Monday, January 27, 2014

Influenster VoxBox Review

This has been a longtime coming. The Influenster community sent me a box of various items to try out, share on social media, and review. And I finally feel like I have used each item enough to give an honest review.

1. Skinny Cow Divine Filled Chocolates
These were amazing! I've already bought two more boxes since I received the first one! I have a detailed review of them here, but let me tell you: run, don't walk, and buy a box of these bad boys!

2. Duckings Mini Roll
This was a cute roll of duct tape. It was nice to have it in a small size to keep in the junk drawer in our house And of course the cute pattern made it crafter-friendly.

3. NYC HD Eye-Shadow Trio
I was pleasantly surprised by this eye shadow. As someone who has 2 of the three Urban Decay Naked Palettes, I've become kind of an eye shadow snob. But this is a great palette that was travel-friendly. As long as you use an eye shadow primer, these shadows show up quite vibrantly. There are many different options for colors and I highly recommend this shadow for a bargain make-up shopper.

4. Puffs Tissues To-Go
This was such cute packaging! The tissues were the perfect mix between softness and sturdiness. And this is the perfect size to throw in your purse, car, pocket, etc.

5. Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer
I'm in love! This lip gloss (mine was in the shade Stargazer) was a great neutral color. It wasn't too sticky, added a shine that wasn't sickeningly sparkly, and smelled amazing! I want to try all the shades now! A great everyday lip gloss that everyone should buy!

So there you have it! While all of the products were good, I would be most likely repurchase the Skinny Cow Chocolates and the Rimmel London Lip Lacquer. Such a great box for a girl who loves chocolate AND make up!

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Faye

Disclosure: I received these products complimentary for testing purposes from Influenster.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Meatless Monday - Eggplant Parmesan

For the New Year, I have the cliche goal is making my lifestyle more healthy. I also want to continue to improve my cooking. I want to branch out and learn to make meals that are outside of my comfort zone.

A way for me to accomplish both of these goals is to participate in "Meatless Mondays." Meatless Monday is a movement to abstain from meat one day a week (preferably Monday). According to, there are many benefits to avoiding meat once a week. Some of these benefits include limiting your risk of cancer, diabetes, and reducing carbon footprint.

Now of course, avoiding meat and filling it was junk food will not get these benefits. Duh.

So this is a good way to try out some new foods, cooking styles, and possibly gain some health benefits.

For my first Meatless Monday, I attempted to make Eggplant Parmesan.

I would like to note that:
1) I've never even eaten had Eggplant Parmesan, so I had no idea what a "good eggplant parm" tastes like. 2) I've never even cooked with an eggplant before! They are a weird, huge and purple vegetable and I had not idea what I was doing. This was a push from my comfort zone for sure.
Fun Fact: The inside of an eggplant is a light green, almost white color! Who knew?

And after following this recipe by Michael Symon, plus some Dreamfield angel hair pasta, my first Meatless Monday was complete.
A little messy looking, but so delicious!
It was amazing! If you like Italian food, you will love this! I mean, how can you go wrong with mozzarella, basil, ricotta, parmesan, tomato sauce and bread crumbs? And the eggplant was really good too! It almost reminded me of a fried green tomato.
A close up of this gooey magical dish
This was a great way for me to try a new food because it was covered in other foods that I love! I would love to make this again-whether it's Monday or not! :)

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Jordan

Thursday, January 9, 2014

How Going Home for Christmas Made Me Feel

I am a Pennsylvania transplant originally from Michigan. After the man and I got hitched, we did not go back to the mitten at all until Christmas break. That is a whole six months. Which is such a long time for us, who are extremely close to our families.

Going back over break was a blast. As immature and selfish as this may sound, it was fun to be missed and have everyone so excited to see us. It was so nice to be around people who we know so well and trust completely. And it was special to see how people have changed, stayed the same, or did a little of both.
     My dear friend, Jenn, changed over break! Sat with her while
she got the first part of her Garden of Eden tattoo done!
And of course I got to meet my gorgeous niece/goddaughter for the first time!
Isn't she beautiful?
So did the man...
Oh how I love those goofs!
As you know, I love making lists.

What I Miss About Michigan
1. I miss having so many people so close that I trust completely. 
For example, when I had my wisdom teeth out a few months ago, there was no one here who I felt comfortable enough seeing me all drugged up to drive me home and take care of me. So the man had to take off work. If we were in MI, there are a plethora of people I could have asked!
2. I miss family.
My family is some of my best friends. Whether they are family by blood, marriage, or Christ, these are people that I love and care about so deeply. These people inspire me and I crave their relationships when I'm away. While we talk on the phone and text often, it's not the same as helping my mom pick out a new lipgloss or having a game night at the inlaws.
3. I know where everything is!
Here is a secret about me: I'm not a great driver OR navigator. And while I am feeling much more comfortable in PA now, I still don't know it the way I know MI. People mentions towns in PA and I'm like "Huh?" People mention back roads to take to places and I have no idea what they are talking about. I crave the familiarity that I experience in MI.
4. I miss friends. 
While this overlaps with family, I thought I'd mention all the other people I love and miss dearly from MI.
5. Meijer
Yes, I miss Meijer. There are plenty of grocery stores here that suffice, but nothing will ever compare to late night adventures to Meijer.

What I Love About Pennsylvania
1. I love the independence that the man and I have. 
Don't get me wrong, I already said how much I love my friends and family. But there is something nice knowing that we are doing this on our own. Sure I call people from back home for advice, but we are out here, a few states away, and really doing this marriage thing. We are taking care of each other, supporting ourselves financially, and learning how to be married. And while we could easily do that in MI, it is special to know that we our out here, by ourselves, and making it one our own (with God leading the way of course!)
2. I love the weather!
While I'd much rather it be in the eighties year round, the PA weather is much more mild than MI. And I am a huge fan of that.
3. Amish
Yes, I love living near the Amish. They have yummy baked goods and produce at reasonable prices AND are very kind. They are the reason we have such wide shoulders on our roads (also used as passing lanes). Plus I still feel like a giddy little kid every time I spot a buggy!
4. Location, Location, Location
We are only a few hours from NYC, D.C., and less than that to Philly, Hershey, and Gettysburg. So many day trips!
5. The scenery 
We live by so many gorgeous rolling hills and mountains. I love it! There are a myriad of breathtaking views that I pray I never get used to!
Selfie...before my gorgeous cousin's wedding!
I miss Michigan dearly and still wonder if God has a plan for us to return someday. But I am falling in love with PA more and more everyday. And I trust that he has us here for a reason and is guiding us each and every day.

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Faye

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Skinny Cow Divine Filled Chocolates Review

It's that time of year! Everyone is stuffed from sugary, gooey holiday treats and are ready to "get back on the wagon" with their health and diet. And if you're anything like me, my downfall with healthy eating is sweets. I want to eat healthy and fuel my body with foods that are good for it...but I also want to indulge in delicious, chocolatey and decadent desserts. But with Skinny Cow Divine Filled Chocolates, you don't have to have one or the other.

These came in my Jolly VoxBox from Influenster (a blog on this will come soon!) for me to try. And I was not disappointed! I packed them as a low-calorie treat to eat on our long road trip to Michigan, and they were yummy!

Each package has three chocolates. The flavor I received was peanut butter creme, which meant that each chocolate had a creamy, soft and almost caramel textured peanut butter flowing out of them. It was like a smoother Reese's, AND was only 130 calories!

Now I am trying to eat more whole foods, and anything this yummy AND low calorie tends to have ingredients that are not exactly whole (corn syrup and soy lecithin, for example). But for an occasional not naughty treat, these fit the bill.

I will definitely be buying these more often so I snack on a package of these when I get a chocolate craving instead of half of a bag of chocolate chips...(what, am I the only one that does that?)

Love and Blessings,

Annmarie Faye

EDIT: I did recieve this complimentary product from Influenster for testing purposes.