Saturday, January 24, 2015

Best Birchbox

I was really excited when I got my Birchbox Aces January Sample Choice email. There were some great sample choices to secure, but what really caught my attention was the Rest and Relax curated box that was being offered. Since it's the time of year filled with snow days and sick days (unfortunately I had two this week), I thought this would be a great box to pick. Even though I knew what all of my samples would be, I was really excited to dive into the January box and try them all out. I definitely was not disappointed.

Balance Me Wonder Eye Cream is a great addition to any skincare routine. Being sick and having some restless nights, I have been using this cream and have noticed that my under eye circles have been significantly better. I like that it doesn't give the under eye area the really puffy feeling of other products I have tried. The sample size was large but I would consider purchasing this in the future.

The Manna Kadar Lip Locked gloss is a pretty color for spring. I like the consistency, not as sticky as other brands. I tend to prefer lipsticks to glosses, but this is a less bold look that is nice for everyday, especially when the warmer weather hits.

This is a sample I have had before and really enjoyed. The lavender scent is relaxing. I love to use lavender scented products before bed because I think they are calming and help me to fall asleep. The shea butter in the Perlier Intensive Nurturing Balm softens hands and is perfect for chapped winter skin. 

The Briogeo Don't Despair! Deep Conditioning Mask was exactly what my hair needed when this arrived. After regular shampooing I work this from roots to tips and leave in for 3-5 minutes for maximum benefit. When I get out of the shower and comb out my hair it is tangle-free and after blow drying it shiny and healthy. It was a deluxe-sized sample that will definitely last 4-5 uses which I appreciate because I think it really helps me to make an opinion on the product and see long-term results. 

The only product that I have not yet tried, the When Travelmate Sheet Masks have come highly recommended within the Birchbox community. I love the convenience of a sheet mask and it's much less messy than a mud or clay mask and you get similar results. I am going to save this for use before my trip to Florida in a few weeks so I can have selfie ready skin at the beach.

I originally subscribed to Birchbox for beauty samples, but surprisingly I have been exposed to some amazing food products as well. A few months ago I was sent a Kind bar and now they are one of my snack staples. This month's Teapigs Tea Temples were awesome. When I saw the flavor was Licorice and Peppermint I was very skeptical, but I loved the tea! I even reused the bag for a second cup. I immediately went online to purchase more and is completely sold out. No surprise there! I hope they become available again soon! 

Just got me email for the February Sample Choice Video. Cannot wait to see what next month's box will hold!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


The philosophy at Firebox is simple; a belief that the best food travels the shortest distance from farm to table, that locally grown ingredients combined with classic technique and innovative thinking make for an enjoyable experience.

One of my favorite restaurants in the Hartford area is Firebox. I love the food, the atmosphere and the philosophy. Good, fresh food, prepared in unique ways with a great wine list. Really, what more can you ask for?

Our gorgeous New Year's Table Scape

My girlfriends and I celebrated New Year's Eve there last week and we couldn't have been happier with our choice. The brick walls and the wine "library" that remind me of something a grown up Belle from Beauty and the Beast would love to peruse, make for an intimate setting that is both charming and modern. The menu is seasonal, highlighting the best of New England from vegetables to shellfish, that look and taste like they came right from the backyard. We love the cheese plate with selections from Cato Farm and real honey comb. When I am on call the bartender always whips me up the most delicious "mocktails", like fizzy pomegranate lemonade or a lime spritzer. The wine list is superb with affordable bottles and a nice, notable selection of bubbly. The dessert menu is captivating. Even if you feel like you cannot eat another bite, as soon as you read the selections you can't help but think that yes, you can indeed have just a little more. Of note is the goat cheese panna cotta, mildly sweet and very creamy, and the bread pudding that has both caramel and crunch. 

Deconstructed Lobster Pot Pie

If you are not eating at Firebox, you should be. Brunch, date night, week night. The menu is constantly changing, the Cava is always flowing and the brussel sprouts are superb. I will be dining there again and again. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


It may have taken 5 years.

And I may not have even had any shoulder pads.

But I got back on the ice Sunday night. And it was great. One of my New Year's Resolutions was to be a healthier person, both mentally and physically. I think taking to the ice one night a week for the rest of the winter will help me shed some stress and some calories.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New York City

A few weeks ago I kicked off the holiday by meeting up with two of my best dental school friends for a day in the city. I have been missing my Cali friends a lot lately so it was really nice to see some familiar faces in an unfamiliar place. The city was so crowded but we managed to take in some sights like the tree in Rockefeller Plaza and the rink in Bryant Park. We also ate dinner at a lovely little wine bar called Sophia on East 50th. Definitely off the beaten path, but after an afternoon of battling crowds of selfie-takers and tourists we enjoyed the quiet and definitely the wine.

Note the parkas. K and I were freezing. Two East Coasters on the West Coast for 4 years made for some really cold girls.