Point Click Watch: B Is For Beamly

One of my favorite things to do is curl up on the sofa laptop and wine in hand, and catch up with my favorite shows.  Thursday is my TV night, the rest of the week, I'm too busy or way too tired to be bothered.   The downside to never watching TV when it airs is that you miss out on the conversation.  Beamly formally Zeebox makes being apart of the conversation simple, even if you don't watch things when the actually air.  Your favorite shows have their own room, and you can join at any time.  Below are a few of my favorite shows and rooms.   You can talk about the most recent episode, follow the show for amazing insider updates, and trade theories.  

 

My favorite room is Scandal, not only can I talk wine with other Scandal Fanatics.  I can also share my thoughts on Fitz, Oliva's newest white coat, and Mellies latest drama.  I swear Bellamy Young who plays Mellie is killing it in every single scene.   SPOILER ALERT last week her drunken melt down was like something out of Mother Dearest.  I had to rewind and watch it twice.  I know everyone loves Olivia Pope but Mellie is my Gladiator.  The Scandal room is also a great place to find out where to grab the fashions that you spot while watch.  For those of you who want to chat about Scandal with a select group, you can even create your own room with Beamly and share it just with friends.  Perfect for those of you with friends scattered across the map.    

Love TV? You'll love Beamly - the social network for TV. Try Beamly free for iPhone, iPad or Android - or on the web at beamly.com iPhone & iPad: http://beamly.com/download/ios Android: http://beamly.com/download/android

Beamly is THE 24 X 7 social and content network for TV and TV fans. Join me today in TV conversations and get the latest juice and gossip about your favorite shows!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Zeebox. The opinions and text are all mine.

Not Your Mother's Clean Freak #Beauty Mark

I’ve always been a leary of dry shampoo.  Having natural African-American hair means that certain hair trends and products really aren’t for me.  I thought that dry shampoo would leave my hair looking a little powdery, and ruin a perfectly good blow out by making my roots twist up.  I was pretty bummed when I opened my Influenster Violet VoxBox to find Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo. I thought about tossing it out right away, but I decided to give it a shot.  I purposely waited till the day before I was going to wash and blow out my hair, so if it did any damage I would only have to live with it for 1 day. It actually did the trick, my hair smelled fresh, had a renewed glow and it felt softer to the touch.  The more I use it the better I get at applying it.  The bottle clearly states to spray generously on the roots and brush to diffuse powder.  I found that holding my hair taut and give the locks a full spray gave a bit of body to my doo.   When you spray out the powder don’t freak when you see the white coating your hair.  Give it a few minutes to work it’s magic, before brushing.  For those of you with kinky or curly hair you don’t have to brush it out, a wide tooth comb gets the job done.  My hair like my skin tends to be very dry, so Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo isn’t going to be a daily thing for me.  It is however, a new weapon in my beauty arsenal.  My places only carry the larger 7 oz spray, I personally love the 1.6 oz spray.  The smaller size fits into most travel cases and desk drawers, perfect for the busy girl on the go!

I know you're busy keeping up with that social life! So don't waste precious time in the bathroom, just use Clean Freak™. Get that perfect hair (and the perfect guy!) before all the other girls. Expect more room on your social calendar because this salon formula dry shampoo will have you and your hair ready for a night out on the town.

For more on Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak check out their website, facebook,  youtube and twitter

Montagne Jeunesse Clay Spas #BeautyMark

Beauty Mark - Montagne Jeunesse Glacial Clay Spa.jpg
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Now that I’m in a much warmer climate, I’ve noticed a major change in my winter skin.  It’s not nearly as dry, but since my skin has desert like tendencies, I’m nowhere near being free of dry, flaky, itchy skin. It’s been well documented that I’m on the hunt for things to give me soft and supple skin, and I think I’ve finally stumbled on the perfect formula.  Before we get to my favorite product lets recap a few cases of dry skin and the things to combat you winter skin worry.

What Is Causing Your Dry Skin

  • Misusing Moisturizer - Moisturizer should be applied when your skin is still damp.  This helps your moisturizer to trap the moisture still on your skin.  

  • Dry Air - If you can handle it, keep your thermostat in the mid 70's to 80's. FYI the thermostat is set to 60 degrees in my house, so the heat rarely kicks in.

  • Long, Hot Showers & Baths - To keep your skin from drying out ditched  the perfumed body washes, turn down the heat, and limit the shower time.  I’m so guilty of this, but I’m trying to be better.

  • Soap - Frequent hand washing can lead to excessive dry skin that can lead to cracks, bleeding and infections.  While in the shower remember that your whole body doesn't need to be doused in soap, the key parts are; the face, feet, private areas, hands and underarms.

  • Itchy/Tight Clothing - Rule of thumb, if it feels itchy take it off, it's probably irritating your skin.  Tight clothes make it hard for your skin to breathe, thus sucking out all of the moist

For those of you who frequent drug stores you’ve probably seen Montagne Jeunesse.  They have a full line of face masks and other beauty products.  My local drugstore seems to only have the Face Masks, and they change them up all the time.  I have to admit the first few times I saw them, I judged them by their price and packaging. I felt like nothing that comes in a paper sachet for under 2 dollars could possibly work.  It wasn’t until I overheard a woman at ulta gushing about how much she loved these masks and how she had driven all over town looking for her favorite Amore Rose Face Mask.  I figured if she was will to brave traffic, at rush hour in the rain, they must be worth it.  I grabbed the Red Hot Earth Sauna Face Mask and headed home.  It was amazing.  The Red, Hot Earth Sauna Face Masque self heats and it’s so relaxing while deep cleaning my pores.  The next day I filled my basket with great great masques from Dark Chocolate, Virgin Olive, Fruit Smoothie and Super Fruit.  These masks lured me away from my all time favorite ORIGINS Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask that I’ve been using since high school.  Now I’m strictly a DIY or Montagne Jeunesse girl.  

My latest Influenster Vox Box featured the newest Montagne Jeunesse Glacial Clay Spa.  This mask is unlike all the other masks that I’ve tried from them.  Most Montagne Jeunesse Masks are a clay/mud type that you apply to your face.  The Glacial Clay Spa Mask is a clay infused fabric that you lay on you face.  The fabric is made from natural bamboo that’s infused with arctic cloudberry, real clay and red grape.  It smells absolutely divine and it left my skin feeling silky smooth.  The biggest bonus is how quickly you can apply and remove the mask.  Like I said the other masks feature a clay/mud that you apply with your hands or a paint brush.  I tend to make a bit of mess with those masks, and removal can be little tricky at times.  I have to carve out about 30 to 45 minutes to apply, relax, rinse and clean up.  The Clay Spa Masks do a lot of the work for me, application takes seconds and removal is just as easy.  The Glacial Clay gives your skin a cooling tingle, perfect for those hot summer months. Plus it’s cheaper than a cup of coffee.

For more on Montagne Jeunesse find and follow them at website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Violet VoxBox!

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My favorite part about influenster is coming home and finding a random little package at my doorstep.  I make a point to never read about what I’m getting, or watching any of the unboxing videos.  I like to be surprised. This month I received the following items

  • Goody Athlétique Headbands - Goody Athlétique provides hold and comfort so you can be physically active and strong in body and mind.  

  • Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Color - New Triple Shine Nail Color! Daily defense from water and wear. Get ready for the shiniest nails ever! Water to workout, day in and day out, nothing will dull these nails. Available in 30 shades.

  • SOYJOY - SOYJOY is an all-natural, gluten free snack bar made with non-GMO soybeans and real fruit pieces. Between 130-140 calories, SOYJOY is a great on-the-go snack or it can be enjoyed warm (unwrap and microwave for 8-10 seconds for a "fresh-baked" experience!) with coffee or tea.

  • Montagne Jeuness Clay Spas - Join the Revolution and start a new weekly skincare regime with the Clay Spas from Montagne Jeunesse. These natural bamboo fabric masks are infused with clay for a cleansing experience that is better, quicker and easier than ever before.

  • Goody Quikstyle - Goody QuikStyle™ lets you go from wet to beautifully styled hair faster than ever! Super absorbent microfiber bristles remove water as you style. It's like a towel and brush in one.

  • Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Refreshing Dry Shampoo - I know you’re busy keeping up with that social life! So don’t waste precious time in the bathroom, just use Clean Freak.  Get that perfect hair (and the perfect guy!) before all the other girls. Expect more room on your social calendar because this salon formula dry shampoo will have you and your hair ready for a night out on the town.

Out of all the items I received the SOYJOY bars were the most surprising.  I didn’t think I would enjoy the Dark Chocolate Cherry, because it did not look appetizing and I find that most “health snacks” that feature chocolate end up tasting like chalk.  SOYJOY really knocked it out of the park, so much in fact I picked up a few boxes at target.com.

The Goody Quikstyle didn’t really work with my hair, but Iggy loves it for his post bath brushing.  The microfiber bristles help dry his coat quicker than toweling him off.

Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak was a bit of a disappointment when I first opened the box.  Once I tried it I was pleasantly surprised.  It won’t become part of my daily beauty regime, but I like having it in my arsenal.  For a full Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak click here!

Montagne Jeuness Clay Spas, Goody Athlétique Headband and Sally Hansen Triple Shine Nail Color were products that I already owned, but having a duplicate is great.  Montagne Jeuness is a brand that is budget friendly and really works.  When I say works I don’t mean that it works well for the price, I mean that it outperforms products only found at the fanciest of beauty counters.  If you want a detailed review on Montagne Jeuness and their newest Glacial Clay Spa head on over to my full review. The Goody Athlétique Headband will keep your hair dry while you work up a sweat and Sally Hansen Triple Shine is a one coat wonder in the hottest shades.  

If I had to pick just one product from this VoxBox to take to my desert island I would go with the Montagne Jeuness Glacial Clay Spa.


Home For The Holidays: Christmas Survival Worksheet

Christmas is only 20 days away.  Let me say that again Christmas  is only 20 days away.  If you are hosting Christmas you have a lot of work ahead of you.  Below is a breakdown of what you need to do, for Christmas Day survival.  

Recipe Box Figure out which recipes you want to make.  Look for recipes with similar cook temperatures and times.  It will make the oven shuffle that much easier.

Test Bake If it’s something you’ve never tried before and you are worried about how it will turn out, do a test bake.  If you don’t have the time to do a test bake, make sure you have a backup plan ready.  Example: If you are trying to make rolls for the first time, have a store bought option in the freezer just in case things don’t go as planned.

Read Over Even if it something you’ve made a thousand times before, stop and read the recipe again.  See if there is anything you can do in advance and add all items needed to the grocery list.

Talk Turkey If you are hosting Christmas Dinner it’s time to talk turkey.  Spend the next few days getting your head count for dinner locked down.  Once you have a good idea of who is coming do a little Turkey Math and place your order.  Hint: 1.5 pounds of uncooked turkey for each person coming to dinner.  Don’t worry you will have plenty of leftovers.

Order Your Turkey Ordering a turkey from the grocery store is great, because those are often not frozen.  It will save you space since you won’t be slowly defrosting a turkey for days on end in your refrigerator.   Hint: If you are buying a large bird, make sure it fits in your stove and fridge.  If not opt for two smaller birds.

Take an inventory Make sure you have enough  dishes, silverware, bake ware, and serving items for the big day.  If you don’t see if you can borrow from guests that are eating at your place.  If you don’t have enough check out stores like Ikea.  They often let you buy individual items instead of having to get a large set.

Make Multiple Shopping Lists Certain stores have certain things, which means you might need to hit up a few places to get everything you need for Christmas.  So, start with one long list, and break it into sections based on store.  This way you don’t have to spend one day running around the city, you can do the shopping in stages.

*Bonus Tip  For those of you who just realized hosting duties means you might need to upgrade your dining room check out Havertys.  My personal favorite dining room set it the Whitney.  The Whitney features a balance of white marble, mahogany in an espresso finish and dark brown upholstery sets a flawless scene. Felt–lined drawers and wine bottle storage make the server or bar a convenient addition to any dining room. Drawers are constructed with English dovetails.  The Whitney collection even features a Bar, so you can drink your way through the awkward family moments.  

Now that you have your to do list print a out copy of the Christmas Survival Cheat Sheet get to work.   If you’re looking for our original Holiday Prep Worksheet print out your copy here.  For those of you who want to add a little fun to Christmas Dinner check out Home For The Holiday Days Edition of Survivor.  

Whether you are looking for the perfect couch or an accent piece to tie the whole room together, Havertys has everything you need to prepare your home for guests this holiday season!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Havertys. The opinions and text are all mine.

Home for the Holidays: Houseguest 101 #Freixenet

With the holiday season almost in full tilt, it’s time to prep for the expected and unexpected houseguests. Instead of being caught off guard and scrambling around at the last minute, let’s do a little prep.  For those of you with a extra bedroom, you will want to use the nightstand as house guest central  If you are in an apartment or don’t have a extra room to spare grab a few rubbermaid containers or fancy boxes.   

Theirs - Label the drawers/rubbermaid containers with guest, so they know that they can help themselves.  

Stock Up - Target has a fantastic minis aisle.  It’s filled with travel sizes of anything your guest could possibly need.  Pick up a few of everything.  You might even find a few items to add to your makeup bag.

Organized - Use drawer organizers to keep things from turning into a big messy pile.  

Wash Up - Store washcloths and hand towels in the drawer/rubbermaid container.  Try to use different colors if you have multiple guests. It will prevent mixups and help you keep track of everything.  

Entertainment - Grab your old iPods and load them up with holiday music and movies. This will keep your guests entertained. Don’t forget to disinfect the earbuds for your guest.  

Mini Bar - Make your own gift basket/mini bar.  Fill a basket with chocolates, mixed nuts, dried fruit, energy bars, chips, napkins and water bottles.  This will cut down on your guest wandering your house when they need a late night snack.  Don’t forget a carafe and glass so your guests will have something to sip out of.

Space Saver - Over the door towel racks and hooks will make it easy for guests to hang up their clothes and keep their towel from hitting the floor.

Tips & Tricks - Every house has it’s tricks and every household has it’s rules and routines.  If the bathroom water comes out piping hot, you have to jiggle the handle on the toilet, Fido can’t be fed after a certain hour, let your guest know with little post it notes or a print out.   The last thing you or your guest want is to have to constantly ask for help doing the simplest of things.

Family Pet - If you’ve got a pet that takes a while to warm up to guests.  Leave them a few pet treats, so they can travel safely throughout your home.  A milkbone can do wonders on Fido’s attitude.

Stay Away - If there are things that you don’t want your guest to eat or use, label them or keep them in your room.  People tend not to go for things that are labeled and if it’s in your room they won’t even know you have it.

Product Tester - Make the bed.  If you are using an inflatable mattress give it a test inflate just to make sure it doesn’t have any holes in it.  

House Keys - If your company is coming late at night or while you are out, leave the lights on and let them know where you keep the spare key.  If you are around when they arrive just hand the key over.  

Phone Home - If you still have to work and can’t be with your guest during the day, leave them a phone list of where you can be reached in case of emergency.  

Power - Check the outlets in the room they will be staying in just to make sure everything is working.  this is especially important if they are staying in a room that you rarely use.

Extras - Make sure you have extra pillows and blankets on hand for you guest.  They may get cold in the middle of the night and need a little extra to keep them warm.

Pop Some Bubbly - Traveling can really take a lot out of you.  From the long lines, the uncomfortable seats, and all that cabin pressure, your guest may be wound pretty tight when they arrive to your house.  Before you give them the run down of your house, celebrate their safe arrival, pop some bubbly and have a little snack on hand. Think of it as a mini welcome party.  Popcorn is my go to snack, since everyone I know loves popcorn.  Instead of going with the basic kernels and butter, I like to sweeten the deal with white chocolate and sprinkles.  Nothing says festive like sprinkles. Holiday Popcorn is super simple to make plus, you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry.  So, you can use this for unexpected guests as well.  

click for printable copy

click for printable copy

Total Time: 3 hr 25 min | Inactive Prep: 3 hr 0 min | Prep: 15 min | Cook: 10 min

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
  • Salt
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • holiday sprinkles
  1. In a medium saucepan, pour in canola oil and heat over medium-heat*. When oil is hot, add popcorn kernels, making sure all the kernels are touching the bottom of the pan. Cover with a lid and wait until you hear kernels start to pop.
  2. Grab the pan; while simultaneously holding down the lid, give it a good shake. Return pan to the stove and repeat. This will ensure that all of the kernels pop.
  3. When popcorn is done, turn off heat, transfer to a medium bowl, and add a few pinches of salt.
  4. Add about 1-inch of water to a double boiler (or a saucepan with a metal bowl nestled atop). Note: Be sure your bowl is completely dry. Heat over medium-low, watching the chocolate the entire time. White chocolate has a lower melting point, so it can seize easily. When chocolate is melted, stir until smooth.
  5. In a few batches, pour chocolate over popcorn, mixing gently to coat each kernel lightly.
  6. Evenly spread popcorn onto a baking sheet and add confetti sprinkles. Let popcorn sit for 3-4 hours (or until dry).

*Drop in two to three kernels in the oil before the pan heats.  Once those kernels pop, you know that your oil is hot enough.

*Don’t have 3 hours. Follow the steps to make the popcorn and chocolate.  Instead of coating each kernel do a quick drizzle and toss is some holiday sprinkles.

Once you got your popcorn ready to go, grab a few champagne flutes drop in a few cranberries and pour in the bubbly.

Since this popcorn is sweet, I like to pair it with Freixenet Cordon Negro Brut. While the sweet Cuvee is perfectly paired with sweet and goodies like the Holiday Popcorn.  I personally prefer the touch of apple and ginger found in the Brut.  It compliments the popcorn and ginger reminds me of the holidays. Sweet Cuvee may sound like a sugar overload it’s not.  Compared to most dessert wines, Freixenet Sweet Cuvee is very dry.  

Frexienet Beauty - Cordon Negro Family Lineup

Frexienet Beauty - Cordon Negro Family Lineup

If you’ve never tried Freixenet let me tell you a little bit about it, starting with how to pronounce the name.  Say it with me now fres-eh-net the Black Bottle Bubbly.  Now that you can say it’s time to try it.  Freixenet is widely available nationwide in restaurants, wine stores and grocery stores as common as Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Publix.  

Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée

Fresh, deliciously sweet and fruity, Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée is designed for those who enjoy the sweeter things in life.

Tasting Notes: Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvée is delicious, refreshing and smooth. It exhibits aromas of peaches and cream with lively bubbles that rise through the glass. Fruity ripe summer peach and tropical fruit flavors culminate in a long, silky sweet finish.

Pair With: This sweet sparkler pairs well with a variety of dishes and cuisine, ranging from tried and true pairings like oysters, seafood, and desserts, to more surprising pairings like spicy foods, pizza, and popcorn.

Cordon Negro Brut

Cordon Negro Brut is Freixenet’s most popular cava, often referred to as the "Black Bottle Bubbly." It is the #1 imported sparkling wine in the world and still ideal for any occasion.

Tasting Notes: Cordon Negro Brut is crisp, clean and well balanced. It is medium-bodied with a palate of apple, pear and bright citrus flavors with a moderately long finish and a crisp touch of ginger. It goes great with any type of food.

Pair With: This wine pairs well with a wide range of food from shrimp salad to olive and tomato bruschetta to cheese appetizers!

Freixenet is on the move this fall with a three month long MINI tour where a duo of Freixenet MINI Coopers are traveling the nation from New York City to Florida and ending in California. We will be popping up at retailers and popular restaurants and bars, where fans can enjoy samples, play games and find hidden bubbles to enter for a chance to win a two year lease on a brand new MINI Cooper! We’ve also hidden bubbles with rewards codes throughout the Freixenet website, our FacebookTwitter and Pinterest pages, and even in retail stores.  Once you find a bubble, visit www.findthebubbles.com to enter the rewards code. Keep an eye out for more codes, as the more times you enter, the greater chances you have to win. Visit www.findthebubbles.com for more information.

Now that you’ve got the tools to make your houseguest feel welcome, print out a copy of the Houseguest Worksheet that features all the items here with a few bonuses.  If you’re looking for our original Holiday Prep Worksheet print out your copy here, and for those of you in a Thanksgiving Day Panic, don’t worry we have a print out for that too.,

Who says the holidays are the only time for bubbles?  Make it your resolution to sparkle 365 days of the year with Freixenet cavas. Our sparkling wines come in a variety of different styles to suit any moment or mood. Cordon Negro Brut, our classic Black Bottle Bubbly, is great as an aperitif before a night out on the town or at home with takeout pizza. Our brand new Cordon Negro Sweet Cuvee is the perfect match for brunch favorites like pancakes and eggs benedict. Visit FreixenetUSA.com for more information about where to buy Freixenet sparkling wines and learn how you could win a 2-year lease on a new 2013 MINI Cooper. 

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Freixenet. The opinions and text are all mine.