Giveaway alert! Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar

gettyimages.com

gettyimages.com

November always makes me a little panicky. I know that the holiday season will be here in a flash and with my son in college, the expense of gifts is especially daunting. This year I am focusing on DIY gifts and with our Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar giveaway you can too!

Nielsen Massey Sugar

Besides the fact DIY gifts are pocket-book friendly, they are also so much more personal than a gift card. Nielsen-Massey has truly beautiful vanilla products that aren’t just yummy, they make perfect ingredients for beauty treatments that are so easy to make! I love their Vanilla Body Scrub recipe that uses Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar (Nielsen-Massey sent us the product to test).

NielsenMassey Vanilla Scrub

Vanilla Body Scrub

1 cup Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 or 2 drops of an essential oil such as lavender, eucalyptus, etc.
Decorative, waterproof container

Mix ingredients together in a bowl.

Spoon into a decorative, waterproof container.

Wrap in decorative paper.

Instructions for use: Apply a small amount to damp skin while in shower or bath. Gently scrub skin with a soft washcloth. Rinse thoroughly.

This is a heavenly body scrub that leaves skin wonderfully soft and smooth. My favorite essential oils to use are either lemon or jasmine.

beautiful packaging!

beautiful packaging!

Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar is awesome for baking

Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar is awesome for baking

Of course, the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar is also a great gift just by itself. It’s a combination of gourmet baker’s sugar and Madagascar Pure Vanilla Extract. Use it as your sugar in baking, sprinkle it in your coffee or hot cocoa, or sprinkle it on some fruit for a delicious dessert. It comes in a beautiful 8.5 oz. glass jar, and it is all sorts of yummy!!

Here are some more great packaging tips from Nielsen-Massey for personalized handmade gifts:

  • Package homemade biscotti, cookies, or even body products in vintage tins or jars. A beautiful container is an additional gift that the recipient can keep long after the handmade gift is gone.
  • Instead of using traditional wrapping paper or gift bags, wrap boxes in craft paper and decorate with pens and markers. Wrap jars and bottles in fabric, burlap, or a pretty kitchen towel and secure it with colorful striped baker’s twine.
  • Attach a Christmas ornament to the outside of the package in lieu of a traditional gift tag. Ornaments can be treasured for years to come.
  • Include a hand-written note or card with the recipe for your gift – it is the gift that keeps on giving!

individual-recipes-banana-bread-pudding

Check out the Nielsen-Massey website for more product information and additional recipes, including more DIY gift ideas such as:

  • Vanilla Bean Marshmallows
  • Decadent Holiday Fudge
  • Cinnamon Vanilla Candied Almonds
  • Gourmet Blueberry Vanilla Granola
  • Sweet and Spicy BBQ Rub
  • Chocolate Coffee Biscotti

And don’t forget to visit the Nielsen-Massey Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NielsenMasseyVanillas and Twitter at https://twitter.com/NielsenMassey.

Enter our giveaway today and you can make a Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Body Scrub or your own DIY holiday gift!

This fabulous US giveaway runs through November 11/23/14 at 11:59 p.m. (If comments aren’t open please comment on our Facebook page or email me at marciaandlisa@gmail.com). — Lisa

*giveaway prize courtesy of Nielsen-Massey #NMVHolidays

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make your shower Be Delectable with these luscious items

beDelectable Lemon & Cream Shower delights

be Delectable Lemon & Cream Shower delights

Whatever you do, don’t take a shower for granted. I know I never will again. When I was away from home recovering from my accident and then learning to walk without pain, I dreamt about taking a hot shower and in my dreams were these three products from be Delectable. They were sent for review before I fell and I put them aside to photograph before moving them into my shower.  I was miserable when I was in rehabilitation and one of the reasons was not being able to easily take a shower. I’d lay in my hospital bed dreaming of the unbelievable aroma of Lemon & Cream items from be Delectable. Even worse once I got home I couldn’t get upstairs for over a month to jump into my shower with be Delectable.

Now the situation has changed and I live for my daily showers. I sit there with my Lemon & Cream Supremely Rich Body Wash ($10) and the Lemon & Cream Super Smoothing Body Polish ($14) by my side. It’s wonderful!

be Delectable Supremely Rich Body Wash

be Delectable Supremely Rich Body Wash

be Delectable Body  Wash

be Delectable Body
Wash

I soap up with the rich and bubbly Body Wash and get myself clean. The scent is divine, it’s a little bit lemon and a little bit sweet cream. It’s not the least bit overpowering. My skin feels extremely refreshed and yet still moisturized with this body wash. It’s not drying like some products in this category can be. It’s enriched with both aloe vera and coconut oil to hydrate your body.

be Delectable Super Smoothing Body Polish

be Delectable Super Smoothing Body Polish

I’ve become devoted to exfoliation after my ordeal. I couldn’t believe how dry my skin became from all I had gone through. My skin was flaking to the extreme. I’d wake up in the morning and see another set of skin on my sheets. I’m not going without exfoliation these days and the Body Polish is perfect for daily use. It’s gentle yet effective. It contains very finely ground apricot shells to do the exfoliation. Since that’s a product of nature, you aren’t jamming up the waterways with microbeads. I use a washcloth after to make sure that I’ve gotten it all off and usually follow up with the Body Wash.

be Delectable Triple Moisture Body Lotion

be Delectable Triple Moisture Body Lotion

be Delectable Triple Moisture Body Lotion

be Delectable Triple Moisture Body Lotion

Once out of the shower I add to this with the Triple Moisture Body Lotion. My trifecta! This lotion is perfect for me since it’s rich but not sticky. I can put on a pair of slacks quickly without feeling I’m mucking up the inside. The lotion is moisturizing and keeping that extra skin from flaking all over. It contains aloe vera, coconut oil and shea butter to keep your skin soft. Plus the fragrance is perfect with the Body Wash and Body Polish. I love it when I catch a soft whiff of lemon during the day.

Be Delectable is a division of Cake Beauty so you know just from the names of these two companies that you are in for something to delight your senses. Their products come in 4 different scents: Strawberry & Cream, Vanilla & Cream, Coconut & Cream, and my wonderful choice of Lemon & Cream. (Lisa has reviewed some other products and scents that you can read with this link.)

Look at this cute trio! It would not only make a great gift but it’s a perfect way to try out the products and see what scent you like. ($14)

be Delectable trio

be Delectable trio

  • Be Delectable Lemon & Cream Body Wash (60 mL)
  • Be Delectable Lemon & Cream Hair & Body Wash (60 mL)
  • Be Delectable Lemon & Cream Body Lotion (60 mL)

What’s wonderful about be Delectable products is that they are sold at Kohl’s (as well as online). If you are a Kohl’s shopper then you know about their coupons and rewards which are wonderful. You can indulge in some wonderful products for yourself and use your rewards for gifts (or vice versa). No guilt involved with these three delicious items or the be Delectable line.

Which of the available scents would be your favorite? You know I’m all about this lemon! — Marcia

*sent for editorial consideration

Soft and supple skin in one easy step!

Sometimes the answer isn’t complicated. Sometimes, the best results come from simplicity. I have found that I can easily get soft, supple skin in just one step with body oil.

Sublime Beauty Daily Body Oil

Sublime Beauty Daily Body Oil

Sublime Beauty sent us their Daily Body Oil ($22) to test and I am very impressed. I use a body oil pretty much every day. I love how a good body oil will sink it quickly and leave my skin soft and moist but not greasy. I usually use fragranced body oils, so Sublime Beauty’s version which has no scent at all, was a first for me. This is a great option for everyone, especially those who can’t tolerate fragrance. And if you want fragrance, you can always add your own.

Sublime Beauty Daily Body Oil 3

Sublime Beauty’s Daily Body Oil is just a mix of oils, pure and simple. The several types of oil include:

  • Sweet Almond Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Aloe
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Argan Oil
  • Vitamin E

The plastic bottle has a flip top so it’s easy to squeeze out the right amount of oil. The oil blend soothes skin and reduces the appearance of scars and stretch marks. It leaves my skin wonderfully soft all day long.

I think the best time to use it is right after a shower or a bath. For those of you who do skin brushing, it’s lovely for right after – you won’t believe how amazing your skin feels. If you haven’t yet, give body oil a try – and Sublime Beauty’s Daily Body Oil is a perfect way to start!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Aveeno reminds us that Oct. 29th is National Oatmeal Day

http://theoatmeal.com/blog/national_oatmeal_day

http://theoatmeal.com/blog/national_oatmeal_day

Now if it’s up to me, this is how I’m going to celebrate the day: Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. It’s National Oatmeal Day! Oatmeal is an extremely healthy, versatile food that can be eaten any time of day. It is both filling and low in calories, which makes it the perfect breakfast or snack. Oatmeal is also delicious baked in cookies. (from punchbowl.com)

http://www.food.com/recipe/oatmeal-raisin-cookies-302163

http://www.food.com/recipe/oatmeal-raisin-cookies-302163

What I’d love to do after eating those cookies is go upstairs to take a bath using the AVEENO BATH TREATMENT. Right now my skin is super dry because I’m unable to get to my bathroom for proper bathing. Aveeno sent a box of 8 fragrance free bath packets and I’ve been eyeing them since they came.

AVEENO SOOTHING BATH TREATMENT is a colloidal oatmeal skin protectant that is dermatologist recommended. I’ve used this in the past with my own kids since one of them had a lot of allergies that included itchy skin. If it was good enough for him, it’s great for me.

Aveeno Bath Treatment

Aveeno Bath Treatment

This soothing bath treatment for itchy, irritated skin is made of finely milled 100% pure ACTIVE NATURALS® Colloidal Oatmeal—an ingredient long recognized for its ability to relieve itching. When dispersed in water, this powder forms a soothing milky bath that works as a natural cleanser, provides temporary skin protection, and relieves irritation and itching.

1 of 8 packets in the Aveeno Bath Treatment

1 of 8 packets in the Aveeno Bath Treatment

Aveeno Bath information

Aveeno Bath information

All the ingredients in this are derived from nature and uniquely formulated. The Colloidal Oatmeal used in this is for skin protection.  No matter what day or season it is, this soothing bath product can help. In warmer weather use it for insects bites, prickly heat, sunburn, and reactions to poison ivy/oak/sumac. All year round use this for rashes, eczema, hives and diseases like chicken pox. When your skin is overly dry use the Soothing Bath Treatment to get rid of the dry skin and then follow up with one of the many Aveeno Moisturizing Lotions. I’ve been using the fragrance free version of Daily Moisturizing Lotion with success.

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, fragrance free

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion, fragrance free

Some people have a Bucket List, I have a bathroom list and the Aveeno Soothing Bath Treatment is way up on there. — Marcia

*Beauty Info Zone is an Aveeno Ambassador and as such we occasionally receive products to use and for editorial consideration. All opinions are my own.

 

Just delicious…be Delectable Coconut & Cream body products

Me when I wear those pancake-scented body products.  liveplayfully.gogosqueez.com

Me when I wear those pancake-scented body products.  Plus a blueberry perm.  liveplayfully.gogosqueez.com

I would rather smell good enough to eat than smell…perfumey.  I’ve had my missteps with foody scents…I will never forget the time I was in a meeting and a colleague said, ‘Who smells like pancakes??’  While I was too chicken to identify myself as the refugee from IHOP, I’ve been far more careful about my ‘foody’ choices since then.  Lately, my favorite food scented products that don’t go overboard are some be Delectable Coconut & Cream body products that were sent to us.

be Delectable Coconut & Cream body products

be Delectable Coconut & Cream body products

I previously reviewed the be Delectable Coconut & Cream Decadent Hair and Body Mist HERE, which has become a staple for me.  I love body sprays because they don’t hit you over the head like regular perfume can.  So I was pretty stoked when be Delectable sent the accompanying body products in the same scent – it is all about layering.  Coconut & Cream is a creamy coconut fragrance that is deep and heavenly, and isn’t too sweet.

be Delectable Coconut & Cream Body Scrub

be Delectable Coconut & Cream Super Smoothing Body Polish

Start off your coconutty scent fest with the Coconut & Cream Super Smoothing Body Polish ($14).   This body scrub has coconut oil and aloe vera to moisturize while finely ground apricot shells exfoliate and leave skin smooth and glowy.

be Delectable Coconut & Cream Body Wash

be Delectable Coconut & Cream Body Wash

After exfoliating, the Supremely Rich Body Wash ($10) is a wonderful shower gel.  The coconut scent in this seems even more delicious.  The body wash cleanses and hydrates with coconut oil (of course!) and aloe vera.

be Delectable Coconut & Cream Hand Cream

be Delectable Coconut & Cream Hand Cream

The Ultra Nourishing Hand Cream ($10) is a thick, supremely moisturizing lotion that really softens hands without leaving them wet or greasy.  Ingredients include mango butter, shea butter and aloe vera so it easily takes care of rough skin and cuticles.  Plus, it leaves hands delicately scented with soft coconut…just lovely.

be Delectable Vanilla and Cream Hand Cream

be Delectable Vanilla and Cream Hand Cream

what a delicous combination!

what a delicous combination!

For a truly fabulous gourmand experience, combine the Coconut & Cream and Vanilla & Cream Hand Creams…truly delicious!!

All of the be Delectable products are made by Cake Beauty and are available at Kohls.  Be sweet without smelling like breakfast…or dessert…with these super affordable and easy to find body products.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Dare to bare arms with Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

kate somerville body-glow_carton_tubeHow many of you avoid tank tops because they show your arms?  I used to have such great arms…but a few months ago I caught a glimpse in the mirror while wearing a tank top and thought, are you kidding?  That can’t be me!!  I decided no more tank tops in public.  Just forget it.  Soon after, Kate Somerville sent her Body Glow Sunscreen ($45) and suddenly tank tops in public became possible again.

Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

So everyone knows that sunscreen is a must, and this lightweight body lotion has stabilized avobenzone so it has all the broad spectrum protection I need.  This means it’s anti-aging, and it has some terrific antioxidant ingredients that fight free radicals and keep skin looking younger.  The really effective antioxidants include vitamin E, algae extract, and rosemary extract.  Body Glow Sunscreen also has caffeine for firming and improved texture with regular use.

swatch of Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

swatch of Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

The Body Glow Sunscreen has a beautifully smooth and light texture that soaks in quickly and doesn’t leave a heavy, tacky feel.  It still is a serious moisturizer, though, with mango and shea butter doing the heavy-duty dry skin repair.   The broad spectrum protection, antioxidants, lightweight texture and excellent moisturizing ability are enough to convince me…but it’s the light reflective pearls that truly sell me on this sunscreen moisturizer.  Body Glow Sunscreen gives skin a golden shimmery gleam that makes saggy, wrinkled, and unattractive and imperfect skin suddenly look fantastic.  The glow isn’t exactly natural, but it certainly isn’t overdone to disco ball proportions.

Glowing hands from my Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

Glowing hands from my Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen

The only issues with Kate Somerville Body Glow Sunscreen are the fragrance, which is a very light floral that could be an issue for those with sensitivity, and the price which is on the expensive side.  But let me assure you, you get what you pay for with this first-rate sunscreen glowtion.

If you want to keep the right to bare arms (or legs or chest or whatever you dare to bare), I highly suggest picking up this nifty body lotion that protects the skin from the sun, fights free-radicals, moisturizes and adds a beautiful glow.  – Lisa

 *sent for editorial consideration

Kate Somerville Body Glow 5

Active Ingredients:
Avobenzone, 3%; Homosalate, 7.5%; Octisalate, 5%; Octocrylene, 2.5%; Oxybenzone, 4%
Inactive Ingredients:
Water/Aqua/Eau, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Diisopropyl Dimer Dilinoleate, Propanediol, Undecylcrylene Dimethicone, Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter, Bis-PEG/PPG-20/5 PEG/PPG-20/5 Dimethicone, Methoxy PEG/PPG-25/4 Dimethicone, Dimethicone, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Ethyl Methicone, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Ethyl Ferulate, Polyglyceryl-5 Trioleate, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Disodium Uridine Phosphate, Neopentyl Glycol Diethylhexanoate, Silica, Caffeine, Glyceryl Stearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Carbomer, Aminomethyl Propanol, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, Phospholipids, Retinyl Palmitate, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Hydrolyzed Chondrus Crispus Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum), Citronellol, Geraniol, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Linalool, Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxides (77491)

Top 5 homemade skin care treatments with coconut oil

Nutiva collageSince I write about beauty for a living, I spend a lot of time researching skin care ingredients and how they affect the skin and body. I am also fascinated with ingredients that work from the inside out, like vitamins and foods that help create a strong body and a beautiful complexion.  I’ve started incorporating coconut oil into my diet in place of butter, shortening, and vegetable oil because it does three things:  1.  is easily processed by the liver into lots of energy; 2.  protects the body from infections, heart disease, and illness; and 3.  helps you lose weight.  Not only that, it tastes terrific.  So when Nutiva sent us their Coconut Oil (15 fl. oz $11.99), I was already happy – but not as happy as I became when I realized what a great ingredient it is for topical skin care.

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil - organic and sustainable

Nutiva Coconut Oil – organic and sustainable

Coconut oil is solid at lower temperatures, and liquefies at temps above 76 degrees farenheit.  I find it’s best for skin care recipes when it is at that ‘almost about to melt’ stage.  I’ve tried tons of recipes for face masks, body scrubs, face cleansers, and hair treatments, and these are my top five favorites. Be sure to use organic and raw ingredients when you can!

1.  Coconut oil hand and body scrub

1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 tablespoons honey, 1/4 cup sea salt, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Mix together and use this in the shower or just leave it next to the sink for a quick hand scrub.  It leaves hands super soft and moisturized.

2.  Moisturizing coconut oil facial mask

2 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey, 1/2 mashed avocado

Mix together and apply immediately.  Leave it on for 20 – 30 minutes then rinse off.  This gives skin a great glow!

3.  Coconut oil facial cleanser

1 tablespoon coconut oil, 2 drops tea tree oil, 2 drops lavender oil – add some lemon juice if your skin is oily or prone to blackheads

This mixture dissolves even the most tenacious makeup and leaves skin hydrated.  Be sure to avoid the eye area – use straight coconut oil to remove eye makeup.  It’s the best.

4.  Coconut oil foot scrub

3 tablespoons coconut oil, 1 tablespoon brown sugar.

After scrubbing and rinsing off this scrub, apply straight coconut oil to feet then cover with socks – in the morning your feet will be amazingly soft.

5.  Coconut oil hair mask

1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 tablespoon honey – double the recipe for long hair.  Heat the mixture up on the stove for a great hot oil treatment.  Apply to dry hair from roots to ends, cover with a shower cap and let soak in for a half hour.  Then, shampoo and condition like normal and you will be astounded at how soft and shiny your hair has become.

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Nutiva Coconut Oil

Coconut oil by itself makes a great eye cream, lip moisturizer, and makeup remover!  I particularly like Nutiva Coconut Oil because it is:

  • Organic
  • Non-GMO
  • Virgin
  • Non-hydrogenated
  • No cholesterol
  • Made from fresh coconuts

Give homemade skin care treatments a try.  It’s a lot of fun, and the results are fabulous.  With the holidays coming up, homemade skin care treatments in cute little jars make great gifts (except for the one with avocado – that has to be used immediately).  Believe me, coconut oil is going to become your best friend, both in recipes for food and in recipes for skin care.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration