Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Professional Makeup Brushes by Kirei Cosmetics; My Review!

These Professional Makeup Brushes by Kirei Cosmetics are the best brushes I personally have ever used. Yes, I'm a girly-girl, most of the time lol, and I love makeup and getting all dolled up! Along with having good cosmetic products, you also need good brushes to apply it. Look no further!

You can use these for daily natural looks, or when you are wanting to rock the total glam look! With highlighting, contouring, and smokey eyed looks being so hot right now, these brushes can help you get the results you want!

So, what makes them so special? ...I'm glad you asked!

They are handmade with high quality hypoallergenic, antibacterial, synthetic fibers. The bristles are soft and gentle, feeling great on your skin when applying makeup. They are also never tested on animals (an important factor to me). In fact, the bristles are vegan!

The set includes powder brush, stippling brush, foundation brush, concealer brush, contour and blush brush, angled eyeshadow brush, blending brush, eyebrow brush, accent brush, eyeliner brush. They are all labeled as well, which totally takes the guess work out of what brush to use. This is especially great for people who aren't pros at the application of makeup!

This set also comes with a nice box, actually a set of two magnetic containers, that when put together, will keep your brushes clean and organized. Or use the two containers separately to display brushes on your dresser or vanity.

I feel spoiled using these! And every woman likes to feel that way every now and then!

Find this product HERE!


I received this product free of charge in exchange for offering my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are truly my own.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Potato Soup with Broccoli & Bacon" Crockpot Recipe

My timing might be off a little bit here...ahhh, somestimes that feels like the story of my life, lol. While this soup might be best suited for fall or winter, when most people think about making/eating hearty soups and stews, I share this right in the beginning of summer!?! Well, the truth is I made this a few months ago and got so busy with life that I forgot to post it! So maybe you won't make this anytime too soon, but it is delicious and definitely worth saving for when weather turns chilly again. (Which here in Western New York, that could mean next week!) Anyhow, I am not really one to live life inside the box. If I want a hearty soup on a 80 degree day, so be it ;) Perhaps you are the same way. If not, feel free to pin for later!

So, how did I come up with this soup recipe? Well, my hubby said he was craving some sort of potato, or broccoli cheese soup. I had made these before and basically just wanted to turn it up a notch! I decided I would make a combination of potato and broccoli cheese soup, plus add bacon, because ummm well every thing is better when you add bacon!

I got out my crockpot and went to town making this delicious soup!
It was a huge hit with my family and I'm sure it would be with yours too!


1 lb. bacon
3 Broccoli florets, chopped
8-10 Potatoes, peeled
20 oz. Chicken Broth
1/3 cup of flour
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups whole milk
5 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 scallions
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup heavy cream

Total Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Cook Time: 3-4 hours
Serves 8-10


  1. In a pan, cook bacon, cut up and set aside.
  2. Also in a pan, sauté onion and garlic with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Stir in flour and cook for one minute. Place mixture into crockpot.
  3. Place peeled potatoes into a boiling pot of water and cook until somewhat soft (not fully cooked). Then, chop and mash (depending on your preferred texture) and add to crockpot.
  4. Add all other ingredients into crock pot and set on high.
  5. Stir occasionally and allow to cook for 3-4 hours.
  6. Serve in a bowl, adding some additional shredded cheese and chopped scallions on top.

Monday, June 20, 2016

3D Fiber Lash Mascara Review

I love makeup. There, I said it. Yes, I am a girly-girl who loves makeup and dresses and all things cute and fabulous. Long, thick, luscious lashes included! If it didn't make me look like a drag-queen, I would probably wear fake lashes more often. It just seems too over the top for my face. However, I (think) I can totally pull off the 3D Fiber Lash look with this wonderful mascara from Luxx Health! With their "WOW Lash 3D Mascara" I feel super beautiful and sexy, without feeling too overdone. It is the perfect balance for me!

I have tried other brands of similar products before. I was happy with them at first, however, I quickly noticed a lot of flaking. People were constantly whipping my cheeks and under my eyes saying "you have some black flaky stuff on you". So, when I tried this brand, I waited a while before doing the review. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to see flaking with continued use! Especially in the now hot summer weather and with being more active in outdoor activities. To my total happiness, I see no flaking!

This product is really easy to apply. It involves 3 easy steps and takes under 3 minutes. Use the long wand to apply the mascara, then use the shorter wand to apply the fibers. Once dry, apply a second coat of mascara to keep fibers in place. If needed, the set comes with a brush to comb out any possible clumps. (I hardly need to use it) It gives a really nice finished look!

If you feel your regular mascara doesn't quite do it for you, I would highly suggest trying this product!


Link to Product; click HERE.

Disclaimer; I received this product for free or at a reduced rate in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Recently, my hubby mentioned he had never had asparagus before and really wanted to try it. I kept that in mind, and one day while doing my weekly grocery shopping, I spotted a great price on asparagus. I thought this was the perfect time to pick some up and make it for him. I wasn't exactly sure when or how I was going to serve it, I'm a bit too spontaneous for such detailed plans. haha.

Well, a couple days went by and I kept seeing that asparagus sitting in the fridge. "What should I make with this?", I kept asking myself. I sort of browsed through the fridge and also spotted some bacon I had bought with thoughts of bacon and eggs some morning. Bacon and eggs can wait, let's do bacon wrapped asparagus! It was decided. Later that day, I started the prep!

I had never made it before but I remember reading a few recipes, so I just dove right in! It was really easy. So, did the hubby like it? Keep reading to find out!

Here is what you will need;

2 lbs Asparagus
12 slices bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tsp garlic salt
1/2 freshly ground pepper

Now, there are a few variations on this creation. You can either wrap each piece of asparagus separately, or you can bundle about 3 or 4 pieces together. It is totally up to you. I chose to wrap a piece of bacon around one piece of asparagus. I think it falls under more of an appetizer item this way, which is what I wanted. Also, if you want your bacon to be really well done, without the asparagus being over done, you can semi-cook the bacon in the microwave before wrapping it around the raw asparagus. If you chose to semi-cook the bacon, put it on a microwave safe plate with a paper towel placed on top to prevent splatter. Microwave on high for approximately 3 minutes. Remove bacon, and continue steps below.

Here is what you do;
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Trim ends off of each piece of asparagus.
  3. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around each piece of asparagus (or bundle if you prefer); secure bacon with a toothpick to keep in place.
  4. Place each bacon wrapped asparagus in a shallow baking pan.
  5. In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, soy sauce and garlic salt. Heat mixture to a boil, then remove from heat.
  6. Pour mixture over all the pieces of bacon wrapped asparagus.
  7. Place baking pan in oven and cook for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Plate and enjoy!

So, did hubby love it? Yes, he did! :)
I hope you will too!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Thoughts on Harambe the Gorilla

There has been so much talk about the incident this past Saturday, at the Cincinnati Zoo. I am sure I do not need to tell you the story, you have heard the whole thing already, right? The story has been plastered all over the news and social media since it happened. But there is a lot of controversy over where the blame should be placed on this tragic event... Did the zoo handle the situation correctly? Why was the mom not watching her toddler more closely? How was it so easy for the child to enter the gorilla exhibit? Did zoo officials really need to shoot and kill Harambe?

What do you think?

So that you understand my own perspective on it, let me first start off by saying that I am a huge animal lover. I am not crazy fanatical about it, but I do have a very soft spot in my heart for animals. I was a vegetarian for several years, mostly because I did not like the idea of eating animals. I slowly got away from my vegetarian ways, although I always feel like I should go back to it. I also will never go to any sort of circus that has animals performing for people's "enjoyment". Those are wild animals who are forced to do things not normal to them in the wild. Plus, we have all heard reports of how horribly those animals are treated behind closed doors. I do not need to see elephants balancing on one foot, or lions jumping through a flaming hoop for my entertainment. I like to see animals as God intended them to be. Natural. Wild. Free.

Which brings us to zoos. I was never a huge fan of the concept of zoos. Animals not allowed to be in the wild, in their natural habitats. However, unlike a circus, the animals not trained to do any tricks or perform, and  they are provided with an environment that somewhat simulates their natural habitats. Also, for many animals who are endangered species, I felt the zoo had it's good qualities. Now, after events like what occurred this past weekend, I am rethinking my acceptance of zoos. Perhaps I will be boycotting zoos, as I have the circus.

My first question upon hearing of the death of Harambe was why did zoo officials not just shoot the gorilla with a tranquilizer instead of a gun? I heard this was because shooting the 400+ pound gorilla with a tranquilizer would take several minutes to take effect, possibly causing him to become agitated in the meantime. Ok, I understand that, other than in this day of technology and advanced medical ingenuity, is there not a tranquilizer available with nearly immediate effects? Also, is there no tazer-type of device that can be used for rare and urgent circumstances like this? Here again, being an animal lover, I am not digging the idea of using a tazer-type device on an animal, however in extreme circumstances like this, I would prefer that over the animal being shot and killed. Most likely, Harambe would agree.

I understand that the zoo did what they thought they had to do. I am sure most of the people who work at the Cincinnati Zoo do so because they have a love of animals and wish to take care of them. I truly believe they acted with best intentions, as unfortunate as the outcome was. Perhaps their biggest fault in this tragic event are the barriers they have set up between the wild animals and the visitors. I hope the Cincinnati Zoo, along with all other zoos, will re-examine their barriers, fences, and partitions, so that a child can not make it into an animal exhibit. If it is their intent as an operating zoo, to care for the animals and provide a way to view them, then they need to take all precautions to ensure safety for both animals and people.

You have probably also heard (and maybe even seen because yes, there is a video) that the 17 year old gorilla appeared to be protecting the child. I have watched the video and it does seem that way to me. The only part that the child looks to be in danger was when the gorilla had a hold of the boy and moved from one side of the mote to the other, pulling the boy through the water. Let's face it, no one knows what the gorilla thought during this situation and what he might have done had people not stepped in when they did. One thing is for sure is that humans gave this little section for the gorillas to call home...and a human boy was suddenly in their home. The gorillas were supposed to be there. The human was not. But, now let's address the issue everyone is talking about...

Why was the mother not watching her child more closely?

I have seen some very harsh comments on social media towards the mother of the 4 year old who fell into the gorilla exhibit. Others have stuck up for her saying no mother is perfect and we all have taken our eyes off our children at times. My view on this? Yes, every mother has taken her eyes off of her child for a moment. Maybe you have even done so at a shopping mall, and went into severe panic mode for 30 seconds when you don't see your child when you turn around. Maybe you got busy making dinner when you suddenly notice your toddler got into the flour and half of your kitchen floor is covered in it. Sure, it happens.

But here is my thought...how many minutes did it take for that child to climb over the fence, through the bushes, and then fall down the 14 foot drop into the mote below? 3 minutes? 4 minutes? I was obviously not there and can only speculate, but I feel it must have taken several minutes for this toddler to make his way into the exhibit. More than just the "I took my eyes off of him to a second" scenario. So, for this reason, I feel the mother is hugely to blame for the death of this innocent creature. I have heard the police and child protective services might be investigating the mother and this situation. Although I am not sure she is a horrible parent, and perhaps this was just an unfortunate isolated incident, I do think this should remind all of us to watch your children closely, always.  

The Bigger Picture?

With all of this being said, it has been reported that the 4 year old boy was not hurt during this. For that, I am very happy. It does not change the fact that an innocent primate, which was in the care of humans, was murdered. Many people are outraged over this. Let us not forget this is not the only time humans kill beautiful creatures. Do you all remember back last year when an American dentist received a lot of backlash over his hunting of Cecil the Lion, in Zimbabwe? Not to mention all the countless animals that are killed everyday, especially in other countries. Do you know how many elephants are slaughtered each year for their tusks? An estimated 33,000 each year! Let's face it, humans are deadly to animals. Much more so than animals are deadly to humans it seems.
This is not the first incident and it won't be the last.
I wanted to write about this and not focus totally on the zoo...or the mother...but to bring awareness to the bigger problem. The fact that humans are a treat to animals. Everyone is upset over this one incident. Rightfully so. Just also think about the gorillas still in the wild who are hunted and killed daily. In the Republic of Congo for example, gorillas are hunted on a regular basis.
Maybe we should all talk more about that.

(The follow image may be disturbing to some viewers.)

This recent event has really made me think about all animals and how we treat the lives of animals. It make me look beyond this one troubling incident and think about the bigger picture. I chose to not focus so much on Harambe, as tragic as this was, but to see what can be done about horrible things happening to animals like Harambe everyday. If we all took steps to help the cause of animals, something could be done. Each step is small, until you have walked miles.

Please feel free to share your thoughts and views. Keep comments clean and respectful, please.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

I want tan legs before I put on a pair of shorts!

I am probably committing a huge blogging no-no; I am recycling an old blog post!
But I have good reason!

Here where I live in Western New York, we are finally getting nice weather! (Geez, it is only nearly June!) Nice weather equals wearing shorts weather! I have noticed so many girls wearing shorts this week...
but then I quickly noticed something else...

Extremely ghost-white legs!

This is not a good look on anyone. Now, years ago when I was all about going to tanning salons and literally baking my skin under UV lights, I would say these girls need to go tanning! Now that I am older and wiser, I realize that UV tanning, although I still love the results, is not healthy!
So, we need another option!

This is the best self-tanning product I have ever used so I wanted to bring
some attention to it again! So, here comes the recycled part...

Product Review of Way Too Tan
Dark Hybrid Tanning Silicone

I have tried several different brands and types of Sunless Tanners and Tanning Accelerators over the years. I still remember my first experience with Sunless Tanning Lotion...I was a Freshman in High School. I don't recall the exact brand but I do know that the next day, I begged my mom to let me stay home from school because it turned me so orange and blotchy that I simply could not bring myself to show up at school like that! On my "day off" of school, I took about five showers, scrubbing my skin to try and return to a somewhat normal hue again! Haha, I'm sure many of you have had a similar experience!

Well, now that I am older, and of course much wiser (hey! stop smirking!), I am much better at knowing how to apply Sunless Tanners. Still though, I try many different kinds to find the best one because even with a lot of experience in applying them, some are better than others! Some are far less streaky or have a better "tan" color, so I'm always willing to try something new. That is why I was so excited to review this product! Way Too Tan - Dark Hybrid Tanning Silicone!

When I received the product, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful bottle. It looked so classy and elegant, it immediately gave me a good feeling about the product. My first time using it, I took a shower, dried off and started to apply it to my skin. It had a very nice smell, better than most I would say, and it went on very easily. It didn't get sticky as I applied it, but remained silky and went on smooth. After I applied it evenly and got dressed, then it was just a waiting game for the color to develop. Within a few hours, I noticed a beautiful and natural looking tan appear. I was happy to see there were no streaks and it even went on well in areas that can be tricky, such as the feet, ankles, wrists, etc. My mother saw me with my nice new tan and asked if she could also try it! Now, my mother is up there in age and normally does not use any sort of self tanner, but she was so impressed with my results that she wanted to give it a try too. I gave her tips on applying it so she would have the best results, seeing as she wasn't familiar with the process. She was very pleased with how it turned out! She was impressed that a tan from a bottle could look so good, and so natural.

I am in love with this stuff!

This product can be used a few different ways too! This is something I have not encountered before! It can be used strictly as a self tanner, or it can be used while tanning outside in natural sunlight or in a tanning booth. This is why it is called a Silicone Hybrid. It has been designed to compliment any tanning process. So, for the second time I used this product, I decided to apply it right before using a UV tanning booth. This is where I was really pleasantly surprised by this product! It really helped enhance the color of my tan! I had a very deep tan, and felt as if I had just stepped off a Caribbean Cruise Ship! At this point, I was in love!

I love this deep tan!
Another thing that I found very impressive was reading about the product itself. It is a cosmeceutical tanning lotion, meaning it contains maximum strength anti-aging components, along with ultra-high-end ingredients. It contains organic antioxidants, such as Grape Seed extract, which provides 20x more than Vitamin E and 50x more than Vitamin C. This makes it a much better product than low grade tanning lotions. The Grape Seed extract also helps to keep the skin firm and youthful. It also contains Japanese Green Tea and White Tea extracts as well, which helps protect the skin from harmful free radicals and will tighten the skin. It also has DHA and Erythrulose Bronzers which produces that amazing, deep, natural color tan, while also providing moisturization and hydration to the skin, So, basically, this product is amazing for your skin! It is also Paraben Free, and not tested on animals, both of which are important factors to me.
In all the tanning products I have used over the years, this one by far, is my favorite! I love the results and I also love that it is good for my skin! I love looking good and feeling good, and this product definitely aids with both of those! I look forward to continuing use of Way Too Tan!

Disclaimer: I received this product for free or a drastically discounted rate, in return for an honest and unbiased review. The opinions written are my honest thoughts and feelings on this product. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC Regulations.

It is BBQ season, y'all!

Make sure you are fully cooking your meat!

About two weeks ago, we finally got some warm weather here in New York, so I decided it was time for our first dinner on the grill. I made BBQ chicken...oh yum! But, I quickly realized I did not have a meat thermometer at our new house. I was a little worried on whether I was cooking the chicken well enough. I probably ended up over cooking it a little just because I wanted to be sure my family wasn't going to get sick from under cooked meat. (Yes, we were all fine!)

The next day, I searched for a meat thermometer! I found this one and I must say it is the best one I have ever had! It is digital, rapid response, and enhanced accuracy. It is also waterproof so it is protected from water splashes. It has a anti-microbial case and sleeve so that prevents growth of bacterial odor and mold. It is very easy to use and even easier to read, thanks to the nice display screen. It will automatically shut off after 5 minutes to preserve battery life and comes with a 2 year limited warranty. I also love that on the case it shows the temperatures of each meat item. For example, chicken, as I made last week, needs to be cooked to 165 degrees F in the middle. They display the desired temps right there for you, so no matter what you are cooking, you know what it needs to be to be safe!

Before grilling season is in full swing, consider getting a nice meat thermometer to save the guess work when cooking meat. This is not only for grilling either of course! This can be used year-round, when baking and cooking meat on your stove as well. So, basically, it is a must have item to always have on hand! Keep your family and friends safe when meat is on the menu!

Link to Product; HERE


Disclaimer; I received this product for free in exchange for offering my honest and unbiased review.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Be Beautiful with Mediderm Line of Products!

I have become pretty skeptical of any hair care or face care products that make high claims to turn you into some beauty queen. Why so skeptical? Well, over the years, I have tried many products. Most of them fall short of the great results they claim you will see. After spending all that time and wasting money, you become less likely to want to keep trying more.

Well, thanks to the world of blogging and doing product reviews, I have been able to try some additional products. Some, like all the others, fall short. However, every now and then, I find something really good! Something that I can totally get behind and promote with all honesty!

Allow me to introduce you to Mediderm! They have a large line of face care products, and let me tell you, they won't disappoint! I was asked to chose three products from their line; I chose Mediderm Microdermabrasion Polish, Instant Face Lift Concentrate, and Eye Bag Dark Circle Eraser.

Why try them?

There are other product lines that some of my friends recommend, and they swear by the results, but when I look into them, price becomes an issue. So, finding good products without a huge price tag is a tough chore! Yes, of course I want to look great, and therefor feel great...but I don't want to have to blow hundreds of dollars to do so! That is why Mediderm products are such an amazing find!

A great working product....at a great price?

Ding Ding Ding! We hit the jackpot!

So, how do I feel about each one I tried?

After using the Mediderm Microdermabrasion Polish, my face feels amazing! You simply apply a thin layer to your face, and rub in a circular motion with your fingertips. Then, rinse. This product has a slightly gritty texture, which allows for the great exfoliation! I have been using a couple times a week and my skin feels smoother and softer! I love this product!!!

Once a day, I have been applying the Instant Face Lift Concentrate to my face. It says to use in the morning and at night, however being in my 30's, I have only been using once per day. Thankfully, I don't really have any wrinkles yet...but I know they are right around the corner! Good skin care now can help hold off the process, so, hello...I'm in! It goes on very smooth and adorbs nicely into your skin. I make sure to apply it to the typical places wrinkles start, so hopefully I won't be seeing any anytime soon!

Last, but not least, is my favorite product! The Eye Bag Dark Circle Eraser! Why is this my favorite? It's simple...I could be getting plenty of rest, but I will still have dark circles under my eyes! It must be a heredity thing because I can't really explain it, lol. It says to use 6-8 weeks, I assume to really see results...but guess what? After only a couple weeks I am seeing a huge improvement! I apply a little under each eye, twice daily. Supper easy! and...YAY! for finally looking well rested and fresh-faced!

After adding these products to my beauty routine, my skin is becoming clearer, cleaner, and my face looks so fresh!

If you are searching for a great product for a great price, please give these a try! There are so many different products they offer, check their website for the complete inventory!


This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for my time and given free products.
My thoughts and feelings expressed in this post however are honest and unbiased.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Coconut Oil Hair Mask for beautiful, healthy tresses!

In case you have not heard of the great benefits of coconut oil, allow me to fill you in! You can cook with it, use it for it's healing properties (including improving digestion and immunity against a plethora of infections and diseases), and it is also good for healthy skin and hair!

Good to hair? Umm, heck ya! Coconut oil helps in healthy growth of hair and gives your hair a shiny quality. You can use regular coconut oil as a hair conditioner, however, it can be greasy. Anytime I have tried, I have to wash my hair once or twice before I can style as usual. To me, the double washing is sort of defeating the purpose.

I recently got the opportunity to review an amazing coconut oil hair mask, by First Botany Cosmeceuticals. The main ingredient is Coconut Oil, but it also contains Ginger Extract, and Rosehip Seed Oil, with Vitamins like E and B5. It is a special combination to create the perfect hair conditioning mask, without leaving your hair greasy! I have naturally curly hair and always blow drying and using a flat iron can be very rough on it. I often notice split ends and frizz. Ugh. Two things I really hate. This product is Sulfate free and Paraben free, and made with natural ingredients so it is safe for all hair types. I used this product for the first time this week...

Now wait a minute! Before you scroll down any further and see  my weird photo, let me explain! This is my secret to deep conditioning.

Yes, you can apply the hair mask while in the shower, and let's say shave your legs or something while you leave it on for 5 minutes or so. Then just rinse it out and be done with it. That will work just fine. But, what I find to give a really amazing deep conditioning?

This is what I do...

I take a shower and apply the coconut oil hair mask just before I'm ready to get out of the shower. Squeeze access water from your hair so that it is not dripping wet. Dry yourself off as you normally would and put on a robe. Then, take a plastic bag, like the kind you get from a grocery store, and use it to wrap your hair up in. The heat that naturally comes off of your head will be held in by the plastic bag and this heat increases the conditioning power. You can also wrap a towel on your head, over the plastic bag. Yes, you look a bit silly, but it is only for a few minutes. I left the plastic bag on for 15 minutes, then just rinsed out my hair by leaning over the tub. (no need to hop back in the shower this way)

Ok, now that I have explained why it is that I am wearing a plastic bag on my head, I can share the picture...pardon the lack of make-up as well. As I said, I had just gotten out of the shower. The plastic bag thing is probably distracting enough to cover up the no make-up thing anyhow, lol. Ahh, what we do for beauty, right?

This deep conditioning mask left my hair feeling soft and silky. I really enjoyed the light coconut scent as well. I noticed that my hair was easier to style, less frizzy, and no need for use of additional products. It looked and felt healthy and amazing without having to do another thing!
My results after using this Coconut Oil Hair Mask :)

I would recommend this product to anyone who needs some extra conditioning for their tresses! A big thank you to the First Botany Company for allowing me to try their product! If you are interested in trying their Coconut Oil Hair Mask for yourself, visit this link!

Disclaimer; This is a sponsored post and I received this product for free, in exchange for offering my honest and unbiased review, and blogging about my experience.

Where has the Hometown Queen Bee been???

I can't believe it has been nearly a year since I sat in front of this screen as the "Hometown Queen Bee" and wrote a blog po...