Tuesday, December 20, 2016

[Tea Review] Tin Roof Teas "Festivus" Tea

I love local tea shops! Tin Roof Teas has been one of my favorites for years! I stumbled across them in 2013 while in Raleigh, NC for a sci-fi con and have made it a point to visit them every time I am in Raleigh since. 

This year they did a whole line of Holiday teas, I went in for their Nutcracker tea, but sadly they were out, after smelling all of the ones available I decided on the "Festivus" tea because it smelled and sounded amazing! This tea has strong smells of apple, orange and cinnamon in it, which are things I love, so of course this stuff has to taste amazing. Also look at how beautiful the tea looks!

The taste also did not let me down. It is a black tea, but has an amazing fruity taste to it, you can really taste the apple in it, but it is not sweet fruity, it has a great balance to it. I would highly recommend this tea to anyone who wants a tea that has a fruity taste to it, but while not being too sweet. However adding some honey would definitely help anyone who wants something sweeter.

Here is an entire list of Tin Roof Teas Holiday teas along with the pricing for them as well. You can check them out in the Cameron Village shops in Raleigh or on their webpage here!

Monday, December 12, 2016

[Tea Review] Lupicia Tea's "Soleil Levant" Holiday Tea

Lupicia sent out samples of their "Soleil Levant" tea in their monthly tea newsletter that they send out to customers who purchase more than $30 with them. I was really excited to get to try one of their holiday teas since I haven't gotten to purchase a lot of teas recently. Since I try to review holiday teas each December!

Soleil Levant is a green tea, the name means "The Rising Sun" in French. The tea has grapes and citrus flavors with matcha. You can really smell the matcha and the grape and citrus when you smell the tea bag. This tea smells amazing! Once it has been steeped you can really smell the matcha. 

Art from Lupicia's packing for Soleil Levant

The taste of this tea was really surprising. It has a matcha taste with a grape taste as well. It is really refreshing. I did not expect it to have such a wonderful grape taste to it. I would highly recomemd getting some of this green tea before Lupicia sells out of it, since it is a limited release. You can find it online here. Also I really want to comment on the super cute package design for all of Lupicia's holiday teas! The deer and hedgehogs knitting is super cute and random!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

[Tea Review] Tea Hugger's Organic Eggnog Chai

Tea Hugger is a small tea company located in Greensboro, NC. I stumbled across tins of their tea at the Spice Shop at Friendly Center in Greensboro NC and then did some snooping to find out more about them. They have a small booth at the Greensboro Original Farmers Curb Market, where they sell cups of tea and their blends. I made my way up there on Saturday so I could check out their teas and picked up a lovely Holiday Tea set with 5 winter tea blends in it! The first one I'll be reviewing is their "Organic Eggnog Chai", an Assam black tea with lots of other goodies added into it!

This tea has an amazing look to it. It has lovely tea leaves and lots of cloves, cinnamon and vanilla from the smell of it. This stuff smells amazing.  I was a bit worried because I am not a huge fan of eggnog as a drink but I was really excited to drink this tea based on the smell alone.

After steeping this tea does have a slight smell reminiscing of Eggnog. It also has cinnamon and cloves and vanilla scents to it. The taste is spicy and nice, not in your face, you can taste the cinnamon and cloves in it and its very refreshing. I was pleasantly surprised since the name "Eggnog Chai" scared me at first, but I really like the taste of this tea.

You can check out Tea Hugger every Wednesday (8am-1pm) and Saturday (7am-12pm) at the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market. Or if you are not local to Greensboro, NC you can check them out here online to order their teas! 

Monday, November 28, 2016

[Influenster] E.L.F. Vox box

I have been doing Influenster for almost two years and love it. I get to try out all types of different products and occasionally get stuff that I really like! I was THRILLED to find out I got in on the E.L.F. vox box and was getting to try out a bunch of really cool products in it! This box came with 5 full sized items to try and I am absolutely ecstatic about some of them!

First item up is the e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask. This stuff was so fun! It comes out as a gel and you rub it on your face, and it bubbles/foams up, It has that tingling feel to it. You keep it on for 10 minutes, or however long it takes the bubbles to go away, and then wash the access off with a warm wash cloth. This stuff left my face feeling clean and soft. 

e.l.f. Mineral Infused Facial Primer. This clear gel goes onto the skin before you apply makeup as a barrier on your skin to help foundation and powder go on smooth. It has a silky feel once you have rubbed it into your skin and feels great. The feel reminds me of the Smashbox face primer I normally use. There is also a lot in this little bottle to last you for many makeup applications!

e.l.f. Baked Highlighter and Bronzer in "Bronzed Glow". I love highlighters so much, this one was ok, At first you have to rub a lot off to get it to come off, but after that it worked great. The colors tones were great for my pale skin and the bronzer wasn't crazy dark on me, which is always a problem I have with bronzers. Not sure if I would continue using this like the other products I received but it would be a good, in a crunch item, if i absolutely needed a bronzer and highlighter.

e.l.f. Lip Color in "Wine". This color is lovely and the lip color went on very smooth and had great coverage. I love the pencil style tips on a lot of these lip colors and it makes them so easy to apply. This wasnt a color I would wear all the time, but i would definitely be interested in seeing the other colors offered since this was a nice quality lip color. 

Out of the five items I received, the bubble mask and THIS RIGHT HERE were my absolute favorite items. The e.l.f "Mint Maniac" lip conditioner. This stuff is amazing! It conditions and exfoliates your lips and leaves them so smooth. It has a subtle mint scent and taste to it, but it is not overpowering at all. I absolutely love this stuff and will most likely purchase it again. I also noticed they had two other types, not sure if they are exactly the same just different scents/tastes but definitely something to check out if you like lip moisturizers.  

Influenster is a great program where you review products and occasionally get sent free stuff to review! I love it and if you like reviewing products then you should check it out. 

I received all these items free to try, but as always I write my honest opinion on products. So all written is my honest review of the items sent. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

[Beer Review] Boulevard Brewing Company – Funkier Pumpkin

A new Beer review from Josh! 

Election Night beer review, no really that's why I'm drinking a full bomber...for the review...

Yup, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

So this week I grabbed one of the bombers I bought. This is a sour pumpkin ale. That whole idea intrigued me. I like sour beers (hate sour candy, not sure why I like sour beers so much). I like pumpkin beers. A sour pumpkin beer? Sign me up. The added bonus of it being brewed by Boulevard? Let's do this.

I undid the muselet (the word for the wire thingy around a cork, it's French, thanks Google) and popped the cork. The first smell you get when it's opened is a waft of the yeasty aroma you get off a fresh ale. Letting the aroma waft and breath gave way to the pumpkin spice smell you get with many pumpkin beers.

The ale pours with a good head and a beautiful golden orange color. It's well carbonated and you can see the bubbles rising after you finish the pour. It has a light and fizzy mouthfeel that is easy to enjoy.

The first mouthful gives you a forefront taste of the sourness, that moves to an earthy flavor and then to strong nutmeg when you swallow. Then the cinnamon comes out and it lingers in your mouth. The earthy funk (it's a good thing, trust me) in the middle is likely due to the Brett yeast Boulevard grows in house. The taste of cinnamon, nutmeg and sour mix quite well and stays on your lips as you drink.

I like this beer, it's smooth and tasty. Lately I've grown fonder of sours and this one is a new favorite. If you aren't a huge fan of sour ales, give this one a try as the nutmeg and cinnamon lend a good balance to the sourness.

Boulevard Brewing Company – Funkier Pumpkin
8.5% ABV
15 IBUs

Friday, November 4, 2016

[Beer Review] South Street Brewery - Twisted Gourd

Hello all, it's been a week. How are you all? I know I'm ready for a beer. I have been looking forward to this one. The label caught my eye (yes I will buy a beer for a good label design and give it a shot) and then I saw the brewer.

I like South Street. When I first tried them the last huge blizzard hit, and the neighbors, my roommate and I dug each other out. Mine was the first car cleared so I ran to the store real quick and grabbed a six pack. Got back started helping more and handed out some beer. It was a good basic ale and it was a South Street, so I noted the name and now keep an eye out.
Enough of story time, let's get to this week's beer!

This beer pours with a good head (I poured it vigorously) and the aroma of pumpkin comes off of it. Not pumpkin spice mind you but actual pumpkin. The color of the beer is a muddy brown with a tinge of bronze.

The beer is lighter than I thought it would be for such a dark colored ale. The carbonation is good and I believe that is what made the mouthfeel so much lighter than I thought it would be.
The first sip gives a slight taste of chocolate with a bit of pumpkin that flows into the chai spice right before you get the tiny hit of the hops. The hops are bitter but not overly so and they do not in any way overpower the other flavors.
As you drink the chocolaty flavor and a bit of the chai spices linger in your mouth.

It's a weird concept to combine these flavors, but it works and...I want more.

South Street Brewery's Twisted Gourd
8.37% ABV
31 IBUs

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

[Beauty] Ipsy October Bag

I have been doing Ipsy for almost two years now and really enjoy all the different makeup and facial products I get in it. October was a really awesome month for Ipsy, I was so excited to see that they did a themed bag for the month with ghosts, witches hats and crystal balls on it.

The "Theme" for this months is "Black Magic" and had a lot of darker colors in the bags. I was really happy with all I received this month, but I generally can use everything Ipsy sends me. 

I have received a few different tre'Stique products in Ipsy, from lip colors to eye shadow colors. They have all been great and I really liked the quality of them. This is a lip color called "Fig". It has a matte finish and the packaging turns so more product can come out when you need it too. This is a delux sample size. the full sizes retails for $28.00 on their webpage

Ciate' London flick eyeliner in black. I have seen Ciate' London's nail polishes before but have never tried their makeup line. I was really excited to get a black eyeliner in a format I really like. I love the felt tip liners because they are so wonderful to apply and stay on compared to the pencils in my opinion. This liner makes a nice smooth line and it goes on smooth. It retails for $19.00 on their webpage. 

Ipsy loves to send out natural and brown eye-shadows. I was happy with this set because the brown is almost a black color. but would love some variety in their eye-shadow shades... This is by Vintage by Jessica Liebskind. It has a creamy vanilla shade and a dark brown-black shade (colors are called Vanilla and Espresso). The shadow itself is easy to apply and has a decent amount of pigmentation. This is a sample size. the full size retails for $30.00 on their webpage. 

Patchology FlashPatch Eye Gels. I love getting face masks style products in my ipsy bags. I already get Mask Maven each month, but love face masks so much (especially during the winter when my skin gets dry.) These are gel eye patches that go under your eyes to help moisturize and make your skin look awesome! This company makes all types of masks for face, hands, and feet. This is a sample size for two uses a full size retails for $50.00 and can be found here

My last item is an item I already use in my regular makeup routine, Make Up Forever's Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation. I love this stuff, it goes on smooth and covers up blemishes, redness. It is one of the best foundations I have found in my journey to find something that works for my skin! This is a sample size, but fits great in my travel bag so I was really excited to get it. The shade is one darker than I would normally use, so will have to see how that works out for me since I generally use the lightest shade they make. This retails for $43.00. It can be purchased here.

I love how Ipsy is starting to do more themes with their bags. This months was awesome, and I am so happy with all the products I received. Ipsy is $10 a month and you can find out more here

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

[Teaware Review] David's Tea Nordic Mug Review

I have been wanting a Nordic mug from David's Tea for some time. I really wanted the Cat one they released a few months ago, but sadly missed it, So I grabbed the Haunted Castle Colour Changing one before it disappeared with the season. The Haunted Castle Nordic Mug changes colour when you put hot water in it, which is very fun.

All the Nordic mugs come in a very sturdy box that has all the pieces packaged wonderfully so nothing breaks. 

The mug itself comes with three parts. The lid, that also seconds as a saucer. A wonderful tea infuser, that has tiny holes for water to get through, so even if you are using teas like rooibos, the tea will have a harder time escaping. And then the mug itself, which is great, it is ceramic, so it is sturdy and holds a lot of liquid. 

The infuser is a wonderful size and fits right inside the mug. I have a lot of infusers where the holes in them are way too big for a lot of the tea I drink, so having one with tiny holes it works for all those teas with very small leaves.  (like you could probably put coffee in this thing.) 

The Nordic Mugs retail for $23.00 (they do have some designs on sale on their webpage and in stores.) I really like this mug, and for what you are getting (infuser, mug, lid.) you are getting your monies worth with the purchase. Cleaning is easy and all pieces ash up well. Want to check them out? Here is the link to the mugs on David's Tea webpage.

Monday, October 31, 2016

[Tea Review] David's Tea Haloween Blends "Stormy Night" and "Witches Brew"

Every year David's Tea brings out a variety of fall favorites, from a great selection of Pumpkin Teas to some other really fun themed teas! I was able to visit a David's Tea and picked up the bat themed sample sizes they had of the two (they also had this is Pumpkin Cheesecake but I had a bag of that at home.) The packaging for these 15g packs is so cute! I love the bat design! They were two for $10.00 so I figured why not, lets try out these Teas with chocolate in them!

The first tea I tried was called "Stormy Night" its a black tea with dark chocolate, ground vanilla bean, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and chilli. It has a great chocolaty, spicy smell to it. Very different from the other teas I drink, it almost has a mild hot cocoa smell to it. 

The taste is weird. The chocolate isn't a dominate taste in it. The vanilla and black tea are with a hint of chocolate in the background. the color is almost that of hot cocoa, very dark and chocolaty looking. With how the tea looked I expected it to have much more of a chocolate taste to it. The tea is refreshing, and I could see this being a great, cold evening in front of the fire tea. This tea runs $10.98 for 2oz. or you can find the smaller serving pouches still in stores (sold out online). check it out on their webpage here!

The other tea I tried from their Halloween line is called Witches Brew. This tea has a great sweet smell to the rooibos tea. It has rooibos, candied bats and witches hats, and cocoa beans in it. Compared to the two teas this one smell wise is the most appealing to me. The taste was also really good. I like this one the best out of the two I tried. The rooibos tea has a great taste with a hint of chocolate, and the little sprinkle candies give it a tiny hint of sweetness that is not overpowering to me at all. I also love the smaller sizes that David's offers since they make a few cups of tea without having to buy 2oz. (which can be a lot if it is a tea you aren't too sure about.) You can purchase Witches Brew for $8.98 for 2oz. or still find the awesome bat bags in stores. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

[Tea Review] Vida Pour Tea's Organic Rooibos Apple Pie Chai

Next up for the awesome Vida Pour tea fall blends that I got to try is their Organic Appple Pie Chai Rooibos. I am a sucker for chai or spiced teas, and even more so when they smell like apple pie. This tea has an amazing smell and makes you want to make a cup to enjoy with some vanilla ice cream to go along. 

This tea is a Rooibos blend with dried apples and chai spices (cloves, cinnamon, and so on.) It has a great apple smell, with cinnamon and clove scents, and just smells yummy. The taste is also amazing! It has a great cinnamon apple taste to go along with the rooibos tea, it is light and not too sweet and really hits the spot on a cold afternoon. 

This tea looks beautiful. I had to use my tiniest infuser since it is Rooibos. It has dried apples, and cloves and cinnamon and is just so pretty to look at, tea wise, and you just want to sit and smell the amazing aroma it lets off. If you want to check out this amazing tea it can be purchased at Vida Pour Tea, in Greensboro, NC. This was a special blend made for fall, so you will have to possibly ask for it to be made. They sell on their webpage and in their store, so even if you are not in NC. you can still get some yummy tea!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

[Beer Review] Weyerbacher - Imperial Pumpkin Ale

Time for another beer review! Sorry about missing last weeks (to all 2 of my fans out there :P), I didn't feel well for most of the week, so was worried about not having a clean taste pallet.

Weyerbacher - Imperial Pumpkin Ale

This beer pours with a pleasant aroma of nutmeg and cinnamon. The carbonation is light and I didn't get a very good head out of the pour. That may be on me as I did not pour it very vigorously.

The color is a deep semi thick copper color. Reminds me of the color of a good maple syrup poured over waffles. Taking a drink of this ale gives you a light and crisp mouthfeel which you would not expect from the coloration. It leaves a film on your tongue that will not bad, was very different, I am not sure how I feel about it.

This beer is brewed with nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom and clove. The cardamom is very strong and very forward. Upon swallowing there is a bit of bitter that lingers in the back of your throat. The cardamom stays on your tongue, it may be part of the coating I mentioned earlier.
It seems that the clove just isn't there at all until you stop sipping for a bit. Then it peeks out and lingers just a little before hiding again underneath the cardamom upon your next sip.
The bitterness lingers at the back of your tongue and the cardamom is just too overpowering. Out of the fridge it may go well with something sweet, but I wouldn't pair it with anything savory.

I took a chance and decided to let it sit, breathe and get to room temperature. That's the neat thing about beer. Just like wine and liquor, it can change taste depending on how long it is in contact with air and how cold or warm it is.

Turns out it was a good idea! This beer is much better at room temperature. The overpowering cardamom is replaced with the combo of nutmeg, cinnamon and just a little nip of clove. The cardamom is still there but it's part of the taste and mixes well.

I'm going to find this beer again and give it a shot in full at room temperature. I'll write up an additional mini review once I do.

Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin Ale
8% ABV

21 IBUs

You can find Weyerbacher online here and on Facebook here

Beer reviews are done by Josh! Thank you so much for guest posting on these. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

[Geek Beauty] Espionage Cosmetics October BOOM Box!

Espionage Cosmetics releases their Boom Box! every two months. It happened to fall on October this year, and that means a box filled with Halloween goodies. The theme this month is called "Haunted" and I think it has to be one of my favorites ever!
This months box came with a wide variety of items from Nail wraps, to Espionage Cosmetics everything shadow and lip serums, to earrings, hair bows and some cool art!

First I am going to start off with the nail wraps. I love Espionage's nail wraps. I wear them all the time, and the prospect of spooky nail wraps makes me so happy! this months box came with two different deisgns. Red Rum, a murderous design, and then my favorite of the two Graveyard. I cannot wait to put these on my nails! I love the colors in Graveyard too!

Bat Clips! Holy cow, I am in love with these clips. They fit everything I ever want in cute hair accessories! I love bats, I love sparkles, I love black accessories! They have crocodile clips on them, so they will stay in my fine hair! I am so in love with these and cannot wait to wear them everywhere!

Art Print by Nerdy Post. This print is very cute. I love the calligraphy style art and it is subtle enough to put in any room to add that extra nerdy touch. The quality is also really nice and the printing itself it bright and high quality.

Sparks Emporium Earrings. These are so pretty! They are blood red with sparkles on it (and I do love sparkles.) They are post earrings and are well made and sturdy. They look great in and sparkle. They are made by Sparks Emporium.

And lastly this months box came with four of the awesome Espionage Cosmetics Makeup! 2 everything shadows and two Lip Serums, (and two containers to mix in!) I love both of these so much, the everything shadows work great for eye shadow and if you like to do any type of crazy face painting like I do, they work great for that too! 
The Boom box is released every other month and costs $30.00. You can find out more info here!