Monday, March 4, 2013

Garnier Olio - Product Review


Let me start out by saying, I'm a Sample Whore.  There, I said it.  It's true.  My motto for quite some time has been "I'll try anything, twice". 

I simply adore my subscription to Birchbox and I recently stumbled upon a site called BzzAgent which is a word-of-mouth service for companies to sample their products to consumers.  You start off answering quite a series of questionnaires that gives the company a profile on you.  When BzzCampaigns come available that fit your profile.  My first BzzCampaign was for Garnier Olia oil powered permanent color.

I received an envelope in the mail with an informational packet and a coupon for a free box of Olia hair color.  Here's a before photo of what I was working with.  And for the record, I EARNED every single one of those greys.

 
I picked up the color 4.3 Dark Golden Brown and sat down one quiet evening and colored.
 
 
Here are the contents of the box.  It included Developer, an empty applicator bottle, after color conditioner, and



these horrible, awful, cheap plastic gloves.  One serious pet-peeve of mine is the crappy gloves most hair colors include with their product.  Typically, most companies have clear gloves.  When I first saw these I though, "Wonderful!  Garnier upped it with real rubber gloves! (my normal hair color - John Frieda Precision Foam Colour has the nicer rubber gloves).  I was highly disappointed when I found these were just the plastic cheap gloves, only in black.  I ended up wripping them half way through the coloring process, as they are not flexible.
 
 


One rather confusing part of this kit was the separate developer and applicator bottle.  Typically, the developer comes IN the applicator bottle in most hair colors.  In this kit, you need to squeeze the Developer into the applicator bottle.  I was unable to get every last drop from the developer tube (which was similar to a hair gel bottle).  Seems like an extra step for the consumer, as well as extra waste that was not necessary.  On the subject of the applicator bottle, I found it bulky in my hand and there was a lot of excess space in the bottle once I filled it with developer and colorant.




I followed the directions for "Option #2" since I color my hair regularly.  It required me to put the color on my roots and wait 20 minutes, then apply the remainder of the color and wait 10 minutes, totalling 30 minutes processing time.  I did find that there was not a lot of color left to pull through my ends and I was worried I might not have enough product to finish.  I'm not sure how longer haired girls handled this, or if it was an issue with them. 


I was rather concerned about rinsing the color at the end of 30 minutes.  I switched from traditional cream hair colors to foam color due to the time it took to rinse the color out of my hair.  I have very thick, but fine hair.  I found that no matter how much I rinsed, I would still have color come off on my towel and never truly got it rinsed out.  Garnier Olia rinsed very cleanly out of my hair, rather quickly and I was very surprised and pleased.  It did leave my hair INITIALLY very rough feeling, almost like straw.  I used the after color conditioner and it still felt rough, so I followed it up with my normal conditioner for some extra moisture.

Surprisingly, once dry, my hair was silky soft and I was rather pleased with the result.  Will I switch to Garnier Olia instead of my beloved John Frieda Foam?  I don't believe so.  I found the applicator bottle was difficult to work with and I got a hand cramp from holding the bulky bottle. 

Here is a shot of my hair 2 days later (frizzy from the dry cold weather we've been having).  You can see it covered my grey pretty much completely, with a few lingering pieces (we'll call those "highlights", m-kay?)
 
 
 
 

BzzAgent Disclosure

I am a BzzAgent and received these products from BzzAgent.com for review at no cost to me. I receive no monetary compensation for my open and unbiased review. The purpose of BzzAgents is to generate word of mouth sharing of information – both good and bad – about the products offered by both familiar and unfamiliar companies.  If you’re interested in what they do, please give them a visit and consider signing up.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Baby Bee turns 4!

I can't believe it.  I refuse to believe it.  This is.not.happening.  My baby bee is growing up and is no longer a baby.  I know, I know... she'll always be my baby, but seeing her open presents on her own and for the first time be aware of gifts and of the party made me so happy but so sad. 

Ok, enough of the sappy stuff - here's the good stuff.

We set off Saturday morning to head to the Brevard Zoo which has been a tradition for Natalie.  We first started going on her 2nd birthday and have gone every year since. 

This year, Christian, Anilyse and Grammy came with us!



























Here's some photos of the day:
My diva - looking fierce




We love feeding this deer every time we go.  She's so sweet!



Of course we HAD to feed the giraffes!
They had Christmas crafts set up around the park.



Natalie got another stuffed giraffe from the zoo (which is also a tradition).  So, to date we have Daddy Giraffe (2nd birthday), Mommy Giraffe (3rd birthday), Baby Giraffe (gift from Aunt Jodi) and now Grammy Giraffe (4th birthday).  My girl loves giraffes!

After the zoo, we drove home and put Nati down for a nap.  We kicked it into high gear and decorated for her birthday party!  This is the first year she was aware of parties and she was so excited!

This is the cutest little hat!  She was grumpy when I took the picture - made it even cuter!





She loved this giraffe snuggle blankie and insisted in taking it immediately to her room to put on her bed!
Adding to her collection.    

 






Yes, I'm a bad Mom, I got my Christmas baby a Christmas birthday cake.  I'm told, that as she gets older, she will HATE any reference to Christmas associated with her birthday.  Oh well.  This year she LOVED it!































All in all, a great birthday!  I'd say she had a great time!  I'm slowly recovering from loosing my baby and am fulling embracing having a little girl!  Can't wait for many more birthdays to come!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Favorite Things Party - 2011


Because Sara of Thrifty Decor Chick asked me to, I'm going to share Volume #2 of my Favorite Things! (See Volume #1 here). I'm never at a loss for things that are "Fabulous" or "Amazing". Just ask my family - they say they're my buzz-word!

Without further ado.....



(1)

Firecracker Chocolate by Chuao Chocolatier





Oh Lord, Almighty! Where do I start with this one? Dark chocolate? check. Chipolte? check. Sea Salt? check. Popping candy? check. Wha......???? Yep, popping candy in chocolate. What an AMAZING concept! When you first bite, the creamy dark chocolate starts melting, then if you press the chocolate against the roof of your mouth, the popping candy start's it's magic and goes all "Pop Rocks" in your mouth. Then, once you swallow, if you wait about 5 seconds, the chipolte hits the back of your throat. Aah.... perfection. I received a sample in my Birchbox a few months ago and it was love at first bite. The best part? You can buy it at the WalMarts for about $3.00!





(2)

Seche Vite Top Coat by Seche



This is my required item for doing manicures at home!  Seche Vite only takes about 10 minutes to totally dry my manicure.  And since I typically do my nails in the evening, this means no more sheet prints!  YIPPEE!!!!


(3)
Jordana Easyshine Lip Color
I found out about this gem about a month or so ago from Nouveau Cheap.  Can you believe these are only $1.99???  What I love about these lip colors is that they are more of a sheer lip and very moisturizing.  They also have fun smells - like the Berry Colada smells like berries and the Sugar Cookie smells like cookies!!!  For the price, I'm able to stock up on several colors!  LOVE THESE!!!  They're available at Walgreens.


(4)
Parenthood


I saw a random episode of this show here and there, but after I ran out of my Glee episodes on Netflix, started on this series.  I'm HOOKED!  This NBC show is a spin off of the Steve Martin movie of the same title.  It's the story of a typical family, each with their own dramas.  But the common theme is that regardless of what each is going through, they are there to support each other.  I laugh out loud so much from this show.  Great for anyone with siblings - you'll definitely relate!


(5)
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy


Let's go Daddy-O!!!!  How I love Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (BBVD)!!!!  I started listening to them during my swing days and even got Hubby addicted to them as well!  This band is so full of energy and kickin horns.  They are truly the best show I've ever seen (and I've seen them about 5 times!!!).  Their class and tight sound have me a fan for life (and I totally have a crush on Karl {the tenor sax player}).  Here's a link to their website with a promo video that shows some of their best bits.  BBVD is the total package – superior music, choreography, rhythm, passion, connection with the crowd.


So, there's a list of some of my recent favorites!  Hope you enjoy and maybe find some new favorites of your own!

















Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Influenster Holiday VoxBox has arrived!!!

So, I'm a self professed sample-whore who loves to get things for free. When I found out about Influenster I wasted no time in going over, signing up, and collecting my badges. I learned back in early December that I had been selected to receive the 2011 Holiday VoxBox and I was stalking my mailbox nightly.

Well, my wait is over - it arrived yesterday!

It came in a plain white cardboard box with the cute little holiday Influenster logo on the top.


















.... and what to my wondering eyes should appear......?

















Inside was a pre-printed card with all the goodies on it and a brief description of each. Here's what I got to sample and review!


New York Color Liquid Lip Shine
"Straight from the city that never sleeps, New York Color's Liquid Lipshine is uptown style at a down-to-earth price. With pure pigments that create a 3-D gloss effect and vitamin E that provides shine and moisture, this product is perfect to keep lips looking and feeling fabulous this season. Comes in 10 shades from neutral nude, to berries and fuchsias."















First Impression - While this is not a new product to me, this is a new color. I received color #582 - Nude York City. I've already tested it this morning and will link the review here once I can type up the review!


imPress Press-On Manicure by Broadway Nails
"Introducing imPress, the revolutionary way to apply nail polish! Featuring advanced technology, you will get a salon-perfect manicure in seconds - simply peel off, press on, and you're done (no drying time!). imPress comes in 36 colors and patterns, including trendy brights, fun prints, classic darks and animal prints."















First Impression - This one I'm a bit skeptical about. I have very large nail beds and I just don't think they'll work well. I grabbed the largest one out and did a quick size comparison -















You can see the outline of my nail polish on the side of the press-on nail - and there's the same amount of space on the other side. I'll try them out and do a full review that I will link here.


Softsoap Coconut Scrub Bar Soap
"Renew your skin with NEW Softsoap Coconut Scrub bar soap. Enriched with crushed coconut extract, this bar soap gently exfoliates to renew your skin's surface, while helping retain natural moisture for soft, supple skin. Also comes in two other exotic fragrances: Juice Pomegranate & Mango Infusions and Sweet Honeysuckle & Orange Peel."















First Impression - while I'm not a fan of bar soaps or coconut smell, I'm curious to try this one out since it is "exfoliating". I'll link the full review here.


Montagne Jeunesse Face Mask
"Montagnue Jeunesse's face masks are jam packed with the most delicious natural ingredients and are bursting with luscious juice fragrances. Influensters will receive one of the following flavors: Strawberry Souffle, Cucumber Peel Off, Passion Peel Off, Dead Sea Mud, Fruit Smoothie."















First Impression - Well, I got the Fruit Smoothie and I'm pretty happy with the flavor choice I received. I have used these masks several times in the past and I just adore using them on a Friday night with a Lifetime Movie and a glass of red wine at hand. I'm curious to see how this particular one works. Although, I must say, the size is pretty small, so I may only be able to test one part of my face.


Mentos Pure Fresh Gum
"We're sure you know Mentos, but did you know they have a sugarfree gum? Whether it's before a holiday party, date or meeting, pop Mentos Pure Fresh Gum for a quick refresh! The crunchy outer shell conceals a green tea extract core that provides an immediate burst of coolness for long-lasting fresh breath. It's unique container keeps gum protected in your purse."















First Impression - I'm a sucker for packaging and I like that there's no wrapper to end up at the bottom of my purse. I'm not a huge gum chewer (I have TMJ), but I'll give it the old college try! I'll link the review here.


Larabar
"Made from only 2-9 ingredients, each LARABAR is a delicious blend of just fruits, nuts and spices. Pure and simple, just as nature intended. Larabar comes in 19 delicious flavors!"















First Impression - I received the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip flavor. I do like that there's minimal, natural ingredients. I think I'll test this one out this afternoon at work! I'll link the review here.

Well, that's it for my box contents. Look for full reviews on each product soon!

Did you receive an Influenster Holiday VoxBox? What was in yours?!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Cafe de Bernard

















Well, I guess Bernard isn't shy about making new friends. It appears that he has quite the crush on Aurora and in a move to impress her, set up a dinner date on my kitchen island. The kids continue to get a kick out of his antics... and I'm having a harder and harder time thinking of ideas!!!

Do you have an Elf on the Shelf? What are some of the places he's shown up in your house?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday VoxBox - Winter 2011


















I am such a sucker for samples - I simply adore trying out new things and finding new treasures I never knew I would like.

I recently signed up with Influenster and received my notification today that I was selected for the Holiday VoxBox - Winter 2011!

If you're not familiar, Influenster is a community of trendsetters invited to share their lifestyles and show their influence to qualify for personalized product shipments, special rewards and exclusive deals from the brands they love. Members love testing the latest products, giving insightful feedback, and spreading the word on their favorite finds!

They send out product sample boxes to select "Influensters" for sampling and review.

The email I received said the following:

In celebration of our official national launch, Influenster is arming our most influential members with some personal fun this season in the form of a special Holiday VoxBox. And we are so excited to pass along the good news that you have been officially selected to test, evaluate and recommend this batch of featured products!

VoxBoxes are shipping from Chicago via USPS on December 7th, so be on the lookout for your package after this date.

I'm looking forward to receiving my first Voxbox and will definitely share with all of you!

Are you a member of any sample programs? Are you a "sample whore" like me?!

Weekend Recap





























WHEW! What a weekend. Have you ever had such a hectic, busy weekend that you're thankful to get back to work on Monday morning just so you can sit down? Well I just had one of those weekends.

Mom came into town and we knocked out the rest of my Christmas and Natalie's Birthday shopping! I've never been done this early. I feel like I can actually breathe and enjoy Christmas now. I have no idea what to do with myself!!!

Bernard made his appearance all weekend, like clockwork. He showed up in Natalie's bedroom on her Christmas tree on Friday night, then under the tree on Saturday night putting the moves on Barbie.

















Then..... last night.....

The little twerp defaced our family photo last night (luckily he grabbed an extra one I had laying around (which was too big for the frame, but I don't think the kids noticed). Natalie said "Naughty, naughty Bernard!!!" and told him she didn't like him drawing on her.
























Mike decided that he liked Bernard hanging around, despite all his antics. Anilyse typically is a bear to wake up in the morning. Now all Mike has to do is say "Guess where Bernard is!" and she bolts up out of bed. He wants to know if we can keep him around all year!

On a separate topic, Natalie and I went to the mall last night to help her ease through the transition of Grammy leaving. She's been on that bungee trampoline thing one time before and wanted to do it again. Somehow, my 3-year old was able to teach herself how to do backflips! I'm still flabbergasted!



All in all, a great weekend. How are you on your Christmas shopping? Anyone else doing Elf on the Shelf? I'd LOVE to hear your Elf stories!