Friday, December 18, 2015

Your Bijoux Box December 2015

Hello dear readers, it's December and time for a new box of jewelry!

 This just showed up. I was really excited to see how things would look after seeing two sneak peeks from YBB posts on social media. But first, the card with the details.

So, reveal number one, was the Chole Crystal Lariat.  This is also featured on the YBB website at the moment as part of the background image. It's really gorgeous. 

Chloe necklace

The second reveal, which appeared on Instagram, was the Juliette Statement Necklace. I love it and wore it yesterday. It's very comfortable for a chunky necklace.

Juliette statement necklace

The third item was kept a secret. I think the Emerald-green Baguette earrings are really simple and lovely.  There is a tiny clear crystal in one corner for a little extra accent. They are understated but beautiful.

baguette earrings

There you go, merry Christmas to me! Thanks for stopping by.

P.S. For the sake of transparency, I paid for this subscription myself. It was in no way "free" or provided to me for some exchange of services. I just really liked the products and wanted to share my opinion.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Your Bijoux Box November 2015

Hello readers! The latest box from Your Bijoux Box arrived over the weekend.  Are you ready to see what came inside it?

Here's the description card, three things listed here, but there was a fourth surprise piece included!

The first thing was the Chocolate Statement Chain. It's big, long, heavy, chunky, and perfect for fall.  There are some golden topaz colored crystals hiding in the golden fringe.

Second is the sparkly silver Renegade Y-Chain necklace.  I love it! The hook can be placed anywhere to adjust it to be worn with a longer or shorter drop.

Bianca Lariat necklace

Third are these lovely, simple drop earrings called Raise the Bar. They are not too small, not too heavy and add just a hint of bling to ears.

Fourth, this is the surprise piece. It's a golden chain with a shaped and polished tiger's eye stone. It didn't come with an official name, so I'm calling this the Tiger Eye Y-Necklace.

y-chain necklace

And finally, I ordered a necklace from the subscriber add-on sale.  I picked out the gray Suede Tassel necklace with faceted gray agate stones. It's also very long and great for wearing over a big sweater.

Another box has been unpacked and added to the big old jewelry box at home.  Thanks for stopping by today!

P.S. For the sake of transparency, I paid for this subscription myself. It was in no way "free" or provided to me for some exchange of services. I just really liked the products and wanted to share my opinion.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Turkey Kale Pasta Bake

Hello again, I'm back with a new recipe.

I've been ready for casseroles for a long time and now I'm on a roll.  I recently got a free jar of Ragu Sauce to test from Influenster. They asked me to use it and make up a recipe to go with it.

I used some things I already had around the house. We grew dinosaur kale in the garden this year so I was already thinking about using kale in a dinner dish.  I almost always have cheese and pasta on hand, so I didn't have to buy more. I did pick up some ground turkey at the store.

Then less than one easy-peasy hour later, I had a really tasty dinner ready to go. It also made a huge amount so we have plenty of leftovers. Give it a try, I think you'll like it.

1 lb organic ground turkey
1 bunch dinosaur kale, ribs removed and chopped
2 Tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil (or regular olive oil)
1-2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes
1 16-oz box of Barilla Pasta,  campanelle, elbows, rotini, penne, or something similar
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 24-oz jar Ragu Chunky Pasta Sauce, Tomato, Garlic, and Onion
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Drain and place in a deep 9x13 Rectangular Dish.

2. Meanwhile, brown the turkey in a skillet. Season with salt and pepper. When cooked through, add to the baking dish.

3. Saute the kale with olive oil, salt, pepper, and the red pepper flakes until wilted. The kale should still be bright green.  Add the kale to the turkey and pasta in the baking dish.

4. Pour the jar of Ragu sauce over the ingredients in the baking dish.  Rinse the jar with 1/4 cup water and add to the dish as well. Add 1 cup of the shredded cheese to the dish.  Stir well without breaking up the pasta.

5.  Top it with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until everything is warm and the top is a little bit browned.

6. Enjoy!

Please note this post contains affiliate links. Ragu sauce provided complimentary for testing thanks to Influenster.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Chicken Chorizo and Rice Bake

Hello dear readers.  It's officially Fall!  It's casserole and soup season!  You have no idea how happy I am for the cooler weather. Being pregnant during the summer was not so fun. I had no appetite and I was not interested in cooking anything in the oven that would make the house hotter than it already was.  I think we'll get the AC serviced in the springtime because it's just not cooling anymore.

Anyhow, FOOD! I've been hungry for something different than our standard, go-to meals.  I had to think back to the old days growing up and what kinds of interesting things we found at church pot-lucks. That brings me to home-cooked Basque food.

I perused my old community cookbooks and got some ideas. I perused the Internet for more ideas.  Food started flying into the pot on the stove. And then bingo! Basque chicken and rice was served.

Basically it all started because we took a short road trip back the old hometown to visit Grandma Rose so she could meet the baby.  We stopped at the little grocery market a block from her house. The Husband picked up a package of their house-made chorizo.

The chorizo from Uptown Market is a fresh sausage in real pork casing and it's not smoked or cured. One package came with four sausages that are about 7" long.  I only used one for this recipe and froze the rest.

You will need a covered casserole dish or Dutch oven that can go from stove-top to oven to make this a one-pot meal. I used my 4-quart Le Creuset soup pot for this.

chicken thighs, 4-6 pieces
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 red bell pepper, sliced in thin strips
1 medium yellow onion, sliced in thin strips
1 raw chorizo sausage, casing removed (approx 1/3 lb)
1/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes that were packed in olive oil (don't include the oil, just the tomato)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1 cup long grain white rice or jasmine rice, I had Jasmine rice on hand
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 small can sliced black olives (about 2.25 oz)
1 orange, quartered, with the peel
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Brown in the olive oil. You do not need to cook it all the way through, simply get the outside browned. Remove chicken to a plate for now. Keep all the hot fat in the pot.

2. In the same pot, cook the chorizo until it is browned. Add the bell pepper and onion and saute until softened.

3. Add the garlic and rice.  Stir until the garlic is fragrant and the rice is coated in oil. Now add the tomato paste, paprika, and thyme. Stir. Add the wine and chicken stock.

4. Add the sliced olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Stir well and bring up to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn off the heat.

5. Place the reserved chicken pieces on top.  Squeeze the oranges slightly over the chicken and arrange the orange quarters so they are partially submerged in the liquid.

6. Cover and bake 45-60 minutes in a preheated 350F oven.

This recipe was adapted from Delia Online's Chicken Basque.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Your Bijoux Box October 2015

Hello again! The latest mystery box of jewelry arrived and it's another good one.  The October box features amethyst!

The card says the YBB has sourced more fair-trade goodies with 18k gold plated over brass.  Sounds good, doesn't it?

First, the wrapped amethyst necklace is lovely. The amethyst chunk has a piece of wire that wraps around and through it.  There is a chain tassel at the bottom. I really like this one.

The coordinating wrapped amethyst ring is huge. The stone really stands out.

The chain loop earrings have purple Czech crystals in the settings. They are a great shade of purple.

amethyst earrings

Finally, I took advantage of the monthly add-on sale and picked out these golden pave drop earrings. I think they match the pave drop bar necklace really well from February's box earlier this year.

So there you have it. My jewelry box is overflowing with stuff, good stuff. Thanks for stopping by and see you again very soon!

P.S. For the sake of transparency, I paid for this subscription myself. It was in no way "free" or provided to me for some exchange of services. I just really liked the products and wanted to share my opinion.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Fall 2015 Influenster Comfort VoxBox

Hello dear readers.  I recently received a box of goodies to try out from Influenster. You never know when you'll get chosen and you never know what they will send.  Luckily, I got picked for a "mom" box!

Here's what I got. Also, full disclosure time, I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

Comfort Vox Box

1. Fisher Nut Exactly Snack Bites (plus a coupon).  These are clusters of almonds, peanuts, and popcorn with a little chocolate coating.  Each cluster is about 15 calories, so that makes it very easy to figure out how many calories you're getting. These are crunchy and tasty, not too sweet. It's a lot like Popcornopolis or Moose Munch, but lighter. The verdict is Yum!

 2. Annie's Organic Star Pasta and Chicken Soup. With the cooler weather, I've been sending the big kids a thermos of soup for lunch at school. I like Annie's products because they are healthier than regular brands. They are transparent about their contents and if something in non-GMO. This soup was a winner with the kids and with me. I also like the packaging box instead of a can. One box is 17 ounces, so enough for two servings.

3. Fiber Choice Immunity Support Fruity Bites. I was definitely curious about these. They are gummy fruit in citrus flavors. My first question was if these were going to be hard. They were not hard, very soft and had a good gummy texture. Second, the flavor was good, really good like candy. I liked it quite a bit. I would definitely buy these in the future.

4. Tide Ultra Stain Release laundry detergent (plus a coupon).  I usually don't buy Tide. My normal detergent is All Free and Clear because I have very sensitive skin and fragrance is an issue. Tide previously came out with a fragrance-free detergent that was just OK. I was very excited to try this. I have a front-load washing machine so HE detergent is important. I used it on a load of kid-stained laundry and it worked well.

fragrance free Tide

5. Ragu Pasta Sauce. So they didn't send an actual jar of sauce, probably because the jars are glass and breakable. Instead they sent a coupon for one jar free and one for 55 cents off another. We've used Ragu before and it's one of the brands I normally buy.  I bought a fresh jar for this. I like Ragu for a quick and easy busy weeknight dinner. It's also pretty good in my lasagna if you use the regular Traditional tomato sauce.

pasta sauce jar

Overall, I really liked all the products I received in the Comfort Vox Box. Thanks, Influenster!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Kinderbox September 2015

Hello dear readers.  I've been enjoying my jewelry subscription so much that my husband piped up for me to find a box for him.

After looking around at various men's boxes, like Cairn and Campbox, we agreed to order Kinderbox.  So I signed up for a three-month subscription to give it a try.

The first box arrived last week. Here is what we received.

 First, let's look at the Injinji Toe Socks. They sent a size M, which are too small for my husband who wears a men's 11 wide.  However, they fit our son who wears a men's 7.5 shoe.  The socks are solid black and made from a very nice soft fabric. The kiddo loves them! He's tough on socks, so I'm watching to see how they hold up, but we're off to a good start.

Second, we got a pouch of Insta-fire survival Fire Starter.  Husband declared that sounded really useful and whisked it off to put in his camp box for the next outing.

Third, the Combat Ready Karambit Knife was a hit for both boys. The young one really wanted to claim it, but sensible Dad said no way!

Fourth, The Bearded Bros Blueberry Vanilla Energy Bar didn't really strike a chord with either boy. I tossed in the husband's bag for a snack at work.

Lastly, the bar of pine tar soap by Dr. Squatch was the dud. Honestly, as soon as the box was opened, the overwhelming stench from the soap made everyone complain. I think we'll be rehoming the soap as soon as possible. I hate to throw away anything, but it has to go.

P.S. For the sake of transparency, I paid for this subscription myself. It was in no way "free" or provided to me for some exchange of services. I just really liked the products and wanted to share my opinion.