Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sausage Fried Rice Recipe

Numerous people have asked me for this recipe, so I figured I should type it up for anyone who loves fried rice.  The best part is this recipe is easy, quick and cost effective to make.

(Recipe Credit: One of my long time friends taught me this recipe when we were teenagers.  I think I remember her saying it was her Grandmother's recipe, but she tweaked it a bit.)

Here's what you'll need:
  • 1 package of sausage links (I use Farmer John's brand)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 broccoli crowns, separated into bite sized pieces (pulling the broccoli apart works better than cutting the pieces)
  • 1 bushel of green onions, diced up
  • Soy sauce to taste (I use Kikkoman's reduced sodium)
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 egg (optional)
  • 2-3 cups of long grain white rice (I usually use my rice cooker to cook the rice, but have used the frozen steam bags in a pinch)

  • Start cooking your rice per the instructions for your specific rice cooker or steam bags
  • Using medium to high heat - Cook the sausage links in a wok or large pan.  Brown and crumble.  The smaller the pieces, the better.  Depending on how spicy you want your fried rice, you can add some fresh black pepper while the sausage is cooking.
  • Once the sausage is browned, use a spatula to push the sausage to the outer area of the pan, creating a ring, leaving the middle of your pan for the veggies.
  • Add the carrots and broccoli first.  I usually let them fry/steam with a lid on for about 8-9 minutes.  The oil from the sausage helps fry them and the moisture from the veggies creates steam.
  • Once your carrots are soft enough to easily cut through, add the green onions.
  • Mix all of the veggies and the sausage together.  I leave my glass lid on and cook for about another 5-6 minutes.  Add more freshly ground black pepper if you'd like.
  • Once your veggies are nice and steamed (not limp), add your rice.  Mix thoroughly.
  • Add soy sauce.  A few tablespoons to start, and more as needed.  You want to keep mixing it all in really well and the soy sauce should just barely coat the rice.  If you see rice that is still all white, mix better or add a little more soy sauce.  Add more black pepper if needed.
  • Optional - if you want to add an egg (I've even used 1/4 cup of egg beaters before), move the rice mixture to the edges of the pan, again, creating a ring and leaving the middle of the pan open.  Add your egg.  Your pan will be really hot, so it only takes a few seconds to scramble the egg.  Once the egg is cooked, mix it into the rice mixture.

Voilà.  You just made the best fried rice ever!

PS this dish works great hot or even once it cools (like for a pot luck or BBQ).  You can also use different veggies.  For example, tonight I was running low on carrots, so I added in some diced sweet orange, yellow and red peppers.

I used My Fitness Pal to figure out the following basic nutritional information for this recipe (please note, this is not going to be 100% accurate, just a base based on the ingredients used and approximately 5 servings per pan):

If you try this recipe, please post your pictures in the comments section.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Jamberry Nails Review

One of my sister's friends gave me a Jamberry nail sample to try out last night.  I was excited because I have been hearing about Jamberry from multiple people and had been wanting to test them out.  Basically, it is like a decal or sticker you apply to your nails that is supposed to last longer than regular polish. They run about $15 per sheet and you should be able to get a few manicures from each sheet.  So, price-wise it is a pretty good deal.  If they work.

Here is the sample I was given.  The colors are not really my style at all, but I saw another person with the same ones on and they looked fabulous, so I figured, Why not?

Sample via Kimberly Jennex
Sample via Kimberly Jennex

I tried them today and here is my opinion.

Please note, I did a quick manicure (removed old polish, cleaned up cuticles a bit, filed and then cleaned my nails with alcohol) prior to application.

First, the sizes seem to be way off.  There was not one that fit my thumb at all and I just used the best size for each of the other nails.  I applied them using both the heat, then apply and the apply to the nail, then heat methods (per the Jamberry website application videos).  Both seemed to work about the same.  It took some trial and error to get the excess to file off properly, but I figured that out without too much of a problem.  Overall, they look pretty.  Definitely not my usual style, but fun to try out for free.  


The main pros to me are they don't smell at all, no dry time and they are shiny.  The lack of smell is a big deal to me, since I'm super sensitive to most scents.  No dry time is great, too. This means you could apply before bed or when you have somewhere to go and don't have a lot of time to use actual nail polish.  No dry time = No smudges at all.

Cons would be the sizing and the slight ripples on some of them (which may be caused by how I applied/filed them).  The sizing really bothers me because I really like a nice, polished nail and seeing the sides of my nail where the nail decal didn't extend to is a bit annoying.

Time-wise it took about the same as a regular manicure.  Most likely the application time and the way they look will improve with more practice.  They are supposed to last for up to two weeks on nails and four weeks on toenails, but if they last more than five days on my nails I would be happy and consider purchasing some of the more conservative styles.

So, what do you think?  Have you tried Jamberry Nails yet?  How did they turn out?  On the fence?  Order some and give them a try!  If you need a consultant, feel free to use this link to Kim's Jamberry page.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Battle of the Brands

I have to say one of the things I prefer about uniforms in school are the lack of "name brands".  Ever since our son, Sal III was very young (I'd say about 2 or 3 years old), I've let him pick his own clothes.  He went through a 6 year camo phase, no joke.  All the way down to the underwear.   He never wanted colored hair, faux hawks, jewelry or any name brand things.  What I'm saying is, I let him be himself without placing any pressure on him re who I thought he should be or how he should appear to the outside world (other than daily showers).  :) When he started preschool (at age 3) he could dress as he liked.  I witnessed first hand what appears to be (IMO) the battle of the brands.  I'm not saying his 3 year old classmate did not choose his spiked green hair, DC shoes and Sean Paul (spelling) attire on his own.  That is entirely possible.  However when I see the father of that child wearing the same type of sideways hat and shoes, it makes me wonder if our society is way too focused on all the wrong things.  I'm in no way saying I don't buy my son name brand things.  I do, for sure.  Here is why.  It is not because I like a specific name brand or because of the brand itself.  It is because as he has gotten older, he likes different things for different reasons. He loves a lot of the Quicksilver shirts because he loves the ocean scenes and his dad likes to surf.  But, only shirts in the softest and brightest highlighter-looking colors.  He still loves anything camo because his grandfather (who he is named after) is a Marine.  At his size, camo is hard to come by, so the kids sections at stores like Old Navy and Target just aren't cutting it any more, so I have to look at the other brands now.  We've even been to the Army surplus stores.  He does sometimes pick really odd things. During a trip to Catalina last year, he studied and really wanted this bright blue Patagonia backpack from one of the stores.  My husband said no, because it was over $100.  We asked him why he wanted this specific backpack.  He said because it had safety features.  Reflective tape, a whistle, a place to keep a water pouch.  He also liked all the pockets to store his gear. We thought about it and went back to the store and bought it for him.  He had been using the same two backpacks since preschool.  One was camo (big surprise) and the other was a Boy Scouts one.  Six years of the same backpacks and they still look new.    I explained this to my husband who then agreed if he wanted an expensive backpack, we could justify it because he would take care of it.  He is using it again this year.   My son loves soft things and he really prefers anything he wears to be really soft, so while shopping for his Summer clothes, I came across some really soft shorts for him.  My husband saw them and informed me they were a name brand that was popular.  I honestly had no idea.  They were $14.97 on clearance.  I wasn't sure if our son would like them, but I bought them anyway.  He did not like them.  He asked me to buy the same shorts he's been wearing since he was about 2 years old.  The problem is, he is in a 16-18 now and the boys section of Target ends there and I was trying to prepare him for the move from his non-descript Circo brand Target cargo shorts.  You know, the ones that are 2 pairs for $12?  I guess my point is, I wish more children were unaware of name brands, peer pressure to fit in, be "in-style", etc.  I can only hope that all children have a chance to be themselves, find out what they like and make choices on their own.  I truly believe our society places way too much value on who has the newest name brand purse, shoes, clothes and cars.   It is OK to have these things.  Just make sure you are doing it because it is something you or your child truly LOVES, not because you are trying to fit in or one-up the neighbors.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Things People Didn't Tell Me About The Xbox One.

Introducing the all new, Xbox One.  The One that does it all.  In my opinion, it has the potential to do it all, but sadly, it just isn't there yet.

image via

I actually waited several weeks to run out and buy my newest gaming console, the Xbox One.  Why?  My gaming friend Jason (Gamertag: Jasonincbus) and I made a deal: neither of us would give in and buy one until the other decided to do so.

Anyway, he gave in first due to some gift cards he received and who am I to go back on a deal? 

So check it out, the following are things no one was trying to mention when I asked people to give me the pros and cons of the Xbox One (and believe me, I asked quite a few people).  All I heard were things like, "It so great, Ang!", "It's the best thing like everrrr!" and "You have to get one!"

These are the things that struck me as foul right off the bat:

No voice messages.  That's right, the Xbox One does not allow you to send voice messages to your friends.  You will, however be notified of incoming voice messages from the land of your Xbox 360 friends, but you will not be able to listen to them unless you bust out your 360 and sign into your account on there.  Can anyone say, DUMB?!

No Bluetooth support.  Yep.  You read that right.  No. Bluetooth. Support.  So, this means you can say goodbye to your expensive $300+ headsets.  Oh, wait.  They are releasing an adapter sometime during the "first quarter" of the year.  Do real-life gamers even test these consoles out prior to the launch?  Get it together, Microsoft!

No way to view or modify your hard drive capacity.  Literally, there is no way to view your current storage situation.  Like what happens when I want to delete a game?  Oh, never mind there are less than a handful of available games and almost all of them are right around 40GB to install.  5x40=200.  We are good!  (insert sarcastic undertones here).  What the Efff?!
This brings me to my next complaint:

You MUST install your games to your hard drive.  It is no longer an option to do so, the Xbox One now insists you install to the hard drive in order to play the game.  Gone are the days of going to your friend's house and popping in a game and just playing it.  Gone!  What about the non-tech savvy parents out there?  You pay $500 for a console and your kids want to be able to play a game on it, right?  RIGHT!?

The games take upwards of 30 minutes to install.  Mine took 56 minutes on average per game.  I bought (3) games in total, so needless to say I spent most of the night installing games to the hard drive.  Fair to note:  many people report around 30 minutes to install games, I happen to have a defective device (more on that in a minute).

Apps.  One of the selling features of the Xbox One was the fact it can play my Blu-ray discs.  I mean, dang I can now retire my PS3, right?  Yeah, I sure can AFTER I download an app.  For real.  You are required to download an app in order to play a movie via your Xbox One.  This does not come pre-installed.

Oh and let's not forget about listening to music.  Did you get the app?  If not, forget about it.  MP3 files on your disc?  Forget about those, too.  MP3 files are not supported on the Xbox One.

On the plus side, I was able to download Netflix, HuluPlus and Amazon Instant Video with ease.  If you want HBO Go, you better just watch it on your Smart TV, your iPad, or maybe even your phone, because the Xbox One, does not offer an app for it.

Watching Television.  I have to say the ability to hook up your cable or satellite box to the Xbox one is pretty nifty, but what about for those times when you don't want to have to turn the Xbox One on?  I mean, come on - my almost 60 year-old mom does not want to turn on a gaming console in order to watch reruns of Friends or Murder She Wrote.  Come on now.  Without having to purchase a splitter of some sort, there should be a way for us to still watch TV the old fashioned way, if and when the need arises.  Because, believe me - the need will arise.

Followers.  You will no longer receive friend request alerts (which is handy for just saying "NO!" to the Xbox stalkers out there).  Girls: you know what I am talking about.  You will, however, soon see your list of "followers" growing.  These so-called followers are people who have recently added you as a friend.  Wait.  Say Whatttt?  You may be thinking..."No way Ang, people can't add me unless I approve them first..."  Say goodbye to those days, my friends.  But, guess what?  To add a friend, all you need to do is "follow" them back.  Pretty simple, right?  Oh my bad!  I forgot to mention you will now see every single thing the people you follow (aka add as friends) do via a handy thing known as the Feed.  That said, the Feed will tell all of your stalkers every single thing there is to know about you.  Did you just watch Prison Break via Netflix?  Yup.  Are you playing Forza?!  Well, by golly you sure are, because I can see it in my Feed!  Everything any creeper ever wanted or needed to know about you in regard to your Xbox One is right there for their viewing aka reading pleasure.  The Xbox One...The One That Tells It All.

The following is just something I find annoying, even though I did know about it prior to my purchase.  I only have myself to blame re this one.

No backwards compatibility.  I mean like not even for previously purchased digital games via the XBL Arcade.  Come on guys.  If you can make COD Ghosts, BF4 and even Lego Marvel work, you can let us have access to our digital content.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for technology.  Hello, my name is CPU22GIRL for a reason.  (That's Computer-22-Girl for the slower folks out there).  But this Xbox One is not even close to being ready for the masses.  It really isn't.  But, guess what?  Just like the same crappy games with their same crappy servers and lack of support we have ALL been complaining about for years - we will continue to buy it.  If we will buy it, they will make it.

The bottom line is this:  The games (or lack thereof) pretty much suck, the console itself needs some serious revamping in order to live up to its true potential and overall there is no way knowing what I know now, I would ever recommend purchasing this console in its current state.  To anyone.  Like ever.

I truly had a list much longer than this, but for some odd reason I can't find the note I typed to myself via my Galaxy Nexus.  So, this is all from the top of my head, kids.

Oh yes, regarding my defective console - I will say this.  Microsoft was on point when I contacted them because my brand new, 5 day old console decided it no longer wanted to read discs.  I mean, come on!  I had already inserted 3 different discs into the console.  That is a lot, guys! (insert sarcasm (again) here).  They offered me something they are calling an "Advance Exchange Order" in lieu of me having to wait to get my console repaired.  Pretty much what that means is I had to provide my credit card info, Microsoft then placed a $500 "hold" on my card and is in the process of shipping me a brand new console.  In return I am to ship back the defective one using the box the new one arrives in.  Not too shabby, and if the old-school Red Rings of Death (RROD) situation was anything to learn from, it seems they have learned a thing or two about customer service.

Another thing worth mentioning is pretty much ALL of the above could be fixed via a system update.  I mean, really, why can't we send voice messages?

Last, but not least are the things I really like about the console:

A stand-out plus of the console is the voice chat is very true to life.  It literally sounds like you are on the phone with someone.  Very clear and concise.  So much so, you can hear other people breathing.  Like a lot.  Just saying.

The speed of this thing is pretty awesome, as well.  Everything moves super quick.

The Kinect is amazing.  It recognizes you when you walk in front of it and you have the option of enabling auto-log in.  I have to say: This is pretty cool.  The voice recognition is pretty nice, too.  It really does listen to what you say.

The "Xbox Record That" feature is one of the neatest added features I have seen.  Did you just blow someone up with a grenade launcher?  Well, tell your Xbox to "Record That!" and it will.  You can share the video with all of your friends later.

I will update this list as things change, but for now, I am out.  Happy Gaming!

01/09/2014 Update: I was browsing the website and came across the following: 

Uninstall Xbox One content
If you need to make room for a new game, or if you want to uninstall a title that you don’t use anymore, you can do it from My games and apps. Here’s how:

  1. Start from Home (press the Xbox button on your controller to go Home).
  2. Go to My games and apps.
  3. Highlight the content that you want to uninstall.
  4. Press the Menu button on your controller.
  5. Select Uninstall.
This sure helps!  I checked it out and it even tells you how much space the game/app is taking up.  However, there still is not a way to view any type of summary/overview re how much space has been used

Friday, September 13, 2013

Everyone Should Have Their Own Robot

Green iRobot Logo via iRobot

I Heart iRobot.  For realsies.  This is a post I intended to write a long time ago.  I am a HUGE fan of iRobot.  I own both the Roomba and Scooba models and can not say enough good things about them.  Anyone who comes to my house gets introduced to them at some point.  Often, I refer to them as my kids.  Their names are Claire and Sam.  As in, Claire Redfield & Sam Fisher.  If they ever (who am I kidding?!) When they have a baby robot, she will be named Lara Croft.  Don't hate.  I have a photo album dedicated to my robots on facebook.  Seriously.

Had I known they would one day become celebrities, I would have taken better pictures when they were first born.  I regret to say I never took pictures of Claire (the Scooba aka the mop), when she first came to live with us.  But, when her boyfriend Sam moved in, it was so on.  I understood the power of the robot by then.

A Little History.
Meet Claire.  She was born in January, 2010.  I found her online.  At the time, it was the only way she could be had.  I ordered her directly from iRobot.  I paid $599 with free shipping.  OUCH.  But, I would do it again.  In an instant.  Even if it meant blowing the dust off of my American Express.

Claire aka iRobot Scooba 380, cleaning our floors.

Claire is an extremely hard worker.  She even cleans our guest house.

Claire, age 2

It wasn't long before I decided Claire needed a boyfriend.
Meet Sam.  Born April 27th, 2012.

Sam Fisher aka iRobot Roomba 560
I purchased Sam from Bed, Bath & Beyond.  I utilized a 20% off coupon and a free upgrade kit with purchase.  I paid just under $400.

Don't doubt the cleaning power of the Roomba. This is after 3 cleaning cycles of all rooms. Our floors are super clean, too. We never, ever wear shoes indoors.

Gross, eh?

 Sam even cleans under the table and between the chairs.

I love this little guy.  Our cat, not so much.

The Nitty, Gritty Details.
Both units are low maintenance and easy to use.  Because it uses water, the Scooba requires a bit more maintenance (aka cleaning) to keep it working efficiently.  It is all really easy, though.  The Roomba picks up the grossest stuff you don't even know is in your house.  It cleans under the beds and in closets.  You can even schedule your Roomba to turn on automatically every day of the week!  Need I say more?

Some people may think they are too loud.  In my opinion, the noise level is the equivalent of a blow dryer on the low setting.  It does not bother me at all.  Better than having to bust out the Shark Steam Mop or Dyson (my other mop and vacuum power couple of choice).

The Roomba with an upgraded bin kit works great.  We have a Husky dog and a Siamese kitty and there is not a speck hair on my tile after these robots have done their daily chores.  If you are wondering how the animals like the robots - they have never bothered the dog and with our cat, it was touch and go at first, but now he doesn't even move when the robots come near him.  Like as in, he stays asleep.

In October of 2012, I had to replace Claire's battery pack.  This cost me $69.70, including shipping.  Again, I ordered directly from iRobot.  I have not had a problem since.

Do you have access to a Bed, Bath & Beyond?  If so, utilize their 20% off coupon and call it a day.  They have the best return policy, hands-down.  Especially, if let's say, the robot eats a few Nerf bullets and never sounds the same again.  BOOM!  Return and get a new one.  You will be right around the $300-400 mark with the upgrade and the one with scheduling.   No need to get all cray-cray and buy the that's just LAZY!

So, what are you waiting for?  Step up your robot game, today.  Your floors and your white socks will thank you.  This has been a public service announcement to dirty floors everywhere.

Disclaimer:  If you think I am alone in my Robot fandom, think again!  People everywhere name their robots and even let their kids ride on them! (Not recommended by iRobot).  Yes, I really refer to them by their names.  You can ask anyone who knows me.  Also, at some point, I would love to own my very own iRobot pool cleaning and gutter cleaning robots, too.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Liebster Award (is what exactly)?

photo via Photo Science Channel
Today I received a notification that I had been nominated for something called a "Liebster Award".  Say whaatt?  No really, what is a Liebster award?  I had no idea.  So, I asked my two most trusted friends, who always give me great answers, Google and wiki.

Upon further research regarding the origins of the Liebster Award, I only became more confused.  It is like the game of Blog Telephone.  Some people say in its original form, it was a chain letter, while others say the original rules were much different than those being used today.

Basically, a Liebster Award is:
A Blog Award

"A blog award is an award for the best blog in a given category. Some blog awards are based on a public vote and others are based on a fixed set of criteria applied by a panel of judges.

Like film or television awarding committees, blog awards are started by a certain body, usually composed of blog enthusiasts. Since blogging is an Internet activity, most of the process is done online.

Nominees are usually accepted from anyone in the Internet as long as the one who nominates adhere to given policies and procedures. The nominated websites, varying from independent servers to provider hosted are scanned by a selected team of judges.
The filtered nominees are then announced online or by other means such as newspaper or radio stations. Other bloggers or Internet users are given the opportunity to vote for several categories such as Best Single Post, Best Blog Site, Best Design, and others. The winners are announced in a ceremonial night usually held in large venues and online.
There are also blog awards initiated by small groups of bloggers in certain locations. The nomination and selection process is usually the same with major awarding bodies but the awarding is usually less extravagant." 

Uhm, OK...thanks?  I guess this is pretty cool.  Right?  Regardless, this "Liebster Award" comes with some stipulations.  As in some things I need to do to pay it forward, so to speak.  So, here we go...

To make things easy, I am basing my response on the directions found on the blog of the person who nominated me:  Always Blabbing

The Rules:
  1. You must link back to the person that nominated you.  Check.
  2. You must answer the 11 Liebster questions given to you by the nominee before you.
  3. You must pick 11 bloggers to be nominated for the award with under 200 followers.
  4. You must come up with 11 questions for you nominees to answer.
  5. You must go to their blogs and notify your nominees.
The questions I was given (in purple font, mind you):

1. Eyeliner gel or pencil?  Pencil.
2. Favorite nail polish.  Essie.
3. Dream vacation destination?  Anywhere I can snorkel.
4. Sandals or boots?  Havaianas all day.
5. Favorite Season?  I live in California, need I say more?
6. Favorite Holiday?  Summer Vacation.  Be quiet, it is a holiday for me.
7. Colored mascara yay or nay?  Definitely not.
8. Do you have animals?  Unfortunately.  I say that because while I love our fur balls, I have become allergic.  The dog resides outdoors, so she is ok.  The cat, however, is about to kick rocks.
9. One make up product you can't live without: Only one?  Lip balm with SPF.
10.  Favorite Movie?  I see what you are trying to do:  If I were to answer this, you would be able to hack every single account in my name.  My second favorite movie, The Count of Monte Cristo.
11. Favorite Food?  Healthy: Grilled Veggies.  Not so healthy:  My MIL's Tacos.  They.  Are.  The.  Bomb.

My 11 Nominees:

Seriously?  This is going to be the most difficult one.  I am THE ONLY PERSON with a blog who I know who has less than 200 followers.  Hmmm.  Okay, here goes.  Never mind it's not going to work.  Instead, I am listing my top 11 blogs I read the mostWhat?  This is blog telephone, remember?  Everyone else has altered the rules, so I am going to, too.  I will even go one step further and give a description as to WHY I heart these blogs so much.
  1. Pretties & Posies I LOVE her white furniture.  Seriously, I am addicted to all things white.  Also, her pictures are gorgeous.  Go check them out.
  2. Dreamy Whites This is the blog that inspired to me to take the plunge and purchase my white sofa.  A year later, I can not complain.  Much.
  3. Thrifty Decor Chick I do not thing there is anything this "chick" can't do  She is like AMAZING.  Also, her house is gorgeous.
  4. The Design Junkie I first met Chrissa back in our MySpace days (don't judge us) and instantly fell in love with her writing style.  Fast forward many years later, and we are still friends (like in the Internet sense of the word, but whatevas).  I absolutely adore her style, her heart and she makes like awesome things.  Just go read her blog already.  PS.  She also has a white couch.  So there.
  5. The House of Smiths This family has got to be fake.  (I kid.)  I mean, their house is perfect, their kids look perfect and their blog is filled with all things fabulous.
  6. Cozy. Cottage. Cute.  The name says enough.  Super cute site.
  7. One Good Thing by Jillee  I want her to be related to me.  She makes her own LAUNDRY SOAP!  Seriously though, I used her recipe on how to clean my expensive pillows and make them bright white again.  It worked and she is awesome.
  8. IHeart Organizing  This is the site any busy mom needs to subscribe to.  She has awesome ideas and I love her blog theme.  It is so pretty.
  9. Trippin with Stanley  I stumbled upon this blog while researching RV design ideas.  (You can read that post here.)  These people made their home on wheels so cute and even gave him a name.  They blog all about their adventures.  Fun!
  10. Romantiska Hem  Since we are on the topic of RV's, this is the most chic one I have ever seen.  So beautiful, you won't even mind that the entire site is in German (?).
  11. Vena The Great  Last, but definitely not least ~ this woman is amazing in all things hair, design, photos and even soap making.  Plus, she is super pretty on the inside and out!

My 11 Questions for the blogs I nominated:
  1. How do we know each other?
  2. Kindle: yay or nay?
  3. If finances did not play a factor, where would you live?
  4. List one goal you want to accomplish in the near future.
  5. What do you want to be doing in five years?
  6. Ten?
  7. Who inspires you most?
  8. What is your biggest pet peeve?
  9. If you could do any one thing, right now, what would it be?
  10. How many subscribers and/or followers does your blog currently have?
  11. Since this award was originally intended to help bloggers increase their following - in your opinion, what is the single best piece of advice you would give to a person just starting out?
Now I have to notify all of these people....Good Lord
The end.  Carry on minions.  :)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Julep Maven August "Classic with a Twist" Box

Julep's August Quote of the Month
Last month I became a Julep Maven by joining Julep's nail polish subscription service.  (You can read all about that here).  Since then, I have yet to be disappointed.  Around the 20th of July, I received an email notifying me the upcoming August Maven boxes were available for preview.  I logged into my Julep account and I have to admit - it was a hard decision to pick only one box.  I almost splurged and upgraded my order to the entire "Garden Party Collection".  Since I had purchased Julep's "Summertime Mystery Box" earlier in July, I just couldn't justify spending more money on polish so soon.  I chose the "August Classic with a Twist" box.  That is my style, after all.  Oh, I also added a couple of add-ons to my order.  I mean, who can resist?!

Fast forward to August 1st.  This arrived in my mailbox:

Yes, the mailman actually crammed the entire box into my mailbox and I almost broke a nail trying to pry it out of there!

Close up view of August Maven Box

One thing I must mention is Julep always has the nicest packaging.  They really go all out on making the most of their monthly themes.  My polishes arrived bubble wrapped in tissue paper with a cute ribbon.  (I opened the packaging before I thought to take a picture).  Also, everything is matchy-matchy, which I adore.

August Classic with a Twist Polishes with Add-Ons

Julep August Classic with a Twist Box Breakdown:

The descriptions for each product come directly from Julep's website.
  • Sylvia - Classic with a Twist: Lilac purple crème
  • Veronica - Classic with a Twist: Modern mauve crème
  • Doublestep Foot Treatment and Friction Stick: This no-mess shea butter treatment nourishes and moisturizes feet, stimulates circulation, and prevents blisters.
  • Features & Benefits:
  • Invisible formula creates a barrier between feet and shoes to protect against blisters
  • Shea butter provides immediate and long-lasting hydration
  • Chili pepper oil invigorates skin and stimulates circulation
  • Vitamin E nourishes rough, dry foot skin
  • No parabens, sulfates, or phthalates
  • A packet of Forget Me Not seeds to plant in my garden

My Add-Ons:
  • Bea - Bombshell:  Lemonade crème
  • The Champagne Trio - A limited edition trio celebrating the 2nd anniversary of the Julep Maven Program.
  • Amity (friendship) - Classic with a Twist: White gold metallic
  • Clio (celebration) - Bombshell: Silver, pink, and lavender multi-dimensional glitter
  • Reiko (gratitude) - It Girl: Rose gold metallic

Package Value Breakdown:
(As of this post all of the individual polishes currently retail for $14.00 or $11.20 if you are a Julep Maven Member)

(3) Individual Polishes:  $42.00 / 33.60
Flower Seed Packet: $1.00 (guesstimate)
Champagne Trio (set of 3 polishes):  Normally $42.00, Currently on sale for $20.00
Doublestep Foot Stick: $22.00 / $17.60

Grand Total Retail Value = $107.00 ($85.00 if you factor in the current sale prices)
Maven Subscriber Price (if purchased separately) = $72.20

What I actually Paid
August Box $19.99
Bea Add-On $4.99
Trio Add-On $14.99
Total = $39.97

Overall, I feel like this box is a great value for the money spent.  Also, I like all of the colors.  Especially the glitter polish, "Clio" included in the trio.

Did you purchase a box this month?  What did you get?  Did you love it or hate it?

If you are not already a member and would like to find out what your Julep Maven Style is, use this link to access Julep's style quiz and a special offer just for you.  Use code "FREEBOX" and your first box is free!  You're welcome :)