Meet Fresh Pickins!

Fresh Pickins is a farm that produces honey, flowers, and health and beauty products. I first came across them at the Portland Flower Show in March, and I’m thrilled to share these great beauty products with you today.

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Beach Rose Face Oil 

” Organic rose is one of the most sought-after essential oils for good reason; it is known as the oil of love and has been used throughout history as an aphrodisiac. Rose Oil can elevate our senses and open our hearts while helping soothe our emotions. The oil’s gentle touch also enhances the absorption of it’s consciously paired ingredients. Another important ingredient used in this blend is Organic Prickly Pear Oil, which is revered for its anti-aging properties and its ability to hydrate the skin while adding elasticity.  The organic oils in this blend are fast absorbing and are specially formulated to brighten, hydrate and soften the skin.”

I haven’t been using facial oils much but I have really been enjoying this one. I have been using this when my skin is feeling particularly dry, or under makeup to give it a glowy finish. This oil leaves my skin feely soft and supple and with a healthy-looking glow.

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Wild Chaga Lip Balm

“Wild Chaga infused oils blended with Maine beeswax and organic ingredients. Our unique infusion of oils provides a sweet, mildly coniferous taste that will help protect and moisturize your lips.”

 Rose Coco Lip Balm

“Organic rose is one of the most sought-after essential oils for good reason; it is known as the oil of love and has been used throughout history as an aphrodisiac. Rose Oil can elevate our senses and open our hearts while helping soothe our emotions. The oil’s gentle touch also enhances the absorption of it’s consciously paired ingredients. Coconut oil delicately compliments the rose aromas and provides deep moisturizing to your skin. We have also infused organically grown calendula from our farm into every tube to help soothe and soften dry and rough lips.”

I love both of these lip balms.  They are both light and moisturizing, they don’t feel at all greasy or oily on my lips, just smooth a creamy. Out of the two, I think the Wild Chaga is my favorite, I really like how unique it is, I’ve never seen a chaga lip balm before, have you?

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Surf Spray Hair Elixir 

“Our Surf Spray Hair Elixir is designed to keep your locks looking and feeling luscious while living an adventurous lifestyle. Surf Spray Hair Elixir uses premium organic oils infused with wild harvested Maine seaweed to provide a party of unique vitamins and minerals for your hair to savor. This product was inspired by the scent of the fresh ocean and our need to condition our hair before and after surf sessions.”

I have really been enjoying using texture sprays lately so I was so excited to try this one out. This spray leaves my hair glossy and smooth while giving it that beachy texture. I can’t wait to use it all the time this summer.

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Sweet Basil Salve Of The Earth 

“Salve of the Earth blends are formulated with lightweight, non-greasy organic oils that are readily absorbed by the skin.  They are smooth and soft to the touch, allowing for gentle application all over the body.  All blends are infused with organic calendula flowers, which are grown with love on our farm.  Calendula is renowned for its ability to help gently rejuvenate skin that has been exposed to the elements.  The charming herbaceous and earthy smell of basil has always enchanted us on the farm. “

While I’m not a hundred percent sure how this is meant to be used but I have been loving this salve. The lovely light herbal scent of the sweet basil is so crisp and soothing. I have been using this on my knuckles, heels, cuticles, and elbows,  and has worked beautifully all around.

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I absolutely love all of these products, they really exceeded my expectations, and I can’t wait to continue using them all. My favorites are definitely the lip balms and Surf Spray, they are the ones I’ve been getting the most use out of.

Thank you so much to Fresh Pickins for sending these amazing products to me.

What would your favorite be?

Anna.

 

 

 

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I have been a regular visitor to North Conway New Hampshire my entire life. Over the past few years, this sweet little town has been growing by leaps and bounds with more shops, hotels, and restaurants popping up all the time.

One of the newer additions to North Conway is The SoakingPot Infusion Spa.

The SoakingPot is a unique addition to Settlers Green in a setting that is inviting and relaxing. Using infusions of the best florals, herbs and essential oils, guests can simultaneously enjoy a foot soak, massage, a soothing cup of tea, and a delicious treat in this tea-room meet spa.

I have personally spent enough time wondering around Settlers Green to know that a foot soak at the end of the day, or even at the halfway mark, would be a great way to invigorate and soothe my feet and mind.

DSC_0185DSC_0079As I walked in the door I was greeted by the bright yet cozy shop. On the right is a little sitting area and the left wall is covered in teas, soaps, and various other pampering products. Once I checked in and decided which soak I wanted I was shown to where I could change out of my shoes into sandals, and place my purse and coat into a locker.

Then I was taken into the main spa, which is a large dimly lit room divided into smaller rooms by dark gray curtains. I was settled into an oversized armchair. My ears were met with the soothing sound of water and birdsongs and a feeling of calm washed over me.DSC_0169DSC_0084DSC_0133A few moments later I was brought a heated neck wrap, a tray with a French press of tea, and a scone.

The soak I decided on was the Orange Honeysuckle SoakThis soak is a spring special at The SoakingPot. Infused with Himalayan and Dead Sea salts for purification, Calendula and honey for healing and moisturizing benefits, and Honeysuckle and Orange blossoms for uplifting renewal and tranquility.  The recommended tea pairing is the Orchid Oolong, a smooth, floral green tea with a full lilac flavor and a fresh orchid finish. I also got a heart-shaped lavender scone to go along with my tea.

For the hour my feet were soaking, I sipped my tea and ate my scone, and slipped into a total relaxation. You know that feeling when you are soaking in a bubble bath and you’re mind sort of goes to sleep? That’s how I felt.

Overall I was super impressed with the pleasant and professional service, and the soak was amazingly relaxing. I was quite sad to have to put my heels back on and carry on with everyday life after being waited on hand and foot and feeling like royalty.

The staff is warm and friendly and knowledgeable, all of my questions about the most random things were answered perfectly.

 

So if you are shopping in Settlers Green and you need a little pick-me-up, want to treat yourself to a relaxing afternoon, or want to take a short break from reality and feel like a princess I would highly recommend stopping in.

Side note: My parents stopped in for a soak on Sunday afternoon, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. Mom said she fell asleep a couple of times.

You can find out more about The SoakingPot(here)

 

Thank you so much to The SoakingPot team for hosting me, I had the loveliest time and I will definitely be back soon.

 

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Primers are one of my least favorite makeup items to buy. They are usually more expensive and I haven’t really found many that live up to my expectations, but when I discovered this two from The Ordinary all that changed.

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High-Adherence Silicone $4.90

“This formula uses advanced adaptive silicones to act as a matte, hydrating, blurring primer for makeup that looks higher in definition and adheres for longer. The formula can also be used alone as a non-greasy hydrator that reduces the looks of pores and of imperfections.”

This works great for a matte finish that is a bit more high impact. It creates a barrier between your skin are your foundation with help give a more flawless finish.

I do have one problem with this primer and that is that it is not great for dry skin, it has a tendency to make to make any dry skin look more pronounced. So think this would be a great primer for someone with oily skin, as it is mattifying.

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High-Spreadability Fluid Primer $7.90

“This new generation of primer is a lightweight serum-like formula that increases the spreadability of subsequent complexion makeup to help avoid the unnatural and uneven accumulation of pigments especially around the eyes and on dry skin. The formula also acts as a light, non-oily surface hydrator for a natural dewy look.”

This primer is perfect for spring, it’s lightweight and refreshing, it sinks into your skin and feels silky smooth.

his one is definitely my favorite of the two, it works so well for a dewy summery makeup and it feels light and comfortable on. I’m starting to run low so I really need to repurchase it. I ordered one for my sister but forgot to get another one for me.

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Final Thoughts 

Both of these are really good primers and I would highly recommend either of them. However, I don’t think they are both compatible for all skin types, so you do have to be aware of that and decide which is best for you. Like I said the Fluid Primer is my favorite and it’s going to be a staple in my spring and summer makeup routine.

What do you think of these primers?

Anna.

 

Comparing The Ordinary Foundations      The Ordinary Haul & Review

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I’m always excited for this box to arrive, this month it can two days earlier them the shipping info said so I was super happy about that.

Degustabox is a monthly subscription plan which contains 9-14 surprise food products with each box. The items are selected from name brands, will contain new flavors, and give you a new option to think about the next time you’re looking for a break in your eating routine. And boy does it do a good job, there were quite a few products in this months box that I never would have tried.

This months theme is Road Trip!

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ANGIE’S BOOMCHICKAPOP Cheddar Cheese & Real Butter Popcorn 

“Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP popcorn is hugely flavorful and made with real, simple ingredients, nothing fake”.

I have gotten this popcorn before and I absolutely love it! I am a big fan of popcorn in general, but for a premade, store-bought popcorn this stuff is amazing.  My favorite of these two has to be the Real Butter, it tastes like I make at home.

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POPCHIPS Nutter Puffs

These are super peanut buttery, not as sweet as I would have thought they would be but still really yummy. These are a great snack for when you want something crunchy but not unhealthy.

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COUNTRY ARCHER JERKY CO. Mango Habanero Beef Jerky 

I was so excited to see some Country Archer jerky in this month’s box! I have had their turkey jerky before and my entire family absolutely loved it.

I love the flavor of the mango habanera it was warm and subtly sweet. I also love that it is a softer jerky, sometimes jerky is so chewy it makes is a challenge to eat, but this Country Archer makes it just right.

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GOYA Plantain Chips 

I have never eaten plantains before so I had no idea what these chips would taste like. I thought they would be like banana chips, but as I don’t like bananas I was happy to find that they aren’t anything like them.

These are a lot like baked potato chips but have a little bit of a nutty flavor. I really like them and will definitely be looking out for them again.DSC_0040

LA TORTILLA FACTORY Barbacoa Slow cooker Sauce

“Our Barbacoa slow cooker sauce is a spicy blend of smoky chipotle, Mexican herbs and a hint of lime juice. Prepare with beef, serve on soft tortillas and top with your favorite taco condiments.”

I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m really looking forward to testing it out because it sounds so yummy, and who doesn’t love a good taco?

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LA TORTILLA FACTORY 

“Our La Tortilla Factory handmade style tortillas are baked only with non-GMO ingredients and a unique blend of corn and wheat flour.

I’m really excited to try these out, we are big fans of corn tortillas in this house, so I’ll be interested to see what we make of these.

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AMAZIN’ RAISIN Lemon & Strawberry

“Amazin’ Raisin is an All Natural, fruit flavor-infused raisin with no added sugar!Amazin’ Raisin is gluten-free, vegan, peanut and tree nut free and certified kosher by the Orthodox Union!”

I don’t like raisins so I know I wouldn’t like these, but I handed them over to my family to see what they thought. The final verdict was that you shouldn’t flavor raisins.

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TORIE & HOWARD Chewie Fruties 

“Torie & Howard is a producer of USDA Organic & Kosher certified, Non-GMO candy designed to satisfy customers with discriminating palates who crave healthy yet indulgent snacks. ”

I absolutely loved these! We all really liked them and they didn’t last long. They are like a healthy version on StarBurst which I love. The lemon ones were my favorite.

FINI SWEETS 

Kollisions Chewy Candy 

“A fun variety of flavors, shapes & textures in every bag! Provides multiple taste experiences”.

Not a fan of these. They are different shapes and flavors of licorice which I really don’t like.

Tornadoes Fizzy Chewy Candy

Not totally sure what to make of these, they are kind of like a rubbery candy straw coated in sour sugar.

 Shock Tongues Chewy Candy 

These were the only of the three Fini sweets that I actually liked, the others were just not my cup of tea. These are super sour, but still sweet, definitely not something I would have thought to get myself.

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ALO SPRINGS 

“Spring is an awakening. Sunshine and rain deed the berries that bloom to create nature’s dessert for the soul. Real aloe vera juice and pulp, stright from the leaf blended with cranberry mulberry and blueberry juices, combined with the beat of ALOTones, bring a positive boost to body and mind.”

I really liked this, it is a lot nicer than drinking straight aloe vera juice, the berry flavors add a lot. This drink was so nice and refreshing I think it would be a great staple of the warmer months.

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ZEIGLER’S Apple Berry Carrot Fruit & Veggie Juice 

“We blended up some delicious fruit & veggie combinations to give you a power-packed dosage of your daily fruits and veggies.”

I actually like this juice way more then I thought I would, it sort of reminds me of the chewable vitamins mom used to give me when I was little. I don’t drink juice much but I can definitely see myself getting this again, it’s refreshing and a little bit of an energy boost.

 

Overall this was not my favorite box but there were still some things that I absolutely loved and I’m looking forward to seeing what next month brings.  If you would like to get 50% off your first box just follow the link(here)

What do you think of this months box?

Anna.

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I have made quite a few different cakes, but this one is definitely my favorite so far. This was the third time I’ve made it and each time it went over really well. It’s light and airy, so it’s a perfect choice for spring.

As you can probably tell by the little Easter eggs on top that I made this for Easter, I actually wanted to have this up before Easter but since I made it the night before it really wasn’t practical.

Coconut Cake

  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Butter, softened 
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Almond Extract 
  • 1 1/3 Cups well-shaken canned Coconut Milk 
  • 6 Large Egg Whites, at room temperature
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar

Preheat oven to 350f

Grease, flour, and line two nine inch cake pans.

In a medium-sized bowl sift together the flour and the baking powder, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the vegetable oil and the two egg yolks, mixing between each addition. (Be sure to save the two egg whites for later.) Then add the vanilla and the almond extracts, and mix until well combined.

Next up, add the coconut milk and the flour alternating between the two, adding half the milk then half the flour and so on.

In a separate bowl beat the cream of tartar and 4 egg whites, plus the two from earlier until the mixture is stiff but not dry.

Then add the egg whites to the cake batter and fold in as gently as you can until the whites are completely mixed in.

Divide the cake batter between the two prepared pans and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with just a couple of crumbs on it.

Let the cake cool completely before frosting.

I divided each cake in half to make four layers, but you can do it whichever way you like.

Coconut Frosting

  • 1 Cup Butter, room temperature 
  • 1 Cup Coconut Cream 
  • 7 Cups Powdered Sugar 
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Cup coconut flakes for decorating

When I say coconut cream, I mean the solid cream that forms on the surface of the liquid in the can.

Beat together the butter and the coconut cream until smooth, then add the vanilla.

Add the powdered sugar two cups at a time, mixing slowly between each addition. You might need more or less powdered sugar depending on how you like your frosting.

Now fill and frost the cake!

Once the cake is frosted the way you want it, coat it with coconut flakes.

 

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I have really missed doing baking post, so I’m hoping to get back into doing them more often.

What is your favorite kind of cake?

Anna.

 

 

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Last month I did a haul and first impresses of my first The Ordinary order(here), now that I have had the products a little longer I want to share my final thoughts on them. I will be following up with a The Ordinary primer comparison soon.

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Serum Foundation 

I used a serum foundation from Bobbi Brown a year or so ago, and that was my first and only experience with them and I have to say I was not impressed. That was partly because of the price I paid for it, but when I pay a lot for a product I have very high expectations and it just didn’t meet them.

This one on the other hand really impressed me, and for $6.70 I think this is this definitely the better option. It is so lovely to wear, it is lightweight and makes my skin look healthy and glowing. I had this in my March favorites because I have been using it pretty much every day.

The only downside to this foundation for me is that it is a light coverage, which is great for the warmer months and if my skin is clear, but I can see that no being great for when I’m having breakouts. DSC_0066

 

Coverage Foundation 

This is exactly what it says on the bottle, a coverage foundation.

This foundation is perfect for flawless looking skin. I haven’t been using this as much as the serum foundation lately simply because I have been going for lighter makeup, but when I want a more polished look, or my skin is acting up this is great.

I have found that the coverage of this is more of a medium but it is easily buildable to a high. I have also discovered that a little goes a long way, I overdid it a couple of times before I relived that I should start with one pump and see how it goes. For the most part, one pump is enough for me.

Overall this is a great semi-matte foundation, the only problem I have is that it tends to make any dry skin more pronounced, so I couldn’t really recommend it to someone with dry skin.

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Left to Right/ Coverage foundation/ Serum foundation.

Final Thoughts

I love both of these foundations and they are as good if not better then a some more expensive foundations I have tried in the past. The serum foundation is definitely favorite and I will be repurchasing and continue to use it over the summer. I think the coverage foundation is more suited to my winter makeup, so I’ll have to see how I feel about repurchasing it when autumn rolls back around.

 

What are your thoughts on these foundations?

I really want to try some more stuff from The Ordinary, what would you recommend I try next?

Anna.

 

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This month I have been using the same products pretty much daily which is weird for me, I’m usually all over the place with different skincare products and different makeup.

MDacne Acne Kit 

I review these last week(here) and I have really been enjoying using them, my skin is doing a lot better. The thing I was most impressed with was that I haven’t had any problem with my skin drying out, that has always been a problem when I’m using acne treatments.

The Ordinary Liquid Primer 

This is my new favorite primer I have been using it every day, I just love it! I will be doing a comparison post on the two primers I picked up from The Ordinary, so keep an eye out for that.

The Ordinary Liquid Foundation

I’m also planning a comparison post for two foundations, but I just had to but this one in my favorites this month. This foundation is perfect for a fresh light look.

NYX Liquid Illuminator 

I think I have finally mastered the use of liquid highlighter, I have been using this one pretty much every day and I’ve been loving the way my makeup has been looking.

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This month I finally broke down and got Spotify Premium and it was such a good decision. Seriously I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner, I don’t have adds for weird movies and when I want to listen to a certain song I can listen to that song as many times as I want.

Colm Keegan

As far as I know, he only has the one album I’ll Never Be Alone and It’s just beautiful. I discovered it when we were on vacation and I just fell in love with it, he’s vocal style is very natural and soothing and the songs are all so sweet. I would call it easy listening, but it’s easy listening that might make you tear up a little.

My favorites on the album are, Found The One, Beautiful Day, and Bringing Me Down.

Matt Dusk

Matt Dusk was one of those artists that I was aware of but never really listened to, but I came across one of his songs when listening to Matt Belsante and that was that. He has a very classic crooner style, so if you are a fan of the oldies I would highly recommend giving him a listen. If you do, make sure you listen to his album My Funny Valentine first.

 

What have you been loving in March?

Anna.