Review of Saranghae’s NEW Oil + Foam Cleanser: Total Game-Changer!

A while back I reviewed a Korean 5-step skincare system from Saranghae, a Korea-based boutique skincare company. (Read my review HERE in case you missed it.) As I’ve said before, I’m not the most diligent about skincare…if it’s not simple, quick, and effective, I’m not doing it. When Saranghae originally contacted me to see if I wanted to collaborate by trying their 5-step anti-aging skin care routine and sharing my review, I was nervous because, well, I’ve never been that into skin care (I know, I know — shame on me!).


Flash forward three months, and folks, the impossible has happened: I have actually stuck with a skin care regimen!!  I will admit I’m still not the most diligent about it. I may not cleanse, serum-ify (yup, that’s a word), and moisturize twice a day, but I sure do go through the routine at least once most days of the week, AND, I use their sheet mask once every few weeks as well! I am still on my original supply of serum, moisturizer, and eye cream, but I have just recently used up the oil cleanser and my last sheet mask. When I went to order more cleanser a few weeks ago, I noticed that they no longer sold the kind that I had (the oil cleanser). Now their cleanser was called “Nourishing & Moisturizing Oil + Foam Cleanser.” I ordered it anyway thinking I’d give it a go. Before I had received my shipment, I happened to be contacted by Saranghae to see if I’d like to try their new cleanser for free and review it. I said yes even though I had already ordered some of my own, and I actually have not yet received my “free” cleanser, so this review is based on the one I bought and paid for. Just clarifying so you know I did ultimately receive a free one for this review even though I had already purchased one myself.




When I received the cleanser, I couldn’t wait to try it since I loved the original cleanser so much. I was worried this new cleanser wouldn’t work as well: the old one seemed to magically melt off my waterproof mascara and 24-hour superpower eyeliner and I didn’t want to mess with that perfection. I thought I’d record a video of myself trying the Oil + Foam Cleanser for the first time so you guys can see my honest, unpracticed reaction to it. Plus, since I had never used it before, you can see how easy it was to follow the packaging directions.


My first impressions of this new cleanser? LOVE AT FIRST CLEANSE!!

Check out my thoughts about it in (albeit totally unprofessional, slightly silly) video:


And, yes, as you might have guessed, this is only the second video I’ve ever made. I know it shows, and I’m okay with that.



All in all, I was pleasantly surprised that I liked this oil and foam cleanser even more than the original oil-based cleanser. It’s everything I loved about the original (how it melts mascara, how it deep-cleans without drying, how it leaves your skin soft and not “tight”) plus more. Actually I think my makeup came off faster and easier with the new cleanser (probably the addition of the foam step). I felt like the addition of the foam at the end made my skin feel like it got even cleaner. I really love the tingly feeling of the oil foaming up when the water is added. Whether your skin is actually getting cleaner or whether it just seems like it due to the foam I don’t know, but I do think my skin felt even cleaner than with the original oil cleanser. Maybe there is less residue left on the skin after rinsing? My face did feel “lighter” and cleaner, but not dry at all. Before my skin felt clean and moisturized: now my skin feels clean, moisturized, and truly nourished — yes, healthier, if that’s possible just after one use! This cleanser is definitely a step above the old one.


And I don’t know if you could tell from the video, but the instead of being a clear liquid like the original, this new cleanser has a golden sheen and shimmer to it. This cleanser is made with truffle extract and GOLD, yes gold! It’s beautiful to look at, smells nice, and just feels so luxurious.


So, after several months of using the Saranghae 5-step Korean anti-aging routine, I am still a huge fan! If you’re in the market for skincare that really works and isn’t going to take tons of time each day — or even weeks to see results — I do highly recommend Saranghae. I have noticed over the past three months a reduction in breakouts, and I haven’t gotten dry patches like I usually do as fall rolls into winter (I have combination skin). At first I didn’t really see much of a reduction in fine lines, but looking at this video I realize that my skin tone and fine lines both have improved since I made that first video. Cool!


I highly recommend making this cleanser, and the whole Saranghae 5-Step System really, a part of your skin care routine. Or in my case, it simply is my ENTIRE skincare routine! It has definitely earned its place in the prime-time real estate that is my bathroom counter.


I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about Saranghae! Now that I’ve been using it for a few months, I feel like I can speak more intelligently about it. Or you can always visit their website and read all about it. I like their blog, too. I don’t receive any kickbacks or referral fees or anything like that from Saranghae, but I like it so much I think you should know about it. You know, since we’re friends. 🙂



Note: This post does NOT contain any affiliate links. Just thought you should know. 😀




Don’t You Quit

I always start to get a little reflective in December, partly because it’s the last month of the year, but partly because I’m trying to think of gifts for friends and family. Lots of times when I think about what gift I’d like to give someone, it brings to mind ways that person has impacted my life.


A few weeks ago at church my pastor read this poem by John Greenleaf Whittier called “Don’t Quit.” I’m pretty sure I had to read this poem way back when I was studying to become an English teacher, but I didn’t remember it.


It really stuck with me this time, though, because the words of this poem reminded me of so many people around me.

  • The phenomenal teacher down the hall who never, ever gives up on the kids that are the hardest to reach
  • The inspirational fitness instructor or trainer who encourages you to keep pushing, keep pushing, keep going….until you make it
  • The positive, hardworking student in my 5th hour class who against all odds will be the first person in her entire family history to graduate from high school
  • The talented student teacher working with me this semester who has so much potential, skills, and heart but, but who is statistically likely to leave the teaching profession within her first 5 years
  • My mom, who is tirelessly working with my grandpa to ease his transition into a new situation
  • My dad, who has worked hard his entire life and always encourages others to do their best
  • My son who’s not the best by a long shot at his favorite sport, but who works hard every single practice — and outside of practice — to get better

I could keep going, but I’m sure you also have your own list of people who exemplify perseverance and determination, or even those who could use these words of encouragement.


Today I decided to make a pretty version of this poem (the image in this post) and give it to some of these people who, for me, represent Whittier’s words.


Feel free to right-click the poem and share it with people around you who inspire you — or who need to hear this message and believe it.

Or maybe this poem’s message is one YOU needed to hear today. If so, I’m talking to you right now, friend:



How to Make a DIY Holiday Porch Pot

If you’ve been to a home improvement store, craft store, florist shop, or anyplace else that sells Christmas decorations and greenery, you’ve probably seen some of the beautiful holiday porch pots out there. Did you check out the price? All of the ones I was looking at ranged anywhere from $39.99 for a small tabletop-sized one to $89.99 for a good sized outdoor pot.


I have two tall black Cape Cod style planters that flank my double front doors, and most years around this time I stick two artificial pre-lit trees in them and call it a day. They look okay, but they’re a bit sparse and the wind catches them like sails in the winter and they spend more time lying over on their sides than standing upright. This year I decided I wanted to fill these planters with greenery that didn’t just look like an after-thought.


I “researched” by going around to a few different garden centers and looking at the pre-made holiday porch pots. I peeked underneath the greenery to see how they were made and what types of things went into the ones I liked. After a few hours and a pit stop for some greenery of my own, I was ready to make my own. Today I’m sharing the process I used to make my own holiday planters, as well as some things I learned that will help you if you make your own.


Here is a look at the final product before we dive into the process. Not too shabby if I do say so myself!


How to make your own holiday porch pot:


  • Greenery — I used 9 bunches of greenery (2 large cypress, 2 white pine, 2 golden cypress, 2 other pine, and 1 boxwood-type stuff)
  • Sticks — I used 8 white birch sticks
  • Pine cones — I used 4 pine cones (painted red with white tips) on rods
  • Holly berries — I used 2 sprigs

*Any of these could be swapped out for different colors and varieties; I used all real fresh greenery, but you could also use artificial ones, too.



1. The first thing I did was to lay out all of the greenery from smallest to largest so I could see what I had.


2. Fill the pot with dirt or potting soil.

I only had a partial bag of potting soil left and I didn’t want to run to the store again, so I dug a few shovels full from my garden out back and used that to fill the pots.


3. Add the tall sticks.

Just like when you put the tall spikey stuff in first when you’re doing summer planters, you also put your tall spikey stuff in first for this. I jammed the sticks in toward the back center of the planters.


4. Add the largest branches next.

My largest branches happened to be big, drapey cypress branches. I put some standing up toward the back and then stuck the rest in around the sides to hang over.


5. Start adding in the filler greenery.

I just added in the different kinds here and there trying to make a nice full shape with a variety of textures and colors.


6. Add in the finishing touches: accents in bright pops of color.

I chose red for my bright accent color because I wanted it to play off of my red doors and stand out against the gray-blue color of our siding.


7. Shift things around and trim anything necessary.

I had to trim some berry-less ends off of the holly berry springs, and I also snipped a few branches that were too long and couldn’t be stuck down into the dirt any farther.


Some Do’s and Don’ts

Here are a few things I want to remember for next time:

  • DO choose a variety of greenery! The various colors and textures give the grouping interest. Go for at least 3 different types of branches.
  • DO choose branches with thicker, longer stems when you have big pots to fill. One of the bundles of greenery I got was filled with small, short, thin branches and most were too small to be seen in my pots.
  • DO add some bright pops of color with berries or painted elements like branches, water lily seed pods, pine cones, or even bows, ribbons, or other floral accents.
  • DO follow the good ‘ole “Spiller, Thriller, & Filler” formula for summer container plants. (The “spiller” trails over the side, the “thriller” shoots up from the middle and adds interest, and the “filler” fills up the space in between.) This formula works EVERY time.
  • DON’T skimp on the greenery: I’m glad I bought a lot because my planters look nice and full.
  • DON’T overthink it. I really just grabbed whatever greenery caught my eye and it all worked out.


Here’s what they look like on my porch:


Here’s the full effect, close up.


And here’s what they look like in the scheme of the whole facade.


The little accents really make a difference. Love these bright, cheery pine cones!


My little Illini Gnomie loves his new view.


And another option I’m considering to take this one step further is a pretty bow. I had some red and white striped ribbon so I quickly slapped a bow on and I think I like it. I need to take more time to tie a pretty bow, and I actually need to buy another roll of ribbon because this strand is the last I had. But it’s definitely something I want to add.  That and maybe a few lights…. What do you think?


I’ve had these black planters for several years now and I love them. They’re on my porch year-round, with annuals in the summertime, mums in fall, and Christmas-y stuff in winter.

Shop My Planters:




So this was a pretty easy project that only took a few hours of “research” (a.k.a., window shopping), 1 hour of picking out greenery and accents, and about 1 hour to put it all together on my porch. I spent around $80 for all of the greenery and accents (I bought everything at Heights Flowers in Peoria Heights, IL, and I received a 20% discount for shopping during Black Friday weekend (woohoo!). They were really helpful, too. I highly recommend going to a local small business for projects like these.


A holiday porch pot would make a FABULOUS Christmas gift, too! You could find a great Christmas-y pot or even something more neutral like a copper or ceramic pot and do a smaller version of what I did here. Mine cost around $40 each for supplies (not including the pots), but if you sent smaller you could probably get the greenery and a cute pot all for around $30-40 I’d say. Going to have to think about doing this next year (all of my 2017 Christmas gift shopping is DONE as of this weekend – can I get a woohoo!?!).


If you’re looking for a quick way to add some holiday cheer to your front porch, this is it. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

NOTE: This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on these links may result in my earning a small commission. As always, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.