Monday, March 31, 2014

What I have been reading...


I haven't done a book review in a while so I need to catch up!  I've haven't ready anything great, but I found a new fun series.

First up...

"The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat" by Edward Kelsey Moore

The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat

The synopsis of from "Meet Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean. . . Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat is home away from home for this inseparable Plainview, Indiana, trio. Dubbed “the Supremes” by high school pals in the tumultuous 1960s, they weather life’s storms together for the next four decades. Now, during their most challenging year yet, dutiful, proud, and talented Clarice must struggle to keep up appearances as she deals with her husband’s humiliating infidelities. Beautiful, fragile Barbara Jean is rocked by the tragic reverberations of a youthful love affair. And fearless Odette engages in the most terrifying battle of her life while contending with the idea that she has inherited more than her broad frame from her notorious pot-smoking mother, Dora."

My thoughts:  Usually I feel like there's something a little "off" when a book about about women's lives is written by a man, but this left me happily surprised.  This book isn't super deep, or life changing, but it's a good story and I always love books set in the Midwest.  This would be a good summer read.

"Keep Sweet" by Michele Dominguez Greene

Keep Sweet

The synopsis from "Alva Jane has never questioned her parents, never questioned her faith, never questioned her future. She is content with the strict rules that define her life in Pineridge, the walled community where she lives with her father, his seven wives, and her twenty-eight siblings. This is the only world Alva has ever known, and she has never thought to challenge it. 

But everything changes when Alva is caught giving her long-time crush an innocent first kiss. Beaten, scorned, and now facing a forced marriage to a violent, fifty-year old man, Alva suddenly realizes how much she has to lose--and how impossible it will be to escape"

My thoughts: Now this book is about serious, terrible stuff.  Usually I am all about freedom of religion, but this is not ok.  But I like to read literature about new things so I can understand them.  This didn't really help me understand, and in the end the main character resolved her problems so fast for someone so brain washed I was just like NO.

And finally...
"Some Girls Bite"  by Chloe Neill

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)

The synopsis from "I was a grad student until Chicago vampires announced their existence to the world, and a rogue vampire attacked me, scared by the master of Cadogan House. To save me, Ethan Sullivan converted me. The Lord of the Hyde Park manor is tall, green-eyed, full of four centuries worth of charm. Suddenly I am handy with serious weaponry, and pursued by an unknown enemy."

My thoughts: This series (the Chicagoland Vampires) is my new guilty pleasure - they are in Chicago, there's mystery, and ridiculously cool vampires.  And the characters are a bit over the top, but for the most part they deal with things normally - like Merit is actually upset that she was turned into a vampire against her will, she appreciates her friends etc... and most of all she is not a Bella Swan.  Although the cover art doesn't quite match the description of the main character.  There's also witches and water Nymphs and who knows what else and it's a fun easy read.   

What are you reading?  Suggestions are always welcome!


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Mug o' Comfort Swap Reveal


Recently I participated in the Mug o' Comfort Swap!  I was partnered with Kat from Kat Katastrophe - she loves cats and nail polish and glitter so she's definitely all right by me!

We were supposed to send a mug and some drinks our partner would like.  I mentioned I like modern lines, and chrome and Kat found me the most Amazing mug!

Look at that shine!  It even came with it's on coaster - LOVE!

And then she sent a whole lotta delicious things to put in the mug :)

So thank you again Kat for the wonderful package!  I love doing swaps, it so much fun to get to know new people and I love getting a snail mail surprise!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Sally Beauty Mini Haul


About a week ago I was reading the lovely Pang's blog - Beauty Redefined by Pang.  She has an amazing blog and you need to check it out - you want to see amazing swatches hers is the blog!  Anywhoo... she posted about Sally's beauty supply having a bunch of nail polish on clearance.  Then I got an email the next day from Sally's says the Clearance was an additional 50% off!  I found a few gems!

From left to right: China Glaze "Howl you Doin'", Orly "Macabre Masquerade" & Orly Matte FX Flakie topcoat

These were on Clearance $3.99 and then I got 50% off - so for $2 each these were a steal.  Most of what they had were what I consider "fall" colors.  

When I swatched them "Howl you doin'" was a bit thick (top swatch), you can see it's kind of goopey.  I will have to add some thinner or only use it as an accent. The Orly "Macabre Masquerade" on the other hand is a really nice formula and I like the true blue color of it.  

As you saw above I also got the Orly Matte Fx Flakie topcoat - and that is exactly what is - a flakie top coat that is matte - although it did chip after two days so that was sad.

Have you scored any beauty steals lately?


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Thought Provoking Tuesday


I am back again following on the coattails of one of my favorite bloggers Martha, from Quick, Cheap & Pretty I am going to do a weekly round up of some "thought provoking" questions.  These questions come from (a blog with practical tips for productive living!).  Martha answers a question everyday and so far I have thought they were very thought provoking!  I'm just going to do mine weekly, so here we go!

  1. What life lesson did you learn the hard way?  oh this makes me laugh... this is the thing - for the most part I "get" life, my parents raised me in a pretty brutally honest way.  I have worked since I was 11 ( babysitting 5 days a week for a family with 3 kids - which seems insane to me now)  I have been balancing a check book since 14, doing my own taxes since 16, and I lived on my own by 17.  But there was a time in my 20's when I could not keep my financial business together for the life of me.  This is before everyone had the internet at home and you could do banking online.  The bills were piling up, I got laid-off, I had student loans. I didn't have a car because I didn't need one for the job I got laid-off from and they "told me" I couldn't get unemployment when I was laid-off but that wasn't true.  So getting another job I could walk , or bus to was a challenge.  It was bad and I ended spending 5 years and a lot of tears cleaning up that mess.  But I learned a lot and now I can budget like a rock star and always have an emergency nest egg.

2. What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago? 5 years ago I was actually working a great job...but it had no upward mobility and I had to work a minimum of 58 hours a week (I usually worked closer to 65).  I wish I had looked ahead and though what do I want to be doing in 5 years and how can I use this to my advantage?  I just worked that job until 2 1/2 years ago when I finally just got burnt out.  Then I was like oh I'll get a fun job!  But that wasn't what I wanted so it took me another year to get on the right path.  It's important to always be looking a few years ahead!

3. Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?  I ask lots and lots of questions.  If you look at the history of my Google browser it's like "what's the population of Romania?" "what is dropsy?" "who are the images at the beginning of Orange is the New Black?"  I need to know everything!  At work I don't care if it has to do with my job or not I want to understand things.  I went back to school to get my MBA at 34 - so yes I ask questions!

4. Who do you love and what are you doing about it?  I'm kind of cold hearted. Seriously.  I love my boyfriend and I love my cats.  What do I do about it?  I try to treat them with all the love, respect and loyalty I have.  I think they would say I do a good job.

So those are my thoughts ... share yours with me!


    Friday, March 14, 2014

    Ipsy March Bag Reveal!


    Yesterday was one of my favorite days - my Ipsy bag came for the month! yea!!!!!

    This months bag theme was "Destination Beauty".  The bag was very colorful and specially designed for Ipsy by Klari.  

    I finally got something from Klorane!  Here's the description "Rich in soothing cornflower extract, decongesting arnica and chamomile, Klorane Smoothing and relaxing patches with soothing cornflower effectively reduce signs of tiredness from lack of sleep, a long day or sun exposure and instantly soothes and refreshes the eyes. Dark circles and puffiness are visibly reduced and the eye contour looks fresh and bright. Cool patches in refrigerator before use to increase effectiveness and enhance its refreshing effect."  
    I love eye patch masks - these usually come in a pack of 7 for $18 - so the value is about $5.14 as I got 2

    Next bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie in "Get Ready" - This is a very my lips but better shade!

    "Make an impact with Marvelous Moxie™ Lipstick. Creamy, super-saturated, ultra-pigmented color glides on like butter for full coverage in a rich satin finish. Lips look fuller and more voluptuous. An infusion of minerals revitalizes lips for a healthy-looking pout, while a moisture-loaded hydrating complex helps to nourish and condition with Abyssinian Oil and Omega Fatty Acids for supple, baby-soft smoothness. All the while, an encapsulated vitamin A, C and E complex helps to deliver antioxidant defense, so you’re ready for anything—and everything."

    This IS very moisturizing, and it's a mini tube which I really like because I might actually use it all up :)  A full tube is $18 - so value ~$9

    I also got a Nicole by OPI polish in On What Grounds - it a "Roughles" so it is a textured polish.  Would you believe I only have one other "textured" polish?  I'm a traditionalist what can I say - but I'll give it a try. Value $7

    And finally an eyeshadow quad by Be a Bombshell in Bora Bora.  Oh these colors are soooo pretty!

    The formula is buttery soft and these colors!  Value $16

    So this month's bag was worth $37.14 - and as usual I was super pleased with everything I got!


    Wednesday, March 12, 2014

    Thought provoking questions Part I


    Following on the coattails of one of my favorite bloggers Martha, from Quick, Cheap & Pretty I am going to do a weekly round up of some "thought provoking" questions.  These questions come from (a blog with practical tips for productive living!).  Martha answers a question everyday and so far I have thought they were very thought provoking!  I'm just going to do mine weekly, so here we go!

    1. When was the last time you tried something new?  I have thought about this since I read this on Martha's blog 3 days ago and I'm still struggling.  I have tried several new foods, and I have taken new classes but I haven't really DONE anything truly new.  I am looking for a Yoga class to go to 3 times a week and that would be new - so lets hope I find one :)

    2. Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?  Oh my...who don't I compare myself to? I am always trying to gauge my value (which is probably unhealthy) so I'm always like "I'm more polite" , "i'm not as healthy minded", "I need to be more like that.".  Blah, blah, blah.  I'm always trying to be a "better" person, but I also think most people are good and have special talents - but I want to have ALL the talents!
    3.What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?  "Be the change you want to see in the world." -Ghandi.  I don't think it takes huge measures to chage our lives, our environment, our world.  What if we all just changed our selves a little bit, imagine if people changed just 1% each year (recycled more,ate healthier, were a bit kinder).  I really believe that by making sure my actions are in "check" I affect better karma!

    4.What gets you excited about life?  I get excited about little things!  Thunderstorms in the summer, an afternoon free to read and nap, going on a trip, finding a pretty nail polish color :)  

    But I also like knowing that no matter what happens "this too shall pass".  We are so lucky to live in a time when penicillin exists, technology is always changing and we can communicate with someone across the world in 2 seconds.  

    So these are my deep thoughts for this week!  I will be back with more... what do You think?!?


    Monday, March 10, 2014

    Mario Badescu Hylaronic Eye Cream


    Today I wanted to share an eye cream I have come to enjoy.  I actually got it as a free sample when I filled out the skin care questionnaire on Mario Badescu - as well as other sample as well!  They also currently have a 10% sale going on the website - I'm not sure when it ends.

    I really wanted to try an eye cream because I wanted one for night that is light but hydrating.  I would use one with more anti-aging (ie Retinol) benefits, but my eyes always start itching at night.  But I am getting older and I am all about preventative care - and the skin around your eyes is the thinnest on your body and needs extra love in order to stay supple.

    From the Mario Badescu website: "Hyaluronic Acid formula helps lock in the skin’s own natural moisture without the use of heavy, greasy oils. Absorbent, medium weight cream for use day or night. Aloe based formula makes this cream suitable for all skin types, even sensitive. "
     $18.00 for .50 oz

    As you can see above it's a light weight cream and it sinks right in to my normal/dry skin around my eyes.  The sample I got is very generous - I have been using it 2 weeks and there's enough for at least a month more.  I think I've found my go to evening cream!

    What's your favorite eye cream?


    Friday, March 7, 2014

    Inner Beauty Friday - Book Club


    I have been so bad about doing book Reviews!  I'd like to do my own Book Club Link up if any of you are interested...

    This past week I read "On the Come Up" by Hannah Weyer

    Here's the synopsis from "Based on a true story, an impassioned and propulsive debut novel about a headstrong girl from Far Rockaway, Queens, who is trying to find her place in the world Written in an urban vernacular that's electrifying and intimate, On the Come Up introduces a heroine who is irrepressible, dynamic, and unstintingly honest. Thirteen-year-old AnnMarie Walker dreams of a world beyond Far Rockaway, where the sway of the neighborhood keeps her tied to old ideas about success. While attending a school for pregnant teens, AnnMarie comes across a flyer advertising movie auditions in Manhattan. Astonishingly, improbably, and four months before she's due to give birth?she lands a lead role. For a time, AnnMarie soars?acting for the camera, flying to the Sundance Film Festival, seeing her face on-screen. But when the film fades from view and the realities of her life set in, AnnMarie's grit and determination are the only tools left to keep her moving forward. Told with remarkable compassion and based on the real-life story of Anna Simpson, whom the author met during the filming of the award-winning Our Song, Hannah Weyer's debut novel is an incredible act of literary ventriloquism that powerfully illuminates the lives of the urban unseen."

    My thoughts:  I wanted to really like this book.  But it needed to be about 300 pages longer.  Or only focus on a few years of her life.  It was spread so thin that I just felt like it was filled with flat stories in a way... and this could be a very, very powerful story if told right.  It doesn't do the real life "AnnMarie" justice.

    What have you been reading?


    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    I want to love you, but I can't...


    Today I wanted to share some products that I really wanted to like, but the relationship just didn't happen. 

    The first is Boscia's Detoxifying Black Cleanser ($28 for 5oz).  It is described as "This Black Cleanser heats up on contact with skin to effectively open and de-clog pores. Its gel texture transforms into a gentle and effective lather to dissolve oil and makeup, rinsing away pore-clogging surface debris, impurities, and excess oil. It refines skin texture, brightens skin clarity, and minimizes the look of pores over time"  I feel like my pores have gotten larger as I age and like my skin to look bright and refreshed, plus Boscia has a pretty good rep so when it was a 100 point reward from Sephora I got a deluxe sample.

    Oh I wanted to love you, but you didn't clean off all my make up and you DRIED the heck out of my face.  I might keep this around for post workout face washes in the summer - but I'm still worried it's too drying.  I have normal skin, and if you truly have oily skin it might be ok for you. I did like the smell and the black gel is kind of cool, but we will not be staying together.

    Next up - Sally Hansen's No Chip top coat ($5.29) 

     On the Sally Hansen website it is described as "A fast-drying top coat that seals nail color to a smooth, hard finish. Acrylic formula dries to a high-gloss shield and provides ultra-hard protection." Nope.  No No No.  This stuff is terrible.  I have tried it over Essie, over China Glaze and over Revlon polishes and they all chip within a day - example this week's manicure below:

    Chipped to bits after 2 days, it looks like I took a chesse grater to my nails - which I assure I did not.  I always use a top coat, because I like my manicure to last and I like shiny nails.  This doesn't even really keep the shine.  So disappointing.  

    So these 2 beauty relationships didn't work out... but hopefully I'll find some winners to share soon!

    Have you has a beauty breakup recently?


    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    The Blogmopolitan Quiz


    I found this fun, quick quiz and thought I'd share!

    There is also a link up on Two Thirds Hazel and you can read about a bunch of other fun bloggers there too!

    Also, can we think of some better women to compare ourselves to, actually I think we need to stop comparing and just BE the women we want to be!