Archives for the month of: July, 2013

What is Birchbox you ask?  Well, for $10 a month, every month, I receive a selection of samples, whether they’re well-known brands or emerging brands, everything from skincare to makeup and even non-beauty goodies.  The samples come with master techniques and even ways to upgrade your daily routines with articles, interviews and videos.  That’s not it though, say you fall in love with one of the samples in your monthly Birchbox, you can purchase a full-size version right from the Birchbox Shop…so you’ve got a One Stop Shop right at your fingertips!

This month’s box, my first box, it’s dedicated to making the most of every minute; helping you take care of every situation.  What’s the inspiration? USA’s hit series SUITS.

So far, I’ve used the Benefit Cosmetics It’s Potent! Eye Cream, the DDF Acne Control Treatment and the theBalm Cosmetics InStain Long-Wearing Powder Staining Blush…and so far I like them all.   The eye cream, one thing that I do like, is that a little goes a long way.  It’s a cooling sensation when applied to under the eye.  As time goes by and I use it on a regular basis, I will hope to see a difference.  I apply the acne control treatment on top of my moisturizer, at night before I go to bed, and I’ve heard that there can be extreme dryness, but so far, I haven’t experienced that either.  The one product that I saw working right away was the blush.  I usually don’t go for warmer, red-toned blushes like the one that was in the Birchbox, but this one, when I applied it right, under my cheekbones, it was so pretty!

Other products in the box include Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect and for a Beauty Extra, Birchbox Bobby Pins.  If you haven’t signed up for Birchbox yet, ladies AND gentlemen (yes they do have boxes for the handsome men as well) you MUST…it’s well worth my $10 a month and this is just my first box!  The products are unbelievable and I mean it’s a surprise in the mail every month…GO SIGN UP ASAP!

Welp!  I finally made my first purchase on JewelMint and boy did I hit the jackpot!  I got an email from them stating that my first purchase would only be $8.99 AND it’s FREE shipping…good things DO come to those that wait!

If you’re wondering what JewelMint is, it’s a really cool site, personalized just for you and what you like.  You simply create a Style Profile, just so they know what exactly you like, they’ll match recommended pieces to your style and as a member of JewelMint, you can choose and purchase or favorite items that catch your eye OR skip the month for free.  You have your own personal Showroom, there’s always new things on the site, the latest trends and sales.  It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3

So, enough with all that, let’s get to the good stuff…the UNBOXING of my pretty little gift!

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This beautiful statement necklace is a piece from The Jade Dynasty Collection.  It retails for $29.99 and I got it for $8.99, a STEAL!  It’s inspired by mythical Chinese dragons, which are symbols of strength and good luck.  The jade-colored octagon and the smoky topaz-colored stones are definitely what caught my eye…I can’t WAIT to wear this.  I’m SURE the compliments will come like crazy!

I decided to share of couple of my favorite products with you sweet babies, hopefully they’ll grow on you like they have on me!

Check out a more detailed review, a nice little video on my YouTube page…Find me at CSmalls2234 OR Charis Shreill!

(listed clockwise…Vaseline, L’Oreal True Match Concealer Crayon, NYX Shine Killer, Urban Decay De-Slick Makeup Setting Spray, O.P.I. Bubble Bath nail polish, Prada perfume set)

this one below, is an honorable mention…it definitely deserves it…

Forever 21 turquoise & gold necklace

Monthly favorites will be a regular post, I PROMISE!

Sunday Funday here in Dallas, and really everywhere, has become sort of a weekend holiday tradition.  It either involves a day party, a pool party, brunch, lunch, hanging out on the patio or your good ol’ trusty house gathering.

This past Sunday Funday, I got some of my girls together and made reservations for brunch at this swanky, social restaurant called Max’s Wine Dive.  Now, the reason this establishment is called a wine dive, according to the site, is because of their ““wine dive” atmosphere where you can pair hand-picked wines with your comfort food” and just enjoy a fun, sunny, laid back day with close friends, family or whoever makes you happy.  The place was packed.  It was a good thing I made reservations with Open Table.  Loved the ambiance, very upbeat, young & hip.  I saw a lot of my Twitter friends there, as well as people I’ve seen out and about in the busy streets of Dallas.  Like I said, it’s definitely a go-t0 spot to hang, have fun, chill and just let that socialite side of you really come out.

So, the first order of business when we sat down, mimosas! It’s a must for a ladies’ brunch.  Yes, I know, I know…we were at a wine dive, and yes the wine menu was a mile long, but mimosas are seriously a MUST-HAVE for brunch.  You can’t beat $3 mimosas at a place like this, in the Uptown/West Village area.  You feel me right?!

Next, the hard part, ordering.  I’m the foodie girl that likes for everyone to order something different, so we can all taste each other’s food, DUH!  So, that’s exactly what we did.  It was only right that I ordered the Chicken & Waffles.  I mean one of the first things you see on the building, as well as their site is “FRIED CHICKEN AND CHAMPAGNE?…WHY THE HELL NOT?!”  It came with four crispy wings fried to perfection & a waffle, with just the right taste of sweetness to it.  Also on the table, Max’s Famous Southern Fried Chicken, which is jalapeño-buttermilk marinated, deep fried slow and low, served with home fries, collard greens and Texas toast and the Crème Brûlée French Toast topped with strawberries and powdered sugar with one of Max’s boneless fried chicken breasts.  Oh, and while I was eating, I felt like my meal wasn’t quite complete, so I ordered a side of their creamy, jalapeno grits…which was the best idea, EVER!

The moment those plates were placed in front of us, the conversation completely stopped, no lie.  It was silence at the table.  The food really hit the spot, our tummies were definitely happy.  One thing that we all agreed on, the fried chicken was cooked to perfection.  The crispy batter was seasoned well with just the right crispiness, juicy & moist all the way through, not one dry piece, not even the white meat.  My waffle was thick, soft throughout, with a bit of a crunch on the outside, like a sugar wafer ice cream cone almost, but what really took me by surprise was the grits.  They were so good!  Thick & creamy, cooked slow…I want to say they were cooked with maybe milk or sour cream.  Then, there were pickled jalapeno bits throughout, giving them that spicy, southwestern taste, without the spicy heat.  I couldn’t stop eating them, but I had to, so I just placed them in a To-Go container, to enjoy later, at home of course.

Our last bites were taken and we were stuffed to satisfaction.  Good thing I wore a loose, comfy church dress though, able to let my stomach out a little bit.  I’m being so for real though.  I was a true fatty girl at that moment.  I definitely recommend Max’s for any occasion, whether it be be brunch, dinner or happy hour.  Even though this was my first time, and I ordered from the brunch menu, I’m 100% sure the other menus are just as good, if not better.  I do know something, I’m sure I’ll be showing my face around those parts for happy hour, that’s for sure! I love a good happy hour : )

Sunday Funday Brunch @ Max’s

Living in the state of Texas, in the South period, you have to deal with one major factor…the smoldering heat, OMG!  It can get so hot sometimes, that you don’t even want to do anything, let alone leave the house and that’s being so real!

This past weekend, while cruising the streets of Dallas with my brother , I remembered our cousin mentioning this shaved ice place called Bahama Buck’s.  Now, I had heard of it before, but I always forgot about it when the weekend came or when I was dying of heat exhaustion.  This time, we remembered and we were on a mission.

We pulled up and the first thing that I noticed is a lot of people sitting outside under the patio umbrellas, they even had games for the kids to play while the grown-ups talked and mingled.  When we walked inside, it kind of resembled a tropical hut; wood everywhere, bright colors, it just had that island feel, like a “paradise” getaway, atmosphere, not really though, because I mean, we were still in Hell hot Dallas, Texas.

Bahama Buck’s menu…AND where the magic happens…

Of all things in Bahama Buck’s, the one thing that you can’t miss is the menu.  It’s huge!  There’s a yummy assortment of flavors and combinations for every choice on the menu.  Such a serious decision to make, especially to a foodie like myself.  Bahama Buck’s offers all these tasty options like their famous shaved ice, smoothies, specialty drinks, seasonal paradise fruit and even coffee, Island House Coffee that is, made from the most flavorful coffee beans in the world, Hawaii’s Kona Coffee.

After looking over the menu for a good 10 minutes, we both decided to get what they’re famous for…their shaved ice.  I forgot what flavor my brother got, I know it was half pina colada and he added sweet cream and I got half pomegranate and half margarita, which really tasted like lemon-lime.  While waiting, we watched how the shaved ice cups were made and I kid you not, when the blocks of ice went through that blade, it fell into each cup like pretty, white, fluffy snowflakes. I was mesmerized.  Don’t judge me.

Next, came the best part…time to eat up & enjoy!  That first cold bite, it was like ice Heaven.  The ice was so soft, not a hard chunk of ice in sight.  I’ll tell you what else put a smile on my face…they did not skimp on the juice.  Talk about Flavor Town! While eating, I also noticed that the spoons changed color with temperature.  As you can see below, if the spoon is cold, it turns purple and once it warms back up to room temperature, it changes back to the original color of blue.  Pretty cool huh?

The "Magic" Spoon

The “Magic” Spoon

So, one thing I do know, I’ll probably be frequenting Bahama Buck’s every weekend I’m sure; trying out all of the flavor combos and recipes.  Follow me on Instagram @MsChay84 to experience the delicious, cool “eye candy”!

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