Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fairytale of New York

Another (probably) less well known Christmas song. Not your typical holiday tune but I love the Irish flare. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey

We went to see The Hobbit yesterday. The Hobbit is one of my favorite books of all time and I loved the Lord of the Rings trilogy movies (I've only read part of that series). After I heard that The Hobbit was going to be released as a trilogy and seeing that part one was nearly 3 hours long, I was dubious about how it would be. I mean, the book is only a few hundred pages long, for heavens sake.

As expected, there was much, much, much embellishment on the part of the producers. It is obvious they are trying to turn this in to a prequel to their LOTR movies. So if you are a purist, this may not be the best rendition of the story to watch. The movie was excellent in general. Beautifully shot, lots of action, gorgeous music. Martin Freeman is an excellent Bilbo. Unfortunately it'll be another year till part two comes out and yet another until they wrap it up. Total excess that wouldn't need to be.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Influenster Cosmo Vox Box 2012 review

I recently posted my review of the Venus razors that were included in my Cosmo Vox box from Influenster. I had the most to say about them so I gave them their own post. Today I'll give you my thoughts on the rest of the products in the box.

Pilot Frixion Pens

Being a child of the '80s I was skeptical about erasable ink pens. Erasable ink pens when I was in school were messy to write with and didn't really erase all that well. You were pretty much left with abraded paper with an inky smudge. These however are pretty neat. The ink writes a bit light for my taste (I'm used to bold lines from gel ink pens) but they do write smoothly without smudging. The "eraser" is not a typical eraser that wears down as you use it. It's more like a rubber tip that just magically removes the ink from the page. There is nothing left behind on the paper nor is there a smudge on the rubber tip. Very interesting. I found I could erase the ink for days after writing. I have no need for erasable pens but if you do, this would be a great one to try.

Bath & Body Works Forever Red perfume

Didn't like this at all. Smelled like artificial fruit with an odd musk dry down. Even though this is a perfume it reminded me of a cheap body spray. B&BW has MUCH better smelly stuff available. I'd skip this one.

Ghiradelli Sea Salt Escape

Surprisingly delicious! I've heard a touch of salt can really bring up the flavor of chocolate and this bar seems to prove that point. The chocolate has an excellent flavor and a creamy texture. There are flakes of salt and almonds throughout the bar. The almonds add no discernible flavor, just a bit of texture. The salt adds interest and brightness to the candy. Very very good. I would definitely buy this.

These products were all given to me at no cost in exchange for my honest opinions.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Nuit Etoilee

After last week's warm, rainy days we are back to refreshingly cold temps. With Christmas right around the corner I was craving a cozy, festive scent. Annick Goutal's Nuit Etoilee perfectly fits the bill.

Nuit Etoilee is inspired by a starry night. The scent is a blend of piney woods, mint, and a slight touch of sweetness. It radiates softly for hours. The comforting fir and pine scents evoke memories of Christmas trees. I'm on my third straight day wearing this scent so you know it's something special. I only have a small purse spray but would love one of the gorgeous blue flacons someday. Highly, highly recommended!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Most hilarious Christmas song ever

I first heard this song back in the '80s on Brother Weems' show on WLAN. Haven't heard it since but it stuck in my head and I've been searching to find it. Fate smiled on me tonight. I give you "Hang your Balls on the Christmas Tree"

Gillette Venus Embrace and Venus Olay razors

When I received my first Influenster Vox Box I was excited to receive a new Venus razor and two types of blades, the Embrace and the Venus Olay. I've been using Venus refillable razors for years and years. Although the may be a bit pricier than other brands, I find them to be excellent for shaving. The blades last a very long time. I prefer to use handmade bar soap rather than shaving cream and with these blades I rarely, if ever, cut myself. I generally buy the original or Divine refill.

I decided to try the Olay refill first. It comes in the usual plastic cup Venus packaging making it very easy to attach to the handle with no risk of cutting yourself. The refill head looks rather strange, with large rubbery looking strips at the top and bottom of the head. The head is huge. I found that I could not store my razor in it's shower caddy (I have an older version of the Venus caddy that allows you to store refill blades in a tiny case and the razor hangs on the outside.) I believe if you buy the Venus Olay razor (with the handle and blade) it comes with a holder that is large enough to accommodate the head. The bars are skin conditioners and there are five blades. I'm not sure, but I believe the moisture bars are supposed to help eliminate the need for shave cream. I shaved one leg with Kiss My Face shave cream and the other just wet. The razor performed equally as well on both legs. I was very pleased to find the razor did not drag on the leg that was just wet. The moisture bars provided plenty of slip for the razor to glide over my skin. I had the same super close Venus shave I'm used to. My skin did not feel irritated but I still followed up with lotion since it is winter and my skin is very dry. I will be interested to see how long the moisture bars last. I would highly suggest storing the razor where it will stay dry to prolong the bars. I would definitely consider switching to this version of the Venus razor in the future. Venus Olay refills retail for $15.50 for 3.

The Embrace refill also has 5 blades which gives a super close shave. I did the same experiment with this razor, one leg with shave cream one without, even though this razor does not have the moisture bars. There was a good bit of drag without shave cream so I would not recommend shaving without cream or soap. My legs were very smooth and not irritated. Embrace refills retail for $16.99 for 4.

I loved both razors and found they gave a closer, longer lasting shave than the original Venus shaver I usually use (that one only has 3 blades). If you've got dry skin or want to skip having to use shave cream, go for the Olay version. I would highly recommend either razor, though.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

I Think I Love You, Stephanie Bond

I picked this book up a few months back when it was free in the Amazon Kindle store. I actually picked up a few of Stephanie's books, but this is the only one I've read so far.

I Think I Love You is the story of three sisters who witness a murder when they are kids and agree not to tell anyone what they saw (you know how it is when you are a kid and are someplace you shouldn't be...) Besides, the murderer was found so they didn't really NEED to tell, right? Skip forward to when the girls are grown. The girls don't talk much anymore. One ran away with the others fiance. Life has pulled them to different cities and very different lives. But various personal issues draw the girls back home at the same time. And that's when it gets interesting.

The characters were likeable and identifiable. The plot was somewhat predictable with some clues being quite obvious. But she threw in some red herrings as well and the true culprit was quite a surprise to me. I love that, unlike most cozy mysteries I've read, this one goes on well beyond the murder story and gives us a look at what happens to the girls after their reunion. I believe the book is classified as a humorous romance. There is a bit of romance and some light humor. I enjoyed Stephanie's writing and look forward to reading more of her books.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Cosmo Vox Box 2012

Have you heard of Influenster? Influenster is a social site that allows users to share product reviews. I had joined Influenster maybe a year ago but didn't really get into the site much. At the time it seemed more geared towards younger, hipper folks than me. Well, they have updated and relaunched their site and I got a invitation to take a fresh look.

I really like the new site. You can sign up for "badges" which basically tag the things you are most interested in. The categories are varied, from beauty and food, to family and travel and much more. You answer surveys and post reviews and read other's reviews. I find a lot more that I am actually interested in now with the revamp.

The cool thing is that they sometimes give out "Vox Boxes" with freebies for users to review. I'm not entirely sure what criteria determines who gets a box and what box you get. To my surprise, I just received the "Cosmo Vox Box"

My box included a full size Venus Embrace razor and one additional refill cartridge, a sample of B&BW's new scent Forever Red, a ginormous Ghiradelli candy bar and 2 "erasable ink" pens. In exchange for the goodies, I will post reviews after I've tried the products. I already know I love Venus razors so I'm happy to have received a new one. It will be fun to try out everything else and I'll be sure to share here whether the things are good or bad.