Thursday, October 1, 2015

BBBC September - I Was Here

September's book was chosen by the lovely Stephanie from The Wonky Brow. She chose I Was Here by Gayle Forman.  I had never read anything by this author, but I'd heard a lot about her, so I was excited.

Cody is devastated when her best friend Meg commits suicide without warning. She soon discovers there was a lot more going on with Meg than she thought. When she goes to her college town to pack up Meg's belongings, she finds an encrypted file on Meg's computer that leaves here with so many questions.  She sets out on a mission to figure out why Meg saw no way out - or was it even suicide at all?

I had never read anything by Gayle Forman before, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  I could sum this book up with one word..."Meh".  It was fine, but I wanted more.  I think the romance between Cody and Ben could've been left out.  It was too cliche' and predictable.  

I should add that I listened to this book via the Audible app.  I enjoyed the narrator, which always is a good thing!

Check out what other members of our BBBC Members thought!

Michelyn: Brains, Beauty & Basketball
Ashley: If You Give A Girl A Ring
Heather: Love To Be Busy
Lisa: Uncommon Wife Life
Stephanie: The Wonky Brow

October's book is Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave and was chosen by Michelyn.  It looks like a great light read!  Feel free to join along.  :)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

BBBC August - Orphan Train

So as of this past Monday morning, I am officially the mom of a FIRST GRADER!  This summer really flew by for some reason...Anyway - here's what I thought about this month's book club pick.

Image result for orphan train book cover

It was my turn to choose our book, so I wanted to pick something a little different than what I normally read (which is YA or Chick Lit).  Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline caught my eye on Amazon; mainly because it was on the best sellers list and had great reviews.  I'm not normally one to go for historical fiction, but I figured with over 15,000 positive reviews, it had to be somewhat good. 

Molly Ayer is a seventeen year-old foster child close to "aging out" of the system.  She agrees to help ninety-one year old Vivian Daly clean out her attic to aquire some community service hours and stay out of trouble.  As they get to know each other, Vivan shares her memories of abruptly immigrating to New York from Ireland, then ending up on a train with hundreds of other orphaned children bound for the Midwest to start a new (not always better) life with adoptive families.  Molly soon learns that as different as she thought she and Vivian were, they shared many similarities.  

I had no idea this part of American history existed - these trains carried children to adoptive families for 75 years!  To think that these children's lives were at the mercy of luck and chance blew me away.  I flew through this book in about 3 days (which is unusual for me).  I had to know what happened to Vivian and how she ended up from Ireland, to New York, to the Mid-West, and ultimately in Maine. 

This is a great book and I highly recommend it - even if Historical Fiction isn't your "thing".  
Have you read this? What did you think? Check out what the other BBBC members thought too!

Michelyn: Brains, Beauty & Basketball
Ashley: If You Give A Girl A Ring
Heather: Love To Be Busy
Lisa: Uncommon Wife Life
Stephanie: The Wonky Brow

Stephanie from The Wonky Brow chose September's book - I Was Here by Gayle Forman.  This is the first book I've read from this author, but I've heard great things about her.  Her most popular novel is If I Stay, which has been made into a movie, and is also on my to-read list.

Friday, July 31, 2015

BBBC - Paper Towns

What happened to summer?  It's August already?!  July's book was Paper Towns by John Green, chosen by Lisa of Uncommon Wife Life.  I read John Green's The Fault in Our Stars last summer and liked it, but it didn't blow me away.

The book begins when Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman were nine years old.  They find a dead body of a man up against a tree in a park.  Fast forward to their senior year in high school when Margo re-enters Quentin's life by showing up at his bedroom window and recruiting him to help her on a very detailed revenge plan.  The next day, Margo has vanished, but left a cryptic string of clues for Quentin to find her.

I really enjoyed this book, mostly because of John Green's quirky writing style.  It had a very conversational tone and lots of funny parts that had me literally LOL-ing.   Many of Margo's clues led Quentin to abandoned buildings and neighborhoods, which was really intriguing and fascinating to me.  

I finished this one in about a week, which is saying something.  Usually it takes me much longer!  I had to know what happened to Margo!  You also find out specifically what the term "Paper Towns" means, and it's pretty cool!  I'm also excited to see the movie, which is in theaters now.

Have you read this? What did you think? Check out what the other BBBC members thought too!

Michelyn: Brains, Beauty & Basketball
Ashley: If You Give A Girl A Ring
Heather: Love To Be Busy
Lisa: Uncommon Wife Life
Stephanie: The Wonky Brow
Product Details

It was my turn to pick, so I chose Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.  I've heard a lot about this book and it got great reviews.  Feel free to read along!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

June Boxycharm Review

So I realized I should probably do one blog post on my sub boxes, but I forgot. #sorrynotsorry.  So here's my Boxycharm review!

Out of all the Boxycharm boxes I've gotten so far, this one is the least exciting.  Yes, the value is there, but I just am not thrilled with the products this month.

Eslor Chlorophyll Lifting Mask ($38) - I haven't gotten a chance to use this yet, but I do remember what chlorophyll is from middle school science class!  It claims to tighten skin, enhance blood circulation, and diminish fine lines.  I definitely want to give this a try.

Bellapierre Cosmetics Kabuki Brush ($29.99) - I've been using this with my powder foundation and it's pretty good.  $30 good?  Probably not.  I was expecting it to be a little softer I guess.  Oh - and I found this on for $ that's probably a more realistic price point for it.

ncLA Nail Laquer in Volume IV ($16) - This is my favorite product out of the box.  The color is perfect for my skin tone and it held up at least 4 days before chipping.  The only minor issue I had was the brush being slightly frayed, which caused small streaks.  But since the color is so nice, I'll overlook that.

The Beauty Crop Lighting Crew Highlighting Cream ($18) - I admit, I haven't tried this yet...mainly because cream highlighters scare me.  I'll give this a fair shot, but if it doesn't work out, I'll be passing it along.

Doucce Click Click Lipstick in #813 Pink Spring ($24) - Fabulous packaging...probably the best I've seen from a lipstick!  The color was just ok on me though.  It's a light pink, but slightly too frosted.  I will try to make it work though.

Total Value: $126

While I wasn't completely excited about everything in here, it's still an amazing value for $21/month!  I don't see myself cancelling anytime soon.

My only recent complaint is that their website is being updated, and the review & referral sections have been down for a few months!  I don't understand why they can't just get their crap together!  It hasn't affected actually getting the boxes, but I want to be able to earn points by doing reviews and referring people!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

BBBC June - The Year We Left Home

So I feel like I just wrote my review for May's book!  Summer really is flying by!  For June, Heather, from Love To Be Busy, chose The Year We Left Home by Jean Thompson.  It is the story of a family in a small Iowa town that spans 30 years in their lives.  

To be totally honest, I just didn't "get" this book.  It was very underwhelming and hard to follow.  There were a lot of characters, but it was very hard to keep track of who was who.  There was no real climax or plot; just lots of specific everyday life events tangled up into a book.  I was just waiting for something to happen, but it never did.  

Go check out what the other BBBC Members thought about the book:
Michelyn: Brains, Beauty & Basketball
Ashley: If You Give A Girl A Ring
Heather: Love To Be Busy
Lisa: Uncommon Wife Life
Stephanie: The Wonky Brow

July's book was chosen by Lisa, from Uncommon Wife Life.  She chose Paper Towns by John Green.  I've read The Fault in Our Stars and enjoyed that, so I am excited to read this one.  It's also being made into a movie, so that's always fun!  

I get to pick August's book, so stay tuned for my choice!

June Empties!

So July 4th is this weekend.  I feel like summer flies by once we round the corner of 4th of July and that makes me sad.  Anyway - here are my empties from June!  I am proud to say I used up 20 things, and only 2 of them were samples!

Items I will miss most:

  • Glam Glow Supermud Clearing Treatment - I say I will miss this the most because I just can't buy it again since it's so damn expensive!  So unless I get it as a gift, bye felicia!

Items I can't live without & have already repurchased (or had a back-up)

  • Saline Solution - I use this to rinse my contacts after storing them overnight in Clear Care solution.  I can't use multi-purpose solution because it irritates my eyes.
  • Clear Care - BFFs 4 ever!
  • Elf Shine Eraser - Love these!!  I bought a bunch of these a while back and still have a couple left in my stash.
  • Oral B Flossers - can't live without these!  I find it so much easier than using regular floss.

Items I will eventually repurchase:

  • Soap Opera Company Bath Bombs - love, love, love!  The scents are amazing and my skin feels so soft after using them!
  • Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer - Once I run out of my other under-eye concealers, I will be getting this again.  It's awesome!
  • Ole Henriksen African Red Tea Roaming Cleanser - I wasn't expecting to love this as much as I did!  I read "foaming" and thought "drying".  But I was wrong!  I loved using this in the morning.  That reminds me - I think I have another deluxe sample of this stuff somewhere that I should probably look for!

Samples that made me want the full-size:

  • Tarte Brazailliance Self Tanning Face Towelettes - these were also in this very same category last month.  LOVE!
  • Simple Cleansing Wipes - I got a sample pack of these in my Walmart Beauty Box and though I swore I'd never use cleansing wipes again, I may have to get some of these!

Disappointing products:

  • Tree Hut Sugar Scrub in Almond & Honey - wayyyyy too sweet smelling for me!  It still worked great though.  I just prefer the Coconut & Lime scent.
  • Philosophy Take a Deep Breath SPF 30 - I tried the non-SPF version of this a while back and really liked it.  But this wasn't the same and made my face super shiny!

Items you couldn't pay me to repurchase:

  • Noxzema Razors - no, just no.  Nowhere near a close enough shave for me and it clogged up easily.


  • Full Size - 18     $225.36
  • Samples - 2       $   3.36
  • TOTAL VALUE  $228.72

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June Birchbox(es)!

So I was sneaky and signed up for the $1 Tati Birchbox with another email address....and I am sure if you're reading this, you did the same thing (or are now kicking yourself for not doing it!).  Here are my thoughts on both boxes!

My "Real" June Birchbox

  • Coola Sport SPF 50 - Mango (Full Size 5 oz  $32 / Sample Value $3.20) - This smells nice, but had a heavier feeling than I expected it to have.  I love Coola's Matte Tint BB cream, but this is likely something I won't buy.
  • Marcelle Eyeliner (FS $11.00 / SV $4.50) - I don't normally wear blue eyeliner, but I got 2 this month.  The one I got in this box was a brighter shade, which I will probably try and feel like I took a time machine back to 1988.  I swatched them and the formula is nice and they seem to have good staying power.
  • Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant (FS 3.3 oz $26 / SV $7.87) - Now this, I like....a lot.  I used this way back in college (before Paula's Choice was well known) and for some reason forgot about it. I was so excited to get this in my box!  It works wonderfully!  I have dark spots from past breakouts and some sun spots, and while I haven't seen drastic improvements yet in fading those, my skin definitely feels smoother and looks more even!  I plan to buy the full size of this, for sure!
  • Temple Spa Good Hair Day Shampoo and In Good Condition Conditioner (FS 6.8 oz $14 each / SV $1.73 each) - No, just no.  Hated the smell (it's minty), hated the fact that the shampoo didn't clean my hair well at all, AND the conditioner left a waxy film on my hair.  No bueno!
  • L Erickson Pony Tail Holder (FS $18 for 15 / SV $1.20) - This is a pretty good ponytail holder, especially for holding your hair up while working out.  I still prefer the ribbon hair ties for casual ponytails though.
  • RumbaTime Watch (Retail Value $45 / paid $28) - I love this watch!  And I can't believe Birchbox offered it at such an incredible deal!  The band is silicone, which I really like, and the color is very unique!  It's very comfortable to wear.  I definitely want to get more watches from RumbaTime!

Total Value $20.23 (not including watch)

My $1 June Birchbox

  • Catherine Malandrino Style de Paris (FS $65 1 oz / SV $3.90) - I've gotten this sample before and I was so excited to get it again!  It's citrus-y and sweet and really nice!  I really want to get the full size once I get through this sample.  It's so unique!!  I usually don't get excited about perfume samples, but this one is a huge exception!
  • Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow (FS $27 1.6 oz / SV $4.05) - Another sample I have gotten before via my "real" Birchbox.  I just can't get this one to work for me.  It's just too dewy and accentuates my pores.  No thanks.  The color is nice though!
  • Marcelle Eyeliner (FS $11.00 / SV $4.50) - The shade in this box was a darker navy blue, which I will actually wear!  Yay!
  • Number 4 Super Comb Prep & Protect (FS $32 200ml / SV $4.80) - meh.  I've had this before too and wasn't super impressed.  To be fair, I did only use it with the crap shampoo & conditioner mentioned above.  I guess I should give it another shot with my normal combo.  It does smell nice though!
  • Supergoop Everyday SPF 50 Sunscreen (FS $19 2.4 oz / SV $2.70) - This is nice!  I've only used it once so far, but I may consider buying the large pump bottle next summer since I am already stocked up on sunscreen for this year.  
  • L Erickson Pony Tail Holder (FS $18 for 15 / SV $1.20) - see review above.

Total Value $21.15

I'm pretty happy with my boxes.  I will probably cancel the 2nd box after the July one comes and I get enough points to cash in on something around $10!  I am a little bummed I got two of the same box designs though.  

Subscribe to Birchbox HERE for only $10/month!