Thursday, April 30, 2015


Remember this? Well I have been happily documenting my progress and I thought it would be fun to meet up and have book talk. See what we have been reading and swap recommendations. So here is what I have completed (*=poor, **=good, ***=great):

1. Storm Front by Jim Butcher **(Dresden Files series about a wizard PI in Chicago- funny!) 
2. The Giver by Lois Lowry ** (Have not seen the movie, should I?)
4. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell ** (The ending was kinda "meh" for me, tainting the story a bit.)
6. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer *** (Really interesting book about a boy clone and nature vs nurture).
8. The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare (Not rating yet because this is my current read. Is that cheating? Thank you Tricia for lending it to me!!)
9. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt ** (Disturbing, poignant, but again the ending ruined it. Too much philosophical pining for my liking.)
10. Elizabeth I by Margaret George ** (This beast took me about 4-5 weeks to read. It offered a view of her life in the last 20 or so years of her reign.)

12. Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater ** (The third book from the Raven Cycle but left ho-hum, hoping the final book will make up for what this one lacked. I do recommend the series for YA fun. This has witches so it counts.)
13. Cinder by Marissa Meyer ** (Neat fairytale twist where Cinderella is a cyborg and aliens form the moon come to Earth to rule.)
15. Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda*** (Poetry, who'da thunk it. I loved it. In fact so much I am sharing an excerpt with you. Because it is my blog. And I can.)

"Ode to a Cluster of Violets"

Crisp cluster
plunged in shadow.
Drops of violet water 
and raw sunlight
floated up with your scent.
A fresh
subterranean beauty
climbed up from your buds,
thrilling my eyes and my life.

One at a time, flowers
that stretched forward
silvery stalks,
creeping closer to an obscure light
shoot by shoot in the shadows,
till they crowned
the mysterious mass
with an intense weight of perfume
and together
formed a single star
with a far-off scent and purple center.

Poignant cluster,
of nature,
you resemble
a wave, or a head of hair,
or the gaze
of a ruined water nymph
sunk in the depths. 
But up close,
in your fragrance's
blue brazenness,
you exhale the earth,
an earthly flower, an earthen
smell and your ultraviolet
is volcanoes' faraway fires.

Into your loveliness I sink
a weathered face,
a face that dust has often abused.
You deliver
something out of the soil.
It isn't simply perfume,
nor simply the perfect cry
of your entire color, no: it's
a word sprinkled with dew,
a flowering wetness with roots.

Fragile cluster of starry
tiny, mysterious
of marine phosphorescence,
nocturnal bouquet nestled in green leaves:
the truth is
there is no blue word to express you.

Better than any word
is the pulse of your scent.

17. Four Seasons of Marriage by Gary Chapman ** (It made me smarter about my marriage, the most important question it gave me was to ask Adam "What can I do to make you feel more loved?" We ask each other that from time to time and it has moved mountains.)
18. The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon *** (A story built around a mentally handicapped institute held white woman and her deaf African American lover who fight to keep their love and sweet baby child safe from the dreaded hospital they run from. Read this.)
19. Anne of Green Gabels by L.M. Montgomery** (Late to the party on this one I know, but there are tons I never read in school that others seem to have read. Cute heart warming story that made me smile and gaze on my own spunky girls with affection.)
21. The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler** (The adolescent feminine power that developed kept me turning the pages on an otherwise so-so story. Opening line "Froggy Welsh the Fourth is trying to get up my shirt.")
22. The Real Boy by Anne Ursu*** (A beautifully written and illustrated story about an alternate telling of Pinocchio.)
25. The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arther Conan Doyle*** (I may be biased but as a huge Sherlock fan, I loved this story. Published in 1902, I think this fits as over 10 years old.)

Whew! What a post! So I have about ten more to go before I finish this challenge. Have you been reading much? What do you recommend? I need to fill more spots!!!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Haus of Gloi: April Order

My Haus of Gloi order came lightening fast. I enjoy lightening fast. 

Butter Bombs in:

Lavender & Chamomile- This was supposed to be Lavender & White Amber, I was really looking forward to trying that since my friend Jean raved about it. But this one smells just as nice too. I emailed the company and Matt responded stating that it is the correct scent, just mislabeled. I must say though that my absolute favorite Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy scent is Lavender & Chamomile Sleepy Aromatherapy and this smells dead on like it. Just more concentrated. Gorgeous and sleepy time bath moments ahead.

Milk- Full fat milk frothing and warm right from the teats of a smiling bovine. A little of the Orange Blossom infiltrated this bomb and is giving it a hint of peppery sharpness.

Orange Blossom- Sharp, angular green notes of bitter orange leaves and peppery orange blossoms. I love.

Rain & Moss- Dew heavy grass blades, spider webs dotted with diamonds, green and grey shades of Spanish moss draped from old oaks. Green, pungent, ozone and aquatic.

Woodland Tea- Black tea leaves, exotic spices, the Grim in the bottom of a chipped cup. Smokey sage and billowing scarves writhe and twine in a shadowed tower. 

Troika Pumpkin Butter- Creamy coconut smoothed almonds with a white musk heart. This rich cream slides easily across the skin. A beautiful slight sheen the only visible trace of its passing. The butter satiates my skin's thirst and leaves it wonderfully perfumed. This is my new favorite body butter formula. Yep. I said it.

I look forward to many more orders with Haus of Gloi in the months ahead. I need to stock up on their butter bombs, sample their soap and lip balm and get more of this lush pumpkin butter. What lotions have you been using lately?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lush Life: French Kiss Bubble Bar

This is a repurchase for me. I got this last year and adored it. This bubble bar costs $ 8.95 and is worth every penny.

The mounds of sweetly scented lavender make me sigh every time. It sets a mood for languishing, reading, and uncoiling the tight binds of stress and busyness that wrap around my mind. If you enjoy a beautiful lavender scent, give this herbal cone of bliss a go. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Influenster: Bella Vox Box

Influenster is a program anyone can sign up to participate in, where they will send you products complimentary for an honest review. I was recently chosen to participate in the Bella Vox Box, which held quite a few awesome products. I happily got to testing and using and consuming and here are my thoughts.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs- Touted as leg makeup versus sunless tanner, it really does have the consistency of foundation. I tan using sunshine during the summer months (I wear sunscreen!! I swear! But I still get tan) but a tan can't hide varicose veins, scars or imperfections. This product does not completely hide imperfections either, but it does soften them. I see myself using this when I bare my legs in skirts or dresses if I want to forego pantyhose (which is ALWAYS my choice- forego pantyhose). I will say it runs pretty dark. I was sent light and having just returned from a beach vacation it still is darker than my normal skin tone and I am by no means a Pale Rider. It did have a slight staining effect but was easy to wash off. There was minimal transfer onto clothing. I would not wear this with white and then dance the salsa in Miami in August. But for brief air conditioned circumstances it might be just what you are looking for in leg touch up. It retails for around $13.99 and comes in 5 shades.

Not Your Mother's DeJa Vu 'Do Style Extender- A primer for the hair. Who knew. This product aims to be the base of your hair styling routine which results in longer hold, less frizz, and more softness and shine. Admittedly I wore this solo for a few days just to get the feel for it. I usually wear my hair curly and I really wanted to put the fizz claim to the test. After playing in the ocean and pool I applied liberally and let air dry. My curls were surprisingly soft and held together. The scent is pretty awesome to boot. A full size retails for $9 and I will absolutely be purchasing. 

EcoTools Complexion Collection Mattifying Finish Brush- As an oily faced gal and a makeup brush lover I was excited to see this in the Vox Box. I used this brush with my Make Up Forever HD finishing powder and it worked like a charm. The bristles are sturdy and soft, only a few dropped with vigorous fluffing. It is hard to tell in the photo but the shape is slightly flattened which is nice for application under the eyes and sides of the nose. This brush runs about $8.99 and I see more EcoTools brushes in my life.

Rimmel sent two products, both by Kate Moss.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss- This lipstick purports up to 8 hours of wear but I got about 2 hours. And it was 2 hours of non-fun times for me. The formula was drying and the application was flakey on my lips. It did not help that this particular shade looked horrendous with my coloring. Think pale peach death lips. If it was fire engine red I might have been able to get some mileage out of it with a balm underneath. This lipstick goes for $5.49.

Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara by Kate Moss- "The first mascara created by Kate Moss." The wand is a "broken heart shape" and this mascara plumps and lifts in one clean stroke. Sadly, this is one of those ultra fatty waxy brushes that my eyelids abhor. I seriously looked like a tween applying mascara for the first time after using this: black smudges on the lid, below the eye. After cleaning up, my lashes looked pretty good. More of a natural look but almost too natural. I went ahead and wore for the rest of the day and checked after several hours to see it traveled under my eye a bit. Not a repurchase for me. It retails for $6.99. Keep in mind: mascara is a strange beast in that Your Mileage May Vary. What I love, others my hate and vice versa.

Dove Fruit- I need a metric ton of this stuff. Dark chocolate covered blueberries, like manna from Heaven. The texture mimics chocolate covered raisins, with a satisfying chew. The blueberries contribute a twinge of tartness that makes the dark chocolate eye rolling delicious. A bag has two serving sizes, which I laughed at and consumed recklessly. They come in cranberry and cherry as well. I will be looking for these next time I am in Publix. Price varies from $1.88 to $2.69 which is pretty nice for such a decadent treat. 

That was my first Vox Box experience and it was pretty fun! I should have taken a before and after picture. After: tanner, great hair, matte skin, curvier with dry death lips (chocolate in the corners?) and mascara runs. Have you tried any these products? See anything you might like to try? 

*These products were provided complimentary for testing purposes.*

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Mermaid Makeup Collection: Blushes, Bronzers, Highlighters

I have a thing for blushes.

Benefit carries some high quality products (despite my cream eyeshadow debacle), specifically their highlighters, blushes and tints. I do not, however, use the tints on my lips. On my cheeks they give this amazing inner glow appearance. 

L to R all Benefit: Watt's Up highlighter, Girl Meets Pearl highlighter (good mixed in with tinted moisturizer for a dewy glow), Cha Cha Tint, Posie Tint, Sun Bean highlighter, and High Beam highlighter.

Benefit Bella Bamba (dupe for NARS Orgasm some say, I prefer it to NARS Orgasm personally, less dry and powdery) and Coralista. These 3 gram deluxe samples have lasted me ages but when they hit pan I will most definitely buy the full size. 

L to R all Mac: Briar Rose Beauty Powder, Pressed Amber Mineralize Blush, Peaches Sheertone Blush, Sakura Mineralize Blush. Amber looks more like a bronzer shade in the pot, but on my face the dusty pink hues emerge. Sakura with its purple leanings looks eyebrow raising but on my cheeks I get that fresh out of the crisp winter air look in the colder months. Peaches was picked out for me by the makeup artist in the Mac store years ago. It is a flattering color on my as well, but it looks best like this....

paired with Coralista. I use Peaches just on/under my cheekbones and sweep Coralista just on top and above Peaches. This is my absolute favorite blush look. 

L to R all Too Faced: New Year New You pallet (this blush is a little light for me but I do wear it on occasion), Sun Bunny bronzer, Chocolate Soleil matte bronzer (x2- even though the newer one on the right looks a tad darker). I adore Too Faced bronzer, especially the Chocolate Soleil (the chocolate scent makes it fun!), as the Sun Bunny can be a touch disco ball if it isn't summer time. I do want to try Guerlain's Terracotta bronzer one day.

L to R: Edward Bess Desert Sun bronzer, Guerlain Parure de Nuit highlighter (stunning violet scent), Chanel Jous Contraste in Rose Initiale, and Burberry Light Glow Tangerine blush. My precioussssss!!! I love these and save them for when I want to really look my best: date nights, vacations, or special events. Corny I know but it is just that extra bit of luxury that makes the event special. I would love to try Guerlain Meteorites soon too.

See any old favorites? Do you wear blush or bronzers? If so what are your go-to products? Highlighters still befuddle me at times so I use those sparingly. I tend to look extra oily when I use them.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Glitterati: Fall Custom Order

My name popped up on the Glitterati Fall Custom List recently and I couldn't have been more excited! I tried to show some restraint, but I am slightly regretting that now. I should have just gotten Bite Bags in the scent shot fragrances too. Glitterati can only be ordered from Janine's Glitterati Facebook group, so if you want to place an order, search Glitterati on Facebook and join. 

The Bite Bags cost $10.00 and have about 14 mini bundt shapes inside. You can blend as many fragrances together as your lil blending heart desires. If blending is not your thing, never fear. Glitterati also has an amazing House Blend List and single scents. This bag is full of Pink Rosemary Peppermint. A relaxing amalgam of herbal minty freshness. Potent and pleasant.

Vanilla Pink Peppermint (using vanilla mint) reminds me of pink sugar and dinner mints. Dinner mints made with extra peppermint extract. In love.

Pink Vanilla Bean Noel Beaver Tails and Hansel & Gretel's House.... see? Crazy blending takes over my brain sometimes. Rich, gooey, decadent bakery with a dash of cinnamon and hint of pink. It reminds me of a richer Amazing Bakery. 

This. I don't know how I am going to melt this. I loved it in my first order but I love it harder in this one, Pink Marshmallow Fireside. So good. Scent shots are around $1.75 and you can blend as you please.

Purple Rain is a mix of Black Raspberry Vanilla and Chardonnay I believe. Great scent, juicy and sweet.

La Vida Juicy Chardonnay mixes the sweet perfume by Juicy Couture with sweet grapey wine, like Reisling. I very much enjoy this combo. It works well!

Island Peach/Sangria White Peach I meant to buy two scent shots of as well but I see that I neglected to put (2) next to it on my order. >tears< Janine has a kick butt peach and this just screams peach punch. 

Free Samples:

Tickled Pink- I cannot find this blend on the scent list on her page but I smell a nice pink sugar bakery scent. Very yummy and this will be much enjoyed.

Raspberry Sangria- There is an alcohol note behind the sugared raspberries, like a classic Bartles & James wine cooler.

Cotton Candy- It may sound silly, but I am really happy to smell cotton candy on its own. I always suspected a strong berry note in cotton candy but now I know without a doubt there is one in there. I think this would smell great paired with Raspberry Sangria.

Have had a chance to try Glitterati yet? Janine usually has frequent Mystery Box sign ups as well as flash sale lots on her group page. Ordering custom though can be a tad trickier. I will be hoping I get on the next custom list that crops up towards the end of the year. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Mermaid Adventure: Blueberry Picking

If you are local to central Florida, do yourself a favor and head to BMB Farms to pick some juicy blueberries in the next several weeks. While the pickin's good. $15 a gallon for organic homegrown goodness.

The day was beautiful. Breezy, sun shining, and full of good folks.

(Told you I was a creeper).

Hi Mom!

The peaches were so cute and tiny. About the size of a small plum. 

Ready for 360 degrees of dragonfly?

Click on the one above to see the amazing multifaceted glimmers on the wings. <3

Another successful U-Pick, blackberries and maybe peaches will be up and coming trips in the near future. I have blueberry muffins on my mind. What would you make with these?