Play! by Sephora Box – November 2015: The Exclusives

Well would you look at this. I’m actually doing a Play! review in the same month it was delivered. Bah. It’s nice when I have my act together. 😛

The third month of Sephora’s Play! box introduced us to a few products that are exclusive to their store.

Make Up For Ever Hydrating Primer. Ladies, primer is so important to creating a smooth surface on which to lay your foundation. Days I forget to use primer, I notice my foundation caking in certain places and fading in others throughout the day. Yuck. A primer helps your makeup last longer too. You wouldn’t paint your walls without primer would you? Don’t be rude to your face. This primer’s got hyaluronic acid which keeps your skin plump and hydrated. #babyface

sephora play november 2015 make up for ever step 1 primer face

Bite Beauty High Pigment Pencil in Rhubarb. I get excited when a beauty product has a food name. Weirdo. Here’s why I love these boxes. I would’ve looked at this rhubarb color and though “meh.” But it’s actually a really natural, flattering color. Tip: add a bit more in the center of your lip to create a fuller-looking pucker.

bite beauty rhubarb play sephora exclusives november 2015

Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Dolly. It’s creamy, it’s smooth, and like the Rhubarb pencil above, it’s universally flattering. They’re great to wear together. Before I got hooked on Dior Addict Lip Gloss (Cygne Noir!), I used Buxom glosses. They’re suuuuper plumping and not at all sticky. Bonus: they smell like minty marshmallows. The Dolly shade is a mauve color and is more matte than some of the other super shiny shades.

sephora play november 2015 buxom dolly lip gloss

Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in My Boyfriend’s Jeans. Well, I wear eyeliner like…never. It’s just one of those things I don’t have patience for. I will say that blue eyeliner shouldn’t scare you. And if you’ve got brown eyes, blue liner will make your eyes pop! (I have green eyes and purple liner gives them some wow factor.)

sephora play november 2015 eye pencil boyfriend's jeans

Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil. I already use Josie’s Argan Oil Hair Serum so I was happy to see this in the box. Argan oil is full of essential fatty acids and vitamin E, making it balancing and nourishing. Use it pretty much anywhere – face, hair, cuticles, etc. It’s also a great eye makeup remover!

sephora play box november 2015 josie maran argan oil exclusive

Stella McCartney Stella EDP. This perfume is so highly rated and I totally get why. It’s very feminine — soft and floral. But it’s not as light as you’d think. Aside from the floral notes, there’s a touch of mandarin and amber. I like it a lot.

stella mccartney perfume sephora play november 2015 box

Out of the three boxes I’ve gotten, this was definitely my favorite. All the products were great and I think I have to buy the Stella perfume now. And even if I don’t regularly wear eyeliner, I’m sure that blue will make its way onto my lids one of these days. : )

Check out my reviews of the September and October boxes. The Play! box costs $10/month and shipping is included. Stay tuned for December!

The Friday Five 11.20.15

Well hello there!

1. Reading:

  • Women under 30, stop freaking out!! The day I turned 30 I cried cried cried. And 31? Same thing. Now I laugh at all the things I was so concerned about.
  • Don’t make these interview mistakes
  • I love puns. Like a lot. Enjoy.

2. Listening: The Chainsmokers + Rozes – Roses

3. Eating: Everyone and their mama has been on an avocado toast bender. And maybe you’ve added egg. But have you tried it with prosciutto yet? It’s a step of from bacon that you just need to try.

avocado toast

4. Bookmarking: Brussels Sprouts Hash with Crispy Sage and Walnuts. HELLO!

5. GIFs!

when work is more fun than sleep but your body says nooooooooo

but by friday

when the bartender remembers which wine you like

trying to decide if i want dessert

but when they’re out of the one i want

backhanded compliments

how my grandmothers must feel every time they call me

when a missed call turns into a voicemail


Posole Rojo (Mexican Pork & Hominy Soup)

When I was in college I ate more Mexican food than you can imagine. For four reasons:

  1. I worked at a Mexican restaurant the summer after my freshman year – free food, yes
  2. My best friends and I were on a student budget and Mexican food is the opposite of expensive
  3. I was a Spanish major, so immersing myself in the culture just seemed right (HA)

Somewhere in my junior year, I met a woman who made posole for one of the servers I was friends with. She was a restaurant patron but would sell it to him in big batches. Wondering why this soup was so special, I asked to try it. I was intrigued because in addition to the gigantic tupperware of broth she gave him, there were a ton of tiny containers of toppings. It looked so fun! So interactive!

And that is when I disocvered that posole is not only delicious, but it is like the Mexican version of chicken noodle soup. It’s filling, comforting, and a miraculous hangover cure. It’s basically life support for a poor college student.

Years later, still thinking about it and having had it only a few times since that day, I made it a point to make it myself. Right now it’s getting pretty cold here and soups are about to be on heavy rotation in my kitchen. On another note, Mexican food here is soooo different than in SC. I can’t really pinpoint why or how it’s different, but it is. And God I miss it! So today I’m sharing with you a posole rojo (red) recipe. There’s also posole verde (green) and blanco (white) — the difference being how the sauce is made. Read more here.

pozole rojo mexican pork hominy soup

Posole Rojo


For the soup:

  • 3 quarts of water
  • 2.5 lbs. pork shoulder, cubed
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans of hominy, drained

For the red sauce:

  • 5 dried guajillo peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 5 dried ancho peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • salt to taste


  • 1 head of lettuce, finely shredded
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 bunches of radishes, sliced
  • oregano
  • sliced avocado
  • Limes, cut in wedges


  1. Trim excess fat from pork. Heat water in a large stock pot. Add pork, onion, and garlic. Bring to a boil, then set to low and let simmer, partially covered for 2 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Season with salt.
  2. While the broth simmers, start the red sauce. Soak peppers in water for 30 minutes or until soft. Using a food processor or blender, puree peppers, garlic, onion, and oregano with a bit of the water in which the peppers were soaking. Puree until smooth.
  3. In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium. Add pepper puree, season to taste, and let simmer over medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  4. Once the pork has finished, remove the meat and shred with a fork. Add it back to the broth, along with the hominy, then slowly add in the red pepper sauce. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Serve posole hot, with garnishes on the side.

pozole rojo mexican pork hominy soup 3

You can use as few to as many garnishes as you’d like…but a squeeze of lime is a must! Adding the raw onions and radish give it just the right amount of crunch, but not too much, as the warm broth softens the vegetables. I haven’t seen any restaurants add cheese, but I wouldn’t complain if there was any in my bowl, would you?? Avocado is another essential. Just trust me and plop it right into your bowl. You’ll love it!

pozole rojo mexican pork hominy soup 2


Giveaway! Celebrate The Season with Nature’s Path

I don’t know about you, but my eating habits change with the seasons. When it’s warmer, I want lighter meals with lots of fresh fruit. In the colder weather, I want heartier meals full of root vegetables. Same goes for breakfast. Though I still eat eggs every day, I pair it with fruits & avocado during the summer or fruit & oatmeal during the winter. There’s something about oatmeal that’s so comforting in the chilly temps.

A lot of the packaged oatmeal in stores is full of unnecessary junk. I look for kinds that have a simple mix of oats, seeds, spices, and little to no sweetener.  Then I top it with fresh fruit, nuts, and a drizzle of honey. And sometimes an egg. 😉

Over the years, Nature’s Path has been my go-to line for breakfast cereals, both cold and hot. One of my favorites is their Qi’a Superfood Cereal: a mix of gluten-free oats, chia, buckwheat, and hemp. It comes in four flavors:

They’re super filling and I love the extra little crunch from the seeds. All three are gluten free, wheat free, and an excellent source of omega-3. Your heart will thank you!

Another two hot cereals I like are the Flax Plus Oatmeal and the Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Oatmeal. The flax plus has an awesome texture and the blueberry cinnamon has a winning flavor combo.

Nature’s Path has been generous to offer one of you a package of all both the Qi’a Superfood oatmeal and the flax oatmeal above. Want to win? Leave a comment below telling me your go-to breakfast foods. I’ll pick a winner on Sunday. Good luck!