February Birchbox

Okay, I know I’ve been complaining all winter that we haven’t had much snow but after those few 60 degree days, this recent storm has me really psyched for Spring.

You can imagine my excitement when I opened this month’s Birchbox to find this adorable pink box and a collection of fresh & floral smelling products.


  1. Terax Hair Care Original Crema
  2. Liquid Freud Body Wash by Not Soap, Radio
  3. BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm by ARROW – Birchbox Exclusive
  4. Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizer
  5. Emelia Eau de Parfum by TOCCA

First impression: Woohoo! Big samples! It may mean I get fewer products but that’s fine by me. I love when I get slightly bigger samples, especially with conditioner because I use them so frequently. I can’t wait to try out this conditioner because it smells amazing and I am always rotating my hair care products.


I’m also curious to try the body wash because I get super dry skin in the winter and am very particular about my soap. So far I’ve had the best luck with bars but this quirky cute wash claims to tend to your zen & emotional well-being. We shall see!

The Emelia perfume sample was pretty much an all around win because a) I have a pre-existing obsession with the name Emelia, b) the perfume description is adorable and c) the scent is the perfect balance between depth and light. It reminds me of getting dressed up for a garden party. I really love that Birchbox does such a good job of matching my profile preferences.


I also tried out the Naobay moisturizer. First off- I love that it’s organic and made from natural ingredients. I’m crunchy like that. It has a slightly citrus-y scent and was surprisingly lightweight.

However, I tried it out on my face and I didn’t love it. I’m used to using coconut oil as my sole facial moisturizer so this had a comparatively clay-like feel. That being said, it doesn’t have a greasy finish and the description suggests for it to be used as makeup base, which I think would work well. Bonus points for making my sandpaper hands soft and sweet smelling.

The most intriguing product in my opinion is the Arrow Lip Balm. At first glance I wasn’t super interested in it because I’ve kind of sworn off chap stick in an attempt to remedy my always-chapped lips. However, when I read the description I was instantly anxious to try it out. “This superhydrating formula adjusts to your pH, enhancing each wearer’s natural lip color to create the perfect hue.” I KNOW. Awesome.


After the wine lip, the natural, looks-like-I-just-finished-a-great-makeout-session lip is my favorite. It added a slightly pinker hue to my lip and now, hours after I put it on, it’s still moist. (Sorry.)


In addition, you can layer it for more color and it’s vegan/paraben/gluten/cruelty free. As if I didn’t already have reason to love it.

Have you guys tried any of these products before? What do you think of them?

Stay current with me on instagram: theastcoaster!



Berry Banana Bread & Work Day Lunches

When it comes to cooking, I tend to use recipes as more of a suggestion. I think it’s a combination of never having all the right ingredients, not wanting to refer back to a recipe when I’m covered in goop, and always looking for short cuts. Maybe that means I’ll never be a gourmet chef, but I stay well fed and don’t spend too much time doing the dishes so it’s all fine by me.

I also believe there’s some truth in the principle of simplifying your way to healthy. The fewer ingredients, the closer to nature. Or something like that. Admittedly I’m kind of a skeptic when it comes to processed foods so I like dishes that don’t have too many processed ingredients and are easy to remember. (I could just be lazy.)

Yesterday I took a look around my kitchen and decided to make Berry Banana Bread. The majority of it is made up of fruit, so it doesn’t dry out and it’s not too bad as far as sweets go. Here’s how I made it — follow my recipe – or do your own thing. This is a judgement free-blog. 🙂


– 4 over ripe bananas
– 1 big handful of fresh blueberries
– 1 handful (5-ish) ripe strawberries
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/2 whole wheat flour (that’s all I had. You can use whatever flour your heart desires.)
– 1 egg
– 1 tbs coconut oil

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees
2. Mash and mix all the ingredients together in a big mixing bowl.
3. Pour into a greased pan. (I used an 8X4 bread pan but I had a bit of trouble with a runny middle so I’d suggest something more spread out.)
4. Cook for 40~ minutes. Check in about half way through and see how things are going. Adjust accordingly.
5. Let cool and enjoy so much that you check my blog religiously for updates

While the bread was baking and the kitchen was still a mess I prepped my breakfast and lunch for the next day. I personally can’t eat right when I wake up so I pack my breakfast and eat at work – usually 2-2.5 hours after I get up.


Most days I just have fruit for breakfast. Sometimes I have fruit and a smoothie. (Coffee goes with out saying.) Here in the bottom container I have 2 clementines, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 kiwi, 1 grapefruit, and 5 strawberries. I always try to eat a variety and I buy whatever’s in season.


I know what some of you are thinking. All that fruit every day? That’s so much sugar! It’s got to be fattening. I don’t like the idea of diets or too many rules with eating but one thing I’ve stuck with is that I will never limit myself when it comes to fruit and veggies. They are so full of vitamins and nutrients and I’ve never had any problems bingeing on the good stuff.

I always eat my fruits and veggies before the rest of my meal and not only do I fill up on the healthiest ingredients first, but I’ve also found that eating more fruit has totally kept my sweet tooth in check. If you want to know more about the benefits of eating fruit for breakfast, I would highly recommend checking out the book The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder.

I usually have lunch a little after noon. For this one I made a cucumber, avocado and tomato sandwich with tomato basil hummus, on a roll. A new grocery store opened up right by my apartment and the bakery is located right by the front door so I’ve started buying the freshly baked (super cheap) bread and I haven’t looked back since. I highly recommend the switch.

In addition, I packed 2 grapeleaves (photographed with breakfast,) which I picked up from the deli and some multi-grain tortilla chips – ’cause I like a little crunch with my lunch.


I can’t say that I’m perfect but I do my best to stay meat and dairy free during the day and pack in as many fresh ingredients as I can. That way, when I come home exhausted and finish a whole loaf of berry banana bread in one sitting, I don’t feel as bad. 🙂

Hope you all have a wonderful week! Don’t forget to find me on instagram: @theastcoaster