27
APR
2016

Whatcha Lovin’ Wednesday

Helloooooooo, lovelies! I’m sorry I missed Monday’s #ListifyLife post. This week has been crazy busy (hubby’s birthday, school projects, field trips, physical therapy, blah blah blah), and I hadn’t even been able to glance at the prompt until 3 minutes ago. And it’s a thinker, so posting will have to wait. Luckily, the challenge runs all week, so I’m good to go.

For today’s Whatcha Wednesday, I wanted to talk… *sparkly font* makeup. For those who have zero interest in makeup, you’ll probably want to skip this post. No hard feelings, and I’ll catch you again on Friday. For those of you who do love makeup, grab a chair and settle in.

Full disclosure: I was a late bloomer in my makeup obsession interest. I mean, I started wearing makeup in 7th grade, but I never really got it. I wasn’t ever interested in it. It was there and I would wear it and it was fine. And then sometime after I turned 30, I started carving out more time for myself. And also spending more money on myself. It was (is) really an amazing and awesome thing (though my wallet would disagree), and something I completely support and encourage fellow women to do because we have a tendency to put ourselves last.

So there I was, early-thirties with a thirst for this stuff. Face products, body scrubs, serums, eyeshadow palettes…you name it, I wanted to try it. In the past several years, I have amassed a ridiculous tremendous collection of all that stuff. As such, I’ve been through dozens of different foundations. MAC, Urban Decay Naked, Laura Mercier Silk Creme (yes, creme, not cream. They’re not monsters.), Tarte Amazonian Clay, and BareMinerals, just to name a few. And while they were all fine, they weren’t it. (<—-heh, I made a pun. You’ll see.)

UNTIL NOW.

(Before I go any further, let me say that there are no affiliate codes in this post and no one is paying me anything to say this. (Although if someone wanted to, I’d be totally cool with that.) This is just my opinion on a some awesome products I think everyone should use.)

So a few months ago, I went into ULTA to buy…something. I can’t remember. It’s not important. While I was there, a consultant offered to do a makeover on me, and, me being me, I took her up on it. Free makeup to try out? Hells yeah.

Now, I should also tell you that while I was working my way through all those foundations, I was also going through as many primers and/or setting sprays, looking for the perfect combination so my makeup would stay where it was supposed to stay, and I wouldn’t have this weird feathering/streaking and/or pockets of color that showed up after a few hours of wear. And for the love of God, would someone tell me how to keep my foundation from getting on everything else but my face?

Right. So. Makeover. There I am, getting probably $300 worth of stuff tried out on my face. And while everything she used was nice, I wasn’t sold on any of the “extras” she showed me (I prefer my Urban Decay primer and Naked palettes, my BareMinerals Around the Clock gel liner, and my Laura Geller blush). But I did fall head over heels in love with the face products.

Behold, the trifecta of awesome:

IMG_6803For those following at home, that’s IT’s No. 50 Serum Anti-Aging Collagen Veil Primer, Your Skin But Better CC+ cream (mine is illumination, but they have plain, too, which I’m switching to), and Bye Bye Pores Silk HD Anti-Aging Micro-powder. That’s a lot of words for what boils down to The Best Makeup You Will Ever Wear On Your Face.

Let’s break this down into a handy dandy pro and con list, shall we?

Pros:

  • They are all anti-aging. I’m a firm believer that it’s never too early to start protecting your skin. I’m looking at you, twenty-two-year-olds.
  • The CC cream contains 50+ SPF. You should be wearing it every day, even in winter. Are you?
  • It makes your face feel like a baby’s tush. Seriously. Come over and feel my face.
  • Long-lasting (this makeup can last longer than that hero in the romance book you’re currently reading, and that’s a long time.)
  • They smell soooooo good! I get migraines from different scents, and makeup generally packs a punch. IT’s products are really light and fresh smelling…not at all overpowering, and if you don’t have a ridiculously aware nose like I do, you might not even notice it.
  • The serum feels like you’re rubbing the tears of Greek Gods on your face, it’s that amazing.

Cons:

  • Not a lot of colors to choose from for the CC+ cream, so you might have to mix two like I did. It’s a high upfront cost, but I’ve had those two bottles since…November? So, probably an investment twice a year.

Yes, that’s it for the cons. And, hey, maybe you’ll be one of the lucky few who falls right into a color category, so no cons for you!

Another awesome product that I didn’t include in the pic is Bye Bye Redness. I just started using this last week, and whoa, mama. Awesomesauce.

If I haven’t sold you on this stuff yet, good news: you can go to Ulta and either have them try them on you there (then wear for the day and see how it all lasts), or buy, try for a week, and if you hate them, return them for a full refund.

Thanks for sticking around while I totally geeked out on face care. Any questions on what I’ve used/still use and love? Hit me up in the comments or on Twitter. See you on Friday!

 

18
APR
2016

#ListifyLife – Weird Skills or Talents

listify life 4Hey everyone! This week for the Spring #ListifyLife challenge it’s all about the weird skills or talents you have. It took me a while to think of things for this—and one is kind of a cheat since I could only do it for a grand total of 18 months out of my whole life—but I got a few down.

First, and probably most notable, is my boob talent. I can accurately guess a woman’s correct bra size 90% of the time. And, if I’m being honest, that’s probably more like 99% of the time. Sit down and let me tell you a story. Last year at the RT convention, I was at a publisher’s party, sitting around and chatting with some lovely women, when my talent came up. I don’t remember how or why, but it did. I then proceeded to correctly guess everyone who wanted me to. They were all very impressed. *sunglasses emoji* You think that’s where the story would end, right? NOT SO, FRIEND. Nope. The following day at the signing, my editor from an entirely different publisher walked up to my table and said, “I heard about your talent. Guess mine.” Me: *mouth opens and closes* *eyes pop out* “How…how did you know about that?!” Apparently word of my talent got around. Moral of the story: next time I see you, ask me to guess your size. I’ll guess what you’re wearing or the size you should actually be in. I’m that good. *buffs nails*

Second, I am a rockstar with my toes. Now, I don’t know if everyone can do this or if my family is exceptionally gifted (snort) in this aspect. All I know is if my toes can fit around it, I can pick it up. I also know that I just lost probably a solid 40% of you by talking about feet. My apologies.

Lastly, and the one that is a sorry excuse for a talent, but I was grasping at straws here, is my pregnant magic trick. I’m not kidding when I say wherever I went my husband or mother-in-law would drag me around like a circus side show and make me show everyone who would stop long enough to watch. Picture it: Me, 8.5 months pregnant with a basketball in my stomach. *mimes actions* 1. tie string around belly button. 2. pull string above belly. 3. lift string and move belly to coincide with it. 4. do this four or five times to really get the crowd rolling. 5. hold string (and belly) up, then use other hand to “cut” the string, and drop belly. 6. receive pats on the back and general merriment tossed in my direction.

I have a video of that last one somewhere, and if I could find it, I would’ve totally posted it for your amusement. Alas…

Anyone have any weird skills or talents? Who knows, I might put it in a book…

11
APR
2016

#ListifyLife – Happiness & Misspellings

Hey everyone! I am back in the land of the living, though just barely. I had a fabulous time at the first annual, to-be-named writing retreat in Galena, IL. There were seven writers there, and it was a great mix of girls. We had a blast (and definitely too much food). All that said, I’m exhausted. I slept for ten hours last night, and it still wasn’t enough. But I don’t go to retreats or conferences to sleep. LOL

IMG_6512Now that I’m back in the groove (or getting there), I have some #ListifyLife posts to catch up on! I missed last week’s which was Little Things That Make You Happy.

This was a fun one to do. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day monotony and forget all the little things that make us smile. And, thankfully, my list is long. I could’ve gone onto the next page with ease, and that’s a great feeling (and one I need to remind myself of some days). Everything from new office pens to a clean kitchen to my kids’ laughter to fresh sheets can make me smile. Was there anything I didn’t mention that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to your face?

FullSizeRenderThis week’s list was words you always misspell. And I misspell a lot. But, really, do you blame me for hors d’oeverues? <——I’mma just leave that there for your amusement. Also there for your amusement is that cute as hell birdie I doodled. With prompts from The Revision Guide on Instagram, because I’m not that good.

That’s it for this week’s post! I’ll see you Wednesday for another Whatcha _______ Wednesday. What’ll it be this week? I honestly have no idea… 🙂

28
MAR
2016

#ListifyLife Spring Challenge: Books I’d Want to Live In!

listifylife2It’s Monday (boo), but that means it’s time for another #ListifyLife post! This week’s challenge was Books I’d Want to Live In For a While. And it was actually harder than I’d anticipated to come up with some books for this. I read a lot of books. I read a lot of great books. But I’m not sure I’d want to actually live in the worlds I read about all that much. For instance, Elle Kennedy’s Killer Instincts series. I love the books. I love the world. But being in constant danger every second of the day? I’ll pass, thanks. Same with several of the paranormal books I’ve read and loved. Hell, even the books I read the most—contemporary romance—are hard to pick which world to live in, because they’re already set in my world. That’s the beauty of the contemporary novel.

So I sat and thought about this topic this morning, wandered over to my bookshelves and took a gander at my books, reminiscing about old favorites. And I plucked out three worlds I would absolutely love to visit.

books listifyJill Shalvis’s Lucky Harbor Series

Jill is my favorite author, hands down, because I know exactly what to expect with one of her books. I’m going to get an alpha male, a relatable heroine, a side-cast of fantastic characters, and a quaint town I’m going to want to live in. In the Lucky Harbor series, she gave me the homesick feels the same way Gilmore Girls did for Stars Hollow. How can I feel homesick for a fictional place? I don’t know, but it happens. I’d love to get transported to this idealistic little town and live for a bit (or forever).

Stephanie Perkins’s Anna & the French Kiss

Anna is one of my favorite reads, and definitely in my top 5 YA books. Yes, it’s contemporary, but it’s set in Paris! While I wouldn’t love going back to school, I think I could tough it out for a chance to see Paris in all its splendor. Plus, Etienne.

Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight

How could I leave out the book that started me on this crazy, fantastic journey? Twilight is the book that got me reading and writing again, and I’d love to spend a while in this world. (So long as I was a vampire and had some sort of cool power… I don’t want anything lame like sensing emotions.) It’d be like catching up with old friends. To be honest, it’s why I still read fic. It is and forever will be my happy place.

That’s it for this week’s #ListifyLife post! And I actually won’t be posting until Wednesday next week, as we are off for a little Spring Break vacation. See you then!

*This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, that means if you purchase something from these links a small percentage of the sale comes back to me (at no cost to you!). It’s Amazon’s way of saying, hey, thanks for mentioning this product! Here’re some pennies. I promise I will never post about things I think suck. I’ll only ever recommend items I really, truly love!

25
MAR
2016

Friday Round-up!

Friday Round-upEeek! I just about didn’t get this one posted, guys. When I set out with my ambitious posting schedule, I sort of forgot that Wednesday afternoon marked the start of Spring Break for the kiddos, which means it’s been a zoo in my house for two days.

Because of that, this is gonna be a quick one. But before I get into that, I want to tell you what Friday Round-ups are! If you don’t know about the amazing Pocket, you need to head over there now and sign up for a free account. I love it. It saves me from having to keep 12,000 tabs open on my computer and phone because I can save them to Pocket and access from anywhere! The Friday Round-up is just gonna be a post of some of the things I’ve saved from the previous week that I think are cool.

First up: Uppercase Box! I saw this review about the different boxes, and thought I’d give it a try. I’ll admit, the only reason I signed up for April was because it’s supposed to be for Harry Potter fans, and Oldest is a diehard one, so I thought I’d see if it’s worth the monthly subscription.

Next is something that you never knew you needed until you click on the link. But beware: it may cost you hundreds of dollars and hours of your time. Now that I’ve warned you…DID YOU KNOW YOU CAN DESIGN YOUR OWN SHOES?! Omg, I’ve fallen hard and fast for this site. And I may or may not have already designed four pairs of shoes. They’re just sitting there in my design folder, waiting to be purchased… Someone throw some money at me.

Then we’ve got something for all the #girlbosses out there. In my lovely FB group of writer-planners, one of the girls linked a video on Marie Forleo, and I was hooked. Marie’s videos are short enough to keep me interested but long enough to have substance to them. And they pertain to me and my life a lot. If you’re your own boss, or even if you just want to get control back in your life, go take a peek at her stuff.

Even though I saved wayyyy more than this last week, I’mma end it with this last one because my kids are running around like hooligans and the pizza crust is going to burn. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I absolutely looooove Juli Bauer’s Paleo Cookbook. I seriously have not made a single bad recipe from there, and in fact have made several dishes more than once (or twice…) because they’re that damn good. Anyhoodle, I was browsing her site and saw this review and figured I’d better check out the cookbook that has highly recommended brownies. Plus, with a name like Every Last Crumb, I knew it’d be my jam. I’m hoping it’ll give me what I’ve been searching for: Paleo brownies as good as boxed. Because so far, I’ve tried three different recipes and none of them come even remotely close to the deliciousness that is boxed brownies. Have a recipe you love? Shoot me an e-mail or leave a comment. I’m begging you.

That’s all for this week! I’ll see you guys on Monday for another #ListifyLife entry! Have a great weekend, and a Happy Easter if you celebrate!

*This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, that means if you purchase something from these links a small percentage of the sale comes back to me (at no cost to you!). It’s Amazon’s way of saying, hey, thanks for mentioning this product! Here’re some pennies. I promise I will never post about things I think suck. I’ll only ever recommend items I really, truly love!

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