Frosty Voxbox review in its entirety! (edited)

A couple weeks ago I got a box of free goodies delivered to me.   Around November I signed up for Influenster which is a large community of people who offer their time to test and review products in exchange for receiving the products for free.  I had a fellow military wife friend who told me about this and she had gotten to a pretty high level.   She was once sent a camera.    Since I love to write,  I wanted to try this out for myself.      Well, I was qualified for the first box that came available shortly after joining.    I know I posted this picture before,  but for the sake of this entire box review I will do it again.   Behold!   The Frostyvoxbox!

My Voxbox!

My Voxbox!

The mailman had just put the box on my doorstep and didn’t ring our doorbell or anything,  so it was a REAL surprise to open my front door to let our two dachshund puppies out to potty and see this bright red box sitting on my porch.  Now, fair warning.. I’ve never been a salesperson who sold Avon, Mary Kay, Tupperware, scentsy, Amway, or any other merchandise that relies on commission and pressuring the public.   So the following product reviews may be sloppy but they will be honest. I really had fun testing out these free goodies and I hope that Influenster will entrust me with more of these to try in the future.   I’m really happy with their company so far,  their website is an informational cornucopia for people looking to try new things with input from the public.  And kudos to the companies that offer out their products for free to people like me.  I hope I’m able to offer some insight that will help inspire.

First thing I took out of the box to try was the Celestial Seasonings tea.    I love tea,  and this flavor “Candy Cane Lane”  sounded perfect for Christmas.    It’s also a green tea which I’ve heard is better for you.    The sample pack came with 2 tea bags AND a coupon!    A few minutes of steeping the tea in hot water and my tea was ready for tasting.    The first thing I noticed was the smell.    Yum.   Peppermint with a hint of  herbal/sweet.   Some teas can be so strong it’s overbearing and bitter,  but this one was smooth and very pleasant.    Adding sugar or any sweetener wasn’t even necessary as it had a hint of sweetness like the smell indicated.   Overall I really liked this tea, and already used my coupon to buy a box to keep on hand (I think it’s seasonal so I wanted to make sure I got some more in time!)

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Next up was the Fruit Vines.   This was a regular sized bag they sent me for a sample!   Normally licorice isn’t my thing but this particular kind I actually liked.   It tastes more like fruit than it does that weird licorice flavor. (no offense to Red Vines!)  It tastes like one of those cherry fruit roll ups you would get packed in your lunch growing up, only in handy bite sized pieces.   Right now the bag is sitting in my desk at work and one or two pieces at a time suffices for a snack to get me through the day.   Yum!    Just make sure you keep the bag sealed up well or the licorice will harden.  I use a few paperclips and it keeps it sealed up great!

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Next up,  I got a hairbrush from Ecotools.  IMG_1517   Now, my hair pretty much hates the water where we currently live.    In fact, it hated the water in Germany too.   The only time I have semi normal looking hair is when I am in California.  I don’t know what it is but every morning I wake up looking like a poodle.  Poofy and annoying,  those are 2 perfect words to describe my hair.  I’ve become reliant on products in order to keep my hair semi human looking.  This brush is a ‘styler and smoother’ as stated on the package.   I’m not saying at all that this is a miracle tool but I WILL say that I noticed a difference after using it.

Poofy poodle hair (before hairbrushing)

Poofy poodle hair (before hairbrushing)

An improvement!   Product free! Just brushed the frizz away (after)

An improvement! Product free! Just brushed the frizz away (after)

I’m totally going to keep using this brush and may even check out some other ecotools products.  (http://ecotools.com/)

Next is a tube of lipstick from NYC (New York Color) in Sugarplum.

NYC lipstick  Sugarplum

NYC lipstick Sugarplum

What do you think?

Wearing the NYC lipstick Sugarplum

Wearing the NYC lipstick Sugarplum

Wearing NYC lipstick  Sugarplum

Wearing NYC lipstick Sugarplum

This lipstick looks pretty nice on me 🙂  I usually don’t dress up as much as I should, but this color is one I’d include in a dress up if I ever did.   There is an event coming up sometime in January where Mike and I have been invited to a dinner party being hosted by the Garrison Commander.   Perfect excuse to dress up and be all girly for a night 😀

NYC lipstick..  don't forget to blot!  ;)

NYC lipstick.. don’t forget to blot! 😉

Also in the box was Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal Eyeliner.   I purposely didn’t take a picture of me wearing this.   Reason being my eyebrows look like a Sasquatch.  I’ll just say that I already like black and grey colored eyeliners and this one is waterproof which is an added bonus!

Also got a full sized bottle of Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

Rimmel Gentle Eye Makeup Remover

I’m sort of ashamed to admit this but I rarely use any form of makeup remover, but I tried this to see how it worked.   I always figured that it would leave a greasy film on your skin and was pleasantly surprised to see that wasn’t the case.  Plus a little of this goes a long way.   I could let this bottle stretch for a while,  which is nice.

And last but certainly not least there was a sample packet of Boots No7 Protect & Perfect Intense ADVANCED Serum.    This was the only item in the box I was really disappointed in.  I tried it and really really REALLY liked it,  but there was only a half a splash in the packet.    It stated that after a week you should be able to see results. I have awful undereye dark patches that I would love to get rid of.   Being offered not even a few day sample doesn’t really amount to anything.  Not that I’m not thankful for receiving this box,  but if they wanted their anti aging serum properly reviewed the sample should have lasted a little longer.

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Well,  there’s my long winded review on the VoxBox.  I hope to be picked again to get more of these someday as it was fun doing this.   I heard the newest box was just mailed out but I didn’t get selected for that one  (Reese’s VoxBox,  that would have been a box full of YUM,  oh well!)   To whoever took the time to read this whole post,   thank you 🙂    I really appreciate it.    I will work on a Vintage Picture of the Day a little later this evening.   Thinking of calling those posts “V.P.O.T.D”     What do you think?   Catchy?

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Chunky vegetable spaghetti sauce w/ Thyme

Since I’m sharing food ideas and since Influenster was so kind to send a box of goodies for me to try out for free and review,  I figured I would include the following recipe.

Something I have grown to love since I have considerably reduced my intake of meat in my diet. My mother encouraged fresh vegetables growing up and tried to implement them in just about every dish she would cook.  (She used to tell me that I would prefer munching on raw cauliflower rather than chocolate.) Since fresh farm grown vegetables are easily obtainable at our local Amish store, I try to stock up on on my favorites on spaghetti night and the result is so yummy you won’t miss the meat! This was a recipe I originally found online but I love to modify certain things with what I like to ‘make it my own’.  Making any recipe your own through trial and error I found is best.    🙂

Ingredients

1 pound pasta of your choice. I enjoy thin spaghetti but any pasta generally will work.

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, diced

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium yellow squash, cubed

8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced into thin pieces (I always preferred bella mushrooms to other kinds, they give off a ‘meatier’ type taste and mix well with the other vegetables (TIP: you can even saute the mushrooms in a small amount of wine at medium heat to bring out the flavor of the mushrooms and give them a little kick!)

1/3 cup dry red wine (YUM! adding this will really give your sauce a strong and delicious flavor!)

3/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley and oregano and dried thyme leaves) I used the McCormick brand since I find is the freshest when it comes to adding to sauces. It also brings out the flavor the longer it simmers.       thyme

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

Directions

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. DO NOT OVERCOOK! Overcooked pasta is gummy and not worthy of this delicious sauce 😉 Set aside for now

2.Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper and cook, covered, until the onions are softened, about 8 minutes.

3.Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook, covered, for 6 minutes more. You can add a small amount of the wine in this step to give the two ingredients a little extra ‘somethin’-somethin’!

4. Add the rest of the wine and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes.

5. Stir in the chopped herbs, and remaining salt and pepper, and cook for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and heat through. Stir in the dried Thyme flakes.

6.Transfer the pasta to plates, spoon the sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the cheese

Enjoy!

My Voxbox!

My Voxbox!