Tuesday, June 20, 2017

GIVEAWAY - $59.94 Blue Apron Meal Kit

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The winner must be over 18 years old, have never subscribed to Blue Apron, provide me with their name and email address to give to Blue Apron, provide Blue Apron their credit card number in case they want to continue with the service past the first box and live in the US (not in Hawaii & Alaska). Winner will be sent an email from Blue Apron & simply need to click on the link to redeem their free Blue Apron box online. To cancel future shipments: visit their website and go to account info, then chose "manage"  & then "cancel" or to skip future shipments select delivery schedule and chose "skip". Box is shipped via FedEx and arrives at your doorstep on your choice of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. 

This giveaway is only for those that have never subscribed to Blue Apron before. Please do not enter if you don't intend to redeem the free box! It's a limited time offer and must be redeemed prior to June 28th. I have reviewed nineteen Blue Apron deliveries, so be sure to check those out before you leave. Start with my 19th delivery. Then check out my Blue Apron Pinterest Board, click on the photo of the recipe that you fancy to see the matching blog post.  

Bargain Alert: 

Green Chef - Four FREE Meals, click here
Home Chef - Three FREE Meals, click here.
Mr. Rebates - Cash Back for Online Shopping, click here.
Sun Basket - Three FREE Meals, click here.
Vitacost - $10 off 1st order
Walmart Grocery - $10 off $50

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Monday, June 19, 2017

Play! by Sephora Subscription Box Review - June 2017

Summer Starters

This is a review of a monthly cosmetic subscription box by Sephora called Play! Each month six samples are sent for only $10 including shipping. The retail value of my June box is $38.28.  Included in this month's box were the following products:
  1. Verb - Sea Spray, made in the USA, 2.4 fl. oz., $5.33 retail value
  2. Benefit - The Pore Professional, made in the USA, .10 fl. oz, $4.13 retail value
  3. Kat Von D - Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lovesick, .10 fl. oz., $9.09 retail value
  4. Coola - Makeup Setting Spray, .34 fl. oz., $7.20 retail value
  5. Klorane - Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, made in France, 1 oz., $10 retail value
  6. Bvlgari - Omnia Crystalline, made in Italy, .05 fl. oz., $2.53 retail value
I love receiving sea spray samples since I really enjoy the beach wave look that is easy. After coming out of the shower and letting my hair dry just a bit, I spray lots of the sea spray in my hair and scrunch from the ends up to the roots. Then I let it air dry and I usually have pretty good results. I haven't tried this one yet, I forgot to. I'll give it a try soon. I also find I can liven it up later that day or the next day by spraying water on my dry hair and adding a bit more of the product and scrunch again. This one has a pleasant floral scent to it. I have received The Pore Professional sample many times and I really like this product since it actually works. I was very skeptical before I tried it, but it really does make your pores on your nose appear smaller. It has color to it, but it doesn't change your skin tone like foundation nor does it change the color of your foundation. It  goes on like a primer. Wow, the Kat Von D matte lipstick is the best matte lipstick I have tried so far. You need very little of the product, one quick layer and it dries so quickly which is a plus. It doesn't feel dry when you rub you lips together like so many other brands. It also didn't dry out my lips. It lasts well except eating. You will need to reapply after a meal. I love the look of matte lipstick, but it does show every single wrinkle! That's why Bare Minerals lip gloss is my favorite, it doesn't show any wrinkles on the lips, they appear to be as smooth as glass. Lovesick is a pretty color. Once it dries it appears to be a bit darker on the lips than on the applicator. I'm not a big fan of setting sprays and this one has SPF, so I really dislike it. I wish companies would stop putting SPF in so many products. I don't want layers of SPF! If I apply moisturizer, primer, concealer, foundation and setting spray all with SPF, it's too much! This one has alcohol as the first ingredient and it smells like it also. It's awful, I haven't found any Coola products I have liked and I've received many samples over the years. I love the Klorane brand and I was introduced to it many years ago while on vacation in Toronto. They make a wonderful line of hair products for blonde hair. I looked at the ingredients of their dry shampoo and became quite alarmed. Butane and propane are the first two ingredients and the can has a big flame warning on it. No thank you, I'll pass! My skin in very sensitive, this can't be good for it. I had already tried it before reading the ingredient list, it goes on very cold, feels wet at first and I didn't notice any scent. I just looked at the ingredient list of some other brands I've sampled before and they also have propane in them. Anyone know of a brand that doesn't use butane or propane? Not a fan of the Bvlgari perfume they sent. It says it has notes of bamboo, nashi, lotus flower and balsa wood.

The retail value of $38.28 isn't as great as some previous boxes, but I'm really happy to receive the sea spray, lipstick and the pore primer. The lipstick alone almost pays for the box. I really enjoy receiving this subscription box each month and I recommend it.

Check out my Play! by Sephora Pinterest Board to see what I have received in my previous boxes. Also, check out my Subscription Box Pinterest Board to see what other boxes I've subscribed to over the years. Don't forget to enter my latest giveaway before you go. 

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Friday, June 16, 2017

QVC's TSVs for July 2017

Preorder Numbers for Today's Special Values

4th - Denim & Co Fit & Flare Stretch Lace Top, A296672, $28.24 or 2 payments of $14.12, comes in 6 colors

6th - Sterling Silver Semiprecious Gemstone Pave Ring, J349241, $79.80 or 5 payments of $15.96, comes in 5 colors and 7 sizes 

7th - Skechers Multi-knit Slip On Bungee Sneakers, A296486, $49.98 or 3 payments of $16.66, comes in 5 colors  Vionic Orthotic Studded Leather Platform Sandals, A295861, $59.90 or 5 payments of $11.98, comes in 5 colors (postponed from June 12th & currently out of stock, may have been cancelled)

10th - Tula by Dr. Raj Three Piece Probiotics Skin Care Essentials Kit, A296785 or A/D A299266, $51.96 or 3 payments $17.32

13th - Or Paz Sterling Silver Gemstone Tennis Bracelet, 6 1/4" J349065 or 7 1/4" J349066 or 8" J349067, $79.80 or 4 payments of $19.95, comes in 5 colors, not available for preorder yet

20th - AnyBody Loungewear Brushed Hacci Swing Top, A296489, $33.98 or 2 payments of $16.99, additional quantity $4 off, comes in 6 colors

22nd - Clarks Artisan Suade Slip On Shoes, A296770, $69.96 or 4 payments of $17.49, comes in 6 colors

24th - Joan Rivers Plaid Shirt with Back Button Detail, A297913, $44.94 or 4 payments of $11.23, comes in 5 colors

25th - Harry Slatkin by HomeWorx Set of Two Scented Deluxe 3-Wick Candles, H211394, $39.18 plus $5.50 s/h, ships on September 15th, 6 scent sets to chose from

26th - Emeril 3.75 Quart Rapid Air Fryer with 2 in 1 Basket, K46132, $89.96 or 5 payments of $17.99, comes in 6 colors

28th - IT Cosmetics Super Size Celebration Foundation, A296490 or A/D A299300, A/D future shipments do not include the brush and the price is $10 less every 4 months for 2 years, $49.14 or 3 payments of $16.38, comes in 7 shades

31st - Germack Set of Six Holiday or Summer Mini Jar Assortment, Summer: M54646, Holiday: shipment date November 6th M54645 or ship date December 4th M54647 or ship date December 11th M54648$39.96 or 3 payments of $13.32 

Love, love, love that Harry Slatkin is back to making candles again, but the price, ouch! I use to purchase his candles for around $10 each instead of $22.34 each including shipping. His are a bit larger than Bath & Body Works at 18 oz. instead of 14.5 oz. Sadly, I will be passing on his TSV, but for those that can stomach the price tag please leave a review comment! Lucky you! Note that they will not ship until September 15th. They are airing in the July for Christmas in July since they have the holiday theme and scents. I'm tempted to purchase the IT Cosmetics foundation, but I've never tried this one. How does it compare to their liquid or compare to another brand of powder foundation? Note that the Germack assortment is chocolate free for immediate shipment. If you want the ones with chocolate make sure you chose a fall or winter shipment date. Never tried that brand, is it any good? I've been tempted, but haven't pulled the trigger on that one yet. Oh how I miss Joan Rivers. Not a fan of plaid shirts for women though. Emeril's fryer looks tempting. I purchased his bread machine many years ago from HSN. It's of decent quality. Speaking of celebrities, Suzanne Somers has finally made her way to QVC. She will be selling vitamins July 18th at 9 pm. She has been selling the Life Extension brand for years over on the Evine network. When did she leave that network? I looked at the Evine website and she only has three items left for sale. I could never get into watching her on that channel. I found the hosts so irritating. Use to watch all her shows on HSN and bought lots of her jewelry. Those where the days, so much fun! Remember the pajama parties? Anyone go on any of her cruises? Now she is selling a vitamin brand called Forever Health. I imagine it's so more of the profit lands up in her pocket. That's always been one of her top priorities. Everyone would joke she sells everything but water and guess what she started selling water. She lost me as a customer at that point especially since I was only interested in the jewelry and she kept selling less and less of it. So what do you have your eye on or does nothing interest you this month so far? July is suppose to be their Christmas in July month, but I don't see many shows on the schedule. The 15th is really a day of Christmas in July, so if you are interested that's the day to tune in.

Other interesting TSVs are:

3rd - LOGO
8th - Philosophy
9th - Smart Home
12th - Copper Chef
15th - Christmas Shoppe
16th - Luminara Flameless Candles
17th - Lisa Rinna
18th - Clarisonic 
27th - Smart Home
29th - My Pillow

As soon as I find out information on them I'll post updates to this blog post, so stay tuned. Please show your support for this blog by checking out the following referral offers I use and recommend:

Home Chef - Three FREE Meals, click here.
Mr. Rebates - Cash Back for Online Shopping, QVC 3% back, click here.
Sun Basket - Three FREE Meals, click here.
Vitacost - $10 Off, click here.
Walmart Grocery - $10 off $50 

You are welcome to share a link to this blog post, but please be kind & respectful and do not copy my post and post it elsewhere. Don't forget to enter my monthly giveaways. I invite you to follow my blog via PinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin', or Networked Blogs. Help out by sharing this post via Twitter & Facebook:

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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Grand Opening Lidl - Sanford, NC

3209 NC-87
Sanford, NC  27332
(844) 747-5435

Exterior View

Donut Case

Baked Goods

Rear of the Store View

Today a new grocery store opened in Sanford, North Carolina called Lidl. It's a discount grocery chain that started in Germany in 1972 and over the years has grown across Europe becoming one of the most successful chains. This year they entered the US market hoping to be as successful. They have more than just groceries as shown on the last photo above. They offer an always changing assortment of home decor, kitchen gadgets and appliances, clothing, toys, tools, gardening supplies and more. The store looked really busy when I arrived, but I didn't have any trouble finding a parking space. It seemed that people were shopping quickly and there was a quick turn over. The store is open from 8 am to 9 pm daily.

When you enter the store there's a small flower section. On the right is the bakery and on the left is the produce department. As you walk toward the rear of the store there are more refrigerated items on the wall on the right. Cheeses, deli meats, yogurt etc. On the rear wall is ice cream and milk. On the left front wall are paper products, in the center wine and in the rear a freezer case with pizza, TV dinners, etc. In the rear center area are the "surprise" items which feature clothing, toys, etc. These items change weekly. Some of these items are featured in their weekly flyer. I wasn't able to find everything that was in the flyer. Either they hadn't put them out or they sold out by the time I arrived at 11:30 am.

The employees not in uniforms who were probably from corporate I found very unfriendly and pushy. They were all coming and going from a door near the bakery and were very pushy and impatient with customers that were trying to get baked goods that happened to be in their way. The only friendly employees I came across were the receptionist at the door and the cashier. There were no employees offering assistance to customers in the store. The registers are really close together with just enough space to get the cart through. Check out was really slow and the bagger needs some more training. I had to rearrange my groceries when I got to the car so that they wouldn't be damaged on the way home. 

Stay tuned for my Lidl haul post showing what I purchased and a review of the products. My first impression is that I may return for their speciality items and baked goods maybe once a month or less. It's not a store I would shop at weekly. It kind of gives me the impression of a less fancy and less friendly Trader Joes. Their competition is apparently Aldi. That's a store I won't shop at, I'm very unimpressed by that one. Went once, saw nothing I wanted and walked out. So Lidl is definitely an upgrade from Aldi. Have you been to an Lidl yet or planning to?

Take a moment to browse around, I'm sure you'll find another blog post that interests you. To see a full listing of my restaurant reviews, visit my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board.  Share this blog post with friends by clicking on the Google red box (G+1) at the very top of this page or via Twitter and Facebook by clicking the boxes:

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

51st Home Chef Review & $30 Off Coupon

Pork Shumai Meatballs with Ponzu Dipping Sauce, Snap Peas & Rice


Pork Chop with Pine Nut & Parmesan Butter with Garlic Swiss Chard


Italian Sausage Parma Rosa with Herbed Ricotta & Tomato Sauce

This is a review of our 51st delivery from Home Chef. We gave one recipe five out of five stars, one recipe four stars and one recipe three stars. The calorie count ranged from 494 to 776. Preparation time indicated on the recipe cards ranged from twenty-five to thirty-five minutes. Actual preparation time ranged from forty-five minutes to an hour. The Pork Shumai Meatballs is a customer favorite recipe that we had before and loved.

Pork Shumai Meatball with Ponzu Dipping Sauce, Snap Peas & Rice

Whenever they repeat a recipe we love I tend to reorder it and this is one of those recipes. I gave this recipe to my parents to give a try. Mum gave it five out of five stars and Dad gave it four out of five stars. Mum said the recipe was easy to follow and she enjoyed how everything was measured out for her with no leftover ingredients. They really enjoyed the flavor of the ponzu sauce. This one has 622 calories and it took about forty-five minutes to prepare. The recipe card indicates twenty-five to thirty-five minutes preparation time. My parents said it was a very generous portion.

Pork Chop with Pine Nut & Parmesan Butter with Garlic Swiss Chard

I gave this one four out of five stars and Hubby gave it three stars.  I think it tasted too healthy for him, whereas I really enjoy recipes with a healthy flavor. I would have liked more the of butter though, it was so scrumptious. We've had good experiences with their pork chops over the years, so whenever they offer them I order them. They were very tasty yet again. I prepared this recipe and it took about an hour though mind you I am a slow cook. The recipe card indicates up to thirty-five minutes to prepare. The calorie count on this one is only 494 calories and it was a healthy portion.

Italian Sausage Parma Rosa with Herbed Ricotta & Tomato Sauce

I made this one when Hubby was out of town. Their Italian sausage is always tasty, so I usually order it when it's offered. I had never made spaghetti with Swiss chard before, I found it quite odd, but it was actually tasty. Not my favorite though, I gave it three out of five stars. I think it would have tasted better with less spaghetti so that more bites had sausage in them. It was a very generous portion with 776 calories. Unfortunately, I wasn't feeling well and trying to get over pneumonia, so I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients. I laid them all out ready for a picture and just forgot. This one took about forty-five minutes to prepare.

It was another enjoyable week of recipes and all at the ingredients arrived in good shape. We are currently enjoying our 52nd box with one more recipe to go. We will be receiving a box from Blue Apron this weekend and then the following week will be another from Home Chef. What's your favorite meal kit subscription? If you haven't tried Home Chef yet, be sure to click on the coupon link below for $30 off your first box which makes your first box only $29.70 for six servings! Bargain!

Bargain Alert: 

Green Chef - Four FREE Meals, click here
Home Chef - Three FREE Meals, click here.
Mr. Rebates - Cash Back for Online Shopping, click here.
Sun Basket - Three FREE Meals, click here.
Vitacost - $10 off 1st order
Walmart Grocery - $10 off $50

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Mi Casita Mexican Restaurant Review - Lillington, NC

111 West Cornelius Harnett Boulevard
Lillington, NC  27546
(910) 814-4216

Exterior View

Interior View

Chips & Salsa

Juan's Layered Dip - $5.79

Margarita - $4.29

Grilled Chicken Salad - $9.29

Fajitas de Camarones - $13.99

Fajitas de Camarones Sides

This is a review of a Mexican restaurant located in Lillington, North Carolina called Mi Casita. They have many locations in the Triangle. Their sanitation score is currently 94.5 which is very good. We have been to this restaurant many times over the years and it's consistently tasty and enjoyable.  They are open from daily from 11 am until 10 pm except on Saturday and Sunday. They open half an hour later on weekends and stay open half an hour later on Saturday and close half an hour early on Sundays. We arrived on a Thursday around 5:30 pm for dinner. It's very popular so most of the time it is busy. When we arrived it was no exception.

One of my favorite things on their menu is the Juan's Layered Dip. I order it without the beef. It has beans, cheese, guacamole and pico de gallo. I wish they were more generous with the guacamole and pico, but it's tasty. It keeps you from being hungry while you wait for your entree to be cooked. Their chips are nice and crisp without greasiness. Their salsa is just ok, another reason I order Juan's Dip or the cheese dip. I was in the mood for a Margarita, so I ordered their frozen Margarita and it was delicious. It wasn't too sweet which I really appreciate. I ordered the Grilled Chicken Salad as I have many times prior. The chicken is perfectly seasoned and cooked. The lettuce, green peppers, cheese and onions are the perfect compliment to the marinated chicken. They offer salad dressing, but it's optional. You may find you like it without the dressing. The crispy tortillas strips are also a wonderful addition to the salad taking it from ordinary to extraordinary. It is filling, so you don't need to order an appetizer. I have also ordered this one for carryout, just make sure they don't forget to include your dressing. Hubby ordered the Fajitas de Camarones. He's ordered it many times over the years. This time the shrimp was perfectly cooked. I had a couple samples and it was so yummy! It arrives sizzling and it comes with a side of flour tortillas, beans with cheese, rice, lettuce, tomato and sour cream. It was scrumptious and very filling. The waiter was extremely attentive and very friendly. Our dinner total was $40.66 before tip, which is pretty good for two margaritas, one appetizer and two large dinners. It was yet another enjoyable experience and we shall return again very soon. What's your favorite Mexican restaurant in the Triangle?

I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin'Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you. To see a full listing of my restaurant reviews, visit my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board

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Mi Casita Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Neomonde Bakery & Deli Restaurant Review - Morrisville, NC

10235 Chapel Hill Road
Suite 200
Morrisville, NC  27560
(919) 466-8100

Exterior View

Line, Kitchen & Menu


Dining Area

Neomonde Platter - $10.00

Lamb Kafta - $5.00

1/2 Chicken Salad Sandwich on Wheat Pita with Hummus & Fatoush - $10.00

This is a review for a Mediterranean restaurant located in Morrisville, North Carolina called Neomonde. They also have a location in Raleigh. Their sanitation grade is currently 95, which is very good. Wow is it busy and loud in there! We arrived around 12:30 pm on a Friday and the line was really long and very slow to move along. The fact that the line moved really slowly then check out was slow and then they were slow to deliver the food to the table was a real bummer. The food was tasty for the most part, but the service was a real downer. Some people received their food when they ordered it, some had to wait for it to be delivered to the table and some only had half their order delivered to the table. It appeared to be a disorganized mess to me which I found stressful. The prices aren't cheap either. $32.39 for two people is pricey for a weekday lunch! The soda machine was acting up also and no one came to my aid. 

I found the menu confusing and not descriptive enough. I ordered the Chicken Salad Sandwich and was asked which one I wanted while on the menu it only shows one. So she had to scream at me so I could hear her and I still couldn't understand her. I heard yogurt based so I picked that one. She was rushing me, so I didn't bother to ask her to repeat herself again. I found the chicken overcooked and very dry and there wasn't much yogurt sauce and it needed salt. I'm on a low salt diet, so for me to say it needed salt means they must have forgot to salt it. It was a tasty sandwich, but I'm glad I only ordered half since the chicken was so dry. My favorite was the Fatoush salad, it was crisp, fresh and yummy. The hummus was pretty good, but not my favorite and I wasn't brought any of the pita bread that it was suppose to come with. I had to go to the counter and ask for some only to find it cold, not warmed up which I expect. Hubby had the Neomonde Platter, but he didn't finish it so that means he wasn't very impressed. We eat every last bit of the platter we purchase from our favorite Mediterranean restaurant, Bosphorus. That one is to die for! This one just didn't measure up, nor did the pita bread. Hubby was also not impressed by the Lamb Kafta and it had to be rung up separately because the cashier forgot to ring it up. At every step of the ordering process it was disorganized and not functioning properly. While they rushed customers they themselves were unable to rush without making mistakes. Their rushing causes them to be slower due to the extreme disorganization. They need to decide if they are going to prepare the customers food when they order or after and stick to it. I didn't enjoy seeing staff searching the entire dining area at a snails pace one plate at a time to deliver them. That is the slowest way of doing business. Each table had at least two meals, yet she delivered only one at a time and the amount of time she spent searching all over for the one person is just insanity to me. This restaurant needs someone to reorganize, direct and manage getting the meals to their customer much faster. My food took twelve minutes to show up and there was nothing to cook! It was all in the cold case already prepared! All they had to do was place the chicken salad in the pita, put some salad and humus on the plate and that's it! It shouldn't take over twelve minutes for my meal to show up while my husband is eating his food! We ordered at the same time, so our food should show up at the same time!!! If they weren't such a disorganized mess I would consider going back because the food was pretty good for the most part, but I do not like stressful lunches especially when it's due to the staff's disorganization. Perhaps their Raleigh location is organized? Have you been to either location? If so, how was your experience? All I could do is shake my head in disbelief that anyone would chose to run their restaurant this way.

I invite you to follow my blog via InstagramPinterestTwitterGoogle +Bloglovin'Networked Blogs and Zomato. Also, be sure to browse around my blog since I'm sure you'll find something else that interests you. To see a full listing of my restaurant reviews, visit my Pinterest Restaurant Reviews Board

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Neomonde Bakery & Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
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