Project Polish Update #2

December 1, 2016

in Beauty,Videos

My goal is to finish an entire sample wheel of polishes. I'm actually really surprised at how fast the project is moving along.


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Holiday Stress Relief 101

November 30, 2016

in Lifestyle

sporty woman with heavy steel dumbbell from back

Festive lights? Check. Carolers? Check. More family gatherings than you can count? Check. A stress headache that just won’t go away? You know it. The holidays are upon us and with them comes wonderful foods and family traditions as well as a heaping helping of stress and tension.

If you start experiencing a general sense of dread the moment holiday decorations start appearing in department stores, you should attempt to pinpoint the source of your stress. Do you hate traveling? Is it a particular holiday party? The cooking? Your cousin Gerald?

Once you’ve figured out what is causing you to sneer at every Santa hat you see, decide whether it is something you can eliminate from your holidays. Can you stay home this year instead of making stops at every relative’s house? Can you order your holiday meal in, simplify the menu or delegate the cooking to other family members? If the source is something you can’t eliminate, like your cousin Gerald, ask yourself whether there is any way you can neutralize the stressor (Can your partner run interference?). Just the act of recognizing the cause of your tension may enable you to better enjoy the non-offending aspects of the holidays.

For most people, though, the stress of the holidays comes not just from a single source, but is more a cumulative effect. If this sounds like you, take a look at these four easy tips for making your holidays a little less stressful and a little more merry and bright.

1. Limit Gifts

It’s easy to get caught up in all the sales and shopping and forget that the season is not actually about giving and receiving gifts. Instead of spending all your time hunting down the perfect gift for every friend, co-worker and family member, float the idea of only buying gifts for children this year, having a white elephant party or pooling money for a group experience like Escape the Room or a fancy dinner. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your loved ones will jump at the chance to pare down their holiday shopping lists, too.

2. Hit the Gym

Although exercise is usually the first thing to fall by the wayside when you are busy, the holidays are not the time to forgo your workout routine. In addition to allowing a little guilt-free indulgence in those holiday goodies, exercise is a natural stress reliever and the endorphins you produce in the gym will provide a much needed mood booster. If you don’t already have a membership, join a gym that lets you fit in a workout whenever your busy schedule will allow.

3. Disconnect

Be honest, seeing all of your friends’ perfectly curated holiday pictures on social media is not bringing you holiday joy. Instead it's making you feel pressured to keep up and then inadequate when you can’t. Give yourself the gift of a break from social media this holiday season. You’ll feel more engaged and present in your festivities and less likely to feel bad that your decorations aren’t as perfect as someone you haven’t seen in 15 years.

4. Just Say No

There are some gatherings that you can’t, and don’t want to, get out of. But for those events that are not mandatory, consider whether they will add to or relieve your holiday stress. If it’s the former, bow out. Try saying no to a couple of invites this year and see how you feel. You can always rejoin next year if you miss them.

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(Family Features) Want to spend more time with loved ones this Thanksgiving? Ditch the perfectly timed oven schedule and put your slow cooker to work. It’ll deliver the familiar flavors of your favorite holiday stuffing, sauces and desserts in a new, more convenient way.

“Take advantage of the hassle-free slow cooker for sides and desserts and leave the oven free for your turkey,” said McCormick Kitchens Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. “Top a mixture of apples, brown sugar and cinnamon with seasoned oat crumbles for a warm Oatmeal Apple Cobbler – an ooey gooey dessert that will fill your kitchen with an irresistible, sweet and spicy aroma while it slow cooks.”

For more time-saving tips and recipes for your Thanksgiving feast, check out and visit McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.

Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3       cup sugar
  • 1          seedless orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 2          McCormick Bay leaves
  • 1          McCormick Cinnamon Stick
  1. Place all ingredients in 4-quart slow cooker. Cover.
  2. Cook 3 hours on high, stirring every hour. Uncover. Stir well.
  3. Cook, uncovered, 30 to 45 minutes longer on high or until slightly thickened.

Slow Cooker Sausage Stuffing
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Servings: 12 (2/3-cup servings)

  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 2          cups chopped celery
  • 1          cup chopped onion
  • 1/2       pound mild (sweet) Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 1          cup Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Rubbed Sage
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Crushed Rosemary
  • 10        cups cubed French bread (1-inch pieces)
  1. Melt butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add celery and onion; cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sausage; cook and stir until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
  2. Spray inside of slow cooker with no stick cooking spray. Add stock and herbs; stir to blend. Stir in bread cubes and sausage-vegetable mixture. Cover.
  3. Cook 45 minutes on high. Uncover and stir. Cook, uncovered, 30 minutes longer.

Slow Cooker Oatmeal Apple Cobbler
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Servings: 10

Apple Filling:

  • 5          medium Gala apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1          cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4       cup all-purpose baking mix, such as Bisquick
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon

Oatmeal Cobbler Topping:

  • 1          cup all-purpose baking mix, such as Bisquick
  • 1/2       cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2       cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3       cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) cold butter, cut into pieces
  1. Spray inside of slow cooker with no stick cooking spray. For the Apple Filling, toss apple slices, brown sugar, baking mix and cinnamon in large bowl. Place in slow cooker.
  2. For the Cobbler Topping, mix all ingredients, except butter, in medium bowl. Cut in butter with fork until crumbly. Sprinkle over Apple Filling. Cover.
  3. Cook 3 hours on high.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Cake with Caramel Sauce
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours, 35 minutes
Servings: 16

Pumpkin Cake:

  • 1          package (2-layer size) yellow cake mix
  • 1          can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/4       cup milk
  • 2          eggs
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1          cup chocolate chips

Caramel Sauce:

  • 1          cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Pumpkin Pie Spice
  1. Spray inside of 6-quart slow cooker with no stick cooking spray. For the Cake, mix all ingredients in large bowl. Pour into greased slow cooker. Place towel over slow cooker and cover with lid.
  2. Cook 3 1/2 hours on low or until cake is almost set.
  3. Meanwhile, for the Caramel Sauce, cook and stir all ingredients in small saucepan on medium-high heat 5 minutes or until sauce is smooth.
  4. Carefully remove slow cooker insert and place on wire rack. Pour 1/2 of the Caramel Sauce over the cake. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes to cool slightly. Serve cake with remaining sauce and ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.
  5. Substitution: Use 1 cup chopped candy bars in place of the chocolate chips.


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While old, flickering, decaying lighting is a staple of haunted house design, it’s not what you want in your beautiful, contemporary home. Whether you’re preparing for your year-end decluttering or you’re just in the mood for an update, be sure to take a look at your lighting. While some light fixtures will last for decades, others may only last five years – but that’s certainly not taking style into account. Below are three reasons your lighting may need to be updated.

Dated fixtures

While Victorian and Craftsman homes are enviable, the dated décor inside of them isn’t always so. Track lighting is commonly labeled as dated, as it interrupts the flow of a ceiling. Much like track lighting, monorail lighting is fixed along a track. The main difference is that monorail lights have movement. You can also update your track lights with fun pendants, as opposed to the fixed, canned lights.

Even if your light fixture itself isn’t dated, the types of bulbs you’re using may be. Try ditching your old incandescent lightbulbs and updating to more environmentally friendly lightbulbs, like light-emitting diode lightbulbs (LEDs) or compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs). Not only will you save on your electric bill, but you will also be reducing your carbon footprint and helping the environment.

Broken fixtures

We’ve all heard the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what if it is? Well, if you’re following the same logic, if it’s broken, fix it! While some people may resort to calling an electrician to attempt to fix broken lighting, this may not be worth it. Some fixtures, if they’re hanging loose or maybe a little glitchy, can be easily fixed. For example, if it it’s a dead lightbulb that needs to be replaced, replace it. You can even upgrade to eco-friendly lightbulbs as mentioned earlier. Other fixtures may require more work. Tread lightly on any lighting-fixture projects that require extensive repairs; you’re better off replacing or upgrading the piece unless you have extensive knowhow.

If you’re trying to save a 20-year-old chandelier that has a relatively low value and does not enhance the space, you may be better off ditching it. With the immense technological advances in home lighting and appliances, a new fixture can bring your home into the 21st Century and give the space a much-needed, yet unexpected, facelift. Plus, the new fixture will likely last longer and have a warranty, so you won’t have to worry about additional issues in the near future.

Heinously hideous fixtures

While some home lighting can be saved, other light fixtures simply can’t be resuscitated because they’re just awful-looking. When it comes to your home lighting, the last thing you want is an ineffective piece that also looks like it belongs at the bottom of a landfill. Between bad DIY or makeshift fixtures and kitschy lights that belong in a museum or with your grandmother’s eclectic figurine collection, some lights desperately need to go. If this is the case, you do have options. Ideally, you would rip them out and replace them with beautiful statement-makers, but sometimes the budget isn’t always there; in fact, that could be the reason you have that DIY DVD case infuser stuck in your ceiling. Rather than making the problem worse, you can temporarily cover it. That won’t make the problem go away, though, so your best bet is finding high-quality and affordable fixtures. Modernizing now will certainly save you a headache later.

Even if you’re not updating your lighting right now, keep the above tips in mind; you never know when the lights will go out.

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Pineapple Glazed Ham

November 20, 2016

in Recipes

Merry Made Easy

Simple tips for holiday entertaining

(Family Features) The holidays are the time of year when families and friends come together, and when special moments and memories are plentiful. This year, instead of just letting the holidays happen, make them happen by embracing the season.

No matter how or where you celebrate, sometimes you need a little inspiration to pull it all together, especially when entertaining. Chef, restaurateur and co-host of ABC’s “The Chew,” Carla Hall offers these tips to help you savor every joyous, frenzied moment.

Simply smarter shopping: Having an open mind at the grocery store often means having better options in the kitchen. When shopping for a recipe, look for the best ingredients, like seasonal produce, even if it’s not called for in the original dish. At stores such as ALDI, you’ll find hand-selected holiday items that won’t break the bank and can make your celebrations special and memorable. From premium, affordable ingredients to cookware you’ll need to perfect those show-stopping recipes, you can find everything you need at ALDI to make the holidays happen without busting your budget.

Flour power: When cooking with flour, try whisking the flour in the bag before measuring. When you loosen the flour, you get a more accurate measurement, which can lead to better tasting food.

Cook now, enjoy again and then again: You can also stay ahead of the game by cooking more than you need. For example, if your recipe calls for stock or fortified broth, increase the amount and save for later. It’ll come in handy when you need to make the gravy. If preparing a vegetable side dish, use your leftovers to create a delicious omelet or strata.

Make ’em sing for their supper: The centerpiece of any home is the kitchen. It’s where everyone comes together to make holidays happen, so try including the whole family in the process. Give family members some fun and easy tasks to help you out. They can help scrub and peel vegetables, set the table and be your special taste testers. It’s a great way to make memories during the holidays, and can give your family members a lesson in creating delicious recipes, like this Pineapple Glazed Ham.

Visit for more tips, tricks, recipes and fun ideas on how to make the most of your holiday season.

Pineapple Glazed Ham
Recipe courtesy of Carla Hall
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1          Specially Selected Spiral Cut Double Glazed Ham
  • 1          cup pineapple juice from Sweet Harvest Pineapple Slices
  • 1/4       cup Specially Selected 100 percent Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1          tablespoon Tuscan Garden White Vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon Burman’s Dijon Mustard
  • 1          cinnamon stick
  • 1          teaspoon whole black peppercorns from Stonemill Peppercorn Grinder
  • 1/2       teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  1. Heat oven to 375° F
  2. In 9-by-13-inch glass or ceramic baking dish, place ham cut side down.
  3. In small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring remaining ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain steady boil and cook, whisking occasionally, until syrupy and reduced to 1/2 cup.
  4. Pour hot glaze over ham, distributing evenly. Bake 35-40 minutes, basting every 10 minutes, until well-glazed and heated through.
  5. Transfer ham to serving platter. Strain pan sauces; transfer to serving dish. Pass pan sauce with ham.


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Are you looking for the perfect eyeshadow palette? Look no further! Here are all of my recommendations for the best eyehadow palette for any occasion and price range.

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This book has been on my reading list for a very long time. It was just so hyped up in my mind that I was afraid to read it especially after a recent experience with another book that was highly anticipated and left me disappointed, The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters.

My Audible credit came available and I just happened across the audiobook for The Alchemist read by Jeremy Irons.

Jeremy Irons

I absolutely ADORE Jeremy Irons and I figured I would quite enjoy having this lovely man read to me in his lovely voice. I was right. I highly recommend the audiobook. I do apologise but this is not sponsored in any way and I do not have any kind of coupon code you can use.

Anyway, the story…it was everything I had hoped for and more. This is a story about treasure hunting. An Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids.

But this is not a story about Santiago finding riches and wealth beyond his wildest dreams. Instead, it is a story about the treasures we have within and the hard work and struggles we have to go through to dig for those buried treasures.

This is a story that will teach you that hard work is the way you earn your dreams. That love isn't a prison, it is as big as the world and just as free. That sometimes you have to travel far from home to realize what you left behind. That the power of dreams, the power of will and the power of love are transforming. But just as transforming is listening to our own hearts.

I can not recommend this book enough.

Many have commented that my rating system is too harsh. That books I give 3 stars would get 4 on other scales and a 4 star book should get 5 stars. But it is books like these that is the reasoning behind the rating system.

5 stars

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Eyeshadow Declutter

November 16, 2016

in Beauty,Videos

The most stressful and nerve wracking makeup declutter is finally here. Eyeshadow is my favorite makeup product so it is so difficult for me to part with anything. But what good is an eyeshadow palette doing just living in a drawer?

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Starting your own family traditions enables you to create valuable memories that you and your children can cherish for a lifetime. Typically, traditions are carried down from generation to generation, but when creating your own they often happen by accident. For instance, they can be sparked by a funny situation that is fondly remembered and desired to be recreated year after year. On the other hand, it can be a connection to a place that your family visits and want to return to annually, monthly or seasonally.

If you're thinking of starting a family camping tradition, begin by planning your trip well in advance to ensure that it creates a tradition that lasts for years to come. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Where and When

You and your family can create traditions starting from the very beginning — the planning process. Initiate fun ways of choosing the destination of your trip to boost the energy of the group from the get-go. Perhaps you choose the dates of your adventure to be a certain week of the year so that you all have something to look forward to and plan for. For example, scheduling to leave two weeks after school lets out for summer vacation and holding on to that same date every year.

The destination could remain the same, allowing you to create new memories in the same beloved area. You could also create a method for choosing the destination that everyone looks forward to, such as throwing a dart at a map or a game of rock, paper, scissors to see who is going to decide where you will be pitching the tent for the upcoming camping trip.

Learning New Skills

Creating bonds among members of the family can often be achieved by teaching a new skill or sharing knowledge with one another. When you reflect on your own childhood memories of catching your first fish or the first time you shot a gun, those are the memories that you are wanting to create for your own family. Teaching your family useful skills, such as using a gun and gun safety, will stick with them throughout their lives.

Another skill to consider is geocaching. Plan a geocaching trip where everyone has to use GPS coordinates to find treasures that one of the family members hides around the camp. It teaches everyone how to use maps, compasses and perhaps even a GPS unit, if you bring one.

Get your family excited about the new skills they're going to learn by taking them shopping to pick out shooting supplies, fishing gear or a GPS unit.

Friendly Competition

While relaxing around the camp fire may sound fun for the parents, the kids will likely need a little more action. There are many camping activities and games you can play, and a little bit of friendly competition is a great way to get the family involved. For example, an annual volleyball competition, horseshoes tournament or three-legged race gives everyone something to look forward to, as the losers will be inspired to beat the winners and the winners will want to defend their title — and keep the bragging rights.

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This will be my last Sephora Play! box. Check out my video to hear why!

Products in the box:

All products are sample size. Price listed is for the full size product.

Verb Leave-in Mist $14

Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream $36

Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel $55

Nudestix Intense Matte Lip + Cheek Pencil $24

Smashbox Always on Matte Liquid Lipstick $24

Tom Ford Orchid Soleil $82

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The first look in the video is a modern grunge look perfect for fall. Then we will build on this super simple look and turn it into an old school 90s grunge look. Both are incredibly easy looks to do!

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Boxycharm October 2016

October 26, 2016

in Beauty,Videos

Boxycharm October 2016

Products in the box:

Luxie Beauty Eye Blender Brush Pack $36.00

Temptu Shimmer Bronzer $29.50

Briogio Blow Dry Perfection Heat Protectant $24.00

Starlooks Ultra Matte Lip Paint $19.00

Iby Beauty Three's Company Trio Eye Shadow $19.00

This box cost $21.00 and was worth $127.50. Check out Boxycharm here.


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Little Indonesian boy kissing his mom, who is working in office Little Indonesian boy kissing his mom, who is working in office

You already juggle so much for your family on any given day. But that desire for something more is nagging and the drive to make a positive impact by creating your own business is hard to ignore. But while all moms can multi-task, we aren't all cut out to be entrepreneurs.

It takes a specific personality to thrive in that kind of chaos. If you possess the following personality traits, the mompreneur track just might be the right move for you.

Eager to Learn

A true love of learning about anything and everything is a key quality that the majority of entrepreneurs share. In fact, in the most recent Amway Global Entrepreneurship Report, a love of learning was identified as the number one trait shared by 84 percent of the 50,000 entrepreneurs surveyed.

A love of learning is essential for entrepreneurs because, no matter what your industry, you need to know a little bit about nearly everything in order to successfully run your own business. Sure, you can hire experts to handle the bookkeeping, accounting, technology and financial planning, but in order to properly manage a team, it's in your best interest to have at least a baseline knowledge in every area that you trust someone else to run for you.

With the business landscape around us changing and evolving frequently, your company needs to be nimble and adaptable to keep up. One of the most effective ways to facilitate this is to stay on top of the latest industry developments and learn new ways to differentiate your company from the competition.


You need to constantly think a few steps ahead to avoid problems and turn challenges into successes. By being proactive instead of reactive, you control the fate of your business. You are more likely to make intentional steps towards positive progress. With the belief that you create your own reality and have the ability to control it, you're able to find more opportunities to shift the tides in the direction that will best benefit your brand.

Not Afraid of Risks

Owning your own business is not for the faint of heart. There are no guarantees of success, no consistent paychecks (at least in the beginning) and the responsibility to succeed falls squarely on your shoulders. For many, this is too much risk to handle. But for those with a true entrepreneurial spirit, these potential downsides act as challenges and make you all the more excited to prove naysayers wrong. Entrepreneurs are true believers in the notion that you cannot reap big rewards without taking big risks.

If you need a little bit of help getting comfortable with taking risks, there are some less risky options for testing your entrepreneurial abilities. It doesn't have to be all or nothing. For instance, you could test the waters by starting your own business with an established company like Amway. For many this is an excellent way to try their hand at owning a business with the support and guidance of an established brand. It's essentially a way to earn an income while educating yourself on the best entrepreneurial practices.


Even the most successful businesses experience failures from time to time. It's how you deal with these challenges that really reveals your true potential to succeed. Entrepreneurs understand that failure is inevitable and they look at it as an opportunity to learn from mistakes and turn that negativity into something positive.


As an entrepreneur, you need to be confident in everything that you do. Without a strong sense of self-assurance, how can you expect your staff to trust that your next big idea will be a hit? A lack of confidence will also make it nearly impossible to secure funding for your business, so a strong belief in your brand's imminent success is crucial.

In a recent study of entrepreneurs, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation found that 91 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed were confident that their business' profitability would increase in the next year. This kind of attitude is critical to keep everyone on your team committed to taking your company to the next level.

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Ipsy's September theme was Glamazon. And the bag did not dissapoint.


Products in the bag:

Eyeko Eye Do Eyeliner, Full Size $20, Sample Value $10


IT Cosmetics Superher Mascara, Full Size $24, Sample Value  $13


NUXE Moisturizing Mask Crème Fraîche de Beauté, Full Size $25, Sample Value $8


Christie Brinkley® Authentic Skincare Complete Clarity Daily Facial Exfoliating Polish, Full Size $34.95, Sample Value $4


Seraphine Botanicals Guava Butter, Full Size $24


The bag cost $10 and had a value of $59.


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Wicked Summer

Wicked Summer by Roma Brooks is a Cape Harriet Novel. The Bloom family travels to Cape Harriet, a seaside town in Virginia, for a summer vacation that should create lifelong memories as they celebrate Mary's 60th birthday.


Before I get into my review of the book, let me recommend to you that you have a snack handy while reading this book. The food described in the pages sounds simply amazing and I found myself not only reaching for snacks, but spending more time on Pinterest looking for recipes beyond the usual make four kids happy meals we usually eat at my house.


The story focuses on four women, Mary and her three daughters. As with most families, all of the sisters are wildly different from one another, but the characters are all believable. The only character I had trouble relating to was Iris. And I don't think that's the writer's fault. I think it's just because I don't have a single bone in my body that is that mean or negative.


The women are full of secrets we find out as we learn their stories. They fight. They learn. They grow. Meeting and spending time with these women was the perfect end of summer read.


What I enjoyed about this book was it was realistic. When you get four grown women together who are all related, and the matriarch of the family hopes the vacation will bring the family closer, there will be tension. And lots of it.


With believable characters, a smoothness and ease to the prose and a vacation spot that I'm pretty sure I might never come home from if I went, I do recommend that you pick up this book for a light, fun read that just may change your opinion of your sister(s) or your mother.

*I did receive a copy of this book for free from the author to review. All opinions are my own.


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makeup under $10

These are all my favorite drugstore products!
Products mentioned:
Maybelline Master Prime Blur + Smooth Primer
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation
NYX HD Photo Concealer in Glow
elf contour palette
Milani Prep Set and Go
Milani Blush in Tea Rose
Makeup Revolution Vivid Baked Highlighter in Peach Lights
Wet n Wild Photofinish Eye Primer
Makeup Revolution Focus and Fix Brow Kit
Milani Eyeryday Eyes in Plum Basics
Coastal Scents Xpress Line pencil in black
Rimmel ScandalEyes Precision Micro Liner
Rimmel ScandalEyes Retro Glam Mascara
Maybelline Color Sensational in Magnificent Mauve


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by Cathy Habas

What’s so great about white dresses? Everything! You won’t find a more neutral color, so white dresses are wonderfully easy to accessorize. With the right design, you can get a lot of use out of a single white dress, going from a casual look to red carpet-worthy style with a little creativity.

Is your wardrobe lacking one of these essential, must-have fashions? It’s time to do something about that!

With so many different styles to choose from, I’ve done the hard work for you. Here are some of my favorite modern white dresses. Special thanks to Tobi for allowing their images to be used in this article!

The Jetset Diaries Aztec Maxi Dress

Get ready to feel like a goddess in this light and beautiful Tobi Dress! A front slit in the skirt makes the entire dress flow beautifully as you walk. The breezy design is perfect for summer, but you can easily add a jacket, capelet, pashmina or blazer to keep your shoulders comfortable in cooler fall weather. The self-tie straps allow you to modify the neckline slightly, which is handy if you need a little more chest coverage than the model below.


Bless’ed Are the Meek Vista Knit Dress

With a somewhat see-through pattern, this dress is meant for the bold among us. But on the plus side, you can go around looking super chic and feeling a bit like spiderwoman with the web-like geometry of this dress. The body-conforming design helps show off your curves, and the turtleneck adds an elegant touch. Pair it with a chic jacket, scarf, boots and leggings for a totally unique fall outfit, or wear it as-is in the summer for semi-formal events.


Ezdi Maxi Dress

Get your glam on with this amazing maxi dress! Cut-out dresses are hot, hot, hot, and you can be on the cutting edge of the trend with this stunning design. This dress manages to be sexy and modest all at once, with a full skirt and cut-out sides to show off your abs and curves. It’s a fantastic summer dress, perfect for parties or simply any excuse to get a bit dressed up.


Somedays Lovin Moon Star Denim Dress

Casual, unique and flattering, this dress is great for enjoying a day out with friends. The straight line of buttons in front helps to elongate your torso, and the pre-shaped bust gives plenty of support, not to mention a very flattering look. Pair this dress with some wedge shoes, and you’ll be ready to turn heads when you hit the street!


Kiki Smocked Skater Dress

How adorable is this dress? Skater dresses are so-called because they mimic the classic look of figure skating costumes, and you’ll definitely feel like you’re in the spotlight with this gorgeous day dress. The skirt has the perfect amount of bounce and twirl, so don’t be surprised when you naturally have a little extra pep in your step when you wear it! The contrasting textures in the dress help make it extra cute and flirty, and the strapless design with arm cuffs adds a final finishing touch. You’ll feel like a princess in this one. Treat yourself!


Buttercup Dress

Who knew it was possible to have a long-sleeve dress with spaghetti straps? Here’s proof that such a design not only exists, but that it is beyond cute. This loose-fitting white Tobi dress is perfect for most body types, and you’ll love the feeling of freedom that it gives you as it twirls while you move. The Buttercup Dress also has a lace-up back that adds a unique and modern touch.


Adeline Shift Dress

You don’t need a perfectly flat tummy to rock the look of a shift dress, and the Adeline dress is particularly sexy thanks to its lacy, see-through trim. The loose fit of a shift dress will keep you cool and comfortable during the summer, and its casual look is perfect for spending a day with your partner in total comfort.


Beckham Mini Dress

Here’s a wonderful style that is both classy and versatile. With a fit that flatters and a gorgeous asymmetrical skirt, this dress is perfect for a night of dancing, a special date, or any event that calls for a little bit of glamour. The overall simple design means you can accessorize this dress for a more casual look if you wish, or pull out all the stops for an incredibly elegant look.


Well … I did most of the hard work for you. I managed to browse through hundreds of white dresses to bring you the freshest looks. Now it’s up to you to decide which one (or two or three …) you’ve simply got to have! Good luck making a decision … although you’re sure to look fantastic in whichever one you choose!

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happy couple sleeping in bed

Health and fitness monitors allow you to better acquaint yourself with the mechanics and patterns of your body. Just as you collect data from your daytime activities, you should also keep track of your sleep-specific patterns and habits. A good night's sleep will yield a more energized and refreshed self. Sleep cycle monitors provide useful insight about the quality of your sleep and suggest practices for improvement. Make sure you shop around and find the wearable that best suits your lifestyle and needs. Here is a list of sleep cycle monitors that will help you improve your slumber:

Jawbone UP4

Jawbone utilizes advanced sensors that compose a detailed picture of your sleep cycle. This wearable gauges your heart rate, respiratory rate, body temperature and galvanic skin response. It also has a bioimpedance sensor that measures how well your body impedes electric current flow. This collection of sensors is used to distinguish your sleep stages—from light sleep to REM. Jawbone provides accurate data that assesses the multifaceted stages of sleep and also provides you with personalized tips that will improve your sleep.

Samsung Gear Fit2

The Gear Fit2 is a sleek and discrete activity monitor that can measure the stages of your sleep. It keeps track of your movement, which indicates how heavily you sleep and the duration of your sleep cycles. Your heart rate is also measured, so you can track how active your body is while you’re asleep. Conveniently, the Gear Fit2 has a dimmable screen, so the tracking notifications don't light up and disturb your slumber. This wearable monitor is compatible with Android phones, like the high-performance Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone.

Fitbit Charge HR

The Fitbit Charge HR is a sleek wearable with a stylish and minimalist digital display. It provides fundamental sleep tracking information and also has the ability to monitor your heart rate. The device measures movement and in turn tracks the duration of your sleep. The sleep data includes your restless state of sleep, which indicates a period when you weren’t fully awake or cognizant though were frequently turning or moving in bed. The data gathered by the Fitbit Charge HR will help remedy any restlessness you have.

Beddit Smart 2.0

The Beddit Smart is a sensor that slips under your bed sheets and utilizes ballistocardiography to monitor your sleep. It gathers data that represents heart rate, respiration rate and sleep quality. Unlike other wearables, it will automatically track your sleep and doesn’t have to be pre-set. The device utilizes Bluetooth Low Energy to maintain connection with your smartphone’s Beddit app. Every morning, you receive a sleep score that lies between 1-100, which is calculated from your total sleep time, sleep cycles, time to fall asleep, sleep efficiency, snoring and respiration. The smart alarm feature wakes you up from a light stage of sleep within 30 minutes of your set alarm time, so you wake up gradually and feel more refreshed.


Sense is a non-wearable sleep tracker that has two parts—the bedside orb and the Sleep Pill. The device monitors your sleep through movement tracking, though also assists with sleeping conditions. The orb provides ambient sounds that will induce and maintain a deep sleep. It measures the temperature, humidity, light, noise and air quality within your bedroom, so it can assess the quality of your sleeping environment. The data collected will give you personalized insight into your sleep and will help you make changes to your sleep environment and sleep patterns.

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If you are like me, cleaning is not your favorite thing to do. In fact, it's not something I really want to do ever.

But it has to be done.

So in an effort to try to make things a bit easier on my, I created this cleaning schedule. Anyone can use it, but it is heavy on weekend cleaning since I don't have much time during the week. Having a full time job that requires many evenings means no time to clean. So this schedule was really created with working or busy moms.

Hope you enjoy and find them useful!

Weekly Cleaning Chart

Monthly Cleaning Schedule

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NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation Review

The NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation and I had a rocky start, but now it's one of my all time favorite foundations.

NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation

At $48 for 1 oz it is not what I would call an affordable option. However, for the tiny amount you need to use, I think the price is well worth it.

NARS All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation

There are 20 shades available in a wide range of colors.

Check out my video for all the details and a wear test.


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I'm making a lot of progress with these products but I still have a long way to go with some of them!
FINISH 13 by Halloween
Products mentioned:
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless
Clinique Even Better Eyes Dark Circle Corrector
Smash Full Exposure Mascara
Laura Geller Glam Lash
Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Primer
Too Faced Hangover Face Primer
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Pore Minimizer
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel
Makeup Forever HD Powder
OPI Show us your tips!
Elf Contour palette
Marc Jacobs Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
Marc Jacobs Daisy

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Project Polish - Dishwater Dreams

I have been inspired to really focus on using the makeup and beauty products that I have. I usually don't want to use up my favorite proucts. I want to keep them. But I'm trying to change my thinking. These products do go bad. And I would feel worse if I missed out on using favorite products because they went bad.

So I've started several project like the Finish 13 by Halloween, a One Month One Palette project, and now this new nail polish project, Project Polish.

I chose six nail polishes and the goal is to use them up completely. Once I finish one, I'll add another until the wheel is completely filled with empty polishes.

Project Polish Swatches - Dishwater Dreams

The first polish I chose is L'Oreal Charmed I'm Sure. I chose this polish to have a light neutral color in the mix. THis is a pretty champagne color.

L'areal Charmed I'm Sure Nail Polish

Charmed I'm Sure Nail Polish

The second polish is another L'Oreal polish, Smell the Roses. This is a soft rose color perfect for any season. I love the formula on these polishes. They don't peel and both are opaque in two coats. The brush has a slight angle to is which makes it very easy to get to the sides and by your cuticle. 

L'areal Smell the Roses

Smell the Roses L'Oreal

Polish #3 is Zoya's Odette. This is an orchid maroon cream polish that I just love for fall.

Zoya Odette

Zoya Odette

Polish 4 is one of my all time favorite polishes, OPI Anti-Bleak. From the Mariah Carey Collection, this polish is just stunning and fun. It's one of the best formulas OPI makes.

OPI Anti-Bleak

OPI Anti-Bleak

Polish 5 is one I had never tried before. I got it from Birchbox. I love the bottle. It's Ruffian Ruffian Red. This was a crowdsourced collection and is only available at Birchbox. I love the color. The brush is a little too fluffy and makes the polish go on quite thick. That lead to a bit of bubbling. So go easy with this one.

Ruffian Red Nail Polish

Ruffian Red Nail Polish

The final polish is one that I can not get enough of in the fall and winter. It's one of my favorite red nail polishes, Essie Bordeaux. It's a deep red wine color.

Essie Bordeaux

Essie Bordeaux

Check out my video on YouTube and wish me luck!


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Ride or Die Makeup

Products mentioned:
Smashbox Photo Finish Oil Free Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing
Nars All Day Weightless Luminous Foundation
Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer
e.l.f. Contour palette
Kat von D Everlasting Bronzer in Shady Business I
Kat von D Everlasting Blush in Truth
Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Ebony
Airspun Loose Powder
Wet n Wild Photofinish Eye Primer
Too Faced Romantic Eyes
Fiona Stiles Ultrasmooth Waterproof Eye Pencil in Coventry
Kat von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper
Fiona Stiles Ultimate Lash Volumizing Mascara
Ardell Demi Wispies
Buxom Full On Lip Polish
Too Faced Lip of Luxury Lipstick in Living in Sin
Ofra Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Pasadena
Dior Pure Poison


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Two-Minute Apple Tart

August 24, 2016

in Recipes

There’s an Apple for That


(Family Features) If you’ve ever stood in the produce aisle and wondered what apple to select among the many varieties available, you’re not alone. Apple varieties can differ greatly when it comes to taste, texture, cooking and storage properties, making it important to make the right choice to get the best results for your recipe or pairing.

At, visitors can type in what they plan to cook – from broad categories such as salads, smoothies and snacks, down to specific recipes, such as pink applesauce, fritters, candy-coated snacks and more. The website provides information on the perfect apple to use plus suggests recipes and further information – like tips, health benefits and insights on storage and cooking – helping make the decision easy, no matter what you’re making.

Using the right apple can make or break your recipe. For example, some of the best baking apples are Granny Smith and Pink Lady because these apples hold up particularly well under high heat, retaining a firmer texture. Using a good baking apple is what brings that delicious, subtle crunch to pie and other pastry delights, versus a mushy filling. The special Pinata apple by Stemilt Growers is particularly well suited for baking, as it holds up to heat and boasts classic apple flavor with a tropical twist.

For everyday fruit platters, snacks and appetizers featuring fresh, sliced or chopped apples, Honeycrisp is a fantastic option because of its incredible fracturing crunch and a refreshing sweetness similar to fresh apple cider. For whipping up a classic chicken salad, try Fuji or Golden Delicious apples, which are among the sweetest around – the extra sweetness contrasts with the savory ingredients for a more complex flavor. These apples are also ideal for applesauce due to their soft textures.

For more heart-healthy recipes loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and fiber, such as this easy, two-minute version of a traditional apple tart, which uses Pink Lady apples, visit

Two-Minute Apple Tart

Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1       refrigerated ready-to-use pie crust
  • 1       pound apples, cored and sliced
  • 2       tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/4    cup granulated sugar
  • 1       teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Heat oven to 425°F.
  2. Remove pie crust from refrigerator and warm to room temperature, about 15-20 minutes. Unroll crust and place it on large baking sheet. Arrange sliced apples on crust, leaving about two inches of space around edge.
  3. Chop cold butter into small bits and scatter over apples. Mix sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over apples. Fold two-inch section of open pie crust over apples – this will not cover apples, but contain them inside crust.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes until crust is golden brown and apples are just soft.

Stemilt Growers

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The bag:

Ipsy Glam Bag August 2016

Products in the bag:

111SKIN Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask

111SKIN Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask $26.33 ($20 pounds)

  Lord&Berry 20100 maximatte crayon lipstick in Intimacy

 Lord&Berry 20100 maximatte crayon lipstick in Intimacy $22.07 US ($20 euro)
There was no size info on their website, but due to similar photos I guessed at full size.


FORMULA X Nail Polish in Dollface Full Size $10.50, Sample value $3.81

The Organic Pharmacy Rose Facial Cleansing Gel

The Organic Pharmacy Rose Facial Cleansing Gel, Full Size $85, Sample Value $25.50

  NYX Professional Makeup BORN TO GLOW LIQUID ILLUMINATOR in Sunbeam

  NYX Professional Makeup BORN TO GLOW LIQUID ILLUMINATOR in Sunbeam Full Size $7.50, Sample Value $6.25

Overall the box had a value of $83.96 and cost $10


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Boxycharm August 2016

August 18, 2016

in Beauty,Videos

August 2016 Boxycharm

Products in the box:

Doucce Cosmetics Maxlash Volumizer Mascara

Doucce Cosmetics Maxlash Volumizer Mascara, $22

Beauty For Real Shadow Stx

Beauty For Real Shadow Stx, $19

Coastal Scents Blush + Bronzer Mini Palette

Coastal Scents Blush + Bronzer Mini Palette, $13.95

Aloette Time Repair Serum

Aloette Time Repair Serum, $48

Dirty Little Secret Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick

Dirty Little Secret Velvet Matte Liquid Lipstick, $10

August's Boxycharm has a value of $113 and cost $21.

Boxycharm July 2016
Boxycharm June 2016
Boxycharm May 2016
Boxycharm April 2016
Boxycharm March 2016
Boxycharm February 2016
Boxycharm January 2016

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FLONASE® compensated me in connection with statements made in this post.


Every fall I feel like scratching my eyes. My eyes water. My nose is runny and stuffy. 


As the managing editor of a community newspaper, I don't have time to be down with allergies all fall. I am the editor, but also the reporter, the photographer, and basically everything editorial for the newspaper.


I spend my days going to events, conducting interviews, and spending time with people. When you are interviewing someone, they really don't appreciate it when you sneeze in their face. Or when they think you might have something contagious.


And I've tried just about every allergy medicine on the shelves. They take care of some of my symptoms, but not all of them, or they give me medicine head.


But this fall I'm taking back my face. And my head. And my life.


The allergy medicine I have found that helps me take control of my allergies is FLONASE® Allergy Relief. I believe that FLONASE®, which you get over the counter, provides effective relief. It allows me to live my life without my allergies getting in my way.


FLONASE® is a nasal spray that is non-habit forming, which is extremely important to me. It's an allergy symptom reliever that works in your nose to help block the allergic reaction that makes you miserable.


FLONASE® doesn't just act on histamines. It helps block 6 allergic substances, not just one.* And it's the only OTC nasal allergy spray that helps with nasal congestion and itchy, watery eyes! Plus, it's full prescription strength and outperforms the #1 non-drowsy allergy medicine.**

*Mechanism vs. most OTC allergy pills. FLONASE® acts on multiple inflammatory substances (histamine, prostaglandins, cytokines, tryptases, chemokines and leukotrienes). The exact number and precise mechanism are unknown.

**Total nasal symptom relief vs. 10 mg single ingredient loratadine.

Just follow the label and remember that consistent usage is key. For adults and children 12 years of age and older, ask your doctor if you can keep using after 6 months of daily use . 



I can run up and down the sidelines of the local high school football games to get photos, write a story, and cheer on the Bulldogs!


I can ride bikes with my kids or explore the creek. I can take them fishing or keep up with my running goals.


FLONASE® helps me keep going at the insane pace of my life, helps me seize every moment and I love every minute of it.


Easily earn points whenever you purchase FLONASE®, watch videos and read articles, complete surveys, complete your member profile, and share content with friends. Be greater than your allergies while earning Greater Rewards! Join today and you'll immediately earn points and save up to $4 with a FLONASE® coupon.

How do you manage your allergies? Tell me in the comments and you will be entered to win a $100 Visa gift card!

Monitor for adverse events.

Entry Instructions:

No duplicate comments.

You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post

2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.

The Official Rules are available here.

This sweepstakes runs from 8/11/2016 – 9/30/2016

Be sure to visit the FLONASE® brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Sweepstakes is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by FLONASE® or GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

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Boxycharm July 2016

July 26, 2016

in Beauty,Videos

July Composite Box 1 1080x1080

This box had a $120 value and cost $21. Check out Boxycharm here.

Boxycharm June 2016
Boxycharm May 2016
Boxycharm April 2016
Boxycharm March 2016

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I decluttered two things this week, but I made a lot of progress on my Project Pan!

Products mentioned:
Enlite When it Rains it Pores
Maybelline Fit Me Mattte + Poreless
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser
Anastasia Contour Kit
Physician's Formula Sexy Booster Sexy Glow blush in Natural
Wet n Wild Color Icon Bronzer and Blush in Dusk til Dawn – No longer available
The Balm Put a Lid on It
Kat von D Esperanza
Too Faced Black Beauty – No longer available
Girlactik Precise Eyeliner Marker
Rimmel Wonderlash
Blinc Mascara Amplified
NYX Slide on Glide On Lip Liner in Bedrose
Kat von D Studded Kiss Lipstick in Lovecraft


Watch More Videos!
Weekly Makeup Baskets –
Product Reviews –
Tutorials and Looks –
Favorites and Empties –
Subscription Boxes –
Hauls and Project Pans –
Vlogs –

Find me!
My Blog
Facebook –
Twitter –
Instagram –
Snapchat – d1shwaterdreams

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I'm finally starting a new project pan. These are hard for me simply because I don't want to use up my favorite makeup. But I need to get down to it and start really putting the things I own to good use. So, I'm actually going to try to do this project twice. I'd like to finish 10 products before the fall. Wish me luck!

Finish Five

Products mentioned:
L'oreal TrueMatch Lumi Cushion foundation in N4 Buff Beige
Maybelline Instant Age Rewind concealer in medium
The Balm Put a Lid on It
Too Faced Black Beauty eyeliner No longer available
Aerie perfume in Woah

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When a long day at the office turns into a late evening with family or friends, you need a quick and easy get-ready routine so you can get up and do it all again the next day. Keep your morning hassle-free with these time-trimming tips.

When your schedule is dragging down your energy, your eyes may be the first to show it, especially if you’re prone to bags or circles. You can skip the effort of a full-blown makeup application, but concealer is one thing you don’t want to overlook. Cover up the tell-tale signs of tiredness then swipe on a light shadow to brighten your eyes. Polish the look with a coat of mascara to add definition.

A white, brilliant smile lights up your entire look. Keep your teeth sparkling with a convenient and affordable whitening tool such as the Colgate Optic White Toothbrush + Whitening Pen, which whitens teeth five shades in three weeks and begins working in one day. The whitening pen stores easily inside the toothbrush, taking the hassle out of whitening.

When it comes to hair, your best bet is planning ahead. Stock your bathroom with the right tools to rock an unwashed look without appearing sloppy. Depending on your hair type, this may be as simple as shine serum and a stylish hair tie for a sleek pony or some dry shampoo to boost limp roots.

Pale lips are another obvious – but easy to correct – indication that you skimped on your morning routine. Even if your makeup is low-key, apply a nude lipstick that enhances your natural look or a gloss with a hint of color for a pretty shine.

Keep skin looking fresh and radiant by moisturizing regularly. Using a tinted formula can hydrate and provide coverage at the same time, helping get you out the door faster.

Avoid last minute indecision by laying out your clothes the night before. Be sure to iron, steam or lint-roll first then hang the outfit outside your closet so you can easily throw it on in the morning. It helps to set out shoes and accessories, too, since picking the perfect complements to your outfit can prove to be time-consuming.

Find more solutions to help make your mornings go smoothly at

Photo courtesy of Getty Images


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June Empties

I have a handful of empties and a whole lot of decluttering plus a HUGE fail. I'm pretty proud of myself for decluttering as much as I did!


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Don't You Cry by Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica is one of those writers who mkes your brain explode. Her thrillers are not action packed, but they are so full of clues you have to read them twice. You get to the end and go, "Wait. What?!?!?!?!?"

I started reading Kubica's books with The Good Girl and have devoured her two subsequent books.

The book description reads, " In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she's the person Quinn thought she knew. Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected. As Quinn searches for answers about Esther, and Alex is drawn further under Pearl's spell, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes readers on a taut and twisted thrill ride that builds to a stunning conclusion and shows that no matter how fast and far we run, the past always catches up with us in the end."

The action in the novel unfolds slowly, but with so much intrigue it keeps you going. There are twists and turns and you just don't know what to expect around each turn. This isn't the kind of novel where you round the bend and something jumps out at you. Instead, it's just the opposite. You round the bend and nothing jumps out at you. The next scene unfolds, and the next. You are pulled along on a steady undercurrent until everything you thought you knew turns out to be dead wrong.

This one was hard to put down and I highly recommend this book as well as others by Kubica.

Other books by Mary Kubica

The Good Girl

Pretty Baby (review coming soon)

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Where are my favorites from June 2014? Some are still favorites, some are no longer in my collection.

Flashback Favorites

Products mentioned:
Hawaiian Silk Hydration After Sun Lotion
Amber Blush Triple Moisture Body Lotion
Now Solutions Brightening System
Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream
Essie Watermelon
Hard Candy Eyes the Limit Eye Primer
Jesse's Girl Liquid Liner
Laura Geller Baked Blush in Sienna – No longer available

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