Book Recommendation Roundup: Halloween Edition

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Happy Halloween, everyone!  Here are a few mystery/thriller recommendations, in case you’re looking for something scary to read for Halloween.

  1. The Widow by Fiona Barton – This book was so addicting and rapidly gained suspense with each chapter.  The plot follows a husband and wife who are targeted by the media after the husband is accused of being involved in the disappearance of a toddler.  After the husband is unexpectedly killed, the wife begins to consider telling the media her side of the story and unburdening her conscience once and for all.  If you’re a fan of mysteries but don’t like the gory details that are included in some novels, this may be the perfect pick for you. (5 out of 5 stars)
  2. The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens – This was another addicting mystery that was so well written and had amazing character development.  The story follows a guy in college who visits a nursing home after he is assigned to write a bibliography for one of his classes.  He ends up interviewing a man who has recently been released from a life sentence in prison, following a cancer diagnosis.  The man was found guilty of assaulting and murdering a fourteen year old girl but has insisted he is innocent, despite his conviction.  As the interviews between the two continue to progress, more and more information is uncovered, until the truth about the murder is finally revealed. (5 out of 5 stars)
  3. Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra – As much as I loved the first two books on this list, this one has to be my favorite out of the three.  After a young woman on the run is arrested, she makes the desperate decision to assume the identity of a girl who has been missing for the past eleven years.  Although she is able to fool the authorities and the missing girl’s family, she quickly realizes that the person who took the missing girl is aware of her true identity and prepared to strike again. (5 out of 5 stars)

Have a great Halloween!

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Beauty Review: e.l.f. Hits & Misses

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I’ve been a fan of e.l.f cosmetics for awhile now, and just added a few more of their products to my makeup collection.  Here are my picks for e.l.f. hits and misses; the misses are products that didn’t work for me personally, but may work well for others!

Hits:

  1. Mineral Infused Face Primer (Tone Adjusting) – This is one of the recent products I picked up and it works really well.  It’s very light and seems to make my foundation last longer and go on smoother.
  2. Flawless Finish Foundation – This is another product I recently purchased and really like.  It covers well but still looks natural and dewy.  If you’re looking for a product that provides more coverage than a BB cream but doesn’t look too heavy or cakey, this may be a good product to try.
  3. Sunkissed Glow Bronzer – This product is perfect if you’re looking for a bronzer that gives just a hint of color.  It’s not glittery like some bronzers and looks more natural than others I’ve tried.
  4. Makeup Mist & Set – I wanted to try this product for awhile but wasn’t sure if it would actually work.  One of the great things about e.l.f. is that their products are so affordable that it’s easy to try new products you might not normally purchase.  I’m glad I got this one because it seems to make my foundation last longer throughout the day and feels so refreshing.  I will definitely purchase this product again when I run out.
  5. Instant Lift Brow Pencil – This is by far one of my favorites on the list.  The color goes on smooth and the spool on the end of the pencil is perfect for providing even coverage.

Misses:

  1. Volumizing & Defining Mascara – This was one of the few e.l.f. products I was disappointed by.  It was really hard to apply without clumping my lashes and it didn’t add much volume at all.  I’ve never tried the other mascaras e.l.f. offers but those may work better than this particular one.
  2. Expert Liquid Liner – The main reason I wasn’t a fan of this product was because of the flexible brush.  It was very hard to apply in an even line without smudging.
  3. High Definition Powder – I used this products as a setting powder on top of my under eye concealer and it creased throughout the day.  It was also difficult to apply evenly with the pouf it came with.  I only applied it using the pouf but it may work better with a makeup brush.

Do you have any favorite e.l.f. products?  If so, be sure to leave a comment!

Book Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

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Genre: Psychological Thriller

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

I discovered this book on numerous book recommendation lists and was immediately drawn to it because it was compared to Gillian Flyn’s, Gone Girl.  Although the story is much different than Gone Girl, in my opinion, both books deliver the same level of suspense and psychological intrigue.

From the outside, it appears as if newlywed couple, Grace and Jack, have the perfect life and marriage.  However, from the very beginning of the story, it’s evident there’s more to the couple than originally meets the eye.  Grace is never seen in public without Jack by her side and never seems to be the one to answer the door or the telephone.  When she’s invited to lunch out with the girls, she always seems to cancel at the last minute or arrive with Jack in tow.  Although it’s almost immediately clear that Grace is being oppressed by Jack, it isn’t until further into the story that the reader learns just how tight a grip Jack has on her.

As the author delves into the intricacies of Grace and Jack’s marriage, answers are slowly revealed about the sinister nature of their relationship and the the dark secrets that are lurking just beneath the surface.  One of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because of the way the author created such complex characters.  The story was very fast paced and suspenseful and the chilling ending was by far my favorite part of the book.  Although this book can be difficult to read at certain points, it is well worth it for the satisfying conclusion alone.

 

Fall Finds: Around the Web

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I hope everyone had a good weekend!  Here’s some fun fall articles to check out as you start your week:

  1. How to tie a blanket scarf – I love the look of blanket scarves and have a couple from last season but can never seem to remember how to tie them.  This article from Lemon Stripes explains the process step by step and includes pictures that make it easy to follow.
  2. Slow Cooker Recipes – Fall is the perfect time to test out some new recipes and these crock pot ideas from The College Prepster are both easy and delicious!
  3. Fall Drinks from Starbucks – If you’re looking for a new fall drink to try at Starbucks, this list from Southern Curls and Pearls is the perfect place to look.  Whether you gravitate toward coffee, tea or apple cider, this list has all three.
  4. Fall Playlist – There’s something about the cooler months that make me want to listen to folksy music.  The Friendly Fig recently shared this great playlist with tons of Indie artists like Bon Iver and Florence and the Machine.
  5. Fall Kitchen Ware – The Pioneer Woman just released her new line of products for fall and there are tons of cute options to choose from.  The 6-drawer spice/tea box would make a great Christmas gift!

Blog Feature: The Pioneer Woman

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From her colorful cookware line to her popular TV show, I love everything related to the Pioneer Woman.  When I need to find a quick and easy meal to make for dinner, her blog is one of the first places I tend to look.  Her blog has a huge assortment of recipes to choose from as well as, lifestyle posts, personal anecdotes, quizzes and more.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite content from the Pioneer Woman’s blog:

  • 16 Minute Meals – These meals are perfect for when you’re running short on time and energy at the end of a long day.
  • Desserts – Whether you’re looking for recipes for baked treats or ice cream toppings, she has it all.  There are also a few holiday themed desserts that are perfect for the upcoming season!
  • Confessions – These range from posts about life on the ranch, her kids, pets, husband and more.  They are hilarious and have made me laugh while reading them more than once.
  • Products – All of her pretty cookware products can be found at Walmart and are very affordable.  She adds new products to her line every so often and posts about them as they become available.

I hope everyone is having a good week so far.  Thank you for stopping by the blog!

 

Favorite Finds: October Edition

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I hope everyone is having a great start to their week!  In honor of the beginning of a new month, here are my favorite finds for October:

  1. Favorite Halloween Costume – My husband and I are crazy about our dog and are so excited to dress her up this year for Halloween.  The costume we got is very similar to this one but ours is from TJ Maxx.  We thought it was perfect for her because she looks a little like a baby cow.
  2. Favorite Homemade Treat – My favorite cookies to make are white chocolate pumpkin snickerdoodles.  I tend to make them year round but especially love making them around the holiday season.  They are so good and I actually think they’re even better by the second day.  You can find the recipe for them here.
  3. Favorite Store Bought Treat – If you love pumpkin flavored snacks, you’ve got to try these pumpkin delights.  They’re one of my favorite treats to stock up on around this time of year and are so addicting.
  4. Favorite Book – I just finished reading The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena and it is the perfect book to read close to Halloween.  There are so many chilling twists I didn’t see coming – right up until the very last page.
  5. Favorite Photo – There’s never a better time to re-watch Harry Potter movies, than the beginning of the holiday season.  This photo embodies everything I love about them.

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