Sunday, October 8, 2017

Skinnytaste Fast and Slow Cookbook | Review

If you browse your Facebook feed, you are sure to have noticed how recipes by Skinnytaste are shared and reposted a ton.  You may also be a fan of the original blog by Skinnytaste.  I got a chance to check out a copy of the Skinnytaste Fast and Slow Cookbook and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you.

{This post includes affiliate links.  Affiliate links are where I make a portion of sales from links used, which helps keep Beauty Freckled going.  Thanks for your support!}


The cookbook is broken into these sections: Healthy Mornings; Chilis, Soups and Stews; One Bowl Meals; Zoodles, Squashta, Pasta, and Sauce; Taco Night; Poultry Mains; Meat Lover Mains; Fish and Seafood Mains; Meatless Mains; On the Side; and The Sweeter Side.

The whole idea behind the cookbook is that the recipes are ones you can either make FAST (like on a weeknight or in a pinch) or in a SLOW cooker (which most still don't take long to dump in there).  Not to mention, all these recipes are healthy since that is the brain child behind Skinnytaste - big on flavor, not on your hips.

Our family made the following recipes from Skinnytaste Fast and Slow:

Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowls
My husband is a huge fan of Mexican food...to the extent that eating Chipotle doesn't scare him in the least, even after all of their negative experiences lately.  So when he said he was craving a burrito bowl, I knew just the ticket!


Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle
When my husband thumbed through the book, he picked this recipe as once he was especially interested in.  


Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle
Slow Cooker Beef Ragu with Pappardelle

Slow Cooker Hamburger Stroganoff (Hamburger Helper dupe)
Early in our living together days, we usted to make Hamburger Helper a lot.  It was quick, it was easy, and it was cheap.  Well let me tell you, this was just as easy to dump in the crock pot, didn't cost a ton, and was a hundred times more delish.  Plus it doesn't have all the cruddy additives in it.


Slow Cooker Hamburger Stroganoff
Slow Cooker Hamburger Stroganoff
Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Give my husband anything super spicy and he's in heaven, so this was one we had to try out too.  We put them on flour taco shells instead of lettuce leaves, and they still were great.  This is the great thing how you can customize any recipe in this book.

The Skinnytaste Fast and Slow Cookbook is simply amazing and I can't wait to keep cooking my way through it.  All of the recipes we tried were definite keepers, and none of them tasted "skinny" or like we were missing out.  We will definitely be working our way through this, cooking up a storm.  I plan on getting her first cookbook, The Skinnytaste Cookbook: Light on Calories, Big on Flavor, as well.  I will certainly update the blog on that one as well.

I also wanted to mention, there are a good number of vegetarian recipes in here.  I am not a huge meat eater and found these to be very adaptable as well.  For example, for the burrito bowls, I made the meat for my husband but kept mine strictly veggies.  Keep that in mind if you are vegetarian/vegan and make each recipe your own!



A huge thank you to Skinnytaste for sharing a copy of your new cookbook with me.  I can't wait to see what you come up with next!  Check out Skinnytaste's cookbooks on Amazon here and on their blog here.

Disclosure:  Skinnytaste sent me a copy of Skinnytaste Fast and Slow free of charge for my honest review.  I was not otherwise compensated, paid, etc to state my opinions or say nice things.  All my reviews are 100% honest and the above opinions are solely my own.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Summer Infant 3D lite Convenience Stroller | J.L Childress Cargo N Drinks Parent Tray

When we were planning our recent trip to Disney World in Florida, we knew even though baby Beauty was almost four when we went, all the walking was sure to wear her out.  So then we thought about stroller options.  Renting was out - germaphobe central over here wouldn't love that so much.  Bringing our Baby Jogger City Mini GT or Baby Jogger City Select was also a little scary due to possible theft.


{This post includes affiliate links.  Affiliate links are where I make a portion of sales from links used, which helps keep Beauty Freckled going.  Thanks for your support!}


Solution: An Umbrella Stroller.  Requirements: Nothing over $75, in case it did happen to get stolen, but nothing like a cheap $20 that would give baby girl no support and us backaches from bending over it.

Enter: the Summer Infant 3D lite Convenience Stroller

Stats from Summer Infant's website:
The 3D lite® Convenience Stroller is a durable stroller that has a lightweight and stylish aluminum frame and is one of the lightest and most feature rich convenience strollers on the market. With an easy to fold frame and carry strap, you can be on-the-go or stow and go with ease.


  • Durable, stylish frame (12.0 lbs) with large seat area and 5 point safety harness
  • Anti shock front wheels and lockable rear wheels
  • Multi-position recline
  • Extra large storage basket
  • Adjustable and removable canopy with flip out sun visor
  • Rear storage pocket
  • Easy compact 3-D fold w/ carry strap

  • I ordered the 3D lite in Carribean Blue on Amazon and it came with Prime in two days for only $63 (it's often advertised for $89.99) - so it fit the bill perfectly!

    Summer Infant 3D lite Stroller
    The stroller is super sturdy for the price, and our 30-ish pound daughter fits perfectly.  She isn't squished or cramped at all.  Her feet hit the footrest nicely without her knees being up in her face.  The handles are also at a great height for mom and dad (I am only 5' 0") not being super high, but not having to bend over and break our backs either.

    Storage is pretty good on the 3d lite considering it's an umbrella stroller and the basket is a nice mesh on all sides.  You can't get into the basket if the seat is all the way reclined, but I don't see that being a problem for us. 

    Side View - Summer Infant 3D lite
    A big bonus here is the carrying strap, which not all umbrella-style strollers have.  Getting on and off buses or Monorails at Disney, the carrying strap was a huge seller for us.  There is also a handle that you pull up as you hit the disengage button on the right (with your foot or hand) to fold it.  That handle came in handy to pick it up quickly and get on the bus with it.

    There are four recline positions, but we always kept it upright because baby beauty was too animated and excited in the parks to sleep!

    Summer Infant 3D lite Stroller
    The only downside might be the sunshade not being super huge, because we have been spoiled with the size of the sunshades on the Baby Jogger strollers we have.  This shade is still bigger than those on Graco strollers I've seen, or the Jeep stroller we used to have.  There is no peekaboo window to see baby either but that's a non-issue for us.

    We tried out the 3D lite several times around our block before we went to Disney and baby Beauty loved it!  By the time we went to Disney, she knew how to pull the sun shade over her head when it was too bright for her and hopped in and out easily.  Baby Beauty find it's very comfy and we are all very pleased with it.  This was definitely a great choice for the trip.

    Summer Infant's customer service is also top notch!  I ended up calling them twice as: the first stroller had two same sides of velcro to attach the sun shade; the second stroller they replaced it with had a dirty sunshade.  They replaced the first stroller completely, and replaced the shade the second time.  No questions, and they even knew who I was the second time.  Awesome service; super-friendly people on the phone.  A+ Summer Infant!

    Back of Summer Infant 3D lite - with JL Childress Console
    The stroller does come with a removable cup holder on the right side, which you can move down to the child's level as well (but can't fold it with it attached at that level, just at parent height).  We decided to add our J.L. Childress Parent Console we had on our City Select where it wasn't the best fit.  On the 3D lite it's PERFECT.  It's like it was meant to be on an umbrella stroller.  It was perfect for our waters that we brought into the parks, our EPCOT Food and Wine Passport where we could check off which kiosks we had tried, and sunglasses for Baby Beauty.

    Back of Summer Infant 3D lite stroller
    There is a pocket on the back of the stroller behind our parent console, which is plenty big for keys, cellphone, wallet, etc. if you didn't want to add the console.

    Overall, the Summer Infant 3D lite Convenience Stroller is a great fit for us and for any parent travelling, or just wanting a quicker, lighter stroller for errands that doesn't take up the whole darn trunk!

    Check out the 3D lite here on Amazon!

    Wednesday, September 20, 2017

    Maple Holistics Tea Tree Shampoo

    I was recently contacted by Maple Holistics to see if I wanted to check out their Tea Tree Shampoo.  Being more of an oily haired gal, of course I had to try it!  Tea Tree Oil is great for oily skin and hair and I used to love the Paul Mitchell Tea Tree Shampoo, so this was bound to be right up my ally!

    Maple Holistics makes products that are all made in the United States, cruelty free, sulfate free, and safe for color.

    The Tea Tree Shampoo by Maple Holistics smells amazing - I have always loved the fresh clean scent of tea tree oil so I was super excited about that aspect.  This is a great pick-me-up any time of day and really invigorates your scalp.


    The shampoo really lathered up well and left my hair soft and silky, but still super clean.  I definitely look forward to that kind of a feeling and don't like my hair being weighed down at all, so this worked out great.  Usually sulfate free shampoo doesn't lather up enough for my liking or get my hair clean enough but this one was great!

    I wish they also offered bigger bottles, because with my thicker hair I would definitely use this bottle quickly.  However, I do love that the products are all natural and holistic.  This is an area of beauty I love talking about and finding new products in, so I was so happy to find this company!
    The company has lots of different formulas for different hair textures, like one with Argan Oil if you need a bit more smoothing, Botanical Therapy for super dry hair, or the tea tree for gentle cleansing.  They also have matching shampoo and conditioner sets.

    To order Maple Holistics' Special Formula Tea Tree Shampoo, check it out here.  Shipping is free on orders over $25 which is a great deal!

    They aslo offer a subscription box that features one shampoo, one conditioner, one essential oil, and a bonus product all for $40 which is a great savings as a bundle.

    I am definately looking forward to checking out more of their products including their oils for hair and skin.

    Disclaimer: Maple Holistics sent me their Tee Tree Shampoo to try out for review purposes only.  I was not otherwise compensated or paid to write this post or to give them a positive review.  BeautyFreckled is about 100% honesty...as always.

    Monday, June 5, 2017

    Copycat Saladworks Garden Deluxe Salad

    When we used to live in New Jersey, we used to frequent a salad chain called Saladworks quite often.  Think of Panera, but just focused on salads and soups but where you can pick your ingredients from in front of you a la Subway. 

    When we moved to Massachusetts, the chain is no longer near us, but I still found myself craving their big salads and warm side rolls as a lunch or dinner substitute.  One of my favorite salads was their Garden Deluxe Salad, so I decided to recreate it at home.

    Saladworks Garden Deluxe Salad
    romaine lettuce or spring mix
    broccoli florets
    shredded carrots
    cucumber
    sun dried tomato
    pasta, whole wheat (I omitted this at home)
    dressing - I like Newman's Balsamic

    Place a layer of your desired lettuce in a large bowl.  Add broccoli, carrots, cucumber, sun dried tomato, and pasta (white or wheat) on top.  Add dressing and mix up.


    I have another favorite salad from Saladworks that I am working on recreating soon, so keep your eye out if you liked this post!

    What are your favorite soup and salad places?  Do you have a favorite at Saladworks?


    Friday, May 5, 2017

    L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation | Review & Wear Test

    Everyone and their mom has been talking about the L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Foundation.  Any surprised I had to try it?

    L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation
    Facts from the L.A. Girl site:
    PRO.coverage high-definition long wear illuminating liquid foundation is ideal for a flawless looking, full coverage finish. Lightweight formula is comfortable for all day wear. Paraben free formula with added anti-oxidants helps hydrate and improve the skin's appearance. Now available to extend the color range even further, an innovative white foundation mixer to adjust and customize color.

    Price: $7.17 [Amazon]
    Amount: 0.95 Fluid Ounce
    Shades: 16 Shades [too many to not have many darker shades though, boo]

    So lets state the obvious and get that out of the way - the L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Foundation packaging is a dupe for the Makeup Forever HD and Ultra HD bottle.  I have the regular Makeup Forever HD but never tried the Ultra HD since I heard it wasn't great for oily skin types.  Both are supposed to give a pro flawless look, and the packaging is dead on for a dupe.  I'm not sure if the L.A. Girl is really supposed to be a 100% formula dupe, but both give a satin finish (neither matte nor dewy).  L.A. Girl also has skincare benefits built in to hydrate and improve skin's appearance.  It is also paraben free (amazing).

    The line also has a White toned color which I think is pretty cool.  You can use it like the Cover FX drops to lighten a foundation you have which might be too dark.  Great for those foundations you buy online or in bad store lighting.  I actually might pick this up too since I have a lot of foundations in a summer and winter shade and see how it works!

    The shade in Light is dead-on for me, so if you know you're in my shade range (NC 20 - as per usual, see all my other comparisons below) try this one out.  I used the Real Techniques Stippling Brush to apply this and it went on beautifully.  It's not fully dewy, but I would call it more of a satin finish and is medium coverage that's buildable.  I prefer a medium coverage with a satin finish so this foundation is perfect for me!

    L.A. Girl Pro Foundation - Light
    Wear Test:  I wore this for at least six to eight hours each time I tested it and it really held its weight.  It wasn't breaking down a lot and I didn't look greasy even without primer or setting spray.  This is definitely one of my top drugstore foundations now and has found its way into my eDiva foundation Drawer (which holds my faves and go-to's).  Powders I tried with it so far are the Maybelline Better Skin and Laura Mercier Loose Translucent Powder.

    L.A. Girl Pro Foundation - Light
    I also have the L.A. Girl Pro Concealer which is super amazing but I need to get it in a lighter shade.

    What's On My Face
    Maybelline Better Skin Powder - Nude Beige 25
    Maybelline Fit Me Concealer - Light 20
    Milani Baked Blush - Corallina
    L’Oréal Telescopic - Black
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My Foundation Shade Comparisons:
    MAC -- NC 20-25

    MAC Studio Fix Powder -- NC30
    Makeup Forever HD -- 130 Warm Ivory
    Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation -- Light 48
    Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation -- Medium 52
    Urban Decay Naked -- 3.0
    Bare Minerals -- Medium Beige N20

    Tarte Amazonian Clay  Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation -- Light-Medium Neutral
    Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation -- Light
    Revlon Colorstay Combo/Oily -- Sand Beige 180 [winter] / Medium Beige 240 [summer]
    Revlon Colorstay Whipped -- Medium Beige 250
    Neutrogena Healthy Skin -- Nude
    Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear -- Nude 40
    Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation -- Nude 40

    L.A. Girl Pro Coverage Liquid Foundation - Light
    Rimmel Long Lasting 25H Foundation -- Ivory 100 [winter] / Nude Beige 200 [summer]
    Maybelline Fit Me! Matte - Nude Beige 125
    Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse -- Nude (Light 4)
    Maybelline Dream Smooth -- Nude Beige 180

    Maybelline Dream Wonder -- Nude 40
    L'Oréal Magic Nude -- Natural Buff 318
    L'Oréal True Match -- N3 Natural Buff

    L'Oréal True Match Lumi Cushion -- N2 Classic Ivory

    e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation SPF 15 -- Sand [winter] / Buff [summer]
    CoverGirl Outlast Stay Luminous -- Buff Beige 825
    CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 -- Nude Beige 832

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    Toddler Easter Basket [NO Candy] | Easter 2017

    Here is what Baby Beauty got in her 2017 Easter basket...


    Moana DVD/Blu-ray
    We just got a BluRay player plus these Disney DVDS usually come with the coupon code for the digital download.  We don't give Little Beauty the iPad often, but we do travel on long car rides to our parents so we use it for that.

    Moana Plush Doll
    Kept with the slightly Moana theme - this was just too darn cute!  Baby Beauty hasn't wanted to put this down and she didn't even finish the movie yet!

    Moana Follow Your Heart Color and Activity Book with Stickers
    Again, a little something for the Moana theme

    Disney Frozen Memory Game
    Beauty loves a little game of Memory that came in her Highlights magazine that has different dressed up snowmen.  She lays them all out herself and calls them her "tickets" and always asks to play.  Since they are paper, they are about falling apart at this time.  She loves Frozen so this game was perfect! 

    Sesame Street Paint with Water Activity Book - Elmo Imagines
    I saw this on a YouTube channel I watch and since Beauty loves Sesame Street, and especially Elmo, right now I thought this would be perfect.

    The Eleventh Hour book
    I remembered this book from when I was younger, and even though Beauty is a little young for it, I thought she would love the illustrations (what the author is known for) and she could grow into it.  If you haven't seen this book, the book is a game that you need to solve.  It's kind of like Clue but with animals instead of people.  The clues are very cleverly hidden in the pictures and story.

    Strega Nona book
    This is another book I remembered from when I was younger, and loved all the spaghetti!  Little One got a kick out of it too!

    Other Ideas:
    Puzzles
    Paints
    Crayons
    Craft Supplies
    Play Doh

    Saturday, April 8, 2017

    e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation SPF 15 | Foundation Review


    Every beauty guru raves about the e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation and how it really does give a super flawless finish.  Well of course I had to check it out!  The first color I got, Buff, was too dark for me and looked a bit muddy, so I ordered the lighter shade, Sand, at Target and it's much more my winter shade {see my shade comparisons below}.


    e.l.f. Flawless Finish Foundation SPF 15
    From the e.l.f. site:
    This full-coverage and oil-free formula blends in naturally for a beautiful semi-matte finish.
    The foundation includes UVA/UVB SPF 15 sun protection to protect your skin.
    Price: $6 [Target]
    Amount: 0.68 ounces
    Shades: 10 on e.l.f. website [6 at Target]
    SPF: 15

    This foundation reminded me a lot of the Rimmel 25H Foundation [see my full review here] in that it felt super heavy and weird at first before I learned you need to use a super light hand with it.  It's pretty full coverage right from the get go and easily gets overdone.

    I found this is best applied with a damp beautyblender or Real Techniques sponge or even your fingers.  Both ways are much preferable over a brush (I used a Real Techniques foundation brush and didn't like it every time I applied it with that).


    e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation
    Average drugstore foundations usually come with 1 fluid once.  For $6 you're getting a little bit less foundation than you normally would get, however, that's a huge deal because many drugstore foundations can run $8 upwards of $13.  Considering that, the price point isn't terrible.


    e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation

    Wear Test:
    I wore this for five to eight hours each time and I enjoyed the way it looked a lot.  I think it wore down nicely but wasn't breaking up or making me super oily.  The only dislike was that its a heavier feeling foundation - in that I can feel it on my skin more than other foundations.  The look of it makes up for that though and I will be keeping these around!

    What Else is on My Face:
    Elf Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Finishing Powder - Fair/Light
    NYX Blush - Dusty Rose
    L'Oréal Telescopic Mascara - Blackest Black
    I Envy by Kiss Wing it Gel Eyeliner with Stencil - Black (review coming soon)
    Rimmel Stay Glossy Lipgloss - Blushing Belgraves

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    My Foundation Shade Comparisons:
    MAC -- NC 20-25

    MAC Studio Fix Powder -- NC30
    Makeup Forever HD -- 130 Warm Ivory
    Kat Von D Lock-It Tattoo Foundation -- Light 48
    Kat Von D Lock-It Powder Foundation -- Medium 52
    Urban Decay Naked -- 3.0
    Bare Minerals -- Medium Beige N20

    Tarte Amazonian Clay  Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation -- Light-Medium Neutral
    Sephora Collection Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation -- Light
    Revlon Colorstay Combo/Oily -- Sand Beige 180 [winter] / Medium Beige 240 [summer]
    Revlon Colorstay Whipped -- Medium Beige 250
    Neutrogena Healthy Skin -- Nude
    Neutrogena Nourishing Long Wear -- Nude 40
    Neutrogena Mineral Sheers Powder Foundation -- Nude 40

    Rimmel Long Lasting 25H Foundation -- Ivory 100 [winter] / Nude Beige 200 [summer]
    Maybelline Fit Me! Matte - Nude Beige 125
    Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse -- Nude (Light 4)
    Maybelline Dream Smooth -- Nude Beige 180

    Maybelline Dream Wonder -- Nude 40
    L'Oréal Magic Nude -- Natural Buff 318
    L'Oréal True Match -- N3 Natural Buff

    L'Oréal True Match Lumi Cushion -- N2 Classic Ivory

    e.l.f. Studio Flawless Finish Foundation SPF 15 -- Sand [winter] / Buff [summer]
    CoverGirl Outlast Stay Luminous -- Buff Beige 825
    CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 -- Nude Beige 832