Monday, June 24, 2013

Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels

I'm in love with salt. And chocolate. So whenever these two ingredients appear together in the same product, I feel an overwhelming need to try it. This winter I discovered I like sea salt caramels, and went a little crazy after this discovery. Everywhere I turned, there seemed to be some sort of sea salt caramel available. I think I bought them all.

Then I was broke.


Imagine my wallet's delight when I happened upon these babies at my local Trader Joe's. Only $3.49 for a 7 oz. package. Ah, yes, my wallet smiled but would I?

I looked around the store to see if anyone saw me, and when I realized I was in the clear, I threw those babies into my cart. Why the secrecy? Because I was supposed to be on the Smash Diet with my co-workers. And try as I might, I could not find a way these tempting little morsels fit into the allowable foods in any way, shape, or form.

I got them home safely, cooked dinner, and didn't enjoy my little bit of protein and plateful of vegetables. What could make it better? That's right... a serving of baby sized chocolate covered sea salt butterscotch caramels. 

I grabbed about five, and tried a couple. YUM! They are the perfect blend of rich dark chocolate, buttery caramel, and sea salt. Neither taste outshines the other, and all the ingredients work together to deliver a delicious, delightful and delectable treat.

I've had some sea salt caramels that have too much salt. I've had some sea salt caramels in which the caramel was just too hard. And I've had others in which the caramel and the salt overpowered the chocolate. 

This is not the case with Trader Joe's Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Butterscotch Caramels. These taste better than some high end sea salt caramels I've tried. And for $3.49, they are an affordable treat. I can buy one for me, and one for a friend. I'd hate to be one of my friends, though, because even though I have every intention of giving one of them a package, it rarely ever makes it out of  my house.

I say get thee down to your nearest Trader Joe's and grab a package or two of these. As with anything at Trader Joe's, you never really know how long they'll stock it, so don't waste any time. Go now. Grab a cartful and enjoy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Eco-Emi May 2013

Eco-Emi and Ipsy tie for my favorite subscription boxes. Eco-Emi speaks to my hippie side, and Ipsy speaks to my inner glamor girl. 

This month's Eco-Emi box is a "kick off to summer" theme. The intro card went on to say that in June we'll see some originals - all I can say is it's about time. Don't get me wrong - I loves me some Eco-Emi, but lately all the boxes have been filled with companies and products that we've seen before - just in different incarnations (i.e. pink eye shadow from Lauren Brookes instead of gray).

And just how does Eco-Emi kick off summer? Like this:

Assorted Nailpolish by Suncoat Girl: The color I received is a mystery - according to the card: "You will receive one surprise shade!" And it truly is a surprise, because there is no label on the polish - so I had to give it my best guess, based on what is available on the website. I am fairly certain I received Apricot. It's not a color just anyone can wear - and homey certainly can't. It will make me look like a pale face. 
Retail price: $7.99 a bottle

Lauren Brooke Pink Champagne Powder Eyeshadow: Oh my. This is a lovely shade - it goes great on my pale face! It lasts all day, and I've even received compliments on it. Go ahead, you can give me one, too. I don't mind.
Retail price: $9.00

Mongo Kiss Vanilla Honey Lip Balm by Eco Lips: Eh... you know how much homey is getting sick of receiving lip balm. Still, they often make good gifts. This one has Mongongo oil - yeah, I know. I hadn't heard of it, either. Apparently it's the oil from some sort of African nut. Oh, and all you African males out there reading this: I don't want your nut oil. Keep it in your pants, mister.
Retail price: $1.99 for a .25 oz. tube

AquaSport SPF 30 Sunscreen by All Terrain: I don't go into the water (unless I'm bathing with African nut oil - kidding), so I don't know if this holds up to it's promise to be effective even after 80 minutes in the water. But it's non-greasy and won't cause eye sting. (I didn't think I was supposed to put it in my eyes... what do I know? I'm an indoor kind of girl.)
Retail price: $12.99 for 3 oz.

Seaweed Powder Bath with Hawaiian Kukui Oil: Land sakes, how many different kinds of oil are there? At least two, right? I'm so glad this came with a warning: "Bath water will turn a greenish brown color from the seaweed." Yeah... I didn't think I was THAT dirty.
Retail price: $2.89 or 2.o oz.

Pomegranate bar by Athena Bars: Eh... see what I mean? This is a repeat product, but not really. We've received Pumpkin Spice and some sort of blueberry monstrosity... now this. Aren't there other delicious bars out there from different brands? By the by, the blueberry sucked the big red one, but the pumpkin spice one was quite alright. I haven't been brave enough to try this one yet.
Retail price: $22.68 for 12 bars

Vegan Natural Mascara by Suncoat: The card said "you will receive one surprise color!" Guess what my color was? Black... just like my heart. Seriously? Black? I was disappointed until I went to the website and saw that there are only three colors: black, brown, and blue. Now I feel better. (By the by, this is "sugar based." Not sure what that means, but don't try to eat my eyes, okay?)
Retail price: $14.99 for 10ml

Herbal Armor Insect Repellent by All Terrain: I haven't tried this yet - I live in Nevada, so not a lot of insects around. Well... tons of ants and spiders, but they don't seem to be repelled by anything, not even my coffee breath.
Retail price: $8.99 for 4 oz

Aromatherapy Hair Care Rosemary Mint Tea Tree Shampoo by Beauty Without Cruelty: Per the card, it appears that people either received a lotion, shampoo, or conditioner. I got the shampoo. It smells good and doesn't have alcohol in it - but I was unexcited. I'm picky about my hair products. I might give it a go, though, to see how it works. Who knows? It could become a favorite...
Retail price: $10.95 for 16 oz.

Nitpicks: Recycled products - the Athena bar isn't that good to begin with, and this is my third bar in about six months. Blerg. On the other hand, I liked the first Seaweed company product I tried, and was excited to see a different product to try this month. But... homey wants variety, so I'm really looking forward to next month's box.

Lasting Impressions: Three things really stood out this month: The variety of products really got me excited about summer. The packaging as always was beautiful, but this month seemed especially eye catching. Lastly, they were EARLY this month! I was so excited to get my box early that I almost wet myself.

Birchbox May 2013

Oh yay! It's time (okay, past time) to review my May Birchbox. I can sum it up in two words: Pissed Off.

Apparently BB decided only a few of their subscribers were cool enough to receive the extra special Salma Hayak box. I believe it was an extra box on top of their regular box - at least, that's what one blogger indicated. BB sent out an email to their subscribers asking if they'd be interested. Guess what? Homey did NOT get the email. And this after many assurances from BB that I was on their email list.

Oh BB - you guys never fail to give me the shaft, do you?

So, I missed out on the super cool box, and this is what I got instead:

Okay, okay, that's not all I got. But it sure set the tone for the rest of the box - take a look to see what I mean:

amika Obliphica Nourishing Mask: Oh lookie here, my favorite: a foil pack! Plus it's supposed to be great for colored hair, but the second ingredient is alcohol. I don't understand what these hair people are thinking - alcohol strips color. Ugh. Guess they don't know how to do their homework.
Retail price: $40 for 500ml

Marvis Toothpaste in Classic Strong Mint: At least they didn't give me licorice - that's a plus. Look, the link is going to take you to to check the product out - you are my beloved readers, and I could not subject you to the painfully slow loading and gosh awful Marvis website. It took approx. two minutes for the picture to load in - and they played all this hookey music - as if their toothpaste brought forth a symphony. Blerg.
Retail price: $10.50 for 75ml (seriously - $10.50 for toothpaste? Go to Grocery Outlet and get yourself some Crest.)

Suman Contrast Eye Pencil - Black: Man, not even an exciting color - just black. And small. However, I was very happy to receive at least one cosmetic item, so this did give me a case of the happies. (The pencil I received does not look like the one in the link - that one looks self-sharpening and mine needs some manual labor.)
Retail price: $11

Coola Cucumber Classic Sunscreen SPF 30: Win, win, win. This is NOT an exciting product - but it's one of the first organic facial sunscreens I've received that actually blends in easily. Holy cow - most of 'em kind of are sticky and difficult for the skin to absorb. This one is wonderful - and it smells like cucumber!
Retail price: $32.00 for 1.7 oz/50ml

Isaac Mizrahi Fabulous perfume sample: Finally, Birchbox is sending me fragrance. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I've only been ragging you about it for two years now. How much longer do I have to rag you now for some Salma Hayek love? I digress... this stuff smells good. I'm not sure if it's totally me, but I'll have fun finishing off the sample while I figure it out. The scent is soft and slightly citrusy with an undertone of baby powder.
Retail price: $69 for 1.7 fl oz & 0.34 Rollerball

Oh... and let's not forget the Acroball pen. That was my Lifestyle extra. Alright, I admit it: I actually like the pen. It's pink and white on the outside, but actually writes with a purple tone. Still... it's no Salma Hayak. (Maybe that's a good thing - she has an awful accent, and when this thing writes, it sounds like me.)

May... hit or miss? Mostly miss. Love the Fabulous perfume, but let's face it, homey could never afford it. Not unless you introduce me to your rich uncle or hunky, fat-walleted single dad. They will love me - I smell Fabulous!

Nitpicks: The fact that I didn't get the Salma Hayak email really ticked me off - and seems like a huge oversight on their part. It put a great big spotlight on the fact that I don't receive any emails from them - even though they told me they fixed the problem. Grrrrrrr! 

They also recently updated the beauty profile questions, and I didn't get notification of that, either. I found out by accident and updated my profile - they really need to get on the ball about notifying their subscribers of changes that affect the subscription.

Lasting Impression: It looks like Birchbox FINALLY is sending me fragrance samples on a regular basis - yay! Thank you.