Monday, February 17, 2014

• Mystery Vox Box Revealed! •

I received these products complimentary from Influenster, but opinions are 100% my own!
Last week, I received some mystery L'Oreal product to try out and review. You can check out my post on it here!

I tried it out and really loved it! I guessed by commenting on another lady's facebook post, that it was Garnier and I was right!
The damage eraser products helped me out with my split ends and hair feeling super dry. It smelled super good, and my first impression was that it smelled like candy...but it's tropical! I think the best product of the three (shampoo, conditioner, and split-end serum) was the split-end serum. Those types of products always make my hair feel softer than the actual shampoo and conditioner.

The only thing that I wasn't happy about was how dry my hair felt in the shower after using the shampoo (easily fixed by using the conditioner), and how the conditioner just DIDN'T want to come out of the bottle. I tried shaking it, hitting it, anything...but nothing worked unless I had the bottle stored upside down for the next shower. I'm glad that the conditioner bottle of the actual product is actually stored upside down for easy use!

Here's my hair Before:

And here's my hair After:

Both pictures were taken after showering, but in different light (sorry!) I'm so happy that I got the chance to use and review these products, as I had never used Garnier before. This was a great first impression for me!

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ps. I've reached 100 followers so I'm going to reveal the NEW blog name and host a fun giveaway this week! Stay tuned xo

xo. Nicole

Saturday, February 8, 2014

• Mystery Vox Box •

Note: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from All opinions are 100% my own!
Today, I arrived home from my day trip to Red Deer and Leduc, to find that I had received my second Vox Box from Influenster! This one is called a "Mystery" one because I have to guess what brand the products are. You can see the first box that I received, here!

The major brand name is L'Oreal Canada, who owns a lot of different brands! My job is to use these products during my usual styling routine for 1 week, and to review and guess what the brand is. So far, it smells like candy to me! It's made me more excited to try them out tonight.

This is my hair a day after being blow dryed and straightened. During the week, I usually shower at night, and just brush my hair while it's wet. I go to bed with wet hair and wake up with relatively straight hair. It's not usually too frizzy, but I've noticed that the climate change from BC to Alberta has made my hair as dry as ever. I also haven't had it cut since before our wedding in June 2013. 

Here's hoping that these products work well for the frizz, but I'm sure a hair cut would help too. I'll be sure to post a before + after post at the end of the testing week!

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xo. Nicole

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Gluten Free Baking!

The hubs received this cookbook as a Christmas gift from my step-mom, and it is amazing! It's called "Gluten-Free on a Shoestring" by Nicole Hunn. It explains the best and cheapest way to eat gluten-free, and the recipes are super yummy!

So far, Rob has made the szechuan meatballs and spaghetti, and some dinner rolls. I've made the blueberry banana muffins and chocolate chip cookies. Rob enjoys having muffins for breakfast during the work week, as they help keep him full until his lunch break. So far, the recipes don't taste like the stigma of gluten free food. They taste better than using regular flour!

I've been asked to share the Blueberry Banana Muffin Recipe, so here it is!

Banana Blueberry Muffins
Makes 12 muffins (it made 14 for me)

  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 extra large egg (I used 2 medium), at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (low fat is fine, nonfat is not) - (I used 5%)
  • 2 medium size ripe bananas, 1 mashed and 1 diced (I used 2 mashed, 1 diced)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour (I used 1 1/3)
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, eggs, and mix until well combined. Add sour cream, mashed bananas, and mix again. Add the dry ingredients, leaving 2 tbsp of flour in a separate small bowl. Beat the batter until it becomes thicker and a bit more elastic.
  3. Carefully fold the diced banana into the batter. Toss the blueberries in the 2 tbsp of flour, and then fold into the batter. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups.
  4. Place in center of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes (My 14 muffins took 30 minutes and 30 seconds) or until the muffins are brown around the edges and a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
I hope you enjoy! Send me a picture, or comment with the link, if you make these! They are SO good and not dry at all! You can also make these with regular flour, just take out the xanthan gum as well.

xo. Nicole