The NEW California Grill at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a food post, huh? Well…food at a restaurant post. My paleo and dairy free life makes eating out out super tricky and so I tend to just eat at home. But during a press trip, I was offered the opportunity to visit the brand new California Grill.

California Grill

As a Florida native I’ve stayed at the Contemporary Resort and I’ve eaten at California Grill before. Both visits were years ago so I was beyond excited to see how California Grill revamped themselves. The new decor is amazing and the floor to ceiling windows are even more amazing.

Cali-Grill-Dining-Room

That’s a press photo from DisneyFoodBlog.com but honey, isn’t it beautiful? I love open kitchen restaurants because if you’re nosey like me, you can run on up and see what’s a cookin’. Or am I the only one that does that? I spent a lot of time hanging out by the sushi bar.

Sushi bar

I’ve been eating a lot of sushi these days and the California Grill’s sushi bar is top notch. Sushi artists (or at least they should be called that) wrapped up gorgeous and delectable rolls of some of the best tasting sushi I’ve ever had. I helped myself to plenty and didn’t feel guilty about it either.

Sushi on plate

But aside from the sushi, the restaurant offers a variation of top notch entrees, cocktails, desserts and fantastic meals from their brand new wood fire oven. Vegetarians, vegans, paeleo minded and the dairy conscious won’t have any problems dining at California Grill as the menu options are diverse and fresh. I couldn’t help myself and had a baby version of the Caramel Popcorn sundae and I could not have asked for a better sweet treat to end the day.

Sweet treat

One of the best sweetest aspects of California Grill is getting the opportunity to view Magic Kingdom’s Wishes fireworks show from outside on the observation walkway. I left before the fireworks started but I’ll be back because I heard that was truly a sight to see.

If you think you’ll be visiting the Walt Disney World area soon, make a reservation at California Grill. Esposo and I have a wedding anniversary in November and I’m thinking this would be the perfect place to re-live the very night we became man and wife. By the way, we spent the night at Disney World. :wink:

 

Disclosure: I was provided samples of dishes at no cost but I was not paid to write this review. I would have written it anyway though because everything was THAT good and I’m obsessed with Disney. Yep.

5 Cruelty-Free Brands That You Have To Check Out

Cruelty Free Beauty

The Makeup Wars crew is back and this time we’re highlighting our favorite cruelty-free products. I have my own theories about what “cruelty-free” actually means but I’ll save my rant for another day. I do know that there are many of you cruelty-free lovers out there so I know that you guys and gals will love this post. And so without further ado, check out 5 of my favorite cruelty-free brands.

Tarte Cosmetics

It’s no surprise, is it? I love me some Tarte. From their skincare products, to their lippies and liners, everything that Tarte releases impresses me. And it’s not just the quality of the products either. The packaging of all of their beauty goodies ALWAYS rocks. The Tarte team clearly thinks about branding and they rock. If you like higher-end cosmetics with a “natural” spin to it, you’ve got to check out Tarte Cosmetics.

NYX Cosmetics

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Girl yes. I love me some NYX. Where else will you get affordable makeup, that is great quality and easy to find? And what other brand releases an entire collection of just mascara? Yeah. NYX will always have my heart.

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

OCC Lip Tars

I’ve been rollin’ on the OCC train for quite some time. Saying I’m obsessed with them would be just a little too cheesy but it’s certainly accurate. This brand is not for the weak. If you love supporting semi-indie brands and aren’t afraid of color, mixin’ and being BOLD, OCC is the way to go. I can’t waiiiiiiit to stop by their booth at The Makeup Show Orlando later this month.

St. Ives

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I’m a total skincare snob but I am open to using any brand as long as they are low in fragrances, dyes and synthetic crap. And that’s why I love St. Ives. They have recently reformulated a lot of their products and they are even more amazing. Three words: Green Tea Scrub.

[NOTE: Welllll, it looks like St. Ives may not be cruelty-free anymore but to be safe, check out the brand Desert Essence. They are definitely cruelty-free and one of my favorite skincare brands!]

Salma Hayek NUANCE

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I love love looooove this CVS-exclusive brand. Their skincare products are pretty awesome but so are their cosmetics too. And it’s a brand that caters to brown girls so the pigmentation of their shadows, lippies and blushes are dead on. Woot!

Check out some of the other cruelty-free brands and products of my Makeup Wars girls.

China Glaze Sunsational nail polish collection, part II

If you missed my feature of the first 6 polishes of this gorgeous summery collection, check it out here. I am now back with the other 6!

China Glaze Sunsational nail polish

And there are mooooar jellies. Woot!

China Glaze Bottoms Up

Bottoms Up is a typical bubblegum pink. There isn’t anything crazy unique about it. Most nail polish companies will launch a pink like it in their summer collections. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, ya know?

China Glaze That's Shore Bright

That’s Shore Bright is a purple creme. It is far more fantastic in real life and if you love purple nail polishes, you pretty much need this one in your life. I kinda want a car this color. Don’t ask…

China Glaze Too Yacht To Handle

Too Yacht To Handle is a pretty teal that almost looks like a minty green version of China Glaze’s For Audrey. They could definitely be fraternal twins.

China Glaze Shell-O

Shello-O is a juicy coral pink and it’s a pretty jelly that would look stunning when paired with any kind of glitter.

China Glaze Highlight of my Summer

Highlight of My Summer is a mellow mint green creme. It almost looks like a spring-y shade and it’s a bit difficult to apply. Still pretty if you can manage applying a good 2-3 coats.

China Glaze Heat Index

Heat Index is a bright pink jelly. Yep, another jelly. It’s got a little more umph than Shello-O but jelly lovers will probably want both. Tell your wallet I apologize.

The collection altogether…

China Glaze Sunsational

You can still find this collection anywhere China Glaze polishes are sold..Sally Beauty Supply, ULTA Beauty and online retailers.

Any other jelly lovers in the house? I so wish I was creative enough to do some cool things with jellies. But unfortunately I’m far too lazy. Ha!

That Time I Had a Spa Weekend At Disney World.

SPA

‘Scuse me for my disappearing act. I had a fantastic spa weekend at Walt Disney World. I posted about it on Instagram and I am seriously re-living every second. Disney knows how to treat a gal and I am counting down the days until I visit the Senses spa again.

Give me a few days, mkay? I’ll be around on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook but my thoughts are mush right now so forming a complete blog post may be challenging.

Ciao loves!

The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 101

China Glaze Are You Jelly?

Phyrra – says have a drink with the new Literary Lacquers Literary Liquors Collection.

we heart this – has the one case where picking your face is ok; it’s
Boscia’s Peel Off Face Masks.

Beauty Junkies Unite – See if Jordana’s new 12HR Made To Last eyeshadow pencils can really go the distance!

Chalkboard Nails – Honey, fly on over and check out this graphic bee nail art!

Clumps of Mascara – is holding onto summer a little bit by rockin’ those beautiful bright shades from China Glaze’s Sunsational collection.

EauMG – reviews a soft, citrus scent by Cartier.

Gouldylox Reviews – Can a makeover happen in a minute? Check out this speedy tutorial using a beautiful palette from Eve Pearl.

Lipglossiping – grabs the hair by the, err, root and gets to grips with all things tweezery!

My Beauty Bunny – Tired of razor bumps and irritation from shaving? Bikini Soft Smooth Shave Oil can change all that and we’re hosting an Instant Win Giveaway so you can have smooth, soft skin too!

Nouveau Cheap – It’s been a while since my last makeup brush review, but this one is so wonderful (and inexpensive) that it deserves some praise.

Prime Beauty – dishes about her favorite beauty oils for face, skin and hair in the latest Makeup Wars: Battle of the Best Beauty Oils!

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Phyrra – Phyrra loves Mandy’s blog, Pretty Making. She always has lovely looks, beautiful swatches and great reviews. Mandy found a great affordable cruelty-free dupe for Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer, the Palladio Beauty Herbal Foundation Primer.

Question of the Week:

What is your all-time favorite blush shade?

B says, “Girl. MAC’s Sweet As Cocoa is like THEE brown girl’s shade. It’s so lovely.”

Do you have a favorite blush shade?

 

See you next week!

Ma Mi Skincare: The Skincare Line For Mamas

A skincare brand for pregnant and nursing mamas? Holllllahhhh. I was sent some samples from the all natural Ma Mi skincare brand a while back and I am just now playin’ with them.

MaMi Skincare

No one tells who how much your skincare regimen has to change when you become pregnant. I’ve always had a pretty natural-centric skincare routine  and even after I found out I was pregnant, I found myself tweaking it some more. I so wish I had known about Ma Mi Skincare then. This Central Florida based skincare brand has such wonderful products!

MaMi Skincare cleanser

MaMiReawaken

-Hydrates skin
-Removes make-up and debris
-Prepares skin for exfoliation and moisturizer

Ingredients: Purified Water, Olive Oil Castile, Vegetable Glycerin, Rose Hip Seed Oil, Oil of Kumquat, Seaweed Extracts.

MaMiExfoilator

-Reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
-Shed dead skin
-Improves oily and problematic skin

Ingredients: Purified Water, Glycolic Acid.

MaMiMoisturizer

-Moisturizes, hydrates and oxygenates
-Nourishes and slows the aging process
-Keeps skin smooth and flexible – Improves dry skin

Ingredients: Purified Water, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Laureth-7, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

MaMiNightshift

-A 42% improvement in skin smoothness and texture
-An observable reduction of dark circles and puffiness
-Enhances skin smoothness and firmness around eyes
-Reduces dark circle and puffiness around eyes

Ingredients: Purified Water, Jojoba Oil, Apricot Kernel Oil, Squalane, Hyaluronic Acid, Polyacrylamide, Laureth-7, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin.

 

All of the ingredients are free of dyes and fragrances and  gentle to use throughout pregnancy (obvs) and while nursing. I’m lovin’  this line and I think it’ll make a perfect gift the new mama or mama-to-be in your life.

Who needs more money for beauty splurges? I dooooo!

Times are hard yo. But I don’t have to tell you that. Those gas prices keep climbing and the cost of spinach these days are crazy. Fo reals. I’ve become even more frugal (which I thought was impossible) by doing little things like putting Elle in cloth diapers and cutting my cable. I am also a HUGE proponent of shopping at thrift stores. I was doing it before it became popular in a song. Ha! And I’m all about selling items I don’t use to get some cash. Like those old CDs that I have from the 90’s…yeah. Those can go. I’ve practically gone digital when it comes to listening to music so who needs a CD?

Magpie does!

DVDs

If you’ve got a stash of CDs and DVDS that are just collecting dust, you could be sitting on a goldmine. I’m serious! Selling your old unwanted goods online can have you racking in some money, honey. And even if it isn’t a significant amount, who doesn’t want to get $10 from movies that you’ll probably never watch again?

Magpie is cool because it’s simple and it costs you nothing to ship your CDs and DVDs out to them. There isn’t any wondering about how much you’ll get paid because after putting in barcode information, you instantly get a price as to what your item is worth. Esposo and I already have a stack of DVDs that we’re going to go through to see if we can sell ‘em and get some extra money.

I think I can survive without watching Home Alone 2 on DVD again. And I’m pretty sure it’s on Netflix sooo yeahhhh.

Anyone else thinkin’ about saving money by selling CDs and DVDs?

 

*This post contains a paid link.

China Glaze Sunsational collection, part I

I can’t believe it’s almost already fall. Eek! I have to quickly crank out this review before the leaves start droppin’ on me. China Glaze always knows how to release a stellar summer nail polish collection and Sunsational isn’t any less. I received these babies for review and these are the first 6.

China Glaze Sunsational collection

Oh! And the best part…a lot of them have jelly finishes. *squeals*

 

China Glaze Sun of a Peach

Sun of a Peach is a gorgeous peachy creme. I don’t own anything like it. Sure, it took 4 coats to reach an opaque finish but whatever. It’s gorgeous!

China Glaze Are You Jelly?

Are You Jelly? Is a purple jelly that you basically need. Yeah, I said it. You NEED this one. Especially if you love purple nail polishes as much as I do. She’s super sheer so you’ll need 3-4 coats to get an opaque finish but she’s fantastic with layering a glitter in between. It’s such a stunning purple!

China Glaze Keepin' It Teal

Keepin’ It Teal is a turquoise jelly that surprised me! I thought for sure this one was going to stain my nails but it didn’t! I usually don’t wear turquoise polishes because they are notorious for staining the nails. I love this one. Another 3-4 coat wonder but it’s a stunning turquoise that has a beautiful application.

China Glaze You Drive Me Coconuts

You Drive Me Coconuts is an insanely bright and hot pink creme. It isn’t as jelly-fied as the other polishes but it’ll still require 3-4 coats. It is so so bright and pretty and will make the perfect pedicure color.

China Glaze Isle See You Later

Isle See You Later is a marine blue that has a hard time reaching an opaque finish. Which sucks because I would have loved for this one to work. I applied 5 coats and this one just wouldn’t work for me. Ah well…can’t win ‘em all, huh? The formula of this one seems to be a bit on the watery side compared to the others.

China Glaze Neon & On & On

Neon & On & On is between baby girl pink and coral. It’s not my favorite shade of the bunch because I found that it applied unevenly. It isn’t a creme and it isn’t quite a jelly so the formula was a bit challenging to work with. And I’m not sure how flattering it is on my nails.

I’ve got 6 more of these to review so stay tuned but in the meantime if you just have to buy these ASAP (can’t blame you), you can snag ‘em anywhere at Sally Beauty Supply, ULTA and anywhere China Glaze polishes are sold for about $3.99 a bottle.

See any that you like?