Skincare and Makeup Lately: Hits and Misses

Skincare and Makeup Lately: Hits and Misses

Skincare My focus lately, for the most part, has been on new skincare items and routines. I have this problem where if something doesn’t work immediately (or breaks me out initially), I quit using it and assume it won’t work. I really need to give things a fair shake and see if they last. Tatcha’s Starter Kit After reading Sydney’s post about her experience with Tatcha, a brand I’ve been looking to try, I decided to buy the two week starter kit. I have oily skin but it’s been very tame in the winter months this year. This is probably due to a combination of a few things, which I’ll talk more about later, but it starts with skincare. The Starter Ritual Set (Normal to Oily Skin): I think I’ll talk about each item individually because I have  mixed feelings about some of them. I like the kit in general though because the small-ish sizes are big enough to definitely last more than two weeks, in my opinion. Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil: 👎🏼 So I’ll admit that cleansing balms and oils are just not for me. People who wear a LOT of makeup on a regular basis – do any of these work nicely for you?! I have to use 5 pumps to get everything off, I hate using it on eye makeup, and it just feels weird on my skin. It’s not the oil’s fault here because it’s ALL oils and balms, but I won’t bother with this in the […]

ARC Review: The Princess and the Fangirl

Posted March 21, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Review: The Princess and the Fangirl

Initial Excitement & Summary I adored GEEKERELLA and was SO excited to see a companion sequel. I already need there to be a million books in this series. The first book was basically a love letter to being a fan, attending cons, and geek culture as a whole. I’m not QUITE as into fandom things (for anything really) as many of my friends, but I totally get it. While the first book was a Cinderella retelling, this was a Princess and the Pauper retelling – the classic situation where two people look like each other and switch lives for a few days. In this case, the actor who plays Princess Amara in Starfield (Jess) switches place with Imogen (a Starfield fan and leader of the “Save Amara” movement). The two switch lives so Jess can track down who leaked the new Starfield script. Storytelling & Characters Just like the first book, this was filled with geeky references that I loved. (Sometimes it feels like a little too much, but not bad! – I liked that Jess was not really a geeky character so the references were only during one of the POVs.) The Princess and the Pauper trope was really well done and super fun to follow in a con setting. I enjoyed both Jess and Imogen as main characters. Jess was hard to get used to in the beginning because she didn’t like Starfield; it was off-putting to hear her grouchy inner monologue. This definitely changed throughout the book […]

“Consideration” and “Maybe” Shelves

Posted March 20, 2019 / Discussions, Features / 9 Comments
“Consideration” and “Maybe” Shelves

As I look through my Goodreads shelves and wonder how the hell I’ve acquired so many books on my digital TBR list, I started to wonder how other people use their shelving system. Do you use shelves like “consideration” or “maybe” or “to check out” on Goodreads to track books? These are the books where you think you MIGHT want to read them but probably not? Maybe? … So you put them on your in-between to consider later. Do you ever purge this shelf? Do you leave it as a gray area or book purgatory forever? I have a few answers to all this. My “consideration” shelf on Goodreads is primarily books I’m *considering* reading. I guess it IS that simple, to start with. I don’t think “I definitely want to read this” when I see the book, which is why it doesn’t end up on my main TBR. If I say “maybe I’d read this,” I kind of go from there. I get annoyed at myself when I look at the number of books on there (currently 557) and think: I’m never going to read ANY of these. I have 2,016 (!!!!!!!) books on my actual to-read list PLUS the 348 on my TBR for unreleased books. Do I really NEED a consideration shelf? Honestly, the main reason I keep it around is to keep track of books I’ve seen and keep getting distracted by. Let me explain. I have this whole book cover addiction, as you are aware of by […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #227: Spring TBR

Posted March 19, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 10 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #227: Spring TBR

Top Spring Releases on my TBR (that I don’t already have review copies of) Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. The topic for this week is your spring TBR but I already did a spring bingo TBR (and do monthly TBRs), so I thought I would expand specifically into books releasing in the spring that are on my to-read list! These are March, April, and May releases. I purposely did not put any advanced copies I have on here… even if I’m super excited for them. March A Question of Holmes by Cavallaro | The Fairest Kind of Love by Cestari Crashing the A-List by Heacock | Killing November by Mather (1) I’ve been casually enjoying the Charlotte Holmes series and am mildly excited for the next book. I don’t know why, but I don’t LOVE this series… yet I keep feeling the need to read each new installment? I think it’s because the audiobooks are easy listening. Note: I realized I have yet to read the LAST book in the series like an idiot. (2) There’s another sequel in the Windy City Magic series, which I think is adorable. It’s not perfect but it’s cute, young, and fluffy paranormal-ish YA. Also note: […]

Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Night Music

Posted March 18, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Night Music

Review I’ve gone on record to say, controversially probably, that I am not one of those people who actively seeks out books about music. I LIKE music as much as the next guy but you’re more likely to find me listening to a podcast or audiobook at this point. I don’t find new music; my music selections are probably 80% from before I was born and 20% from the 90s and early 2000s (some outliers from my HS/college years too of course). So, you could say that a book surrounding classical music would not be up my alley. That is the exact reason I decided to join this blog tour. I’ve been itching to expand my reading horizons, even within my favorite genre of YA contemporary. I wanted to learn about the classical music world I knew virtually nothing about. On top of that, I ADORED the other book by Jenn Marie Thorne that I read – The Wrong Side of Right – and was due for another of her stories. This book is about Ruby, one member of a very famous family in the classical music world, right after she decides that this world is not necessarily for her. She doesn’t feel talented enough, or that she fits in it. Oscar is the latest prodigy to stay in her house (!!) and learn from her famous father. The two fall together pretty quickly, swept away into a summer of music and attraction. The description in the synopsis of “breezy […]

Lauren Lately | March 2019

Posted March 15, 2019 / Features, Lauren Lately, Wrap-Ups / 4 Comments
Lauren Lately | March 2019

Because my Bookmark Lit Bulletin wrap-ups got out of hand, I wanted to break up my monthly wrap-ups into two posts: one personal and one bookish/bloggy. I created Lauren Lately here to highlight all of the personal happenings in my life: events, activities, shows I’m addicted to, things I’m obsessing over, recipes I’ve loved, and goals for the next month. I decided to space them out so this wrap-up happens around the mid-point of the month and the bookish one happens at the end of the month. ✨ Check out my most recent bookish and bloggy wrap-up HERE ✨ What I’ve Been Up To Lazy days | We had a few weird weather days in the last month, so we’ve spent quite a bit of time relaxing. We’re hitting the GIVE ME SPRING feels hard right now, guys, but trying to enjoy skiing/snowboarding and snow while we can I guess. Above you can see me learning hand lettering, Chris playing Pokemon, and me reading. That’s about it! Local bookstore exploring | I went to two indie bookstores and one of my favorite chains at the end of February. I went to Book Club near my office for the first time (all of the pics above are from there lol). I’m going to an actual book club event at a brewery hosted by them later this month. We also went to Bank Square books in Mystic when we were there for the chowder fest, then headed to Books-a-Million (the closest is in the southern part […]

How I Use Google Keep for Organizing My Life

How I Use Google Keep for Organizing My Life

I’m a big proponent of Google’s document services and other apps. I love that I can sync everything up on my phone or computer instead of having things in one place, like when I use Microsoft Office. I’ve talked a lot about how I organize my bookish life with Google Sheets, but I figured I’d share some of my Google Keep love today! If you don’t know, it’s an app and website service from Google that essentially makes various sticky notes on a board. They can be lists, plain text, drawings, and more. I use the checklist option the most because I frequently use it for groceries and weekly to-dos. I know there are more sophisticated planning apps that use calendars and such, but this one really works for me for now. Here’s how I use it. Pinned Notes – Priorities When you make a note, you have a bunch of color and style options, as well as the ability to pin it to the top. I like this for my priority items for the week. As you can see below, I have different grocery shopping lists for each store I frequent. I also have a list of meal plans for the week. Sometimes the meal planning note lists out each meal for each day (like below) and other times it’s just a list of ideas for dinner based on groceries I have on hand. The pinned ones below show the weekly meals, priority shopping list for Target the day […]

Blog Tour | Book Review & Cover Colors: Small Town Hearts

Posted March 13, 2019 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 4 Comments
Blog Tour | Book Review & Cover Colors: Small Town Hearts

Book Review The title “Small Town Hearts” and the synopsis promising a sleepy coastal Maine town were enough for me to add this to my TBR! The cute cover, bisexual main character, and coffeeshop workplace were other excellent selling points. I had high hopes for this one as a result! The story surrounds one summer, the one after graduation, where Babe encounters some ~issues~ with her friends and falls for a summer boy, while somewhat pining over an ex-girlfriend. I loved reading about her experiences with friendship and how friendships can change over the years… sometimes without you even realizing it. Her growing relationship with Lucy, her coworker, was nice to read as she learned the people who would support her and be there. (It also didn’t hurt that Lucy hated ketchup as much as I do!) Beginnings could be scary, and there was always a chance that the ending wouldn’t be pretty, but the middle was what made it all worth it… People weren’t meant to be preserved in amber. Maybe there were no happily ever afters. But there could be happiness, if I was brave enough to go for it. (ARC pg 194) Some elements of the story felt a little unlikely or uncommon, like both Babe and her friend Penny living by themselves in lighthouses and houseboats (just because they’re on coastal Maine doesn’t mean that would happen, on top of the fact that they JUST graduated high school lol)… but it honestly made the book a bit more whimsical and […]

Top Ten Tuesdays #226: Sequels

Posted March 12, 2019 / Top 10 Tuesdays, Weekly Memes / 13 Comments
Top Ten Tuesdays #226: Sequels

Standalone Books That Need a Sequel (or Full Series or Companion Novels) Top Ten Tuesdays were started by The Broke and the Bookish and are now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where we make lists of our top ten books (or something else!) based on that week’s prompt. The topics are provided ahead of time and can be found here. Book links bring you to Goodreads or my review. I’m always the kind of person who asks for MORE books in certain worlds (even contemporary worlds). I love sequels. I love companions where previous side characters become main characters. (Hello, Hundred Oaks!) I love reading a million books set in the same universe even if they’re not fully connected to each other in an actual sequel. (The Grishaverse is obviously the best example of this!) I didn’t want to make this about books that were supposed to get a sequel but it didn’t end up happening… but EFF IT, some will be that scenario. I also wrote a TTT a long time ago about characters I’d like to check in with, so you better believe I’d love some sequels for those books! (The best part of reading that post from 2015 is seeing that I DID get a sequel to 99 Days!)    The Heiresses by Shepard | Sequel/full series | I know this book was supposed to be a series-starter, but it never got picked up for some reason. There were recent rumors of a TV show in development but those may […]

Back to the Grishaverse | Reviews: Crooked Kingdom and King of Scars

Posted March 11, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
Back to the Grishaverse | Reviews: Crooked Kingdom and King of Scars

Well folks, this has been a whirlwind. I was thinking, about a week before KING OF SCARS was released, about how excited I was to read Nikolai’s story. I suddenly panicked – were SIX OF CROWS/CROOKED KINGDOM characters going to end up in his book? What is the timeline in the Grishaverse for these stories? The fact that I kept putting off CK for various reasons, which I’ll get into later, crept into my mind. Did I finally need to read it first? The answer was, semi-unfortunately, yes. I needed to read it. One of the KoS points of view is from a SoC/CK character and the events take place after. Whoops. So now I wouldn’t be able to read one of my most anticipated reads ON release day like I planned, but I would somehow have to squeeze in a book from a different series first… one that I didn’t want to read. I enjoyed SIX OF CROWS but not nearly as much as everyone else. I met Leigh Bardugo as my first author I met in real life, got a signed ARC of the book at BEA, and was basically on cloud nine. It took me FOREVER to get into the story once I started reading though. I switched to the audiobook and liked it just fine. Everyone mentioned how CROOKED KINGDOM kinda destroyed them and I was (a) nervous about being the black sheep and (b) not looking forward to being destroyed, potentially. However, sometimes you have […]