Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Joly Life Pho Recipe!

So my friend Amber from #amberismz brought to my attention a gluten free and delicious noodle dish called Pho. Its pronounced Fuh.  I had my first taste of it at a resturant here in Tulsa called Pho Nhi.  Let me tell you that the bowls are huge. But i had to know how to make this and so I did my research and made my own and it was a complete success. So now I will share my dish with you as I was asked.  The best broth is made using oxtail, and knuckle bones. You cook it for at least 6 hours to get the flavor from the bones. You want to skim any fat off the surface after the initial cooking.  You want to have access to the following spices. Spice pack ones are marked SP.

  1. Star Anise (2 pods) (SP)
  2. Cinnamon (1 stick) (SP)
  3. Green Onions (1 TBSP chopped)
  4. Cardamom (1 pod) (SP)
  5. Coriander (1 TBSP) (SP)
  6. Fresh Ginger (5 good sized slices) (SP) or can be left loose and take out later.
  7. Salt (1 tsp)
  8. Pepper (1 tsp)
  9. Cilantro (1/2 cup)
  10. Fennel (1 1/2 TBSP) (SP)
  11. Thai Basil (One large bunch) (not for the broth cooking but afterwards)
  12. Mint - (Again optional for after Pho is served)
  13. Cloves (3 whole cloves) (SP)
These ingredients do not stay in the broth the entire time so it is best if you have a leaf tea steeper or you can use cheesecloth or even a coffee filter to hold the dried spices in a packet to get the flavor during the broth cooking.

You will also need other ingredients

  1. 3-6 lbs beef bones
  2. 1-2 lbs oxtail
  3. 1-2 onions cut in half UNpeeled
  4. 4 quarts of water
  5. 2 1/2 TBSP fish sauce
  6. 1 1/5 Cups Bean sprouts (We like mung bean ones)
  7. 1-2 limes cut into wedges
  8. Optional Hoisin Sauce
  9. Optional Sriracha Sauce
  10. 1 pk 8 oz Rice Vermicelli or Mei Fun Noodles.
  11. 1 lb thin sliced beef of your choosing (optional)
  12. Fish Balls (optional)
  13. Shrimp (optional)
Ok so here we go. This disk does take a bit of preparation before the actual combination of things to make the broth but let me tell you the wait is totally worth it. So lets begin.


Cut onions in half. Do not peel.  Place onions ginger, and the beef bones in an oven at 425 Degrees F.
The beef needs to remain in the oven for at least an hour til browned. The onions and ginger only take about 45 mins. You want the ginger golden and onions blackened so keep an eye on them.

Once the beef and ginger and onions are ready, you can begin the broth.

Cooking and straining.

In a 5 qt or larger pot put the 4 quarts of water on. Add your bones, oxtail, onions and your spice pack. add the salt and pepper as well. Add the fish sauce also. See above they are marked.  Boil for 6 - 10 hours. I have heard that at 6 hours you have the most flavor from the bones but you might want more from the spice packet. Taste and see what you desire.

Once broth has finished you can use a fine strainer to pull any fat or grey bits (called scum) from the top. It is from the fatty parts of the bones and oxtail.  The clearer the broth the better the flavor in the end. Discard the spice pack, and you can also discard the bones and oxtail.  My dogs usually get the bones.

Once your broth is ready you need to get things rolling.  Add your rice vermicelli. add the cilantro and green onions into the broth.  Set a dish for each place setting or make a middle dish with the thai basil, lime wedges, and lots of bean sprouts, mint and you can add other types of herbs as well. Some have added parsley, cilantro, or thyme also to give a nice fresh bite of flavor to the dish.  The noodles generally cook in under a minute. At this time you can add the thin sliced beef to the broth and it will cook the meat very fast. Serve immediately and enjoy. Add herbs, beans, or either sauce of your choosing to spice it up a bit.  You can also get fish balls to cook with this as well as a option. Some also add shrimp into the dish. All these generally are added at the very end right before serving.

This amount easily serves my family of 5 and sometimes up to 7.  The broth is very hearty. 
In the picture below we used the recipe above but added sugar snap peas, brocolli and white onions to the broth before serving. My kids are huge fans of these. You can always add your own items to the dish. Enjoy!


Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Hey Bloggers and Reviewers! VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE

So how many of you like me included are part of review groups? How about some of the big ones like AMZ review trader? Well sadly today, I found that my Amazon review account was taken from me. I worked hard over 2-3 years to get to the ranking of 3245. Now Amazon took it all and fed me a line of crap as to why they removed my review account. So I bet you are thinking. This gal doesn't do proper disclosures... You would be incorrect.  Does this look familiar?

Take a look here at that ranking. Yes I worked hard. Yes I wrote reviews and yes I had a A ranking with Amazon and AMZ.  I have worked very hard and never wrote reviews that were biased or missing disclosures. I even used to go back and check often to make sure. So why was I removed? No real understanding. But it appears anyone under the 5k ranking is being targeted. Can you be next?

I am also removing my amazon affiliate account because why should I keep helping them to gain income from my blog? I highly suggest you all do some reading because apparently we are being canned due to the changes to the SELLER guidelines. I did some research into why amazon is eating peoples accounts and found a load of info.

Here is a good link for more info from Amazon.... We are not allowed to get coupons or discounts to review an item as now that is considered compensation even though in the review guidelines it states we must state if we received an item for free or at a discount.

So anyhow. All the work to gain ranking was for naught. But I am letting others know that this is happening now.
There is a bunch of guidelines that sellers have to follow and the reason that people are being removed is due to seller letting too many free items go.  Then when a previously unknown item gains high ranking due to it being out there with review groups similar to Amz, or uberzon, and other *groups* and listings.  When it gains a rank higher Amazon is calling that basically messing with the system because those items are getting the review. So here we go. I removed my self from all of the groups, email listings, and wanted to show you all what is being done to those reviewing items. This means to me in the future that all the groups and sites will be obsolete unless they add options like Tomoson where you can share your review on social media, and your blog.  Hope this helps save your bacon before your account gets fried like mine.

Keep it Real Bloggers! I am not going anywhere just going to to back to old school social media and keep my sellers reaching me through my inbox. No more shady amazon.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Beautilee Sponge and Kabuki set Review

Hello readers!

It is Tiffany again to share with you a product that I have shared all over my facebook, twitter and instagram. I really love this product and you need to check it out.

Using the beautilee sponge was super easy and I love the kabuki brush. Thanks to amazon my reviews got eaten and I am having to post this one here now but that is ok because I have more plans to bring things to you all again. As you know, I do not share products I do not believe in. These items were very easy to use.


My routine is to wash face, and then apply moisturizer and give it a second to set in. Before I start applying makeup.
Then to use the actual sponge...

Wet sponge and squeeze out excess water.  Apply your favorite liquid foundation in dabs around your face, nose, chin and forehead.  Blend in well using a dabbing and swiping motion. The sponge since it has water in it gives almost an airbrushed look to your foundation.
I then use cream blush and contour if i desire and again blend out. Then I do my eyeshadow and concealer. Again blending with the beautilee blender. Once I am done I open and use the kabuki brush in loose powder to set my look and I am ready to do my lips and off I go. Very easy to use.

Once you are done I take a mild soap and gently wash the blender til no more makeup runs out. Once it rinses clean I set it on the plastic insert for the sponges and allow it to air dry completely to prevent mold or other unpleasant things.

They come in a nice pretty case that is also a double duty stand to hold the sponges after they are dry.
I really loved that part because some other ones I had tried before did not come with anything to hold them after they were dry and they ended up getting dirty in my makeup bag.
I love the results I get with them. See the image below.

The sponges are easy to use. As you look at this picture I am fully blended out. Normally I would not use liquid foundation anymore because as I have gotten older i was getting lines and hated it. I can show you what my makeup looks like before the Beautilee Sponge and Kabuki set. The image below was using regular brushes for makeup and powders.

This is me with NO makeup!

I am very happy with this product and would love you all to follow this brand because they are coming up with great things.

Follow Beautilee on

Disclaimer. I recieved this item for free to help facilitate my honest review. My words are my own and receiving an item to review does not sway how I feel about a product.