Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Honeywell Humidifier VoxBox

I received a Honeywell Cool Moisture Humidifier free to test out and review from Influenster and Honeywell.  I was excited to try it and compare it to my existing dual tank humidifier I purchased last year.  Granted it has not been as cold or dry yet (even though it is winter), I was able to test it out for a couple nights.

The humidifier was easy to unpack and setup.  It does have a wick filter but if you use distilled water it does not change color or absorb the minerals like with tap water.  There is a wide mouth on the water tank so it is both easy to clean and fill.

First, I noticed right away that it was whisper quiet on both high and low settings.  The humidifier can run up to 18 hours in a medium room size or small apartment.  I would definitely recommend this humidifier if you are looking for a mid-priced model for  medium sized room.

Close-up of the controls (Off-High-Low)

Below is the money saving coupons included in my Honeywell Humidifier box for replacement wick filters (assuming they come in every box) Everyone loves coupons!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs VoxBox

I received a complementary sample of Sally Hansen Airbrush legs makeup from Influenster in my SallyHansenVoxBox.  I like that the product applies easily like a cream or lotion and dries to give the same effect of wearing pantyhose.    It applies great with your fingers but a foundation sponge probably be a great tool to help with application and minimize the amount of makeup on your fingers afterward.  Once it dries it stays put  until you wash it off with soap and water.

Perfect for those hot summer days when you do not feel like wearing pantyhose but may still want the illusion of pantyhose.  Or in the spring or fall when your tan fades and you want a little color on your legs when you wear a skirt.  I like that it looks and feels natural on your legs.

I tested the product on a portion of my leg that had a healed scratch.  It would also be good to cover or blur minor imperfections.  Below are some pictures of my test experience.

Before Airbrush Legs Application

 After Airbrush Legs Application

Key Tips to the Perfect Experience:

Make sure your skin is clean and exfoliated to get a smooth application.

Apply a small amount into hand and rub into legs and feet completely.

Make sure to avoid heavy application around the ankles and knees.

Allow to dry completely before dressing.  To Remove: wash off makeup with soap and water.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Homemade Gyoza Wrappers with Pork Filling

In the past I have made pork potsticker (dumpling) filling and used store bought wonton wrappers.  I forgot to pick up some and decided to have a go at making some Gyoza wrappers from scratch.  I found a recipe online from JustOneCookbook that detailed how to make the wrappers.  They will be thicker than the store bought wontons unless you have easy access to an Asian market which may have more authentic potsticker  skins (Chinese) or gyoza (Japanese).

Store bought wontons are not round so it makes folding them a little more difficult unless you cut them into rounds before you fill them.

Prep: 1 hour  Total Time:1 hour  Makes 42-44 wrappers


240g All Purpose Flour OR (120g Cake Flour and 120g All Purpose Flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup boiled water
Corn flour (dusting)
Kitchen Scale (helpful)

1.  First weigh out the 240g All Purpose flour OR (120g Cake Flour and 120g All Purpose Flour) with a food scale.  Sift the flour.  

2.  Use just boiled water to dissolve the 1/2 tsp salt.  Slowly add this water to the flour  a tsp at a time stirring until the dough forms a ball.

Mine was a little sticky I think hand mixing would of helped.

I had to add a little more flour to my hands/dough since it was sticky.  

3.  Next the dough needs to be kneaded for ten minutes.  

4.  After 10 minutes of kneading.

5.  Divide dough into two 1.5 inch rolls, wrap in plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.  

6.  Cut dough into 1-1.5 inch pieces

7.  Roll the pieces into balls.

8.  Rolled and cookie cut

9.  Some more round wrappers rolled in corn meal.

Pork Filling

(Recipe not from Justonecookbook.com, adaption from tasting table filling recipe)  (Namiko Chen from Justonecookbook.com has a great filling recipe also with pork, cabbage and mushrooms).  

1lb-1.5 Ground Pork
1/8 tsp -1tsp ground ginger (or to taste)
2 green onions chopped finely
3-4 cloves of garlic or 2 tsp minced garlic
1-2 TBS Corn starch
Sesame seeds (optional)
Salt/pepper to taste

Dipping Sauce

There are a lot different combinations you can make or create depending on your taste or preference.

1-2 TBS Soy Sauce
1-2 TBS Water
1-2 TBS Rice Vinegar
1/2 tsp-1tsp Sriracha Chili Sauce  (or to taste)

Ground pork

Add chopped green onions and minced garlic

Add some oil to give a little moisture.  Also add 1-2 TBS corn starch to the pork filling.  Salt and pepper to taste. 

All seasoned and ready to stuff into some dough!

Ready to cook! Yum!

**If not eating right away**  Put in freezer on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes then put in a tightly sealed ziploc freezer bag.

To Cook:

1.  Heat oil put 1-2 TBS oil in a frying pan over Medium-High heat.  Cook Gyoza until bottom is browned.

2.  Add a 1/4 cup of water and cover the frying pan to cook the Gyoza filling (2-3 minutes) OR until the water is gone.

3.  Remove lid and let rest of water evaporate. Cook until the bottom of the Gyoza is crisp on the bottom.

4.  Remove Gyoza from pan, dip in sauce and enjoy!

 Afterthoughts/Considerations on the process for the Future:
1. Maybe I should of used half cake flour, my dough was a little thicker than the original recipe.
2. Maybe I over-kneaded for 10 minutes by hand.  (Overworked glutens)
3. Why did I not put it all in my bread machine at let it do all the work on the Dough setting?   I should of let it do the  mixing and kneading for 10 minutes!
4.  I need a pastry rolling pin!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Garden update

The garden is busy growing!  My container veggies and plants are also doing awesome!  

Red nasturtium is with the spaghetti squash as a companion plant.


Spaghetti Squash in container 

Spaghetti Squash and Eggplant

Sunflower and more squash (lost most of my plants last year to squash beetles-nasty buggers!)

Strawberries and catmint (hummingbird loves it, so does Bailey!)


Green Beans growing

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Its Rewarding to Comment on your Favorite Brands Posts on Facebook!

I posted a picture of my pets (3 dogs and 1 cat) on the Invisible Fence Brand page in response to a request to  share my furry best friends for #BestFriendsDay!  So I shared my four furry friends that love the safety and freedom their #InvisibleFenceBrand fence gives them.  I forgot it was coming until the FedEx package was delivered with all these goodies for the dogs!

Thanks,  Invisible Fence Brand,

From Boomer, Rex and Puzzle!

Sweet Hot Coriander Chicken

I saw this recipe in the July 2015 issue of Better Homes and Gardens and thought it was worth a try.  I had all the ingredients on hand and thought it would be something different to try.  I used  about 10 Chicken strips instead of four 6-ounce chicken breasts.  You can view the Better Homes and Gardens recipe here.


10 Chicken breast tenders

1 TBS Grapeseed oil (or Olive Oil etc)

2 tsp Packed dark brown sugar

1 tsp Ground Coriander

2 tsp Sriracha sauce

1 tsp Chili powder

1/3 cup Orange juice

Cilantro (Optional-top at end)

1.  Assemble the marinade by combining the dry seasoning, oil, and the Sriracha sauce.  You may only want to add 1 tsp off Sriracha if you don't like super spicy foods.

2. Marinate the chicken for at least 15 minutes.  I used chicken that was frozen so I thawed it and put the marinade in a Ziploc bag in the fridge till I was ready to cook it.

3.  Heat a large skillet with a small amount of oil on medium-high heat.  Add your chicken cook until done at least 10 minutes, or internal temperature of 165 degrees F.   Turn over chicken halfway through.

4.  Remove chicken from pan and set aside in a bowl, cover to keep warm.

5.  Add orange juice and loosen and pan drippings and seasonings from the chicken.  The orange juice should reduce down to about 2 TBS.  Once orange juice is reduced and thickened spoon over chicken.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Top with cilantro (optional).

Makes about 4 servings.

Only thing I may change is the amount of chili powder/Sriracha sauce in the sauce, it was too overpowering for some.  I was thinking Pineapple juice maybe a nice sweet option/alternative to the orange juice also.  I like spicy so I thought it was good and just tasted the citrus and then a kick of spice.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Arm & Hammer Truly Radiant

I was excited to try Arm & Hammer's Truly Radiant Whitening and Strength Rinse, Truly Radiant Rejuvenating toothpaste and the Truly Radiant Deep Clean Spinbrush. I received the products free from Smiley360 and Arm and Hammer to provide my honest feedback.

The Truly Radiant Rejuvenating toothpaste leaves you with a clean fresh mouth long after you brush, and does not leave your teeth or gums sensitive. The clean feeling is similar to the after a dental cleaning fresh feeling. It does have a little bit stronger of a baking soda taste but not near as bad as other Arm & Hammer products I have tried.

 I am a long time Crest Pro-Health Clinical user because its the only toothpaste that I like both the taste and teeth/gum benefits. I have tried other whitening toothpastes and they did not remove the staining I have from coffee/tea/braces bands on my molars and the Arm and Hammer DID remove those stains considerably. I get dental cleanings every six months and the bracket stains are usually only minimized but the toothpaste faded them considerably.
The Spinbrush Truly Radiant toothbrush was kind of large for me. It is an interesting concept for a toothbrush but its bigger than my oral-b rechargeable toothbrush! It does spin around as you brush much like a electric toothbrush which may be good for travel or children because it does have a rotating head and elongated bristles to clean hard to reach places economically. 

The rinse is refreshing but not overly strong, similar to ACT products if anyone has used them, but maybe a little bit stronger like a mouthwash in flavor. I like that both products restore, protect and strengthen the enamel since a lot of foods we eat can damage the enamel of our teeth. The rinse has a lasting fresh crisp mint flavor. The rinse is peroxide and alcohol free stops stains before they start which is great because that means its not irritating to our gums and kids can use it too.

Get a free sample here:

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Freeman Beauty Masks #FeelingBeautifulIn5

My Freeman Beauty VoxBox full of complementary samples courtesy of  @Influenster and @Freeman Beauty included several face masks and an eye mask.  Below is a picture of me wearing the Avocado and Oatmeal Clay mask, which I thought was refreshing. It dries very tight so you get a frozen face of dry clay when its time to rinse.  My only issues with the Freeman Beauty masks is that they have added perfume/fragrance.  I would rather have unscented products or even the natural scent of the product versus getting a headache from the fragrance.  Luckily I was congested from allergies and was not bothered by the fragrance on this day!  When I tested the black sugar mask I got a headache from the residual fragrance left on my hands and face.   My only suggestion for the company would be to offer some unscented varieties for those who are sensitive (migraines, headaches etc).

Below are the Green Avocado and Oatmeal Clay Mask Pictures: Follow Directions on package (Apply to a Clean Face)

(Warning: Green Face Below!)

Mask Application

Dried Mask (Frozen Face) ready to rinse!

#FeelingBeautifulIn5  #Influenster  #FreemanBeauty  #contest

A quick and easy way to wash of the days stress and makeup to reveal clean, soft, moisturized skin.  

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Lasagna Rolls

Made some lasagna rolls for quick dinners and lunches.  Filled them with ricotta, shredded fresh mozzarella/regular mozzarella and some parsley pesto.  I only took pictures of the final product because it's not exactly a neat process to construct them!  I would of had a red, white, and green camera.  Next time I will try to when I have more time.  

Friday, April 3, 2015

Coffee and Chai Energizing Eye Mask

I tried another freeman facial mask that I received as samples to test this morning.  I decided to try the energizing coffee and chai eye mask to see if it work any different than my original routine of Clinique All About Eyes Rich. 

It definitely made my eye area tingle once the mask had been on a few minutes.  

I did not notice a major difference but my main issue is the darkness.  It would make a fun spa night party activity for teens or moms needing some TLC!

#FeelingBeautifulIn5  #Influenster  #FreemanVoxBox

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Polishing Mask

I recently received my Freeman VoxBox from Influenster with complimentary samples of  face masks to try.  So far I have only tried the charcoal and black sugar.  The mask is a nice texture and the sample provides plenty of mask but the perfume fragrance is overwhelmingly strong.  I get migraines and it gave me a headache due to the lingering smell on my face and  hands.  I really wish fragrances were not added to these products.  I can only tolerate certain scents but prefer to use mainly unscented natural or organic products.  I was excited to try Freeman's facial masks, but now I'm concerned the rest may have the same strong fragrance.  I will just have to test them on a day when I don't feel a headache coming on.  

#FeelingBeautifulin5   #Influenster