FabFitFun is Cheaper Than Ever!

If you’ve ever thought about trying FabFitFun, now is the time! For a limited time you can receive the Fall 2019 box at 50% off!!! Use my link https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l7UyZ
(this is a personal affiliate code) and the code FALL50 now, before the promotion ends in a few days!

The Fall 2019 box is my favorite box of the year, and some of the customizable items are still available!

FabFitFun is a quarterly subscription box service. They deliver a box to your home once every 3 months, for Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer. The also have Editor Boxes. Those boxes are available if you join in between the seasonal boxes. The are comprised of the favorite items of, you guessed it, the Editors. Members are able to purchase these boxes in addition to the seasonal boxes if they wish. However, you aren’t required to.

Fabfitfun has a wide range of items in their boxes. You can get jewelry, wraps, scarves, socks, makeup, haircare, skincare, tech items, fitness items, and so much more. Every box I’ve received has been worth over $300. (Each box costs $49). Some of the items are a surprise, but some you are able to choose. If you are a select annual member (meaning you pay for the year upfront) you will get to choose more of what is in your box. You also get priority shipping. Contrary to what people think, this is NOT more expensive than paying quarterly. As a matter of fact, it’s a little cheaper as when my bill comes it’s $180, which means that each of my boxes are $45.

FabFitFun also has an Add-On sale at the beginning of each season, where they offer products at up to 70% off of their retail value. They also have Edit Sales that do the same thing. Again, you aren’t required to purchase anything at the sales, they are just available to you if you want to shop them.

I love FabFitFun’s boxes, of course, and I’ve found so many of my new favorite products this way. However, there’s a lot more to it than just the boxes. FFF has a community page on their website where members can go to talk. They talk about FFF, of course, but they also use the community to find support, talk about problems, trade items, and make friends. The discussions are so wonderful, and it makes me so happy to see strangers coming together the way they do in the community. There’s even a group who does a Christmas in July gift exchange. There’s so much to be found there, and it’s completely free when you join FabFitFun.

In addition, FabFitFun has a TON of workout videos available to its members, again, completely free with your membership. They also send out newsletters with helpful tips, healthy recipes, and fun information.

I actually love FabFitFun so much that I became an affiliate. We say #fabfitfunpartner. Which just means that I have a link to use to sign up (and I do earn a small commission on sales). I’ll post it below if you are interested in joining. I’ve taken several pictures of the actual boxes I’ve received as well, so I’ll post those here too. If you have any questions, feel free to ask, as I’m happy to help!

FabFitFun is more than a subscription box service to me. It’s inspired me to live a more happy and healthy life. It’s motivated me to connect with people all over, and it’s helped me find some incredible products that I’d probably never found otherwise.

Get yours here and receive 50% off your first box using the code FALL50  https://prf.hn/click/camref:1011l7UyZ
(This is my personal referral link.)

My Fall 2019 FabFitFun box!
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(Cook) Book Review: Reese Witherspoon’s ‘Whiskey In A Teacup’

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I received Whiskey In A Teacup in a subscription box, but if I hadn’t, I’d have bought it anyway. I’ve been a big fan of Reese’s since the 90’s when I first saw her in the movies Fear and Freeway. I’ve also loved her in Cruel Intentions, Sweet Home Alabama, Walk The Line, Legally Blonde, Election, and several others. So when I heard she had a book coming out, I was ready to snatch it up.

The book is full of Reese’s ideas, thoughts, insights and traditions. It’s a nice, sweet, light read. It’s easy to just keep going once you start. I laughed at a couple of parts, and teared up at others, as nostalgia seems to make me emotional these days. Her stories made me think of my stories and memories of my childhood and my grandmothers. It was very enjoyable and fun to read.Even as a northern girl, I just love those southern girls and their traditions. I like to think I’m part southern girl, since my Grandpa Gerard hails from New Orleans.

Along with the text, this book contains beautiful pictures of Reese and members of her family. It also has fun little music playlist suggestions and an index for all of her recipes. There’s even a Metric conversion chart in the back, which is very helpful. The pictures of her food are also gorgeous, and the entire book is truly lovely to look at.

Now on my favorite part of reviewing books – the cooking. Reese fills her book with many recipes – some from her grandmother’s kitchen, some from her own, and some from other family members and friends. Out of the 48 recipes included, for everything ranging from drinks to main dishes to desserts to side dishes, I’ve tried several and liked them enough to try more in the future. But for now, I’ll share my thoughts on what I’ve made so far.

Dorothea's Corn Salad

Dorothea’s Corn Salad

This is probably my favorite of what I made. It’s DELICIOUS and really, really easy. My oldest son and I ate this until it was gone. It will definitely become a staple dish for us in the future!

Pop Pie

Reese’s Chicken Pot Pie Casserole

This is a tasty little dish. I, for one, however, prefer a mushy pot pie. Using fresh veggies makes it crisp, and that’s not my style. And I think we added too much onion when I made it. So I will try this one again in the future using canned veggies and less onion. It’s worth a redo!

Veggie Plate in a Jar

Veggie Plate in a Jar

This one is a favorite. It’s delicious and so good for you. Reese’s recipe for her dressing is delish. I love the idea of putting the food in these jars, however, eating out of them is super irritating. And since you put the food in in layers, it’s hard to get different items in one bite. I’ll make this veggie dish in the future, but I’m just going to put it all in one big bowl!

Pecan Chicken Tenders

Pecan Crusted Chicken Tenders

This crust was amazing. And putting the chicken on a stick is super fun for kids. I actually got my super picky 5-year-old son to eat this chicken, and he loved it. I will definitely be making this again!

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Applesauce Cake

I have to admit, I was most excited about this one, and it was a disappointment. I think the main issue for us was the icing. It wasn’t a flavor we loved and it hardened up so much that it was almost a separate item from the cake itself. If I made it again, I think I’d try a simple vanilla glaze instead. However, I didn’t love it enough that I’ll make it again I don’t think.

Sweet Potato Casserole with Candied Pecan Crust (shown full and plated)

This one is delicious, but not worth the effort. I’ll make it again in the future, but instead of purchasing fresh sweet potatoes and peeling and cooking and mashing them, I’m going to buy Bruce’s Canned Yams. It will remove most of the work, and I’m pretty sure it’ll still be just as yummy!

Chili Cornbread

Reese’s Corn Bread Chili Pie

This one we loved. I would say that it was my husband’s favorite recipe out of all of the ones we tried. It was a favorite for me as well because it was just so simple and delicious. This one will become a staple for us, hands down.

asparagus

Asparagus with Mock Hollandaise Sauce

This was good, but I couldn’t follow the recipe 100% and had to substitute the cayenne pepper and the mayo (with Miracle Whip) which I’ve learned, when you’re cooking, they aren’t the same. So I liked it enough to try it again the right way and see if we like it a little bit better.

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Frozen Fruit Salad

This is probably my favorite recipe in the book. It’s so good! And again, I can’t get over my love of these little jars! The only issue I had here was the pineapple. When frozen, it makes this a bit of a bear to eat, and the flavor just didn’t fit for me. In the future when I make this again, I think I’ll leave the pinapple out and perhaps just substitute with more banana.

In all, I’m loving the recipes in Reese’s book. They were not all winners for us, but I like them enough that I am excited to try more. And as I said, the book itself is so lovely to look at and fun to cook from, it will most certainly be a staple in my kitchen from now on.

 

For the Love of Copper

For awhile now, I have been obsessed with copper. Anything copper, or rose gold, immediately gets my attention. When we first saw our house, I immediately fell in love with the home. There were many reasons to love it. But one of the major reasons was the ceiling in the kitchen. The woman who lived here before us, rest her soul, put that ceiling in and we are told that she adored it. It was the one thing we didn’t change when we renovated the kitchen. At the time I thought it was awesome, but I didn’t have my copper obsession back then. Imagine how exciting it is for me now that I do! We named it after her, and whenever people see it for the first time and marvel at it, we say, “Yes, that’s Holly’s ceiling.”

As it turns out, I’ve fallen for a very expensive metal. This is not a surprise – for reference, please see my earlier blog!

https://berkanalynx.com/2017/09/02/champagne-taste-and-a-beer-budget/

All of the things I fall for tend to be the most expensive. I tease my husband that he must have the same problem, because he fell for me – HAHA! But seriously, I have to find ways to get this stuff for far less than its typical retail value. For example, I recently became obsessed with these mugs. Everywhere I find them they are at LEAST $10 each – typically more. And I can’t stand having one or two of something. What if we are having a get-together? I typically want everything in a set of 12. But for things like this, I’ll settle for a set of 8. Recently, I’ve cut that back to 6. So we’re talking $60 for 6 cups. Not going to happen. But my patience paid off, and over the weekend I found them in a Tuesday Morning for $4.99 each. I had to pick through because several had defects – but I manage to scrape together 6 perfect mugs, and got them for $30! I have to seriously restrain myself from going back for 2 more so that I have my 8 – my self-control is at an all-time high!

To curb my spending I set budgets and limits. When I see something I love, I’ll think to myself – what am I willing to pay for that? If I then look and the price is higher, I don’t buy it. When it comes to great sales on beauty and home products, I set a budget prior to the sale. Then I do not buy items that I don’t actually need. This is oftentimes hard to do because sometimes the deals are AMAZING. But I make my rules, and I stick to them.

When it comes to copper, I’ve made another rule to curb my spending. That rule is: Kitchen Only. I do not allow myself to buy copper items for any other room in my house. This way, I breeze right past a LOT of beautiful copper things, because they wouldn’t belong in my kitchen.

As I’ve said before, I find incredible deals on high-quality items at TJ Maxx, Home Goods, Marshalls, Tuesday Morning, Burlington Coat Factory, and Amazon. And for beauty, skin and home items that are super good deals, I try to stick to the sales in FabFitFun. Here’s a link to my blog if you want to know more about that:

https://berkanalynx.com/2018/08/10/why-i-love-fabfitfun-so-damn-much/

My rules for spending sometimes mean that I pass up things that I genuinely love and desperately want – but they are not things that I need. I’m not perfect, and I bend my rules from time to time. But I really, really try not to. And sometimes those things that I refuse to purchase because of their high sticker price manage to find their way to me through a very generous, handsome, loving man who happens to pay attention to the things that I love. My husband.

Loose Leaf Tea!

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This blog is in no way sponsored. This is my first visit to the shop and I paid full price for all the items I purchased and wasn’t given anything by them.

We visited the Ohio Tea Company last week and learned so much about tea. There are more kinds of tea than I ever could have imagined! The people who own the company are so incredibly sweet. They allowed my to film inside for my blog and they couldn’t have been more helpful!

The video below will show you inside the shop, as well as Max and me trying different types of tea. I purchased several different flavors while there, and they were all delicious. I had no idea that different types of teas should be brewed at different temperatures and for different periods of time! That was another interesting thing I learned while there! And the cool thing about their packaging is that it tells you right on the front of the tea the ideal time, temperature and measurement for your tea!

While I was there I bought this adorable tea timer!

The prices are great as well. Beginning at 4 oz. you get a 20% discount, so I purchased 4 oz. of several flavors to save money. If you want to try their teas, you can order from the website. If you order only tea (no accouterments) then shipping is free! You can order here: https://www.ohioteaco.com

Ordering through them will support a small, local business, and some genuine, kind and wonderful people!

Here are my tea choices for my first visit, and I love them all!

And here is my vlog of my visit! Again, if you’d like to order, just go to https://www.ohioteaco.com

 

Cookbook Review! “True Roots” by Kristin Cavallari

If you’ve watched Laguna Beach or The Hills, you undoubtedly know who Kristin Cavallari is. If you haven’t, but you like football, you may know her as former NFL quarterback Jay Cutler’s wife. She recently re-upped her reality game in her new show, Very Cavallari, which chronicles her life now as a wife, mother, and entrepreneur as she opens her first store for her lifestyle and jewelry brand, Uncommon James. And somewhere in the midst of all of this, she wrote a cookbook.

To be completely honest, I never liked her. I thought she was kind of a bitch on her reality shows. Later we all learned that those shows were actually scripted, and she was playing a character, edited to seem even worse than she was. None of this has any bearing on why I bought this book though.

I was perusing for a cookbook that could get me eating more cleanly and more healthy. I wanted good, tasty, healthy food for my family. But I’m not a chef, and I’m just learning to cook. So I wanted something uncomplicated, easy to follow, and healthy. I stumbled upon this book (on Amazon) and it seemed like just the thing I was looking for. In the preview pages, Kristin listed the items she uses in the recipes and keeps in her pantry, refrigerator, etc. – which made it seem really streamlined and simple. So I ordered it, and here’s how I’m doing.

So far I’ve made several of the dishes and drinks in the book. I did have to do a little searching for some of the ingredients. I live in a very small town, and our little grocery store simply doesn’t carry things like oat flour and aloe juice. After some store hopping and a couple of Amazon pantry orders, I was ready to go. I started off with some recipes that seemed the easiest and went from there. I’d say I’ve made over 1/4 of the recipes so far (there are around 100 in the book). While I’m not a vegetarian, I do try to limit eating meat, and I have a rule. If I’ve never eaten it, I’m not going to start now. This only applies to animals. So several of the recipes for things like duck, veal and lamb, I will never make. Though someday I may decide to try the recipes on different meats.

In addition, there are several things in the book that I have substituted in lieu of creating my own for time and money purposes. For example, she has you creating Almond and Cashew milks from actual almonds and cashews. I cheated and bought the milks pre-made at the store. In addition, I bought minced garlic instead of mincing my own.

Of the recipes I’ve tried, my favorite is the Baked Oatmeal with Warm Berry Sauce. The sauce is incredible and can be used on anything you’d want a sweet berry sauce on, including ice cream, pancakes, spongecake, etc. Another favorite of mine is the Creamy Cinnamon Smoothie. She almost didn’t include it in the book, and I’m so very glad she did. My least favorite are the Chia Parfaits. The taste isn’t bad, but I just can’t get into the consistency. I’m a huge consistency person, and this is not something that works for me.

I read a few reviews on Amazon prior to purchasing, and one person stated that there are a lot of pictures of Kristen in this book. They would have preferred more pictures of the dishes being prepared. I agree that there are a lot of pictures of her. But to me, I would assume that the people inclined to buy the cookbook would be fans of hers, who would enjoy seeing pictures of her. I could take them or leave them personally, but they in no way bother me or ruin the cookbook. The book itself is pretty and nice to look at. It’s designed well and has a very french-country feel. Very farm-to-table, which I personally enjoy. In all, I’d give it a 10/10. The recipes are uncomplicated, delicious, and healthy. Kristen sprinkles cute little personal statements and pictures throughout the book, which makes it fun to read. I look forward to making more of the recipes from it, and have already found some favorites that I’ll use forever. Below I’ll share my favorites so far, and pictures I took of my creations!

Get the book here:

https://amzn.to/2LV5PLL

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Creamy Cinnamon Smoothie

Baked Oatmeal with Warm Berry Sauce
Baked Oatmeal with Warm Berry Sauce

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Lime Rice

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Summer Salad with Sweet Basil Vinaigrette

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Apple Cider Fighter

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Chocolate Crunch Smoothie Bowl

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Creamy Chickpeas and Spinach

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Artichoke Hummus

Here’s a video of me creating the Honey Turmeric Latte from the cookbook. Enjoy!

 

Get my blender here!

https://amzn.to/2Ajswbl

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Honey Turmeric Latte

The verdict is in – It’s AMAZING!!!