Saturday, May 14, 2016

Acai Bowls

Lisa VanWilliams
Acai (pronounced ah-sah-EE) Bowls have become very popular over the past few years and unless you have been to Brazil or been hiking around Hawaii, you probably have not had the opportunity to try one of these. You can easily make your own variety of this healthy breakfast bowl in your own home. The acai berry is a delicious fruit packed with tons of health benefits. A typical acai bowl is a mix of berries, and then it's topped with oatmeal/granola, fruit, peanut butter or almond butter, and whatever other healthy goodies you may want to load on top. People use a variety of things like flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, fresh fruit, dried fruits, honey, coconut, goji berries, cacao nibs, and nuts. Others like to add in coconut water/milk, almond milk, soy milk, juice, or frozen bananas.

Acai berries are full of antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. It is a cross between a blueberry and a grape and they are said to have a chocolate/exotic cocoa taste. They are harvested from the Amazon River Basin of South America.

There are a few places in Connecticut you can find these, and one of them is a food truck in Madison, CT called Bowl'd Creations (Facebook page: and they are getting great reviews. Otherwise, you can find acai bowls at juice bars or smoothie spots.

Whole Foods sells a 4-pack of single serve acai for $6.99. These are a healthy, delicious snack for anytime of day.

Here's the mix we used:

2 acai packs
2 frozen bananas
1 cup+ almond milk

coconut shavings
fresh pineapple, strawberries
and I added some almond butter to mine

Friday, May 13, 2016

Parrot Polish

Review by Lisa VanWilliams

If you are looking for some fun hot summer colors you need to check out Parrot Polish. They have 107 insanely unique colors to pick from and they have options like thermal, flake polish, glow in the dark, and multi chrome. Color names like: Hocus Pocus, Hon-Cho Lo, Red Crayfish, and Key Lime just sounds like a party for my nails waiting to happen. They are 100% cruelty free and 5-Free maker, plus you would be supporting various charities and organizations. Prices range from $7-$11 depending on color/effect.

Parrot Polish was started in 2014 by David and his wife Sonja due to his wifey's love & addiction for polish. David is Truck Driver by trade out of Florida and told me he "Drives all night, Parrot all day", and I thought that was pretty inspiring. They got their name and inspiration because they also have a love for Parrots and Parakeets and they wanted to create a way in which they could contribute to charities and rescues. David does not limit his donations to just birds, he has recently made donations to Police charities and children's causes.

David was kind enough to send me 3 colors to check out for myself. I tried Hocus Pocus, Back From The Dead Red, and Ocean Currents.

I also asked David what his 3 most popular colors are with his customers right now and they are all thermal polishes:
#1) Black Magic
#2) Sea Foam
#3) Tranquil Water

The thermals are really cool and they change color before your eyes...great fun for tweens and adults!! So if you haven't tried any out yet, order some from Parrot Polish and you won't be disappointed.

Back From The Dead Red
Back From The Dead Red is a multichrome with a gold, purple to copper hue. It's very reflective and it changes colors as you move like an ever changing shiny rainbow..very cool & different.

Ocean Currents is a green to blue thermal polish and Hocus Pocus (one of my fav Halloween movies, I had to) is a green to purple flake polish.

Sonja also hand makes little heart soaps that come in the shipping boxes sometimes (what a treat!). They help with packing by keeping the bottles secure from moving around while being mailed.

The polishes go on smoothly and it has full coverage in two coats. The quality is really nice. I originally came across the brand when my niece (a self-proclaimed nail polish addict & hoarder) recently posted a picture on social media. I would recommend the brand. It's fun, new, different, and the color options are plentiful!

Parrot Polish has just started selling to Singapore and Russia. He is actually running a contest in Russia to see who can do the best hand drawn nail parrot. He says there is incredible nail art talent there. So, you can follow them on the links below to check out the competition.

Parrot Polish and David have a great reputation and it was a pleasure to try out the polishes. I will definitely be ordering more of these.

You can find out more about Parrot Polish and order here:
You can also order some colors on Amazon:

Dodo is a rescue that resides at Snowflake Pet Center in Milford,CT and he is modeling Ocean Currents

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Still Life in Rio Eau De Parfum/Olfactive Studio

Review by Lisa VanWilliams
Still Life in Rio is the newly launched 2016 fragrance of Rio de Janeiro for men and women. Rio is also the home of the Summer Olympics. Still Life is a celebration of life and Dora Baghriche-Arnaud created this intoxicating cocktail of Yuzu, ginger, mint, & lemon essence. Then it hits you with a warm blend of rare peppers, coconut water, finishing off with rum, and dry woody Brazilian Copaiba essence.

They were kind enough to send me a bottle of the perfume to sample for myself. It's an intoxicating new spin on citrus and I have never smelled anything like before. This will be my Summer go-to perfume. If your looking for a Mother's Day present or you just want to change up your scent with the changing of the seasons, this is a wonderful choice and I would recommend it. It's expensive but it's worth it. The smell will last all day and linger into the next morning.

Olfactive Studio is a fragrance brand that intersects the art of photography with the art of perfumery. Flavio Veloso is the Brazilian photographer that took the mesmerizing photo of the bay in Rio, and they also include a post card size photo inside included the box of parfum. It goes for $195 for 100ml, $145 for 50ml, and you can also sample it for $4.

The 100ml comes in a large black thickly padded box. The bottle is a beautiful thick glass and it's topped with a mother of pearl type of cap.


Top notes: Yuzu, Elemi, Peppers: pink pepper, black pepper, Sichuan pepper
Heart notes: Star Anise, Galbanum
Base notes: Dark Rum, Cedarwood, Ambrox

You can purchase Still Life in Rio at Barneys:[PLA]%20-%20Product%20Types%20-%20Tier%203%20Eastern&adgroup=Women%20-%20Beauty%20-%20Fragrances&product_partition_id=138685828361&product_id=00505045604874&k_clickid=cf72315f-5d6a-4f7a-b7e7-ad98e4acaf74&gclid=CMSTlojywMwCFcYehgodo0cA6g

Twisted Lily carries the full size parfum as well as sampler size:

You can learn more about Olfactive Studio here: