Friday, June 14, 2019

Recent Reads for 2019

Bear with me while I type out this post. I've got music blaring (hello new Taylor Swift and Little Mix singles!) and coffee pumping through my veins just trying to keep myself awake after last night. It was a late night watching the Toronto Raptors WIN THE FREAKIN' NBA CHAMPIONSHIP. Gotta say that was worth every yawn that has left my body today. :)

I usually include a favorite book or two in my Friday Faves posts during the month, but I've read quite a bit already this year and I thought I would touch base on a few of them. I read anything and everything as long as it sounds interesting to me. I don't discriminate against books, that idea goes against my very nature! I also don't believe in pigeonholing yourself or others into a specific category - you should be able to read young adult if you want, romance if you want, graphic novels, whatever. Put the emphasis on the fact that people are picking up books and not on what they are reading!

According to my GoodReads, I've read 47 of my 50 book goal this year. I guess I'll have to up my goal! Add me on there if you'd like, I'd love to follow you. I've read a few clunkers this year, which you can tell by my ratings on my account. One of them is actually below, but I added it because it makes the other one that isn't a clunker shine even brighter. Plus, I'm a bit in the minority for not liking it and you might enjoy it. The rest of the books mentioned below are a few that have impressed me this year and I just wanted to include small excerpts of what I liked about them.

And since we're talking books today, it would be remiss of me not to ask for any recommendations or asking you to letting me know about any of your own recent reads!

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The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
Okay, here's the clunker I was talking about. I loved The Hating Game so much and I guess I went into 99 Percent Mine with expectations that were too high. Would I have looked at it differently if I didn't know what kind of story Sally Thorne is capable of telling? Perhaps. I certainly didn't dislike it enough not to eagerly await for whatever she writes next. Why didn't I like 99 Percent Mine? The characters weren't particularly likeable and borderline annoying. It easily could have been condensed to less pages, if I'm being honest. The only part I truly liked was the little epilogue that we get into the characters from The Hating Game.

Because it was a dud, it just makes me look back at The Hating Game with more fondness. This is a fun tale of a "I hate you, but I love you" romance in an office setting. One of the better romantic comedies that I've read in a while and Hollywood must agree, because it's being made into a movie with Lucy Hale and Robbie Amell as the leads. I can't wait for it!

Watching You by Lisa Jewell
Do you like mysteries and whodunnit stories? There's a murder at the beginning. You don't know who or why and it's a slow build until the end and it's cleverly written. I can often figure out where the plot is going in these types of books, but this one got me and I tip my hat.

Don't Tell Teacher by Suzy K. Quinn
I didn't know what to expect with this one. Why? Well, because I've read most of her Devoted series (I still need to read the last one!) and it's a romance series, a great one at that. I didn't doubt her writing, but it intrigued me to read a thriller by Suzy. I did end up with an idea of where the plot was going, but it was still an excellent story right to the end.

Pretty Face by Lucy Parker
A well-written age-gap romance. It's another "I hate you, but I love you" type, but set on a stage and behind the scenes. More importantly, I like the characters, both main and side. I like the humor. And I liked the slow increase of chemistry that feels more realistic.

The Weight of Words by Georgina Guthrie
It's a romance based in Toronto, which adds a bit to the fun for me. It's also full of Shakespeare quotes and references, which I also appreciate. This is a series and I don't know how it ends yet, because I'm in the middle of book three right now. I've read them one after the other and just can't stop soaking up the story. The really nice part is the way all of the characters actually communicate. There is drama,secrecy, and you question loyalty quite a few times. The first book The Weight of Words is less on the steamy scenes and more on the chemistry between Aubrey and Daniel. Better Deeds than Words starts getting a little steamier. And The Truest of Words has yet to lessen on the steam, but is also focusing on tackling the past so that they can all look forward.

Keto Meal Prep by Bobby and Dessi Parrish*
I love cookbooks. I'll read any of them! I actually have followed FlavCity on YouTube for a while now, because I'm a foodie and I can't turn down a good food channel. Even if you're not doing Keto or low carb, you can find some delicious recipes in here. The best part is that a great number of the recipes can be found on his YouTube channel and you can cook along. Another thing I appreciate is that every single recipe in the book has a photo. Don't you hate when cookbooks don't do that? I want to know what the finished product looks like...even if mine doesn't often imitate it at all. Ha! I've actually been thinking of recreating one of the recipes from his book and YouTube and sharing it on here. The beef chili and cheddar biscuits are calling my name!

We Carry Kevan by Kevan Chandler*
For those of you who may not enjoy religious books, this book does have religious undertones. I think anyone can take some of the key proponents of this book to heart and hope that you will give it a chance. Friendship, adventure, and positivity. It's the real-life adventures of Kevan and his buddies who decided to go on a grand adventure and go backpacking in Europe. There's one major thing to mention - Kevan has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and needs a wheelchair. Determined, he sets out with his friends and family to figure out how to make backpacking work while leaving the wheelchair behind. It gives new meaning to the term "backpacking"!

You really see the beauty and kindness in not only his loved ones, but of people around the world. People who donated to the trip, people who danced with them on the streets, the people who strapped him onto their backs and helped carry him during this grand adventure. His perspective is explained so well and it becomes necessary to immerse yourself into his shoes to truly understand the grandness and pureness of this tale.

*These books were sent to me for reviewing purposes.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Milani Stellar Lights Highlight Palette in Rose Glow

Did I need another highlighter or highlight palette? No. Did that stop me from grabbing this the second I saw it? Also no. I can't help it- it's a weakness! I saw this being talked about on Instagram and knew I had to grab it. Milani's Stellar Lights palettes are gorgeous in person. There are two, Holographic Beams (cooler in tone) and Rose Glow (warmer in tone). While I normally like cooler, I gravitated toward this one a little bit more. Maybe because I was home and in that South Carolina heat and summer was on my mind? Could be!

Keep reading to find out what I think and to see my swatches!

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Friday, June 7, 2019

Blog of the Month for June 2019 - See the World in Pink

In May, Ashleigh from Ashleigh's Tea Party was my featured blogger. You can read that post and see other past featured blogs under the "blog of the month" label! Being my blog of the month gets you a designated blog post, a sidebar button, and a mention on my Twitter account. The sidebar button stays up all month long. I don't believe in necessarily making bloggers pay for advertising and I'd much rather show you blogs that I really enjoy reading. And I hope you end up enjoying them too!

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This month, I've chosen Renee from See the World in Pink. I've actually featured her before a few years ago, but this monthly feature isn't always about me picking someone new. It allows me to show support to blogs I enjoy reading, sometimes that's new blogs on my radar and sometimes it's blogs that I have continued to love throughout the years.

She focuses mostly on skincare, beauty, and nails. I always enjoy seeing her manicures! In one of her latest posts, she swatched one of OPI's newest collections. One other thing to note- she's so sweet with always something nice to say when we've commented back and forth. That's important to me! I hope you'll stop by her blog and other social media. Feel free to let her know I sent you!

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Healthy Planet Grand Opening and Haul

This past weekend, I was invited to a grand opening for Healthy Planet at four different locations in Ontario. I had my choice of Cambridge, Ancaster, Milton, and Ajax. Ajax was the closest one, so we stopped by to check out the new store Saturday afternoon! It's crazy because I've shopped from my local Healthy Planet before, I'd just never actually gone in. It's always been my husband running in to grab what we need (usually a smoothie, protein powder, etc.).

What I didn't realize was that there was a beauty area. How in the heck did I not know this?! I'm kicking myself for not knowing this and for not taking a picture to share. Just know that I will definitely be utilizing that section in the future!

I did do a little shopping and received a generous gift bag full of product samples that I can't wait to work my way through.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

InstaMonth for May 2019

I've been reading a lot of great books recently, so I'm thinking of doing a post on my latest reads. I normally include books in my "6 Friday Faves" posts, but there's too many to share. So be on the lookout for that post, if you are open to some recommendations.

And since I'm talking about Instagram in this post, I recently put up a post working with Febreze. I'd love it if you'd support me and give it a like and tell me what household odor you're always fighting! As someone who owns a dog, cooks with a lot of garlic and onions, and owns too many pairs of shoes, those are at the top of my list!

Here are some highlights from my Instagram during May!

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