Wednesday, July 19, 2017

TOPBOX REVIEW - JULY 2017 Perfect for summer!

I can't believe it is already July!
My summer has gone by so quickly in the blink of an eye.
This month Topbox did a great job of capturing products and makeup for the summer season!

I was quite exited to see that there was another nail polish in my box this month!
The pastel shade is perfect for summer or anytime really!
The bottle of Essie polish is full size and 13.5ml and is "turquoise & caicos". (The value is around $9).
The nail polish was quite thin in this bottle and is fairly light after 2 coats.

*Update: I think this wears much better with a top coat.
I'm always pleased to add Essie to my nail polish collection.

Essie polish in "turquoise & caicos"

Here is the rest of the contents of my July 2017 Topbox:

July 2017 Topbox contents!!!
GlamGlow Supermud Treatment 15ml, value $24.
This is a clay mask that is very popular at Sephora.
I've used this before and found the eucalyptus a bit too harsh for me. My sister got this mask and she enjoyed trying it. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Topbox Review: May 2017 Canadian Beauty Subscription!

Hopefully everyone is enjoying spring and all the new greenery!
(That could be a theme of Topbox this month....).
I did receive an item that is of a fresh, mint-green colour in my Topbox envelope.

Here is what I got in my May 2017 Topbox;

*China Glaze nail laquer 14ml in Spring Jungle.
This is a nice light mint-green colour, perfect for spring.
It took 3 coats to get the polish to look right.
I am a bit peeved as this is the 5th or 10th time I've gotten China Glaze from Topbox. ENOUGH ALREADY-SEND A DIFFERENT BRAND.
*Pureology Hydrate shampoo and conditioner 50ml each!I am quite thrilled to try this brand. I always see it at the salon, but end up getting another similar natural brand.
**I have tried the Pureology shampoo and conditioner and they are quite nice!
The shampoo lathers a lot and smells of rosemary-mint, the conditioner is a bit thick and hard to get out of a small bottle-and I do not need too much to detangle my hair.
I really want to try the Pureology styling products now-I'm sure they are great!

*Be Delectable hand cream in Strawberries and Cream 60ml.Another delectable product. Last month it was Cake beauty dry shampoo- the same brand/company that makes "Delectable by Cake Beauty".
Delectable is their "cheaper" brand sold at Shoppers for much cheaper.

*Pur Lisse sheet mask.This seems neat and is made in Korea, will have to try it soon.
I used to buy Pur Lisse lip balm and really liked it, that brand seems easier to buy in the US.
Everything I've tried from Pure Lisse has been good so far!

I will have to finish my review a bit later, I must get some beauty sleep!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Topbox Feb 2017 review!

I decided to start posting my Topbox reviews again.
Lately I was not as motivated to do so- as I have been a faithful Topbox subscriber since their very first box came out.

These are the items I was sent in my Feb shipment:

Feb 2017 Topbox Contents

Actually, there is one item missing from this photo-there was a Bella Aura repair cream in a 10ml tube and I have no idea where it went.
I was just about to take my photo and turned around for one second and it is like the product flew away?
My review of the Bella Aura products will be somewhat short.
This is the THIRD TIME IN A ROW that I have gotten a Bella Aura product. Earlier I got a cleanser and I thought the size was quite small at 10ml.
For a face cream 10ml is fine, but for a cleanser?? that is too tiny.

*Bella Aura Repair: 10ml tube. Full size product 30ml, cost $90
-sample value $30!
I do like that this company uses many natural ingredients and is also Canadian!

*Mettrum Originals lip balm in watermellon: 5g tube, full size product, value $3.99
I have never heard about this company before. Looking at their website, they are located in Ontario and own several farms that grow and produce hemp products.

I like that the lip balm is all natural and contains hemp oil.
The watermelon scent is not too strong. The lip balm is quite nice and I would get the one with peppermint for sure!
Their other products like salad dressings and baking mixes look really good.
I will try to look for their products locally!

*Caudalie Instant Detox Mask: 15ml tube, full size product 75ml, cost $45
-sample value $10
This mask was nice and dries quite quickly. The mask itself is pink and has a bit of a floral scent.
Overall, it is a good clay mask and easy to rinse off too.
I really like Caudalie products, but this mask is not on my list of must have  items.
The moisture mask is one of my favorites.
Caudalie always has such nice packaging, and the cap on this mask is made of wood and has a neat and different look (the inside of the cap is plastic still).

Caudalie Detox Mask!

*The last product I tried was the St. Tropica hair mask.
The packet is the full size of the product and is 42 grams and cost $5.
This does seem to be the only size this company has and the only product they make at the moment.
Now it is nice to get such a big, generous sample, but for my hair type (fine, dry and curly)- this packet was quite a lot.
I have enough for 3 uses as my ends are very fine.
The instructions state to put the mask in the microwave, but just putting the packet in hot water or else heating with my hands was fine-coconut oil melts at room temp quite quickly.
It is not like a typical hair mask, where you would just rinse this out after washing your hair, this is a product that you use before washing your hair.
St Tropica is made of coconut oil and has a very strong coconut oil scent, almost a bit too much for me. My shirt smelled of coconut until I put it in the laundry.
The ingredients in this mask are very good and all natural.
If you do a lot of swimming, like many people I know- then this mask would be great to help repair all the damage from salt water and chlorine.
The mask would also be really useful to bring on vacation, as being outdoors a lot can dry out your hair.
Overall I think this mask is great, but it would be nice if there was some way to have it smell less of coconut.
I use to buy organic coconut oil and it never had a strong scent to it.

*Guess I forgot to review one last sample....
The Smashbox card with the eye shadows on it.
Kind of annoyed at that sample, as it is not even the whole palette and there are so many other shades in the store for this collection. It would have been nice to receive several other colour samples- esp when this is a free item you can get at the store.

Overall I am pleased with the Feb 2017 Topbox and the value of the samples was $49.

*Before I forget, I just realized that I was double billed for the  Feb Topbox and nothing was done until I contacted the company. So maybe keep a watch on your web accounts just in case...

What was your favorite product this month?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Mr. Pretzels very tasty new stand at Billings Bridge mall food court.

Recently, I went to Billings Bridge mall to run some errands.
I do not get to that mall as often during the winter and recently saw there was a new Mr. Pretzels stand in the food court area of the mall.
I have never heard of Mr. Pretzels, but do enjoy fresh baked pretzels and have even made my own before.
So, of course I had to get a pretzel when I saw this stand.

Usually, I always buy those "new york" style pretzels- the kind that have rock salt on the outside.
Some grocery stores in Ottawa sell that kind frozen and Swiss Pastries (RIP) used to carry those one day a week.

Mr. Pretzels!

Below is a better, more up-close view of my pretzel.
This is the Parmesan and herb pretzel. They dip that in butter before dipping the pretzel in the Parmesan powder.
The dough for this pretzel is more doughy like bread and not like those more dark brown pretzels you find at the grocery store and some bakeries.
This pretzel was quite big and was really more filling than I expected.

Mr. Pretzels close-up!
I will definitely be back to try all the other toppings they had at the stand.
I'm not too sure how many other stores they have in Ottawa, as the Mr. Pretzels website is showing mostly Montreal locations.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Foodiepages Feb 2017 box is here!

Hope everyone had a good new year and holidays!
Finally, I am able to get online more easily-I had computer issues, then Internet provider issues.
Bought a new modem from Amazon and managed to figure out the installation!

I ordered the Feb 2017 Foodiepages box as soon as I saw it was for sale, but had no idea at all what would be in the box.....
This was quite fun to open!

Unopened Foodiepages Box!!!

When I opened my box the first thing I saw was:

Product Card and Crinkle Paper. 

Under all the paper shreds were my food products, they were all very well wrapped up.

Every item was wrapped in bubble packaging.

Now, finally I will try some of the foods I received.
It is quite later here, so the seasonings will have to wait until later.

The first item I tried was Nuba Tisane.This is a hibiscus tea and comes in a 355ml glass bottle. The tea I received was a sugar free version.
The tea or herbal tea is very tart and refreshing, very similar to cranberry in tartness.
The hibiscus flowers for this tea are grown in Egypt and the tea is brewed from the whole dried flowers to provide more benefits.
As far as I know there is no caffeine in this drink and it should be ok for most people (check with a doctor or nutritionist if you are not sure).
I also like that this tisane has no calories and it would be nice to use in a drink or mixed with sparkling water.

Nuba Tisane Cold and Refreshing.

Nutrition Info!

The rest of my review is coming soon.

The next item I tried was the Pea Pops made by Three Farmers.
Sample size 28g, value $1.70/ Reg size 90g cost $4.99

The flavour is DILL PICKLE POW and the title does live up to its name. The dill flavour was quite strong and tart- but in a good way.
I did find there was quite a bit of salt for a small portion- 28g has 150mg of salt, 240mg potassium (some people need to watch that, nice to see it listed), 5g protein and 10 of your daily iron.

Overall I would say this is a great snack to bring to school, esp if you are not allowed nuts.
The sample size was good to get a taste of the product and would be good for a lunch on the go if you do not want a large portion.
I do have a small issue with the product- it would have been nice to try one of the other flavors too, especially since the sample bag was just enough for one person or serving.
The only other thing I would like to see, if possible is the same pea snack, but with a more plain seasoning-like just sea salt and pepper or maybe even unsalted.
I do not always want to be hit in the face (or taste buds) with such a strong flavour.

There was quite a few things I did like about the Pea Pops snack- it is roasted instead of fried. The peas were still extremely crunchy due to this.
The pea snack can be traced by the product number on the back of the bag.
This is also a vegan product and made in Canada!

So Much Dill!!

Info from Back of Package.

Cheese Plate served on slate board!

To try out the Spicy Tomato Jam made by Salt Spring Kitchen Co, I put together a cheese plate.
Almost any kind of savory cracker, nuts, vegetables would be great with the tomato jam.
Also, I'm glad the jam was not overly spicy-so for people like me who avoid very spicy food I had no problems eating this jam.
Actually it was hard to put the jar down, it was so good!

Cheese Plate!

I also made a delicious grilled cheese sandwich using fresh grain bread from Whole Foods and some Brie.
Pretty much any type of cheese or even just grilled vegetables in a sandwich with the tomato jam would be great for the non-cheese eaters.

Grilled cheese (Brie and Tomato Jam)

*This is what the inside of the sandwich looked like:
Inside of sandwich!

There was also a Wild Leek Vinegar made by Wild Muskoka Botanicals.
The bottle was a 60ml size and had a value of $4.50.
I used the vinegar on a salad and it added some nice extra flavour, but was not overpowering.
The product card from Foodiepages states the vinegar is made from Ontario organic apple cider vinegar that is infused with wild leek and to use this as a dressing, marinade or finisher on savory dishes.
I thought my mother would like the vinegar and gave her the rest to use in her food, I keep on forgetting to ask her what she used it in.

Salad with Wild Leek Vinegar

Finally got around to trying the Caribbean Jerk Marinade made by Saha Cuisine!
The jar is a 250ml size and cost around $8.
I used the marinade as a sauce to top my veggie burger-the sauce was extremely spicy for me, so I barely needed any.
For me, this marinade is almost too spicy, I am going to have to only use a very tiny bit for a big batch of tofu or chicken.
I think this marinade or sauce would be great in a dish with coconut milk or maybe on some roast potato that I cook in the oven.
The weather here has been quite bad, so for now I have not had a chance to get to the grocery store to pick up items to make any dishes.
(My freezer is mostly frozen fruit, bread and ice cream at the moment).

Jerk Marinade close-up on spoon.

Jerk Marinade on veggie burger!

The picture above is a veggie burger with Caribbean Jerk Marinade by Saha Cuisine as a sauce.
I did not use much of the marinade- just a few small drops, as for me it is very spicy.
Yes, I did try the marinade before putting it on my food and used a very tiny amount. But because the veggie burger is a similar colour, it looks like a lot more.

Overall I enjoyed the Feb 2017 FoodiePages tasting box and am trying to get one every month.
There are only 50 boxes for sale each month, so you need to check their website quite quickly to get a box.
This box was fun to try and I have never heard of any of these items before.
It would have been nice to get more than one bag of the roasted peas, as the portion was very small.
I do plan on getting more from all these companies in the future

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Foodiepages Dec 2016 Tasting Box Review!

Hope that everyone is having a great holiday season!
I just ordered and received the December 2016 Foodiepages tasting box.
The December edition was curated by Toronto Life magazine.
During the summer, there was also another box I had managed to buy that was curated by Toronto Life- it was a BBQ box then.
Now, I do not mind too much that this is a "curated by Toronto Life" box, but it would be nice if there was someone else to curate the box.
I'm not too sure who should be the next person or "thing" to curate a box, but I am sure there are a lot of interesting people who would do it (maybe I could) ,I buy a lot of Canadian foods and local foods from Ottawa.

Now onto my unboxing of the Foodiepages Dec box:

Opening my Dec 2016 Foodiepages Box!

Opening this box, there are always paper shreds that get everywhere!

Now here are the contents of the December box!
There are quite a few full-size items, so this is quite nice!

Dec 2016 Foodiepages Box Contents!

The first item I tried from the box was Neal Brothers' Montreal Steak Spice Kettle Chips.
The bag of chips was 142 grams and you can buy these chips online for $3 and in local Ottawa stores for around $4+.
The chips were very crunchy- as expected from kettle chips. The Montreal steak spice was quite spicy. I found it more like a spicy bbq seasoning, the chips were quite salty compared to what I usually buy.
I was a bit surprised to see Neal Brothers' products in a "Canadian" food box, as I do know the Neal Brothers' were born in Canada- but most of the products I have bought have all been PRODUCTS OF THE UNITED STATES.Now I do buy a lot of the Neal Brothers' pretzels and other flavours of chips all the time and really like their honey mustard pretzels (and those are from the US also).
I do buy food from every country, but do not really think these chips should have been an item in this box. Maybe they should have found a Neal Brothers' item that is made in Canada?
Now, I know they also make some salsa, and I have never tried that.
I am going to Whole Foods this weekend and I will make sure to look at the Neal Brothers' products while there.

*Shoko Chocolates Signature Bar: This was another full size item that is 90 grams and costs $8.50.
The chocolate bar smelled amazing and looking at the bar and trying it without reading the description I would have guessed it was 50-60% cocoa and not quite dark chocolate, but not quite milk chocolate either.
It reminded me of the Dolfin and Valrhona 60% bars I buy quite often (but not in months since no place I go to carries them).
If you know anyone who likes chocolate, this would be a great bar to give to anyone!

*All Mine Caramel Cayenne Caramel Corn: The bag for this was 75 grams and I was afraid that it would be too spicy. But as soon as I opened the bag and tried some I did not find that it was overly spicy. The spice shows up more after you have eaten the caramel corn.
The bag of caramel corn was finished almost as soon as it was opened.

All Mine Caramel Cayenne Caramel Corn!

I will finish the rest of my review later this week, still need to try the rest of the items and am working on that!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Fried Ice Cream in Ottawa South! Mexigo Cabana food truck!!

Hope everyone is keeping cool in this weather.
I really wanted to try the deep fried ice cream from Mexigo Cabana on earlier visits, bit was always too stuffed to get a dessert -finally I went there just to get some ice cream and it was quite good!
The portion size for the ice cream was enough for two people or else someone enjoys a lot of ice cream.

Deep Fried Ice Cream from Mexigo Cabana!

The ice cream that is used for this only comes in vanilla, it seems like a classic flavor.
It is just regular vanilla ice cream, nothing too fancy- but still good!

The menu describes this item as "A ball of ice cream smothered with cinnamon sugar deep fried covered with a sweet chocolate sauce whipping cream".
I think that is a pretty accurate description- except the ball of ice cream is also coated in  cereal like corn flakes or something else.
The whipping cream is most likely the canned stuff and quite sweet. The chocolate sauce was good too and is like the sauce you would put on a sundae.
Overall the fried ice cream was quite sweet and not something I want to eat every day, but will surely have more of them this summer.
I was also told there is a caramel sauce that you can ask for now!

The cost for the deep fried ice cream was $6.50 and does seem fair as the portion is quite large and was enough for two people.
*let me know if you do try the deep fried ice cream from Mexigo Cabana!Also where do you get fried ice cream from in Ottawa,I want to check out a few more places to see how they make them.
(I did have the Lone Star one before....)

Mexigo Cabana is located at Walkley and Bank st, in the parking lot of Mr. Lube.
-there are 2 picnic tables and an umbrella to sit under as well!

The hours for Mexigo Cabana are: Mom-Fri 11-7, Sat 11-5 Sunday Closed.