Wednesday, December 30, 2015

[Spice Review] Savory Spice Shop "Mulling Spices"

One of my favorite places to get spices and other fun ingredients to cook with is the Savory Spice Shop in Greensboro, NC at The Shops at Friendly Center. They have everything you could possibly want to make your food amazing, from spices and mixtures for meats, dips, flavored extracts, sugars, salts, etc.

They also make  Mulling Spices, that I decided to try out with a wonderful red holiday wine I had from Mount Hope Winery when I went to the Pa. Renaissance Faire a while ago.

Using the Mulling Spices was pretty normal, you simmer them on the stove top for a bit ( about 20 minutes) then discard your water and add the wine. I have used Milling spices before, so this was pretty typical for preparing it. (I used a form of Mulling Spices in my Face Hugger Wassail from my Cookbook Shut Up and Eat!The Unofficial Doctor Who Series Ate Cookbook)

I would highly recommend trying out these spices if you like hot apple ciders, or mulled wines, they work for really anyone who likes hot spiced drinks. Savory Spice even has some recipes on their webpage to help you come up with ideas for using their products.

Monday, December 28, 2015

[Tea Review] Whittard of Chelsea "Spice Imperial Black Tea"

A few months ago, one of my good friends, Kara, brought me back a sampler set from her trip to London. I have really enjoyed the teas in this set from Whittard Chelsea 1886 and am going to share these awesome teas with you! Starting off with them is their "Spice Imperial Favored Black Leaf Tea".

Spiced Imperial smells amazing! It has a faint citrus smell to start off with the smell of cloves mixed in! It smells delicious for someone who loves black spiced teas! (and that would happen to be me!)

The taste is fantastic, not over powering after brewing the tea for 3-5 minutes (you can make it stronger if that is your forte though.) The spiced taste with the black tea is a great mixture and makes it very enjoyable to drink. 

I really enjoyed this tea as a nice cup to settle down with in the evening after working, very relaxing to sip . Also the packaging for this set was wonderful, I love the tiny 25g tins that the tea came in with a lovely flower motif design on it!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

[Tea Review] Harney and Sons Fine Teas Holiday Tea

Harney and Sons Fine Teas Holiday Black Tea with Spices is my next tea review in my Christmas and holiday tea reviews! This tea comes in a metal tin with 20 tea sachets (1.4 oz. of tea). The packaging is very nice and the metal tin could easily be re-purposed later once you are finished with it.

The smell of this tea is strong. It has a very "black tea" smell to it, as well as a sweet spice and vanilla smell. It has a very pleasant smell when smelling it, very fresh and makes you want to drink it. 

The overall taste of this tea is subtle. It does not have a strong spice or vanilla taste with the black tea, just hints, and I would really suggest using a sweetener with this one to give it a bit more of a taste. I liked this one, but it wasn't my favorite out of all the teas I have written about this holiday season, so I have a very indifferent opinion on it, I would drink it, but I would probably choose another tea over it that I liked better. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

[Tea Review] Teavana White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos Tea

If you havent noticed by now with my recent tea reviews I have had a theme of Holiday or winter tea releases! This weeks is no different with Teavana's White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos Tea. This is the most deceptive tea I have ever tasted and I will explain below why!

This tea smells amazing! It reminds me more of a chocolate latte drink or hot cocoa than tea! It has amazing hints of chocolate and peppermint, and they fill your nose with wintry goodness of wanting to be by the fire sipping this tea! The tea itself has pieces of chocolate and peppermint that melt when you make the tea along with the actual tea in it as well.

And once you actually take a sip of this tea you have to give it a second look (and sip) to realize you are actually, in fact, drinking tea, because this stuff really tastes like Cocoa to me... very deceptive! I tried a sample of this in the store, and had to take some home to drink for the winter season because it is light enough to drink at night, while still giving you that fun chocolate and peppermint taste! The White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos tea is $9.98 for 2oz at Teavana.

Also while at Teavana I picked up this super cute French Macaron tea case.... I couldn't resist since I love French Macarons (and it was in mint green, one of my favorite colors!) I also used the Vanilla Bean Sugar from the Savory Spice Shop (located in Greensboro, NC) to sweeten my tea, and let me tell you, this sugar tastes AMAZING! and this is coming from someone who normally never sweetens her tea with sugar.

You can find the White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos Tea Here

and you can find the Savory Spice Shop Vanilla Bean Sugar Here

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

[Tea Review] Twinings of London Winter Spice Tea

One tea I was not sure if I would like or not but gave it a shot this holiday season was Twinings of London's Winter Spice Tea. I am not a huge fan of camomile tea, but since the flavors with this tea were stuff I liked I decided to try it (And I LOVE Twining's Christmas tea)

The box says "A comforting apple flavored camomile tea spiced with cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves."  I was very happy I took the leap and tried this tea out. It tastes like apple cider and tea mixed together, which is marvelous! And it is a tea that is great to drink at night, since it is caffeine free, so it wont keep you up if you are one of those people that caffeine at night bothers.

The tea also has a great apple smell (even just opening the box you can smell this deliciousness!) I was very surprised I liked this one as much as I did, and I am very glad I tried it this year (since I opted not to last year when I saw it and just bought extra Christmas Tea instead.) If you aren't a fan of camomile but like apples and cinnamon, I would still give this tea a shot! Hopefully you will be as pleasantly surprised as I was! You can find the Winter Spice tea online here!

Monday, December 14, 2015

[Tea Review] Twinings of London's Christmas Tea

I am always excited for the holiday season because it means Twinings will start selling their Christmas tea, a black tea with cinnamon and clove flavors in it. It is a joy to drink and I generally stock up on it so I can enjoy it for a part of the year.

This year was no different and in November I found the tea on the shelf in my local store I shop at. The wonderful thing about this tea is it tastes wonderful and it is not super expensive, I generally find it 2 boxes for $3 which, with how I drink tea, is right up my ally.

The tea itself smells like black tea with a very light spice scent to it, and when tasting it, it has hints of cinnamon and clove in it for taste. I generally sweeten mine with honey if I want it sweeter. So it works for those tea drinkers that like their tea black, or with sweetener added to it. Tastes good either way.
You can find Twinings Christmas tea on their webpage and in most Grocery stores

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Thicket Update!

Back in May I, along with one of my best friends, Mariah Johnson, directed a short film (our third film directing together) titled The Thicket.

We spent a total of four days filming the short film with a lot of amazing actors!

We even have a fantastic actor voicing a character in the film, Terry Molloy (who many of you may know as Davros from Doctor Who, as well as the many amazing dramas he has voiced!)
the film is now getting ready to be edited! I am so excited for this film and cannot wait for it to be out for you all to see! Here is a sneak peak behind the scenes photo of the editing process!

This film was made possible by a lot of fantastic people donating to our Indiegogo fundraiser so it could happen! I really want to say thank you to all of them here!

Rob Durick, Phillip Wright, Andrea Marie, Carl Garret, Steven Hancock, Tom Gore, Lora Wilkerson , Darren Conrad, Donald Mew, Dara Bewton, Richard Tarbell, Cathy Tade, Donnie Sturges, Bill Mulligan, Christine Parker, Jaysen Buterin, Trevor Wright, Anne Megibow, Paul Cardullo

without your help we would not have been able to make this film a reality! Mariah and I cannot wait for you all to see the hard work of all the actors, crew, and the two of us!
This is our biggest short film yet and we are so grateful and excited for it!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

[Geek Girl Makeup Review] Dare to Dream Beauty Book Mulan

Walgreens released three Disney Beauty Books, one for Ariel, Pocahontas and Mulan. I got my hands on the Mulan one (I ordered it online, but I have heard they also have them in some stores.)

The Beauty Books have all you need for makeup looks ranging from daily looks to night time looks. They come with eye shadows, blush, eye liner and lipstick, all named after characters or events in the Mulan film. They even have a spread that shows you how to apply a Day and Night look. With steps of how to get the look on yourself.

There are 9 eye shadows in this set, each has their own name referencing Mulan. The eye shadows are incredibly pretty colors. They all had decent coloring to them but were not super pigmented. However still awesome to create fun looks! 

The two Blushes are very lovely colors. Depending on skin tone, both could work for a person or at least one would look good on anyone I think. 

The last items in this set are the lipstick and the eye liner. The lipstick is a pretty reddish color and the liner is a normal black color.

Over all this is a fantastic set for $10. It is great for Disney fans who love makeup, or even for that young girl who loves Disney and is just getting into makeup! The makeup is basic drug store quality makeup, but what do you expect for $10.

Monday, December 7, 2015

[Tea Review] Kusmi Tea's Rose Green Tea

What's better than plain tea? Tea with roses in it! I love the taste of rose in my tea, whether it is black or green tea! In the case of Kumi's Rose Green Tea, its green tea. Upon opening up the 4.4 oz container of loose tea I was punched in the face by a  bouquet of roses! And it was fantastic!

My first impression of this tea was it was going to be amazing just because of the smell. After steeping it the smell was not quite as rose-tastic, but the rose smell was still there, the green tea smell just came through a lot more. However the taste was great! Green tea with hints of rose flavoring in it, this tea is the stuff dreams are made of for people who love rose in their tea! If you want a stronger rose taste you can even make it a bit stronger by steeping it longer (but be warned this can also make the tea bitter.)

This was the second green tea I had tried from Kusmi (the first being their Strawberry green Tea.) and I will say that I am hit or miss with green teas from companies, I either like them or do not, and I have so far loved the green teas from Kusmi.

Also can we talk about the packaging? I love the Kusmi tins! (and their boxes that their tea bags come in.) They are just lovely and very well made! High quality goes into the tea AND the packaging, which is always shows a company really cares about their product when they also care about how they present it. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Espionage Cosmetics Glitter is the new Black Friday Sale

So if yo missed Espionage's black Friday sale where they had a bunch of their nail wraps for $3, then fear not they are having another sale through Dec. 8th! A bunch of their nail wraps are on sale for $3, $8, and $10.

They even have a limited nail wrap that is very reminiscent of everyone's favorite Ice Queen from Frozen! Their eye shadow sets and other items are also on sale!

Espionage makes some pretty awesome nail wraps, along with other fantastic geeky makeup products! Definitely give them a look if you are looking for some Christmas presents for that geeky lady in your life, or a fun gift for yourself! Check out the sale here!

Disclaimer: All images property of Espionage Cosmetics and created by them.

Ipsy December GlamBag!

Just found out what I am getting this month in my Ipsy Glam Bag! Excited to try everything out this month!

Ill do a full review on all the items in this months bag once it arrives at my house! Always good to get items I will use, some of these are from brands I really like and then some from brands I have never heard of, so that is always a fun mixture to try out! 

[Makeup Review] J.Cat Beauty Review

I love discovering new makeup brands for myself that have fun colors and products that I can use in my makeup adventures! I discovered J.Cat because of Ipsy. They sent out their Wonder Lip Paint in a Glam Bag. I was already a fan of Lip Tar from OCC, and being able to find another company that made a similar product in amazing colors, for less, yeah I was excited! Since finding out about J.Cat Beauty I have purchased a few other products in their line, some on their webpage and a few I was lucky enough to find at Ulta, which was super nice since I could see all the colors instead of seeing them on a computer screen! I have reviews of the products I own below.

Pout-Holic Lipstick- I love crazy lipstick colors (as well as regular everyday colors!) I found the Pout-Holic Lipstick at Ulta and picked up the color Shaking My Head, a shimmery gold color. This color looks fantastic by itself or over a darker color! It goes on smooth and is packed with color! It is creamy and feels very light on your lips. It also smells nice! Pout-Holic Lipstick retails for $4.99

Liptitude 24/7- This lip stain is amazing! It is very pigmented and the colors are fantastic! This lip stain will stay on ALL DAY! I used it on one of my friends for a costume they were wearing, and their lip color lasted all day. It is hydrating and smells great too! The colors pop when you have them on your lips (I have to dab it a few times on me so the color is not so intense.) The Liptitude was one of the awesome J.Cat Beauty items I have received in my Ipsy bag! Liptitude 24/7 retails for $5.99

Wonder Lip Paint- This was what caught my eye at first about J.Cat Beauty, their Lip Paints. They are in little tubes and a lot goes a long way, these tubes will last me forever! I first got the color Red Potion, which is a dark red, and super lovely when you have it on. I use a small lip brush to apply it to my lips so I get the coverage I want. (You can also use a cotton swab if you do not have a lip brush.) They also have a lot of really fun colors like different shades of green and blue (I also have their mint green and it is so pretty!) The product has a pleasant smell, and if you are careful and know to only use a little bit, it is not messy (however if you use too much it can be messy, so be careful!) Wonder Lip Piant retails for $4.99

Triple Crown Baked Shadow-  I love eye shadows! Especially ones that are really fun colors and pigmented! The Triple Crown Baked Shadows come in a bunch of different colors (12 to be exact, that they have listed on their webpage), each one has three different colors per package. I purchased the Greentea Frapp, which has a white, gold and green in it. These are also a really nice price at $5.99. I found mine at Ulta, but they also have them on their webpage! Triple Crown Baked Shadow retails for $5.99

 Perfect Brow Duo Pencil- I love eye brow pencils, so I am always looking for one that works really well. The perfect brow duo pencil is a double sided brow pencil (color on one side and a brush on the other end.) They have a number of colors on their webpage, I purchased Brown. The color goes on smooth (I had to dull it down a little so the color would draw better when I first used it.) I is really nice to see so many brow colors since most companies only do four or fewer colors. Perfect Brow Dui retails for $3.99

Overall I would highly recommend J.Cat Beauty to anyone looking for great quality makeup, with fun colors at really great prices! So far I have not purchased a product that I did not like from them, and am excited to try out their new matte lipsticks and a few other products I have had my eyes on.