Monday, June 23, 2014

Profoot Pedi-Rock Review

I tried the pedi-rock today and was a bit disappointed. It tends to scratch things. Like your nails if you aren't careful, for example, when removing it from the package. It was comfortable enough to hold, though. I tried it on my foot dry and then tried it wet (you can use it either way). It obviously did something to my foot when it was dry because I could see a layer of white stuff (rubbed off skin) in the area I used it on. When it was wet I didn't get that visual confirmation so I don't know for sure if it did anything. In the end I couldn't tell that my foot condition had improved. Perhaps part of the problem is that my feet aren't very rough. The heels are slightly rough, but if I had more issues of that nature I'd maybe be able to test it properly.

I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Vitamin Shoppe Next Step Fit N Full Protein Shake and Shaker Cup Review

I got a box of health-related stuff to try about a month ago, including the Vitamin Shoppe Next Step Fit N Full Protein Shake, along with a shaker cup by the same brand. I received three flavors: swiss chocolate, french vanilla, and fresh berries.

I decided to try the chocolate one first, since I'm a bit of a chocoholic (and I usually don't like vanilla). As specified, I put 8 oz of cold water into the shaker cup, which is conveniently labelled with measurements. Then I added the chocolate powder, screwed the cap closed, and shook it for about a minute. It mixed quite well in the shaker cup. I was impressed. My impression of the taste, however, was not great. The initial flavor was good, but it was followed by a terrible, chemical aftertaste, leading me to believe there was a fake sweetener within. I checked the packet and sure enough, stevia.

Obviously some people consider stevia to be natural, and even like the taste. But to me, it tastes terrible and like chemicals, so I consider it a fake sweetener. I use the term liberally in this case.

Anyway, I couldn't finish it, and I didn't bother trying the other flavors. They all have stevia as well. I'll probably send them to my mother because she doesn't mind stevia. I'll keep the shaker cup as it might come in handy. It's sad because the taste would be great if it weren't for the stevia.

The short version: If you like stevia, you will love this. If you don't like stevia, you will hate this. I can't speak for its filling qualities, but the calories are low enough that for me personally it probably wouldn't keep me satisfied for long. The shaker cup is pretty awesome.


I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Venus Embrace Sensitive Razor Review

I received received Gillette's Venus Embrace Sensitive Razor. I must admit, I was highly skeptical. Oh, look, it has a "touch of aloe." Like I haven't seen that before. I have very sensitive skin, as well as rather coarse hair in some areas, and I have tried all kinds of hair removal techniques in an effort to find one that didn't leave me in pain.

I tested it in the shower with the Aveeno Positively Smooth Shave Gel. Initially, I was pleasantly surprised. It left my lower leg feeling smooth and not at all irritated. I experienced the usual red bumps when I attempted to shave my inner thigh, but there was no pain. However, it ate my knee. While this is definitely one of the better razors for sensitive skin, its shape is too bulky and stiff to conform to the curves of one's body. I haven't gotten cuts on my knees in years while using other razors.

Overall, I would say if you have sensitive skin, and hair that isn't very coarse, and no knees, this will be great for you. Or if you only shave your lower legs.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Monday, July 29, 2013


Let's talk about onions. When I was young, I hated them. I also hated mushrooms, but that's something I haven't outgrown (yum, spongy fungus!). Somewhere around my tenth year, my dad introduced me to French Onion Soup (yes, the canned version; don't judge). I was initially disgusted by the idea, since it had onions in it, but my dad insisted I would like it. So I tried it, and I did. 

I don't like raw onions, with the sharp, lingering taste they leave in my mouth. Or caramelized onions, with their sweet sogginess (not to mention the time it takes to make them). I like sauteed onions. Not too sharp, not too sweet. Possibly slightly burnt. That's the way I like onions. (Also in French Onion Soup, of course.)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Antibacterial Soap and Sanitizers

Antibacterial soap and hand sanitizers seem like a good idea, especially if you have an issue with germs. But alas, all they really do is make the bacteria more resistant, resulting in mutant, super-strong bacteria that won't die. You're better off using regular soap. The cleaning action is mainly in the friction that occurs from rubbing your hands together. There is something psychologically calming about the whole "anti-bacterial" thing, but it doesn't actually help.
That's not to say that hand sanitizer gel should be avoided at all costs. I use it when I've touched something nasty or suspect at times when I don't have access to water or soap. Just use it sparingly, when you have no other option.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Violent Eyes Review

I purchased a pack of "Violent Eyes" (by Violent Lips) a couple months ago when there was a sale. I ordered Jet Black Glitteratti, and they included a surprise sample of Rainbow Glitteratti, which was super nice of them. They are temporary eyeliner appliques, similar to temporary tattoos. Once I got around to trying them, I found they were not as good as I had hoped. Measuring them to my eye was incredibly difficult. Maybe it's just me, but it seemed very arbitrary. Also, the backing is too thick, in my view. The thick backing makes it take forever for the eyeliner part to adhere to the skin. I had to wet each eye for about fifteen minutes each. I lost my patience, which is probably partly to blame for the fact that they didn't match very well. I tried to remove them before they were ready, but come on, fifteen minutes.

They don't feel too annoying once they're on. That worried me, but they aren't super noticeable. However, I got them to help my eye makeup be more symmetrical, but both times they didn't help in that regard, and it was worse than traditional eye makeup because there was no way to fix it without removing it entirely. There also was a certain fakeness to them. Especially the rainbow one. It looked pretty plasticky. They did last a really long time, though. If they could just make the backing thinner, I think it would help a lot.

If you'd like to see them in action, check out my video below.

You can purchase Violent Eyes and Violent Lips (appliques for lips) at

Friday, January 11, 2013

Crunchy Steel-Cut Oatmeal

There are some recipes out there for cooking steel cut oats, but I haven't found any that suit me. So I made my own! The work is minimal (of course), and the end result isn't too gooey. It still has the shape of the oats and a bit of crunch. I don't know about you, but if I want a gooey lump of pudding-like oatmeal, I'll make the one-minute kind. I'm not going to bother with steel-cut.

Crunchy Steel-Cut Oatmeal

1 cup steel-cut oats
2 cups water
1 cup almond milk (or some other milk)

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine steel-cut oats, water, and almond milk in an oven-safe container. I generally use a glass loaf pan. Cook oats for an hour or more, depending on desired consistency (the longer you cook it, the thicker it becomes). Top oatmeal with whatever kind of milk you'd like. I use almond milk. Sometimes I add chia seeds because they blend well with the oatmeal and add extra nutrition. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a few days.

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Favorite Black Bean Burgers

Black bean burgers. How I love thee. I've never have store-bought (they're super expensive, and I am suspicious of the ingredients), only homemade. And baby, they are good. I've decided to share the recipe with you. Because I only use bread crumbs to thicken the burgers, they are easiest to work with when frozen, or at least refrigerated.

My Favorite Black Bean Burgers
adapted from

1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 medium onion, diced
2 slices of bread, crumbled
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
dash of cinnamon
Other seasonings: cumin,  paprika, salt, pepper
oil for frying

Saute onion with olive oil for 3-5 minutes until soft. Mash beans with a fork (if you have a death-wish), or  puree in food processor (I use my Ninja Chopper, which I love; Ninja Master Prep Pro (Google Affiliate Ad)). Combine beans, onions and seasonings (I add about three dashes each of cumin and paprika) in a large bowl. Mix well. Add bread crumbs until the mixture is fairly thick.You may have to add more bread, depending on the size of the slices used.

Refrigerate mixture for at least an hour. Form bean mixture into patties, approximately ½ inch thick, and fry patties in a small amount of oil until slightly firm. Make veggie burgers and enjoy! If you are making these for only one or two people, you can freeze the patties between wax paper in ziploc bags. Otherwise, you can store the mixture in the fridge for a few days.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Easy Taco Soup

I made some pretty delicious soup last night. I would include a picture, but frankly, it's not exactly beautiful-looking. I used tomatillos and a jalapeno because I didn't have any green enchilada sauce in my possession, but if you have green enchilada sauce, by all means use it. That makes it even easier.

I'm afraid I don't generally measure seasonings that I add, unless I'm adding a fairly large amount like in my black bean burgers recipe. But I think you can figure it out and adjust things according to your desires.

Easy Taco Soup
Adapted from high heels and grills

1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained (and rinsed if you are so inclined)
1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained (and rinsed if you are so inclined)
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel (diced tomatoes and green chilies)
1 (16 oz.) can refried beans
1 (10 oz.) can green enchilada sauce (or 2-6 tomatillos and half a jalapeno)
1 (14 oz.) can chicken broth
Seasonings: chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a large pot. If using tomatillos and jalapeno, puree in a food processor and add to pot. Add seasonings according to preference. Heat until warm, stirring occasionally. Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Mac and Cheese in the Microwave

On Pinterest I saw a vague recipe for mac and cheese in a mug, made in the microwave. The picture led to a random site, so I conducted a search. Because I love mac and cheese.

The original recipe didn't include butter, but some people were complaining about the cheese not mixing with the milk well, and just causing a glob of cheese. Also, butter makes everything better. The original recipe also called for 1% milk, but that's just nasty. Go all out, my friends. 2% is the way to go (or whole milk, if you have it).

It was good. I enjoyed it much more than my foray into the world of microwaved cake. You could make it a lot better if you used high quality cheese, but I didn't have any, and I am nothing if not lazy.

The obligatory sad photo taken at night with bad lighting.

Mac & Cheese in the Microwave
adapted from TheNaptimeChef
1/3 cup pasta
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup 2% milk
approx. 3/4 tsp. butter (you can use more; I won't judge)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (cheddar/mix/etc.)
Combine the pasta and water in a large mug or bowl (I recommend a bowl so it doesn't overflow). Microwave on high for two minutes, then stir. Repeat this for at least 2 more minutes (until your pasta is cooked), stirring at each 2-minute interval. My pasta cooked in 4 minutes.
Remove it from the microwave. If there is excess water, drain it. Stir in the milk, butter, and cheese. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir. Microwave for another 30 seconds and stir the cheese sauce thoroughly into the pasta. Enjoy!