I Won’t Scream, But I Did Love This Ice Cream

A while back, I joined a site called Influenster because I love test-driving products for review. And, with my luck, I received my very first Voxbox…for Weight Watchers Ice Cream.

I don’t usually have a sweet tooth. In fact, I much prefer the flavor of roasted garlic to most things sweet. That said, my Memorial Day festivities called for something sweet, so I decided to use my two coupons from Weight Watchers to snag two boxes of bars for my in-laws’ house.

The Bars

I opted for the Dark Chocolate Dulce de Leche and Divine Triple Chocolate. I’m a sucker for caramel flavor, and chocolate is an old standby for even the pickiest sweet-eater.

The Verdict

I’m glad to say that these particular ice cream bars were delicious, and nothing about them felt like a sacrifice for some of the more indulgent brands and varieties. The chocolate shell that’s on both bars adds a really nice texture and flavor against the creaminess of the bar itself. I most enjoyed the caramel bar because of the well of caramel at its core.

I offered one to my husband without the wrapper, and he thought it was Haagen Dazs.

The size was just right – more than a taste, and not even close to a splurge.

I would recommend these bars to anyone – Weight Watchers member or not. They’re nicely portioned, real-tasting (which is big in the world of lower calorie sweets), and affordable.

I’m excited to try new flavors to beat this city heat!

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Silver Linings Playbook

When my friends approached me about my Thanksgiving Eve plans, I figured we’d all end up at some bar or another in Royal Oak or Ferndale. By 9 p.m. we were all too tired from the day to really have fun in that scene, and so instead, we opted to see a movie (admittedly, this was my initial reaction).

Deciding what to see wasn’t so hard — we vetoed one friend who wanted to see Twilight (never happening), and decided we didn’t have the energy for Lincoln — we settled on Silver Linings Playbook.

Glad we did. First of all mad props to author Matthew Quick and screenwriter David O. Russell. The dialogue at the core of each characters’ performance was brilliantly written. A mix of banter and emotional rants makes for a movie full of chemistry.

Of course, chemistry relies heavily on the actors who are cast. I was actually surprised at how well the movie flowed. Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper delivered phenomenal performances. I’ve never been overly wowed by Cooper — and will never forget his cameo in Sex and the City, or his appearances as part of the student audience on Inside the Actors Studio —  but this performance earned him major stage creds in my book. He pulled what I like to call a Meryl — Meryl Streep has an impeccable command of each role she assumes — and made this role his own. Jennifer Lawrence, on the other hand, has added another film to her roster proving just how versatile her skill is.

Robert De Niro was better than ever as an OCD-fueled father who just wants to bond with his son — and have the Eagles kick the Cowboys to the curb.

In a small, supporting role, I was pleased to see Chris Tucker make a comeback sans Jackie Chan. He was crazy and lovable, and even busted a move or two himself.

The actors accomplished something rare, in that the audience felt what each respective character felt at any given time. When Pat (Cooper) was angry at the point of a bi-polar breakdown, we felt as hurt and confused as he did — almost like a crying baby, you feel compelled to help.

This movie is perfect for the holiday season, in that it is totally and completely unthemed to it. Instead, it’s a feel good film — in a crazy kind of way — that delivers everything from wit-filled humor to passionate anger, and you will leave feeling thankful, which is what this season is all about.

For the trailer, see below. And to check out the awesome Facebook page for the film (shared with me by my movie marketing genius friend), click here

Stains for the Vain

This is not a post dedicated to how messy I am, or how I often I stain things with red wine (all too often). It’s about face-finishing makeup products.

My morning routine is long, but simple. The longest part of the routine is my face — from toner and moisturizer to primer, foundation, blush and bronzer — and so I was thrilled when my Birchbox arrived with a lovely lip and cheek stain that I had been curious about.

One of the many awesome products in this month’s Birchbox was a little vial called Stainiac by theBalm. I tested out a little as a lip stain over my Nars “Dolce Vita” lipstick, and loved the hue that it added to the otherwise nude shade. For my face, I used my primer and foundation like normal, and instead of adding any of my blush/bronzer (Nars “Orgasm” and “Laguna”), I opted for a small swab of the stain across each cheek. The stain added a nice rose-toned hue to my otherwise pale skin, without looking artificial.

For $17, I will most likely purchase the full size version of this fantastic product.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen [a review]

I love seeing movies solo. I consider it to be one of the best after work unwinding rituals — even better than a chilled glass of pinot. Tonight, I ventured to my favorite New York theater, City Cinemas 1 2 3, to see Salmon Fishing in the Yemen. Smart move on my part.

 

I had been eager to see the movie since its trailer hit the silver screen. Whether or not the movie actually filmed in Yemen, the landscapes showcased in each setting — from England, the Scottish Highlands, and Yemen — were gorgeous.

Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor had an amazing amount of vulnerability in their chemistry, which made the story feel so very real. Watching their on-screen love blossom as their respective characters developed was really heart-warming. The role that faith played in the movie, and the way the Yemenite culture was showcased was really lovely [probably not the best word to describe it, but it’ll have to do].

The movie was certainly not a straight romantic film, and I’d argue that romance played less of a role compared to things like friendship and personal growth.

I highly recommend the movie, almost as much as I did, The Women on the Sixth Floor.

Spread the Happiness

A couple of months ago, I was invited to be an alpha tester for a really cool social review site that revolves around air travel. It’s called Routehappy, and while it’s still in an invite-only alpha phase, it’s well on its way to making a difference to an industry in need.

I have been reviewing businesses on Yelp for years, but after traveling back and forth between New York and Detroit for the past couple of years, spending time on different airlines, between the three airports serving the NY metro area, I was left without a place to review my true travel experiences.

One of my favorite things about the site so far, beyond how cool it is to be able to see every non-stop route possible from a given departure city, is that it really encourages users to evaluate the entire travel experience, in a way that allows you to assess the negative, the positive, and to share stories about the quirky things that may have happened along your journey. All in all, Routehappy makes me feel like my voice is being heard, my experience being shared, and that those factors combined are making a difference.

Routehappy? I sure am.


Want to learn more about Routehappy? Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter. #beheardflybetter

Mama Frozen Yogurt (Astoria, NY) [Review]

A few weeks ago, I noticed a cute, modern-looking yogurt shop around the corner. I decided to welcome Mama Frozen Yogurt to the neighborhood, by indulging in the sweet treat after work one day.

Image Courtesy of MamaYogurt.com

It’s so incredibly inexpensive for such a great-tasting, not-so-awful-for-you treat. I opted for the nonfat New York cheesecake flavor with passion fruit-flavored bobba (bubbles), kiwi, and strawberry. If you’re watching your weight and follow Weight Watchers, it has a points plus value of 3 for a half-cup serving. My half-cup serving with all of that fruit cost me less than $5. Amazing. I only had my credit card on me and while they normally have a $6 minimum, they were willing to let me charge my balance, and so I gave a $2 tip. I loooved the passion fruit-flavored bubbles, but would probably opt for a less rich flavor next time, like the nonfat nondairy or no sugar added varieties.

Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People [review]

It’s not a secret that I absolutely adore the creative minds of the Sedaris family. While Amy has a different brand of humor than David, she’s funny (kitschy) nonetheless. While perusing Twitter and checking out the awesome publishers with a strong Twitter presence, I noticed that Grand Central Publishing had review copies available of Amy Sedaris’ newest book, Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. My first thought? “I need, I need. I want, I want.”

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