Taste Trunk Gourmet October 2013 Review

IMG_3393 The BoxTaste Trunk is a delicious box that I just started subscribing to last month and it is quickly becoming one of my favorites!! I chose to subscribe to the Gourmet box, but they also have boxes for Health, Sweet, or BBQ. The Gourmet box “Features new items from the best gourmet lifestyle brands. Each trunk includes 5-10 products, discount coupons, backgrounds on the companies, and amazing new recipe ideas.” It is basically awesome delicious in your mouth every month.

costTaste  Trunk costs $29 dollars a month, and you can cancel OR switch to any other box theme at any time : )


the goodsThe Taste Trunk comes adorably wrapped in beautiful wrapping, however I took this picture the day after I opened it, so it didn’t look anything like my rendition, trust me. haha. Also, it comes with cards with recipes and coupons for the items inside. The nice little poem is a very cute touch too.


Whats inside

1 • Shemp’s Old Fashioned Brand Whiskey Pepper Steak Sauce
$5.50/ 10 oz. bottle
This steak sauce is SOOOOOOO delicious! I am so excited about it! I love trying new hot sauces or any sauces in general from brands you just don’t see every day. Definitely a perfect 10 in the box for me! Check out the sauce here.
2 • Southern Culture Shortstacks Pancakes & Waffle Mix – Bourbon Salter Pecan
$7.99/ 10 oz. container/ Serves 4
I was ecstatic to receive this mix in my box this month because I got a super cute waffle maker in my Fancy Food box the other month and these are going to be a delicious flavor to try! Check out the waffle mix here.
3 • Bountiful Pantry – Pumpkin Chowder
$8.50/ 9.8 oz/ 8 servings
I am SOOOO excited to try this soup!! I’ve certainly been in the “fall” mood, and anything pumpkin-related gets me excited!! Also, while I was doing some research on the chowder mix, I came across this great pumpkin picture from their website with the soup. Check out their website here.
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4 • Wooden Table Baking Co. Traditional Alfajores
$4.89/ 3 pack/ 6 oz.
This is a “hand crafted vanilla cookie filled with dulce de leche and rolled in grated coconut.” The card they included on the company was a great letter from the owner of the company that made me think it was a great, family business, who was really dedicated to the treats they were making. Check out their products here.

5 • Chateau White Garlic Marinade
$5.00/ 14 oz.
This. Sauce. Is. So. So. So. Frickin. Amazingly. Garlicky. Deliciously. PERFECT. We love it!!! It’s marinade but I can use it as a salad dressing. It is so perfect tasting. To me, it tastes like caesar crossed with italian plus more garlic and veggies… SO GOOD. Check out the website here. 

product value
Marinade: $5
Steak sauce: $5.50
Waffle Mix: $7.99
Chowder: Mix $8.50
Cookies: $4.89


all love & smiles,


Autumn Shopping

photo (11)#fmsphotoaday #SomethingColorful

What could be more positive and fantastic than shopping???

I wanted to make sure to stay full of good vibes, so I thought the best way to start off this fabulous month of October was to do some good shopping. Woooop!

FIRST OFF, to start my day off with awesomeness, I got this fabulous $20 gift certificate for RA Sushi (one of my fav places, sooo good!!!) because it’s my half birthday month! Thanks RA!! : )
(This also means that I need to go there ASAP, which brings me so much joy because I absolutely love everything they have on the menu!! Happy hour what whatttt!!)

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NEXT, I realized I had over 10,000 points on my AmEx account… which could only mean that I needed to get another “free” $100 Apple giftcard!! Yayy!! I’ve already gotten so many of these, I absolutely love that I can buy awesome apps for my iMac and of course so many songs in iTunes. I’m a few points shy of a $50 giftcard from my Visa too…. damn, I LOVE reward points! If you aren’t using yours or don’t have a card that offers them… GET ONE!!!


On the online shopping front, I’ve had a cart going on F21 for the past couple of days and still haven’t added the last few items to reach the $50 mark (then it’s free shipping so of course I always feel like I HAVEEE to spend at least $50 haha). The main reason I wanted to buy anything there at all was because of this casual crazy messed up meow kitty cat dress — >

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…. I also added tons of jewelry to my bag too. Most of the items are under $4 so it’s easy to keep adding more to your bag, not realizing or even remembering the items I’ve been adding the whole time! Love surprise time!

And then there’s this little ol’ issue that I’ve been dealing with from JustFab… I hate that you have to cancel/decline the month within the first 5 days of the month, otherwise you are charged the $40 fee and basically can’t get your money back — however, the money counts as a credit towards 1 pair of shoes, so it’s not like you’re technically losing anything. Anyway, I’ve had this credit going on my account for 3 months now and still haven’t found a pair of shoes I’ve loved or really wanted/needed, but they just added some new styles and since it’s now boot season, I want a pair of some nice new boots for casual days at work and weekends. Here are some options…. hmmmm….

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And last, but certainly not least, I am lusting after this item right meow… the sterling silver beads, the beautiful blue heart, the way it will look fantastic on my wrist… I want it I want it! ; )

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PS: My impulsive need to shop also just made me add this, however, this is something that I have wanted and have been looking into for months and months now. The “subscription” type clothing service is called Golden Tote, and I learned all about it by reading reviews from My Subscription Addiction. She has one of my favorite websites and thanks to her I know about so many of the amazing boxes I get… ANYWAY, I am so excited to start this service! For either $49/month with 1-2 items or $149/month with 6-7 items (worth up to $600!!!!), you basically choose two of the items/clothing pieces (I am going to try the $149 option) and then they surprise you with the rest!

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You get to choose the first 2 items and I already want these 2 super bad so I am not ULTRA excited to see what else they surprise me with in my very first Golden Tote!!! : )

all love & smiles,


POPSUGAR Must Have July 2013 Review


The Box

POPSUGAR Must Have Box. This is one of my favorite boxes that I subscribe to because of all the full-sized products and the range of categories the items fall into. It’s basically like opening a surprise gift to myself!


Whats inside“POPSUGAR’s monthly favorites delivered to your door. Hand selected items in beauty, fashion, home, fitness, and food. Full sized products and premium items.”



$35/month with free shipping! They offer month by month plans, 3-month, 6-month, and year long options (where you can save up to the price of one whole box!) The total value of these boxes is basically always over $100 so you definitely get your money’s worth!


themeI usually love a good theme for the month, but since the Must Have box is full of random items, they don’t  really fit perfectly together, however they do give a short and simple explanation of the month’s box in the amazing booklet they give which gives detailed info about each product. For this month of July, they talk about the “dog days of Summer”, with items that would be perfect to use at the this mid-summer season!

the goods

1 • Baublebar Rose Double Curb Chain 
When I read that we’d be getting a statement piece that would “complement every outfit”, I never expected this. Rose gold looks so much nicer on delicate pieces, not huge chunky necklaces. It just looks sooooooo cheap to me, although I have been looking around online and found a bunch of cute pictures of nice outfits that women have styled the necklace with, so at least I know it’s doable! Check out the necklace here.

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2 • Supergoop! SPF 30 Anti-Aging City Sunscreen Serum 
Ummmmmm 42 bucks for a sunscreen? That’s still only 30 SPF? Not something that I would ever normally purchase. I realize that this is a nice item but I certainly don’t take care of my skin the way I should so this big-ticket product in the box isn’t really too great for me… It promises to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and many other things so maybe I’ll give it a try just to see if it lives up to it’s promise. Check out the serum here.

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3 • Mighty Leaf Iced Tea – Calypso Mango
I’m not a huge iced tea drinker but I have been warming up to some delicious flavored ones and this one sounds good so I’m excited to try this out! I love pulling a fresh pitcher out of the fridge when it’s nice and freezing cold on a super hot day. Perfection. Check out the tea here.

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4 • Tovolo King Cube Ice Tray 
Me and the bf both think this is an awesome item! It’s perfect for summer drinking, no more watered down cocktails!! Check out the tray here.


5 • NCLA 5 Free Lacquer – #029 As If! 
I always love getting nail polish! I love pretty much every color because you can always work it into a cool design or pattern… helps me stay creative! I don’t have any other polishes by this brand, so I was certainly excited to try it out (especially with such a high price tag!). The color is pretty and it’s very easy to apply, with a nice brush and smooth application. Check out the nail polish here.

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6 • Hannahmax All Natural Crunchy Cookie Chips – Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip 
$23.96 – 4 pack/ 6 oz. bags
Oh. My. God. These cookie chips were to die for! Soooooo delicious and crispy and sweet and chocolately and all around amazing. I was nervous because a) I love ooey gooey cookies, not crispy ones, and b) I don’t like dark chocolate…. but these cookies proved me wrong and showed me a completely new taste sensation that I can’t wait to get more of! Check out the cookies here.




The only thing I LOVED and would actually want to buy are the cookies. I enjoy the polish and ice tray too!


The most expensive product was the sunscreen……. not too fun. This definitely was NOT my favorite Popsugar box.


product value

Necklace:               $28.00
Sunscreen:            $42.00
Tea:                         $6.25
Ice Cube Tray:      $7.99
Nail Polish:         $16.00
Cookie Chips:      $1.99
TOTAL:              $102.23

For a box that promises over $100 of goodies, this one was cutting it pretty close. I like the products, but hopefully next month’s August box will be much better! We already got an email giving us a sneak peek at one of the products, a pretty gold simple necklace. I am excited to see what else they have planned! :]

all l0ve & smiles,


The Best Garlic Bread You Will Ever Make

This garlic bread is amazing. It tastes exactly like Cheesy Texas Toast. I am oh so proud of myself for whipping this stuff up.

I don’t have exact measurements for anything because honestly, it probably doesn’t really matter. It’s just up to you how cheesy/buttery/garlicy you want it to be. For the sake of this post, I will just show exactly how I made it, and I promise you, it is completely delicious. I seriously don’t ever feel like I need to buy Texas Toast again. We eat pasta A LOT around here, and always have Texas Toast or french bread and oil on the side (yup, we’re THAT healthy), but now I am so happy that we can save money and make garlic bread with stuff we always have in the house already!

First I’ll start with what is needed:

IMG_1077Butter, Garlic Salt, & Squeeze Minced Garlic.
Of course if you have fresh garlic that would work too, but I’m lazy and love this squeeze stuff.

IMG_1078my favorite thing ever of course, Olive Oil.

IMG_1079We love cheesy garlic bread, so I used Shredded Mozzarella & Parmesan Cheese.

IMG_1080Of course we need the bread, I just used an italian bread roll.

Now how I made the goodness!

IMG_1081Chop up the pieces as thick as you like them (mine were like 3/4 inch)

IMG_1082Butter those bad boys up!!! The trick I found that made this garlic bread taste better than my other ones I’ve made/had before is that I buttered BOTH sides of the bread. I don’t know if this is common knowledge already and I’m just super late to the game, buuuuut that is what I think makes it super delicious!


IMG_1086Then I squeeze some of the garlic in a little bowl, and add extra olive oil.

IMG_1087Mix it up real good and make sure you have a little spoon (this one here is a baby’s spoon), so that it is easy to add/spread a little of the mixture to each piece of bread.

IMG_1088I made sure there were very little chunks of the minced garlic in each little spoonful….

IMG_1089and then go ahead and spread lightly over the butter (only on one side of course).

IMG_1090I only put a TINY amount of the parmesan cheese on top, because I can’t handle too much of it, but if you like it, go crazy!

Then add the mozzarella cheese, and top it all over with a couple sprinkles of the garlic salt!


Pop it in the oven for 5 minutes at 350 degrees, and boom, you’ve got the most yummy garlic bread you’ve ever made!!!

Nom nom nom!!!! Sooooooo gooooooood :] Hope you enjoy!

Simple ingredients:
Minced garlic (squeezed or fresh)
Olive Oil
Cheeses (Mozzarella & Parmesan)

Bake for 5 minutes @ 350 degrees.

all love & smiles :]

mary elyse