery! Totally reminds me of Frozen. Here’s what was inside:

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  1. Chuao Chocolatier Cinnamon Cereal Smooch – Let’s be honest here..I ate this the second I snapped the picture above! It was so yummy! The chocolate was really good, and it had little bits of cereal (like Cinnamon Toast Crunch) inside. If it wasn’t $10 for a box of them, I’d be on the search for more.
  2. eSalon Perfect Ending Leave In Conditioner – I’m looking forward to giving this a try. My hair has been a little dry lately, and will probably only get worse with the colder weather, so some extra TLC is good! I’m curious to see if I like this more than the spray leave-in conditioner I’m currently using. This stuff smells really good too
  3. derma e Microdermabrasion Scrub – I love trying new skincare products, and love the super smooth feeling that scrubs leave my skin with. I’m pretty sure I’ve tried a different product from derma e, and I don’t think I had any complaints! Definitely going to give this one a try.
  4. JUARA Coconut Illipe Hand and Nail Balm – The super-light coconut scent of this balm is amazing. It absorbs into the skin very quickly, and even after just one use, I can tell that it’s doing its job on my nails. They needed a little love after the gel manicure I got just after Thanksgiving. I love how gel manis look, but they always leave my nails feeling a little weak. Hopefully, this will give them the boost they need! This product will be great to keep in my purse.
  5. jane iredale Just Kissed Lip and Cheek Stain Forever Peach – I’m very intrigued, but also a little skeptical of this product. The bright orange color is off-putting at first, but it is supposed to adjust to your individual skin tone, creating a custom lip/cheek color. I don’t think I’ll be using this on my cheeks, because it leaves a greasy feel on my skin, but I can definitely see myself trying it out as a lip color. Kind of excited to see what it adjusts to on me!
  6. Coastal Scents Eye Shadow Duo GlamourEYES – I’m iffy on this eye shadow duo. I’m very much a warm, neutral browns kind of girl when it comes to eye shadow, so while I’m loving the golden beige color, the green shade might be out of my comfort zone. Perhaps I can work it into my Christmas make-up, but I’ll probably pass and it will be left untouched…

So, overall, I’m pretty happy with this box! I’m kind of wishing that I had gone with the usual random sample option for this month, instead of the “Winter Essentials” box, but there were still some great products that I’m looking forward to trying out. ‘A’ for you, Birchbox!

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤

ipsy – December 2015

Hello friends!

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I am SO SO SO excited about this month’s ipsy. Hands down, the best products I’ve received since I started my subscription! I’ll admit that the bag itself isn’t my absolute favorite, but the little lips-shaped zipper is super cute, and the red color is so festive! I hadn’t peeked at the ipsy website before my bag arrived, so I got to be surprised this month! Here’s what I received…

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  1. Acuré Cell Stimulating Facial Mask – I had watched someone unbag this month’s ipsy and they received this same product. The face mask is bright green, and that makes me so excited to use it! I love face masks, and anything for a little self-pampering.
  2. Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder – Seeing a Tarte product in this bag makes the whole thing worth it, even if it’s just a sample size! Tarte is a brand that I’ve been wanting to try products from, and I’ve heard great things about the Amazonian Clay line. I’m looking forward to trying out this finishing powder.
  3. Elizabeth Mott Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer – I’ve been dying for a new eye shadow primer since I’ve been stuck using the elf primer for my P10P (see here for an explanation). The full-size of this product retails for $20, so that’s a step up from my current $1 primer…I have high hopes!
  4. RickyCare by Ricky’s NYC Classic 3D Blender – Perfect timing, ipsy…I just tossed out my old makeup blender about a week ago after purchasing an inexpensive one at the drugstore. Big mistake. The thing does nothing for my face. So I’m pumped to give this new one a try! Really, with all the hype, I should just splurge on the actual beauty blender, but I’m convinced there has to be an acceptable dupe. Maybe this is it?! I’ve never heard of Ricky’s NYC, but their website lists this sponge as a $10 value, so the bag is paid for right there!
  5. Pacifica Power of Love Natural Lipstick Nudie Red – The little, gold hearts all over the packaging of this lipstick are so cute! I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but good packaging just speaks to me. The word ‘red’ in the color scared me a little at first, but it is definitely toned-down, and might just be the perfect shade of red for me personally!  According to Pacifica’s website, this line of lipstick is only available at Target, and for each lipstick purchased, they send another to a woman in need. Very cool! Their whole line is also 100% vegan, and cruelty-free.

Hooray for December ipsy! I can’t wait to try out every single one of these products. I feel like I got a nice variety – skincare, eyes, lips, face, tools.

I’m a happy camper – ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤

Love With Food – December 2015

Hello friends!

December’s Love With Food box has arrived! I think my email with the was delayed this month, or something, because I only got the shipping notification yesterday, and the box was in the mailbox this afternoon! No complaints. I didn’t have to check the tracking number over and over and over…Does anyone else do this? Come on, package, just get a little closer to me!

Anywho! If you haven’t read my first LWF review from last month, all the details about the subscription are over here. This month’s theme is *gasp* “Chocolate Makes the World Go Round”. Does. It. Ever. Needless to say, I was super excited to check out what the box contained! Let’s dive on in…

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  1. Café Britt Dark Chocolate with Creamy Coffee Filling
  2. Maison Pecou Liquicroc Caramel
  3. Love With Food Lip Balm
  4. Numi Organic Tea: Tumeric Tea Amber Sun, Indulgent Tea Chocolate Earl Grey
  5. Goodie Girl Gluten-Free Midnight Brownie Cookies
  6. Luna Chocolate Peppermint Stick Mini Bar
  7. Sensible Foods Sweet Corn Crunch  Dried Snacks
  8. Beanitos Restaurant Style White Bean & Sea Salt Chips
  9. You Love Fruit Handmade Mango Coconut Fruit Leather
  10. Bell Plantation PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter

So a couple of these I’ve tried (PB2 is da bomb), and I’ve had a different flavor of the Beanitos chips. The lip balm was unexpected, but you can never have too many of those floating around during the winter. I’m also not a huge tea person, but I do love it when I’m not feeling well. Everything looks absolutely delicious.

I can’t decide what I want to try first!  Have I convinced you to give Love With Food a try yet?

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤

Sassy Honey Garlic Meatballs

Hello friends!

Last night’s dinner focused on finishing up leftovers, and cleaning out the cabinets and refrigerator before I did the weekly grocery shopping. My husband had turkey hotdogs, ground turkey tacos, chicken rice, and baked homestyle turkey meatballs. I don’t think the odd variety phased him one bit, as long as there was food!

Now the meatballs on their own are just fine; I keep a supply of our favorite frozen brand around for easy lunches. But for this batch, I wanted to add some extra flavor. I was craving something garlicky with a little kick – our favorite combo – and what ended up in the slow cooker is what I’m calling ‘Sassy Honey Garlic Meatballs’.

The sauce has a perfect balance of sweet and savory with a bit of a kick. Feel free to amp up the spice if that’s your style, or nix it completely! Either way, this sauce is sure to be the perfect thing to take an average meatball up a few notches.

Sassy Honey Garlic Meatballs

Ingredients – 

  • 1 package frozen homestyle turkey meatballs
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 1/2 c ketchup (I use a reduced sugar version)
  • 3 Tbsp light agave nectar liquid sweetener
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • red pepper flakes, to taste (a little goes a long way)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions –

  1. Prepare meatballs according to package directions. I prefer to bake them, but any method will work! Transfer cooked meatballs to slow cooker.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine honey, ketchup, agave, soy sauce, and garlic.
  3. Pour sauce over meatballs, and warm in slow cooker until heated-through.

Easy as that! These would make a great appetizer at a holiday party, or you can enjoy them as the main course like we did. If you’re feeling ambitious unlike me today, you could even make your own meatballs, and add the sauce once they’re cooked.

Let me know if you give these a try! I love a good, quick recipe for busy days.

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife

Project 10 Pan – Update #1

Hello friends!

It has now been almost one month since I started a new Project 10 Pan, and I’m pretty happy with the progress I’ve made!

As of today, I have used up six of the ten products from my “Use Me Up” list, and one of the four products from the “Give Me a Try” list. So not bad! I did also make one change to this second list…I threw out the Hikari lipstick. I went to put it on the first day of P10P, and the color was so sheer and streaky that I knew I probably would never want to wear it. So, to be fair, I switched it out for my NYX Butter Lipstick in Pops, which even made it into my monthly favorites for November. I think I’ll have much better success trying to get use out of this lipstick instead 🙂

Here is what I have used up, and my final thoughts:

  1. Mary Kay Foundation Primer Sunscreen SPF 15 – It took me about two weeks of consistent use to finish this product, which is way longer than I thought it would take. Still love the product, and will consider repurchasing in the future once I’ve used up my current primer.
  2. Mary Kay Ultimate Mascara Black – I used this mascara consistently for about 2 weeks before it started to dry out. I wasn’t expecting it to last very long with it being a sample size, but I did like it when I was using it! I might look into trying the full-size once I got through the 340982304 other mascaras I have…and no, of course that’s not an exaggeration…
  3. Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau de Toilette – I fell in love with this perfume during the just under a month that it lasted! If I didn’t have so many other fragrances to use up already, I would definitely purchase a full-size. I actually think there’s a larger, but still sample-sized bottle in one of the guest room’s at my parents’ house. So, DIBS.
  4. Bath & Body Works Forever Red Eau de Parfum – I used this fragrance up first, and while it took a little longer than I thought it would, I still got through it quickly. Love the scent; I think it’s perfect for a night out. Don’t know if I love it enough to repurchase.
  5. Bath & Body Works Love & Sunshine Body Lotion – I’m so glad I’m done with this lotion. I did love the product overall, but with the holiday season here, I was dying to use a more seasonally-appropriate scent! I was also ready to switch over to a more moisturizing body cream versus a standard body lotion, since my skin is getting a little dryer from the cold weather. Won’t repurchase this specific scent.
  6. Mary Kay ClearProof  Clarifying Cleansing Gel – This was the first product I used up, not surprisingly since there wasn’t much left at the beginning of P10P. I do like that this cleanser actually foams up, which my current one doesn’t really do, and I have no complaints about it! Might look into switching back in the future, but I’m content for now.
  7. Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash – This was one of my “Give Me a Try” products. It was just a travel size product, so I didn’t get more than a week’s use out of it, and I tried to notice if it felt more moisturizing than my usual go-to body wash. I think I noticed a difference, but I didn’t get the same scent satisfaction I get with other body washes. This one smelled clean, which is obviously the point of body wash, but it just smelled like soap, and I love to smell fruity or sweet after my showers. Won’t be purchasing again.

So in one month, that’s not too bad! I’ve rediscovered why I like a couple products, and have cleaned out a little space in the process. That leaves just an eyeshadow primer, an eye shadow, an eye cream, two lipsticks, and a hair oil left to work on. I’ll check in closer to the end of the month, or just after the new year begins!

I’ve already started a short list of products for my next P10P!

Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife ❤

Birchbox – November 2015

Hello friends!

I’m so excited to share my first ever Birchbox with you guys! This is another subscription box, similar to ipsy, that is $10/month and includes 5-6 samples. I really wanted to check this box out. I’ve heard mixed reviews on the quality of the samples, but I’ll give it a try for a few months, and then decide if I want to continue with it 🙂

First of all, I know that it is December, and this is my November box…I think that since I ordered about halfway through November, it messed with the arrival date. I’m not sure if this will change, and I’ll get my December box later this month, but oh well! Second, the box it comes in is absolutely gorgeous! I’ll have to reuse them as storage.Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 4.22.12 PMScreen Shot 2015-12-05 at 4.22.23 PM

I believe this box is focused on taking care of skin/hair during the dry, winter months. Here’s what I got this month:birchbox

  1. BioRepublic Revitalizing Fiber Mask Aloe Rescue – I love getting masks in sample boxes, because I don’t really think about purchasing them myself when I’m at the store! I do wish the box came with more than one mask though; it usually takes more than one try to tell if a product really makes a difference. Will still be a nice treat to try out when my face needs a good pampering!
  2. Number 4 Fluoro5 Elixir Restore and Repair Oil – This looks like it will be similar to the argan hair oil I’ve been using for my P10P, so I might wait to try this one out, but anything that gives my hair a little extra shine, and cuts down on frizzies is fine by me!
  3. Soap & Paper Factory Shea Butter Hand Cream Green Tea – I love getting hand cream samples, because they are so nice for tossing in my purse to have on hand (get it!). The scent is really nice, and not too strong. Plus, I think the packaging is super cute! It did leave my hands feeling a tiny bit greasy, but I need the extra moisture during the colder weather. Thumbs up!
  4. LOC Tati Vibrant Matte Lipstick Wildest Dreams – Okay, I know that red lips is on trend during the holidays, but why does every subscription box have to send one this month? Just not my color. The shade is actually pretty, and the formula feels super creamy when I swatch it, but I’m not sure if this is one I’ll be rocking any time soon. Might have to pass it on to a friend!
  5. MAKE Skin Illuminator Llos – Yay! I have been wanting to start using a highlight, especially with Christmas and New Year’s coming up (so festive!), so I’m excited to try this out. It’s a pinky highlight, so should work well on my fair skin tone. I’m a little nervous about it being a liquid/cream highlight versus a powder, but I’ll start out with a light application and work my way up!
  6. Eyeko Black Magic Lash Curler – This was a bonus item I snagged with a code along with my first box. It definitely feels higher quality than the lash curler I have, and it’s about time I retire that one anyways, so this is good timing!

Overall, I’m happy with my first box! Let’s give it an A-. Only thing I’m not super excited about is the lipstick, but that’s just a matter of taste in colors. This specific box seems pretty on par with ipsy, so as long as that stays the case, I’ll keep coming back!

What’s your opinion: ipsy or Birchbox? – Ta ta for now!

The Ginger Wife