Saturday, January 30, 2016

Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask AND Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub

I received these products in exchange for an honest review.

Some days you just want to go back to bed and start the day over again. On days like today I like to pamper myself usually by taking a nice warm bath and using a facial masks. Facials are one of those nice little things I've done since I was a teenager to make myself feel better. Today I have a clay mask to share with you as well as a scrub. 

Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask - A natural kaolin clay and botanical based mask that gently removes excess, dirt and oil while deeply cleansing and exfoliating the skin to reveal softer, smoother skin.

Valentia Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub- A refreshing scrub with green and white teas partnered with a trio of tropical butters.

Specially selected ingredients work together to achieve optimum results.

Valentia Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask:

- Kaolin Clay: Clay minerals draw impurities, improve skin tone, and tighten pores for smoother firmer skin.

- Plant Stem Cells: Naturally decreases the level of pro-aging toxins and works to soother the skin, reduce redness, and improve evenness.

-Spirulina: A botanical stimulant full of vitamins that hydrates the skins surface and contributes to tissue regeneration of the skin.

- CoQ10: Lessens the appearance of wrinkles by reducing free radical damage and stimulating health collagen production.

- Hibiscus & Cranberry Fibers: Both lend their anti-aging properties to firm and reinforce the skin, helping to reduce the creation of new wrinkles.

Valentia Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub:- Green and White Tea: Packed with polyphenols and potent antioxidants that provide anti-inflammatory, anti-irritant, and anti-aging effects.

- Aloe Vera: This nutrient rich botanical moisturizes the skin and fights aging by improving skin firmness.

- Jojoba Beads: Gentle beads that work to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells without scratching the skin.

- Olive, Avocado & Kukui Butter:This nutrient dense trio is rich in Vitamin A, B, D, and E helps nourish, hydrate, and repair the skin while combating pro-aging free radicals.


I think clay masks are my favorite type and among the three Valentia products I have tried the Skin Detoxifying Clay Mask is my favorite. This masks just smells wonderful. To me it smells like cranberries. Even after washing my face and clearing the mask away I could smell it on my skin. There are some wonderful smelling ingredients in this mask but it's the cranberry which stands out the most for me. 

I really enjoy scrubs except I always seem to end up getting the grit where it doesn't belong. That is my only complaint about this Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub. Every time I used this I somehow ended up with pieces of the scrub in my teeth. That's an odd complaint I realize but it might be an issue for some. I do like both of these products because they contain natural ingredients. 

The Detoxifying Clay Mask and Eternal Youth Exfoliating Scrub are available on Amazon for $25 each.

Ebook - Tombs of Lust

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.


A passionate and forbidden love story between an Israeli woman and a Bedouin man in the heart of the Sinai Desert, are at the center of this dramatic thriller.
It tells the story a of a young woman in search of her own identity, and the journey that will transform her from "Leah" into "Layla," in which she will discover that beneath the desert's calm surface deep desires, fascinating fairytales and secret myths prevail.

Her tantalizing encounter with the people of the desert will make her trail between joy and danger, desire and tragedy and onto an unpredictable ending.
The book was first published in 1985 and became a best seller. The film inspired by the book was released in 2002 and won best film and best script at the Manchester Independent Film Festival in the US.

Tombs of Lust was well written and easy to read. However I found it very confusing and had trouble following along with the story. I think I would have to read it over again to perhaps fully appreciate it. At times the story was quite shocking and disturbing. Many things simply made no sense to me but perhaps I'll leave it up to cultural differences. By the time the story took a spin into what felt like an odd parody of the Little Mermaid I felt convinced the author had done too many drugs or spent too much time in the desert. There is such a thing as too much odd just for the sake of being different and in this case I didn't care for it. The ending was definitely lacking substance and there were too many immoral themes in this book I did not like. I can say it was entertaining just because I did not know what to expect but I can't say I would necessarily recommend it. 

Tombs of Lust is available on for $2.99 for ebook or free with Kindle Unlimited. It is also available in paperback for $9.99. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Jingle VoxBox review

I received these products in exchange for an honest review. 

The past few weeks I've been busy testing out some of the products I received in my Jingle Voxbox from Influenster. If you're not familiar with Influenster, they're a pretty cool web site which on occasion sends out items to people for review. I've gotten some really good and unfortunately some really bad items from them. My experiences have mostly been good though. I'd have to say this is one of the better boxes I've received recently. The last few have definitely been misses so it's good to get a few good products again. 

Here's everything I received. 

Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream
Biscoff Cookies
Ore-Ida Tater Tots
Hallmark itty bittys
NYC City Proof 24 HR Waterproof Eyeliner 
Kiss True Volume Lashes
Kiss Strip Lash Adhesive 
Pure Ice Nail Polish 

Let me start with the moisturizing cream because you all know how I feel about lotions and what not. I've been using this regularly and actually my hands feel rather dry. I've used almost the entire jar. I've found I really like creams because they have the typical glycerin petroleum combination. I know some people don't like petroleum based products but I like the texture. Anyway as I mentioned my hands are rather dry and I don't really see a difference between the Cetaphil cream and similar products so I could take it or leave it. 

Next is the Biscoff cookies. These were actually very good. I like that I can actually read all of the ingredients. They're made in Belgium so I'm hoping that means better quality ingredients. Even though I typically try to avoid soy products I would probably consider buying these as a special treat. 

The cookies went perfectly with my Door County coffee. Can't complain about anything which goes with coffee. 

On the subject of not real food, I was provided with a coupon for a bag of free tator tots. I don't buy these ever. My husband doesn't care for them. Even though I grew up eating these I would rather eat something healthier. Although

I made some sausage and too many tator tots for supper the one night. I wasn't feeling well so I decided simple was best. So it was nice having fast and easy options available. Except it wasn't worth it. We both felt stomach flu sick again the next day and I'm just going to blame these because it's not something we would normally eat. 

The Hallmark itty bitty is next and honestly I don't know what I'll do with it. I have no use for it. I was hoping to get one of the cuter ones to give to my niece but no such luck. 

Next is the NYC eyeliner which I used in the following photo. 

This eyeliner went on with no problem and stayed on even after washing my face numerous times so I guess I can vouche for it being waterproof. I received this eyeliner in Dark Brown. I have a few other brown eyeliners but this one really stands out. I really like the color because it's not quite black but dark enough that it doesn't look too dull like some browns  can. I really like this eyeliner and would consider purchasing it. 

Next is the Kiss eyelashes which I actually haven't tried yet. I've just been too sick to feel like messing with them. Hopefully I will try them out soon. 

Lastly is probably my favorite product from my Voxbox. I'm not exactly new to Pure Ice but I'm not very familiar with them either. I received Home Run which is a color definitely out of my usual spectrum. It's definitely not a color I would have hand picked. 

I applied two coats and it was still rather sheer. This applies pretty streaky. Regardless I love the formula and for that reason alone I love this polish. It hardened quickly and I even used the cold water trick on my nails and it worked for once. This polish dried perfectly and it felt as if I were wearing some expensive top coat when at the time I wasn't wearing one. Best of all I painted my nails almost a week ago and they're just now starting to chip. That's pretty long lasting for my nails. I would love to try other Pure Ice polishes after my experience with Home Run. I definitely recommend this nail polish. 

I did a pretty manicure with this polish but I think I'll save that for another post. 

Thanks to Influenster and all of the brands for providing me with these products for review. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cooking with Melanie

I have nothing to disclose. 

I'm bored so screw it. Here's another random post for today. This post represents why I need to blog about my cooking more often. Get ready for some food porn. 

Potato salad. Yum. 

Umm. I think these were meatball pizza rolls. 

My birthday cake. Strawberry jello cake topped with strawberries of course. 

I cannot make jello cake correctly since I moved to Wisconsin. But I keep trying. 

My birthday meal. Salad with chicken and eggplant on the side. Need to eat like this more often. 


I'm guessing Mike made this. 

Homemade beef jerky. 

I can't remember exactly what this was but I remember it was good. Some kind of dumplings and beans. 

Now that's a hamburger. 

I want to say these were just chocolate chip cookies with nuts and I maybe added some peppermint and the dyed them green just because. 

I tried making yogurt. It didn't turn out right. It helps if you read the thermometer on the Fahrenheit side and not Celsius. Haha. Oops. 

Mixed berry pie. 

I have no idea. Maybe an oven baked pancake with cherries. I forget. 

Egg scramble maybe. I can't remember. 

Orange jello cake. Still trying to get it right. 


Banana nut bread 

Navajo fry bread which I cooked on the Foreman grill because the stove was acting up. 

Dried apples

Bratzli. Swiss cookies

Stuffed green peppers 

Gingerbread roll. My first time making a cake roll. It was just ok. Not too difficult to make. 

Skillet bread I made in our electric skillet. 

Cast iron skillet corn bread. 

Mixed berry muffins. 

Obviously I cook a lot. I cook a lot and take a lot of pictures but I often forget what things are and I lose recipes. I need to make an effort to blog about all of these yummy goodies and more from now on. 

Catching up on a few things

I have nothing to disclose. 

My phone was running low on memory so I thought to go through and delete a few pictures. I have a mess of pictures of things which I meant to review at one time or another and just never got around to. I have a migraine today and feel like absolute death so I'm not really doing anything at all. I thought this would be a good time to catch up on some of those long forgotten things. 

We had been wanting to try Kim Chee for a long time and I finally found some at my local grocery store in the produce department. This was fairly expensive so it's not something I would buy every day. I'm probably going to try making it from scratch at some time. We both really liked this and in particular I like the Frieda's brand because it's natural and does not contain any chemicals. It's just good food. 

Revlon ColorSilk permanent hair dye in black. I used this the week before I got married so it was the end of September. 

Nice uniform color. Best thing of all is that my hair does NOT hold color but this has stood up pretty well. I remember in high school I dyed my hair blue and the only thing which held the color was my neck. Most dye fades so quickly it's not even worth dying my hair. Here's a picture I took a few days ago. 

Yes it's faded a lot but it's been almost four months since I dyed it so that's to be expected. I'm trying to get back to my natural golden strawberry blonde color so I haven't dyed it at all in this time. I'll probably dye it some odd color again before too much longer. I did purple last year for awhile and loved it but it only lasted like a week or so. I'm really sensitive to bleach so it doesn't help that I can't bleach my hair. 

We got a lot of wedding presents. Here are a few. 

We have so many knives now. We got this set of Farberware knives from my dad and his wife. I use this set basically every day. It has steak knives which we didn't have and scissors which is nice to have an extra set of scissors for the kitchen. I'm blanking on the name of the knife but this set has one which is really great for chopping up vegetables. It's great to have a paring knife as well. My last one broke. This set came with a tool for sharpening knives which will be really useful in the future. 

They also got us this crockpot which I use all the time. We rent and our oven doesn't work half the time so it is extremely nice to have the option of using this. I wish I would have bought one ages ago. This one is seven quart so you can make so much food with it. The other night I cooked a beef roast. I want to say it was maybe four and a half pounds. I cooked it overnight then the next morning I separated the meat from the fat and liquid. We've been eating on the meat for the past few days. I threw the juices fat and bits of meat in a bag into the freezer to be cooked down at a later time for stew or similar. One of my favorite dishes I made was pizza. 

I think I'm going to end up making another post or two like this one but for now I shall leave you with one of my new favorite things. 

I started drinking coffee at the end of the summer. I've tried a few different creamers but I've become addicted to Roundys brand of hazelnut creamer. I seriously need to take stock in this stuff. I eat almost all whole foods but this is my weakness. There's a bunch of nasty chemicals in it but it is so worth it. I can no longer drink coffee without this. It just does not taste like coffee without it. 

So this has been a few of my new favorite things. Hopefully this year will bring new experiences and lessons. I'll probably be back tomorrow with another post or maybe later today if I decide I can't wait.