The Reviews Are In

Follow Me


Check here frequently for new product reviews. I will be sharing my thoughts on all sorts of products and companies. All thoughts are my own unless otherwise noted. While there may be some items that are gifted from companies, I promise to give my honest opinion.

 

Product Review - Glorybrew Coffee Pods in The Duke Medium Roast

2017-05-27 16:05:56 karenmsmith77


I usually excited to try most new products. And I am always happy when products get sent to me for reviews. But I am especially excited to share this product with all of my readers because to my knowledge there is no other company that fills the need of this product. Today I am reviewing the Glorybrew Coffee Pods in The Duke, which is their medium roast.

Glorybrew Coffee Pods

They are available in three flavors as well as a variety pack, and they come in three size options. They work in all brewers that accept K-Cup portion packs.

What really excited me about trying this, and I think what makes it stand out from other coffee pods, is that it is 100% compostable. I have seen quite a few on the market that are 98% or even a couple that are 99% compostable, but this is the only one that is 100% compostable that has come to my attention.

This has been a much discussed topic among my friends, as I am sure it has among any group that cares about our environment. What do you do when a traditional coffee maker doesn’t make sense for your lifestyle, but you really hate that all of the coffee pods are piling up so high in our landfills. Maybe these coffee pods from Glory Brew are the solution.

100% compostable coffee pods

Here is what it says: Lid – 2.0 Compatible, Ring – Brown ring made using coffee chaff, Filter – Made using renewable bio-based materials.

These are compostable in Industrial Facilities, not back yard compost. So what that will mean for most of the readers here in the US is that if your city offers a yard waste collection container, that is where you would most likely want to dispose of your pods. Make sure to check with your city’s guidelines on what can be put in those containers first. And if you want more information on what to do with these pods, you can find out more information on that at http://www.purpod100.com.

Now let’s get back to the actual product itself.

Sealed foil packet the GloryBrew coffee pods come in

When you open up the box, instead of the pods being out, you find this resealable foil bag. I was a little confused by this at first, but as soon as I opened the bag I understood why.

GloryBrew coffee pods

You can sort of see in the picture the pods aren’t exactly made the way most coffee pods are. They are the same width at the top, and they do absolutely fit the Keurig I have. However, they are much shorter. And instead of the plastic bottoms like most coffee pods have they have a material like a thick coffee filter.

Once I opened the bag the smell was very obvious and potent, just like opening a can of coffee, which you don’t typically get with a traditional coffee pod. That is when I understood why they needed the resealable bag, its to keep the coffee fresh. The downside to this would be, you won’t be able to store these in coffee pod drawers.

Glorybrew coffee pods fits any Keurig or other machine that accepts k-Cups

And of course I made a few cups to try out. Both myself and my husband tried the coffee. I think of myself as casual coffee drink. I have never felt like I had to have it, though that is changing slightly as I get older. I typically drink flavored coffee and drink my coffee with a lot of cream and sugar. My husband on the other hand has been long time serious coffee drinker. He drinks his coffee black and does not want anything flavored.

From my perspective I thought it was alright, and it would certainly do okay as long as I used a flavored creamer. I would love to see them add some flavored coffees, because that would have me drinking more. My husband on the other hand thought it was perfect, and was exactly what he would expect from a medium roast coffee. He said he was curios to try their other blends.

At the end of the day I would be buying it more for the environment for me, but since my husband liked it we will definitely be buying more for him just to enjoy. If you are interested in trying these for yourself, make sure you check them out on Amazon.

Tell me in the comments below if knowing there is a 100% compostable coffee pod on the market will make you more likely to buy them?

 

468x60

 

The cost of this product was covered for review purposes. However as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

 

 

Posted in: ReviewsTagged in: 100% copostable100% copstable coffee podsAmazonamazon primecoffeecoffee podcoffee pod reviewcoffee reviewcompostablecompostable coffee podsfound on amazonGlorybrewGlorybrew The Dukemedium roastmedium roast coffeeproduct reviewreviewsaving the planetsavingtheplanetGloryBrew coffee pods Read more... 0 comments

Product Review - Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Royal Blue

2017-05-16 13:30:33 karenmsmith77

Maybelline Great Lash Blue VoxBox

Influenster recently sent the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Royal Blue to me for free in a VoxBox for testing. I also received the Maybelline Unstoppable Mechanical Eyeliner Pencil, but for the purpose of this review I will only be talking about the Mascara.

I was really happy to find out that I was receiving this Mascara. I actually had been wanting to try a blue mascara and was about to go purchase one, so it was certainly convenient timing. It arrived it super cute packaging. It was certainly the cutest packaging out of all of the vox boxes I have ever had. And seriously, who isn’t a sucker for cute packaging?

Maybelline Great Lash Blue VoxBox

I will say up front that overall I just don’t think this product works for me. That’s not saying its a bad product or that it won’t work for someone else, but it didn’t work well for me. It did have some good points, but they were outweighed by the bad.

Here is what I liked about it:

I loved the rubber brush and its shorter bristles.

I also really loved the brilliant blue color of the product.

Here is what I didn’t like:

The formula was extremely runny. It was so runny that several times I ended up getting it in my eye.

It isn’t water proof. This is not normally a big deal for me. One of my favorite mascaras is not water proof, but this only took a tiny drop of water and I had runny blue mascara everywhere.

While I loved the color that was in the bottle, it did not show on my own lashes even with several coats. I tried it several different ways, and even with primers the best I could hope for is that you would catch a hint of blue. You will see better what I am talking about in the various pictures below.

Close Up of my eyelashes before and after application ofthe Great Lash Blue Mascara

I wanted to include at least one close up of the before and after application of the Great Lash Mascara. The after is with three coats of mascara, which is what I typically would do with the average mascara I would use. I just didn’t feel it covered my eyelashes well enough.  But I did try using more in some of the looks I did.

I did see pictures of other people who had vibrant blue on their lashes. Most of them had lighter hair color than me, so I have to wonder if that played a part in it even with the primers. I also saw some who had vibrant blue eyelashes, but their eyelashes looked horrific and cakey. You just knew that in order to achieve that look they did 10+ coats.

I can speculate as to why this didn’t work for me and did for others all I want, but at the end of the day all I can do is go on how it worked for me. And honestly I would never feel comfortable recommending this to someone else. But if you want to try a Maybelline product that I would highly recommend, take look at my review of the Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Lipstick.

If you are interested in finding out more about what products I used in my makeup looks, make sure to follow me on Instagram. All of these pictures have been posted there already. I always try to include a list of products used on my Instagram feed.

Tell me in the comments below if you have tried the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. Did you try the original or this Royal Blue color? What did you think?

Posted in: beautyReviewsTagged in: beauty bloggerbeauty product reviewbeauty reviewBlue Mascaraeff your beauty standardseffyourbeautystndardsGreat Lash BlueGreatLashBluemakeup reviewMascara reviewMaybellineMaybelline Great Lash MascaraMaybelline Great Lash Mascara in Royal BlueMaybelline MascaraMaybelline Mascara reviewMscaraplus size beauty bloggerplus size bloggerproduct reviewproduct reviewsreviewreviewsMaybelline Great Lash Blue VoxBox Read more... 0 comments

Product Review - 3 Piece Set Pineapple Corer, Apple Corer, And Apple Slicer

2017-04-18 01:20:44 karenmsmith77


One of my favorite fruits is pineapple. I love it fresh, I love the juice, I love deserts made with it, and I even use it when I bake ham. We use a lot of pineapple in our house. That is why I have another kitchen tool for review. I am trying out the pineapple corer from Amazon seller Techfeed.

Pineapple Corere and cutter

Well technically this set includes three different items. You get the pineapple corer, you get an apple corer, and you get an apple slicer. But for this post we will be concentrating on the pineapple corer. I think most people will already be at least somewhat familiar with the other two items.

You get an apple corer and a apple slicer in the box with your pineppple corer.

When it comes to the pineapple corer I thought this might be one of those things where it was easier to show you how it works than to just tell you. So we made a couple of videos. It was meant to be one, but this is one of those things that has a learning curve to it. There were instructions, but I didn’t find them completely helpful. And when I do these reviews I don’t like to watch other people do it before I try products out. That being said, the first attempt wasn’t that bad, and the product was surprisingly easy to use.

The directions you are given are on the sides of the box. It is as follows:

Slice off the leafy crown of a pineapple (recommended pineapple size 3-5 pounds), position the cutting disk over it, then twist the handle with a slight downward pressure. All the juice is retained with minimal waste.

So here was attempt #1:

 

 

And here was the second attempt:

You can see the second attempt went much better. Only a slight snafu at the end with going down a little too far and piercing the pineapple skin at the bottom.

Here are my tips for using the pineapple corer.

  • Don’t just cut the green off of the pineapple, cut down about two inches below the green top. You should be seeing just yellow in the center and no brown or green spots. If you are seeing some of the rind still, cut it down farther.
  • Make sure you put the corer as close to the center as you can.
  • Keep twisting the handle until you hit the bottom of the pineapple.
  • When you hit the bottom twist back in forth in an almost rocking motion while pulling up to pull all the pineapple up at once.

At the end of the day, I do think this is a great product that can save you a lot of time and/or money if you use a lot of pineapple. I will be buying a lot less precut pineapple. Its easy to clean up too. It can be hand washed or put in the dishwasher. The black handle comes off and you can just wash the stainless steel part. Just be careful if you hand wash it, you don’t want to make a trip to the ER.

If you are interested in trying this set out for yourself, you can find it at Techfeed’s Amazon page.

I did receive this product at a discounted price for review purposes, however all opinions expressed are my own.

 

Posted in: ReviewsTagged in: Amazonamazon primefound on amazonkitchen gadgetkitchet gadget reviewpineapple corerpineapple corer demoplus size bloggerproduct reviewproduct reviewsreviewreviewsYou get an apple corer and a apple slicer in the box with your pineppple corer. Read more... 4 comments

Product Review - Five Piece Makeup Sponge Set by Fairyland

2017-04-13 13:42:24 karenmsmith77


Over the last couple of weeks I have been trying out some new makeup sponges. What I have been trying is the five piece set from Fairyland. In this set you receive three blending sponged and two of the new silicone sponges. And this is currently selling for $16.99 on Amazon.

Blender sponge and silicone sponge still in their plastic pack from fairyland

As you can see they were each sent in individual resealable bags. I thought this was a nice that they were individually wrapped like this. It makes it convenient to travel with too. I think most of you are familiar with how to use a blending sponge at this point, so most of this review is going to focus on the silicone sponge and how to best use it.

Blender sponge from fairyland

First let me tell you briefly about the sponge blender that was included in the set. As I said you get three of them in this set from Fairyland. This is not the name brand Beauty Blender, let me point that out just in case anyone was confused. It is the same color and similar shape and size. As far as softness goes on initial use it was very stiff. However, Fairyland mentions on their Amazon page that they soften up after initial use if you wet them. I can honestly say they have gotten a little softer each time I have used them. I still don’t think I would say it’s quite as soft as the name brand, but it is close after four uses. Application is as you would expect with a blending sponge. I think overall for the price this is a great alternative.

Silicone sponge from Fairyland

I felt like since the silicone sponge was so new on the market there was a bit of a learning curve for me. I certainly had heard a lot about it, and had seen some mini clips of people using it. However I did not want to go watch any tutorials or reviews until after I tried it myself a time or two.

I made this short video demonstrating how to use the silicone sponge. Forgive the weird makeup faces, you know you do it too.

Over the last couple of weeks I had the time to experiment with the silicone sponge quite a bit. I tried it with different foundations and under different circumstances and I think I have some tips that may help you out.

Do’s

  •  Use with matte and satin finish foundations
  •  Apply makeup in small amounts a little at a time directly to the silicone sponge
  •  Apply using a circular motion to spread the makeup on your face
  •  Use a patting motion to blend after you makeup is on
  •  Use a primer for your best results

Don’ts

  •  Use this with a dewy finish foundation.
  •  Use this if you have put on face oil prior to applying foundation
  •  Mix oil with you foundation you are applying

Overall I will say, I think this is probably going to be a better tool for people who have normal to oily skin. If you have dry skin you can still make it work like I did if you are using a satin finish foundation and are not adding any face oil to the mix.

The first couple of times I tried the silicone sponge out I had tried it with my current favorite foundations and it didn’t turn out well. I wasn’t sure if I was doing something wrong or what. That’s when I started watching other people and noticed the difference between who was having success and who wasn’t. My current foundations are very dewy finishes with oils in them. So the one you see me using in the video is a Satin finish.

My finished makeup after using the silicone sponge from Fairland

This is how my completed makeup turned out after the video. I thought it did do a wonderful job with the satin finish foundation. You may still need to use a blending sponge or your fingers to get around the crevices of your nose or around your eyes after application. And the big selling feature I think everyone is after with the silicone sponge, using less product. I can honestly say, yes I was able to use less product and get more coverage while using the silicone sponge.

If you are interested in trying this for yourself you can find this set through Fairyland’s Amazon page.

The set used for this review was sold to me at a discount for review purposes, however all opinions expressed are my own.

Tell me in the comments below if you have tried the silicone sponge yet, and what you thought about it

 

 
 
 

Posted in: beautyReviewsTagged in: Amazonamazon primebeauty bloggerbeauty product reviewbeauty revieweff your beauty standardseffyourbeautystndardsfairylandfairyland silicone spongefairyland sponge blenderfound on amazonmakeup applicationmakeup applicatorplus size beauty bloggerplus size bloggerproduct reviewreviewsilicone spongesilicone sponge reviewsponge blendersponge blender reviewSilicone sponge from Fairyland Read more... 0 comments

Product Review - Banneton Proofing Basket for Artisan Bread

2017-04-07 16:14:24 karenmsmith77


Yali's Better Proofing Bowl

I have mentioned before that I often get the request to share recipes I try from Pinterest and more posts about cooking. So I recently had the opportunity to try and review this Banneton Proofing Basket for making Artisan Bread which also comes with a Danish dough wisk.

I thought bread making might be a fun thing to try, and it was a great way to spend some time with my niece on spring break. She is already a seasoned bread maker, so you I thought it would be great to give you the perspective of a newbie and that of a more experienced bread maker. As it turns out we both came to the same conclusions, but we will talk about that in a moment.

First let me tell you a little about the actual bowl (proofing basket). Its made of 100% all-natural hand-crafted cane, it’s food-safe, and it’s eco-friendly. It comes with a linen liner and with a 13” Danish dough whisk. It is used for making handmade artisan breads that need to rise. It is especially good for slow rising breads such as soda bread and sourdough bread.

We actually tried out two different recipes. First we made some Honey Buttermilk Bread that I found the recipe for on Pinterest. The original recipe comes from a blog called Restless Chipotle, make sure you check it out. We also tried out a pretzel recipe my niece had, but I am mainly going to focus on the bread recipe  because I don’t have a way to link you to the second recipe, and I didn’t get all the pictures I needed.

So we started by gathering everything we needed to make the Honey Buttermilk Bread, including the Banneton Proofing Basket.

Yalis Better Proofing Basket and ingrients for making the Honey Buttermilk BreadIn addition to what’s in the picture we also used a mixing bowl and two bread loaf pans.

Once everything was mixed up, the dough was transferred over to the Yali’s Better Banneton Proofing Basket to let it rise.

Dough rising in the Yalis Better Banneton Proofing Basket

This is where we started to run into some trouble. Perhaps trouble isn’t the right word, maybe I should say we might have misunderstood something. As I said at the beginning the bowl is supposed to be good for slow rising bread. That is direct from their sales page. To me, when I read that I just understood it to mean that it was especially good for that, not that it would make the dough rise slower. But that is exactly what seemed to happen with both of the recipes we tried. With the Honey Buttermilk Bread we checked it at the called for time…..

Checking on the dough at the called for time

…and as you can see the dough had not fully risen. It ended up doubling our time on this dough to rise, and for the pretzel dough it at least tripled it.

When it finally had risen enough we separated the dough into the two pans.

putting the dough into the pans for the Honey Buttermilk Bread

And we cooked it and brought it out of the oven.

Finished Honey Buttermilk Bread

Now if you took a look at the links for the recipe then you know our bread turned out nothing like what it looked like there. This was supposed to be a light fluffy white bread. Something I imagine to be good for sandwiches. Instead ours obviously turned out to be very dense and much more like a banana bread. We had a similar experience with the pretzels. They both were still very good and tasty, just not what was expected.

We aren’t really sure what happened. I mean I may not be experienced at bread making, but I am a decent baker and cook otherwise. And my niece makes bread all the time. I am not sure if the bowl changed something we weren’t prepared for or if there was another factor we just haven’t thought of.

So here is our overall thoughts and extra information about the Yali’s Better Banneton Proofing Basket. As I said early on, we both pretty much came to the same conclusions despite having different experience levels. There are both positives and negatives to the Proofing Basket.

Here are the positives:

  • We like the idea of having a dedicated bowl just for bread making
  • We love the linen cover that is fitted. It makes it so much easier than trying to use dish towels.
  • We love that it is eco friendly

Here are the negatives:

  • We didn’t like that it made the dough rise so much slower
  • What we didn’t know prior to receiving the bowl in the mail and reading the instructions is you can not wash this bowl. It also has a potential to grow mold which you have to use one of their methods to kill rather than wash. We both have a mold allergy, so we didn’t like this.

While there are both negatives and positives, at the end of the day, the negatives are just too big for us. Now this is not to say it’s not a good product or that you may have a different experience with it. I think we could have gotten past the dough rising slower, but the not being able to wash it, and the potential to grow mold is just too much for us.

If you are interested in trying the  Yali’s Better Banneton Proofing Basket for yourself you can find it here on Amazon.

Tell me in comments below if you have tried this item before of something similar, and what did you think if you have.

 

I did receive this item at a deeply discounted price for the purpose of review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.

 

 

 

 

Posted in: ReviewsTagged in: Amazonamazon primeartisan breadBanneton Proofing Basketbreadbread makingDanish Wiskfound on amazonHoney Buttermilk BreadPinterestpretzelsproduct reviewrecipereviewrising breadrising doughWhat I tried on PinterestYali's Betteryeast breadSAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES Read more... 0 comments

Leave a Reply