St. Patrick's Day and March Birchbox

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!!

Yeah, I know, I’m late. Sue me. I fell asleep at 7:30 yesterday, and slept straight through to this morning….go me. So St. Patrick’s Day has been extended, mmmkay?

And this is the best I can do with a holiday Zoe photo.

See her green toes?

Anyway.

I think somewhere in my family tree I actually am Irish, but it’s pretty far back. I don’t care. I’ve really gotten into holidays, so this is the year of celebrating. Jimmie isn’t quite as thrilled about this as I am….(you’ll have to click on the picture to make it bigger – sorry)

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And yes, I called him the Antichrist. I apologize if this offends anyone.

In true Irish spirit, I made corned beef and cabbage in the crockpot. We also had brussel sprouts and mashed potatoes. I was going to make healthy Shamrock Shakes for dessert, but that didn’t happen.

I’d never made corned beef and cabbage before, but it turned out fairly well! I started with a recipe, and modified it based on what I had….or didn’t have.

Crock Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage

  • 3-4 lb corned beef brisket (I used flat cut) and spice packet
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 medium cabbage,sliced into wedges

The recipe called for dark beer, but we didn’t have any, and our grocery store didn’t have any singles. So, we skipped it. I’d had the thought that if it started looking dry I’d add some cola…it didn’t look dry, so I didn’t add the cola.

Anyway, put the brisket and its spice packet in the crock pot, and throw the onions, carrots, and garlic in on top. Whisk together the vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, cloves, and pepper, and pour over everything. Snug the cabbage wedges around the brisket.

I actually put everything together in my pot the night before, then put it in the fridge overnight. So in the morning, Jimmie left the crock out at room temperature for about half an hour (go ahead, yell at me about having meat out…I dare you), then cooked it on high for 4-5 hours. You could do it on low for 7-8 if you prefer.

Super easy, and delicious, though the cabbage was a bit tangy. Better than I expected, but I’m not sure I’d add the cabbage again…just don’t think I’m a huge cabbage fan. And really, this was super salty. I’m guessing that was the brisket seasonings? I didn’t add any salt, so who knows.

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If anyone would like to send me pretty new plates, I’d be happy to provide my address…

Moving on…time for decorations. I didn’t have time to make a leprechaun trap. Maybe next year….but I did hand letter a wood block, which I was pretty proud of.

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I’m still not convinced about these flowers. What do you guys think?

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Also, see that lion and lamb? You should have seen it before. Oh wait. Here it is.

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Amazing what a little spray paint can do. And I’m not even that good at spray painting.

I’m already thinking about Easter….because I’ve got some time, and I’ve got to make our house bunny-topia. Jimmie’s never going to know what hit him.

I also tried to do a festive clover manicure, but I screwed it up horribly. Well, first, I tried using my one Butter London nail polish, and I’m just not a fan. Formula was fine, but after two coats it looked like grass. Not the pretty spring green I was going for. Because I was lazy, I decided to just paint over it, so here it is mid-cover up….

Butter "Tosh" on the pointer, Pure Ice "Free Spirit" on the other two.

Butter “Tosh” on the pointer, Pure Ice “Free Spirit” on the other two.

I started off painting my ring finger white (another Pure Ice color, don’t remember the name), then used Julep Mackenzie for the horrible clover. I didn’t take a picture of it, but imagine a paint splatter and you get the idea. So then I just made that entire nail Mackenzie. I’m not thrilled with the finished look, but surprisingly it hasn’t chipped. Maybe 6 coats of polish is the trick…..

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I also wore lots of green. Green cardigan, green earrings, and a green bracelet. I promise it looks better than it sounded. Didn’t get a picture because, well…I passed out.

So how was your St. Patrick’s Day?

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for…..March Birchbox!!!!!!

So, ok….I got an email to upgrade my subscription to yearly for $99. I thought, sure ok, that’s a pretty good deal….then went to do it, and it’s going to charge me tax. What?? I emailed Birchbox to find out why, and apparently now there’s a facility in TN so they have to charge sales tax…but I don’t get charged on my monthly sub because when I signed up there was no facility. Ok, decision made. Not switching.

I say all this to say…my box was “born” in Mt. Juliet, 2ish hours away from me, on March 5th. And then where did it go? Indiana. WHY??? I wish I knew. I stopped tracking it after 2 days in Indiana. It didn’t get here to me until March 13th. Yes, well within the time it was supposed to. But come on! I could have picked the stupid thing up!!!

Anyway, I finally got my box, and I was less than thrilled when I opened it…but that happens sometimes, so I tried to reserve judgement. I’m usually not impressed because I’ve usually never heard of half the products. But, I think every box I’ve ended up loving at least one thing in there. This month is no different.

0312142210bCurly Hair Solutions Curl Keeper: I had high hopes for this, I really did. I followed the directions, even though I was super skeptical. My hair is wavy, not curly, and I’ve learned that combing it out means I’m going to get scraggly, not wavy. But, this said to comb it and put the solution in. So I tried. The result was….scraggly. And crunchy. So I tried it again, without combing, just putting it on like I normally use product (scrunching it through my hair). The result was slightly better, but still crunchy and hard. Not a winner. The sample size is great though – but the packaging was a tear off, which means there’s no way to save it or give it to someone else.

Coola Tinted Matte SPF 30: I’ve liked all the Coola products I’ve gotten, and this one is no exception. It’s not very pigmented, which is nice – it’d be perfect for the beach. It also doesn’t feel gross on your skin. I wore this hiking and my skin looked awesome all day, so I’m definitely considering this for my 30th birthday beach bash trip to Mexico! (Oh wait, just realized I haven’t told you about that….OOPS.) My only complaint is the Coola samples never seem full – they’re mostly air in the tubes.

Vasanti BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvenator: I already use a microdermabrasion from Mary Kay, so I was pretty familiar with what to expect. This one is really gentle, and smells fruity. I like it a lot, but since I have some, I won’t be buying it.

Mighty Leaf Tea Pouches: I don’t remember what I got, and I’m too lazy to go look. I’m kinda bummed though – these are loose teas, and I don’t have a tea infuser because I don’t really drink tea. I’ll have to find a friend for these. They look nice, too. I know a lot of people are pissed because they keep getting tea, but whatever…I got 4 other things in my box, so if they want to send me some tea it’s not an issue.

Air Repair Rescue Balm All-Purpose Skin Salve and Lip Balm: I watched the sneak peak, so I was really excited to try this. And OMG it’s amazing. Like, I might actually buy it. I’ve been using it on my lips, and it feels so incredibly good. Love love love it. Super hydrating without being greasy.

Ghirardelli Intense Dark Cherry Tango: I’m not a cherry fan, but I am a chocolate fan…so I ate this right away. It was actually better than I was expecting. Would I buy it? No, but I appreciate getting chocolate.

I finally looked at my profile, and I’ve got the box next to “organic and natural products” marked, so that explains all the “crap-free” products. I love that, so I think I’m going to keep it marked. I’ve also got the “products for my home” box marked, and I’m wondering if that’s why I keep getting tea.

All in all, I’m still happy with my Birchboxes, though I wish they’d get here sooner!

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