Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Vitality VoxBox Review!

 

IMG_3017

Ciao dears!,

      I’ve been meaning to finish this post for a while, but I haven’t been a good blogger the past month.  I’ve been super busy with wedding planning (so much to do!!), graduate school, and still searching for a full time teaching job (still a substitute…boo!).  I’ll update more about al of those things later.  Today’s topic is a fun box full of goodies I’m going to review called the Vitality Voxbox!  I was sent these products by Influenster to give my honest opinions about.  I’ll list them one by one and tell you what I thought.

IMG_3018

 

IMG_3020

Here, on the card they sent with the products, you can read all the company’s descriptions of the products as well as see their Facebook/social media information in case you want to go “like” them or look them up.

IMG_3019

1.) Pure Leaf Iced Tea

        I usually try not to drink too many beverages with calories (although diet drinks are bad for you too…), but I made an exception for this.  I like that there are no preservatives, making it healthier and less chemical-filled than some drinks.  It tastes so fresh, like you just brewed it in your kitchen and poured ice over it!  It doesn’t have that overly sugary fake taste that some iced teas have.  I’d definitely recommend this as a refreshing and tasty drink to try if you haven’t.  Smile 

2.) Soft Lips Cube in Vanilla Bean

        This was my favorite product in the box!  It’s a lip balm that makes you lips feel instantly softer, smother, and hydrated.  I really loved how soft my lips felt every time I applied this.  I’ve been carrying it around in my purse for the past few weeks and I love it!  The smell and taste are also incredible, like vanilla cupcake!  My fiancé likes it because it makes my lips soft and kissable and he says it makes them taste good…ha!  The only negative about this product for me was that after about 2 weeks, the lip balm got stuck to the top of the lid, so now I have to scrape it out of there.  This might b e my fault though, maybe I left it in the heat, making it too soft or something.  It still works great though so it’s not a big deal.

3.) Bikini Ready Energy Gummies

        I was given a little packet with 2 of these gummies.  They are a tasty little B12 energy boosting/metabolism boosting gummy vitamin.  I took them on 2 separate days, and I did feel a little surge of energy, nothing too crazy but still helpful.  I took one before working out and I felt a little more energized to keep going.  I’m considering getting a full bottle of these to help with having enough energy to work out on days when I’m feeling too tired.

4.) First Degree Advanced Burn Cream

first degree

        As you can see, I’m keeping this cream in my medicine/spice cabinet in my kitchen because I’m sure it’ll come in handy.  Although I was lucky enough not to need this myself yet, my mom burnt her finger on a curling iron and I was excited to use this one her…lol.  She said it helped with the pain and seemed to heal the scar within a week.  I’m sure I’ll need this again as I tend to burn myself with curling irons every so often.

5.) Playtex Sport Fresh Balance Tampons

        I was sent these once before in a voxbox and asked my 16 year old niece to use and review them for me because I don’t use tampons ever.  ( I use pads, and have just never wanted to use tampons for personal reasons).  Her first reaction when she opened the box was something like “Oh my gosh, it smells like flowers!!”  So, it’s safe to say they smell pretty and floral.  This time, I gave them to my sister, who also said they smelled nice and that they worked well.  She didn’t have any leaking issues and wore them while working out without any problems.

6.) Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Powered by Ceramide Caplet Serum

        I was excited to use this tiny bottle of skin serum because what woman doesn’t want nice skin and to reduce any present/future signs of aging?!  It's supposed to “reinforce skin’s essential moisture barrier, even skin tone and texture, and reduce the appearance of early signs of wrinkles.”  I’ve been applying it at night, after washing my face, as well as sometimes in the morning.  While, at 23, I don’t really think I have any wrinkles or signs of them, I have noticed my face looking more even toned and clear.  If it helps reduce any possible future wrinkles, I’m all for that too.  I would recommend this if you’re looking for a face serum to prevent wrinkles and keep your skin looking flawless.             You can find this serum here if you’re interested: http://bit.ly/EAFlawlessFutureSerum

        That’s all for now.  Hope you enjoyed this post.  I’m going to try my best to find more time in my schedule to blog about the 1,000,000 things I’ve been meaning to for a while. 

P.S.: As, I mentioned before, I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Simple Fall Dessert: Apple & Pear Crisp!

IMG_4638

Ciao dears!,

        Although it’s not officially Fall yet, I always consider September the start of the season.  This is not one of my fancier desserts.  This is one of those “It’s 10 PM and I need a tasty baked good, what can I make?” kind of desserts!  It is super yummy and a great quick treat, not perfect for a fancy dinner party though. 

Ingredients:

For the fruit base:

3-4 Granny Smith apples and 3-4 Red Delicious apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
4 pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon Lemon Zest
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the topping

1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour a 9x13 inch baking dish.

IMG_4632

2. Prepare the fruit base: In a large mixing bowl, combine apples, pears, lemon zest, shredded ginger, and lemon juice; toss to coat.  In a medium bowl, mix the granulated sugar, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples and pears tossing to coat. Pour apple pear mixture into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.

IMG_4633

3. Prepare the topping: In a large bowl, mix the oats, flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Mix butter and vanilla together and pour over oat mixture; stir to combine. Crumble mixture evenly over the apples and pears.

IMG_4634

4. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown.

IMG_4636

Serve warm. It’s also super yummy if you top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Recipe adapted from:  http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/apple-pear-crisp-recipe/#ixzz38PZnH7lt

IMG_4635

 

IMG_4637

IMG_4638

                                                                                                      ♥♥ Xoxo Gabriella

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Chicken Marsala with Pasta Recipe

IMG_4615
Ciao darlings!,
        Here’s my version of a favorite Italian classic dish: Chicken Marsala!  It’s flavorful and tasty and boyfriend/fiancé approved!  Try making it and let me know how it goes for you!  Enjoy! Smile
Ingredients: (I doubled this recipe when I made it in these pictures.)
4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
All-purpose flour, for dredging
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, stemmed and halved
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
1/2 cup chicken stock (or hot water with 2-3 chicken cubes)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 Cup Cold water with 1-2 tablespoons of flour (to thicken)
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1-2 pinches of: Oregano
                        Rosemary
                         Thyme
1-2 Lemons
Fresh Ginger, shredded (optional)

Directions:
1. Put some flour in a shallow dish and season with a decent amount of salt and pepper; mix together.
2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan.  When the oil is hot, dredge both sides of the chicken cutlets in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess.  Place the cutlets into the pan and fry for about 5 minutes on each side until golden, turning once – do this in batches if the pieces don't fit in the pan (or if you’re doubling the recipe like I did).  Remove the chicken and keep on a large platter to keep warm.
3. Lower the heat to medium and add the mushrooms and sauté until they are nicely browned and their moisture has evaporated, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper. 

4. Pour the Marsala in the pan and boil down for a few minutes to cook out the alcohol. Add the rosemary, oregano, thyme, fresh lemon juice, and shredded ginger. 
IMG_4602
IMG_4609
5. Then, add the chicken stock (or hot water/chicken cube mixture) and simmer for a minute to reduce the sauce slightly.  Stir in the butter and return the chicken to the pan; simmer gently for 1 minute to heat the chicken through.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
IMG_4610
IMG_4611
IMG_4612
IMG_4613
IMG_4614
                                                                                                   ♥♥ Xoxo Gabriella

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2 Year Anniversary with My Fiancé!

IMG_2064

 IMG_1848

Ciao sweeties!,

        Today, I thought I’d just write a quick little post to celebrate a special day in my life.  Today is my 2 year anniversary with my fiancé, Dominick!  It seems like we’ve been together longer somehow.  Maybe it’s because we were friends for a little while before we dated officially.  Or maybe it’s because it seems like I’ve known him forever. <3  I know I’ve written about him on here many, many times, so I won’t write too much now.  Just a short little message to my fiancé:

Hi sweetie! I know you’re going to read this because you always read my blog. Smile  I can’t wait to see you after work today to celebrate this special day in our relationship.  The dinner and dessert I’m making are going to be so delicious (I hope!).  I love you more all the time and I’m so lucky to have found my prince!  These past 2 years have been the best in my life.  I can’t wait to see how amazing the many many years we’ll spend together in the future will be.  We can and will get through anything together!  Nothing and no one will stop us from our well deserved and long awaited happily ever after!  I love you, always!  

        Feel free to find any of the other many blog posts I’ve dedicated to or have written about him on here should you be interested.  Here’s a few suggestions:

You can read about how he proposed in June: here.

IMG_1516

Or the post I wrote on our one year anniversary: here.

Or the post from our 6 month anniversary: here.

P1070778

Or A Valentine’s Day Post with us together.

IMG_0812

Or when we went to our first dance together in college.

IMG_9647

Or the post where I wrote about us starting to date!

 

                                                                                                       ♥♥ Xoxo Gabriella

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Grilled Chicken, Peach, Pineapple, Onion, and Pepper Kabobs Recipe!

Ciao lovelies,

        These kabobs are such a fun and tasty summer meal.  They do require a bit of prep work.  You have to cut up all of the ingredients and have them ready to put on the skewers at the same time.  It’s worth it though.  I made these last labor day and they turned out pretty great.  I think I needed to soak my skewers a bit longer so they wouldn’t have burned but it didn’t really matter.

Ingredients: (No measurements, just use as much as needed depending on how many people you’re feeding.)

  • Pineapples
  • Peaches
  • Bell Peppers
  • Red Onion
  • Salt and Ground Pepper
  • Chicken breast
  • Olive Oil
  • Wooden Skewers

IMG_4517

Directions:

1. If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them in water for at least thirty minutes before using to prevent them from burning.

2. Make a delicious peach-pepper sauce: Place 1 roasted pepper, some olive oil,  and four large peach slices in the jar of a blender, and puree until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper.  Let your chicken marinate in the sauce for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour or so in the refrigerator to absorb the flavor.

3. Slice your peaches, pineapple, peppers, and onions in somewhat evenly sized pieces so they fit together nicely on the skewer.

4. Heat a grill or a grill pan over medium heat.  Skewer the chicken, alternating it with peaches, pineapple, onions, and peppers.

IMG_4518

5. Grill kabobs, rotating as needed, until chicken is cooked through and everything is nicely browned, 10 to 15 minutes.  Serve immediately with remaining peach-pepper sauce on the side or on top.  Enjoy!

IMG_4519

IMG_4520

                                                                                                       ♥♥ Xoxo Gabriella

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer into Fall: 7 Transitional Outfits! Casual & Professional

Ciao dears!,

        I’ve finally finished sharing all the outfit pictures from last summer!  Now, I’m moving on to the fall, September, particularly.  Here are a few teacher/professional outfits as well as some more casual ones.  Enjoy!  Tell me your favorite/s in the comments below! Smile 

1. Business Serious

IMG_4468   IMG_4469  IMG_4471

IMG_4472 IMG_4474 IMG_4475

IMG_4476                   IMG_4477

Dress: New York & Co., Blazer: Fashion Bug, Flats: Lane Bryant, Earrings: Forever 21

2. Pastel Professional!

        I love this mint comfy blazer.  It makes me look like I’m put together but it’s in a pretty color and is cotton, so It’s comfy!

IMG_4479                         IMG_4480IMG_4481

IMG_4482                              IMG_4484

IMG_4485

IMG_4487

Blazer: J.C. Penny, Tank top: Fashion Bug, Skirt: It used to be my sister’s., Shoes: Lane Bryant, Flower Hair clips: I made them!

3. Fall’s Coming!

One of my favorite things to do when it’s the beginning of fall, and you’re tired of your summer clothes, but it’s still pretty hot outside, is to wear a summer dress (that’s not too summery!) and add Fall accessories like boots and a gold necklace and belt, topped off with some berry lipstick.  Tada, Fall transitional fashion!


IMG_4526                         IMG_4527 

IMG_4528

IMG_4530    IMG_4531IMG_4532

IMG_4534

  IMG_4536      IMG_4537IMG_4538

IMG_4539                             IMG_4540

IMG_4541                                 IMG_4542

IMG_4543

IMG_4544

IMG_4545

IMG_4547                        IMG_4548

Dress: Ross, Belt: Downtown store?, Boots: Avenue, Earrings & Necklace: Gift from my cousin

4. Stripes & Pastels!

IMG_4573                      IMG_4574IMG_4575

IMG_4577                  IMG_4578

IMG_4579   IMG_4580   IMG_4581

Blazer: J.C. Penny, Tank Top: Fashion Bug, Skirt: Target (maybe?), Wedges: Target, Bracelet & Necklace: Forever 21

5. Wine Making Fancy!

        I wore this to go to New Jersey somewhere with my father and brother-in-law to get the grape juice to make wine.  It was a sort of fun little trip.  I just was in the mood to wear my hat and then the rest of the outfit  came together based on the hat: I was going for classy yet casual, vintage-like vixen.   Not sure how well it went…lol, but I like it.  I also went to an outdoor sidewalk sale that also had a mini vintage car show with Dominick.  

IMG_4582

IMG_4583

IMG_4584 IMG_4585

IMG_4586                    IMG_4587IMG_4588

IMG_4589              IMG_4591

IMG_4592

IMG_4593

IMG_4594

IMG_4595

IMG_4596

IMG_4597

IMG_4598

IMG_4599

IMG_4600

Top: Fashion Bug, Skirt, Floppy Hat, & Belt: Forever 21, Wedges: Avenue, Necklace: Jewelry store in the Oxford Valley Mall

IMG_4601

6. Minnie Mouse Fabulous!

 IMG_4616                  IMG_4617

IMG_4618                        IMG_4619

IMG_4620

IMG_4621

IMG_4622

IMG_4624                         IMG_4625

IMG_4626

IMG_4627

IMG_4628

IMG_4629

IMG_4630

Minnie Tank Top: Target, Black Tank Top & Skirt: Forever 21, Blazer: DEB, Earrings Kohl’s, Flats: Oxford Valley Mall shoe store

7. Deep Red Pants

IMG_4639                                IMG_4641

IMG_4642                           IMG_4643IMG_4644 

 IMG_4646                         IMG_4647

Pants: J.C. Penny, Tank Top: Forever 21, Flats: Lane Bryant, White Shirt: DEB   

                                                                                                     ♥♥ Xoxo Gabriella