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Books

I read some really good ones this month, so let’s jump in! Linking up with Steph and Jana.

The Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

Whisper Network

Straight away, this book starts off with characters I could relate to. There are many women in the book who are having to play along with the boys club mentality at work. They have to think before they speak to drop the “likes” and square their shoulders to seem more confident. They are trying to balance their careers with their time they spend with their children. The main women aren’t always the most likable, but that didn’t take away from the book. They are more realistic I suppose.

I really liked the structure of the book. It started out with “If only you had listened to us, none of this would have happened.” The book moves between when it all started, interviews with witnesses and suspects,
deposition transcripts, etc.

Bottom Line: Read it! This sort of reminds me of Big Little Lies.

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger

When Life Gives You Lululemons (The Devil Wears Prada, #3)

I didn’t know this was in the same series as Devil Wears Prada until I saw the top of the cover before I started. I felt like Emily was a strong enough character to have her own book, so that was exciting! I really enjoyed this one. Sort of a novel about second chances for all three of our leading characters. I enjoyed each of the three leading ladies, and was very interested to keep reading to find out how it would all go down.

Bottom Line: Read it! This is a great Chic Lit palette cleanser, and you don’t have to read any of the books in the series to enjoy this one, could definitely be a stand alone.

Midnight Clear by Mary Kay Andrews (Callahan Garrity Mystery #7)

Midnight Clear (Callahan Garrity Mystery, #7)

I am still really enjoying this series. To refresh, it follows an ex-cop turned owner of a cleaning business (House Mouse) who does a little PI work on the side. In this book, we meet her younger brother, Brian, who shows up after ten years of not hearing from him. He has a three year old daughter, and his wife turns up murdered shortly after his arrival.

Bottom Line: A very good “cozy mystery” series, definitely one you should check out if you are in to that sort of thing. There is only one more book to go for me, I hope that she continues to write more!

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)

This book was so cute! I absolutely loved Stella and Michael. I laughed and smiled and just really enjoyed this entire book. Stella has Asperger’s, and it really added a unique spin to the book. It was deeper than your normal romcom and addressed issues around not wanting to be labeled a certain way. We saw Stella working through her anxiety and issues due to Asperger’s. And Michael had his own issues he was trying to overcome as well. I was really sad when this book ended, I miss the characters.

Bottom Line: Read it! Probably my favorite romcom read of the year so far.

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid

Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers, #1)

I have had this forever, and was so excited to read it after hearing Kristen and Heather gush about it. I absolutely loved Duane, he may be one of my favorite lead male characters. I had a hard time relating to Jessica because she has wanderlust and I do not. At all. I love to have somewhere to call home and feel settled. I am a homebody. I enjoyed the canter back and forth, and LOL’d several times throughout the book. Really, all the Winston brothers were fabulous. I cant wait to read the rest of the series.

Bottom Line: If romance is your thing, read it!!!IB

Little Bitty Lies by Mary Kay Andrews

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Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Mary Kay Andrews. (As shown from the series above!) She is usually a solid read for me. I don’t know what it was about this one though, I just didn’t care for it. In fact, I quit about a quarter of the way in. It was just dumb, I didn’t like any of the characters.

Bottom Line: Pass

How to Keep a Secret by Sarah Morgan

How to Keep a Secret

This book is all about secrets, and the fallout when they are revealed. It follows three generations of women from the same family. We get to hear from each of the four perspectives, which I really liked. It was easy enough to follow along with the shift from each character, and I felt like you got to know them better. Each had their own secrets and issues they were dealing with. I liked how the secrets were revealed one at a time, it kept you wanting to know more then entire book.

Bottom Line: You have secrets, family drama, teen angst, infertility, tragedy, love. You get it all! Read it!

Currently Reading

His Royal Highness by RS Grey

His Royal Highness
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Currently

Linking up with Kristin for What’s New With You.

Reading How to Keep a Secret by Sarah Morgan – Really enjoying this one!

How to Keep a Secret

Listening – I have really been enjoying the Coffee + Crumbs podcast lately!

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Wearing – I love that animal print is a “trend” this season, because to me, it is a staple neutral anytime of year. Always. A lot of you commented that you liked my leopard cardigan I wore last Saturday, so I thought I would share where I got it. It came from Kohls, and it is on sale AND there is an additional 15% off ( the code is: SAVE15) coupon right now!! Get it here.

I love how it fits, and the feel of it. It is true to size, I am wearing a large. It will definitely be on major replay all fall/winter long!

I also got this one, and I am waiting until it gets a little cooler to wear it since it is heavier. It is SO soft and SOOOOO cute on!!!! I really like the sleeves of this one. (Again, true to size. I got a large.)

Cooking – I have been strong on my meal planning and grocery shopping at Aldi lately. I actually have a few posts coming your way soon on how we have been saving major money on our grocery shopping. I don’t know about you guys, but we were spending a ridiculous amount each and every week. I honestly don’t even know how, because it wasn’t like we were buying a ton of excess. Lately we have been doing a lot of taco bowls, salsa chicken, oven braised pork chops, sun-dried tomato basil chicken and soups. I am excited that acorn squash is back in season too! I love some in the air fryer with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little smoked paprika. I make a spicy mayo (mayo, chili powder and sriracha) to dip it in, and mmmm mmmmm mmmm!

Planning – I have been planning Zoe’s third birthday party!!! She wants to have a princess party, and dress up like Belle and have all her friends come as princesses too. Such a fun idea! I have been gathering up little things here and there to decorate with, and have for treat bags and such. She talks to me all the time about each of the friends that she is inviting, and how much fun they are going to have. It is so sweet to see her friendships blossom at this age!

I think I want to do another set of birthday pictures on my own this year. I think I did pretty good with her smash cake session back when she turned one. Look how little she was. I hate that I didn’t really do any last year. I am trying to do better!

Excited – We are going to Disney on Ice this weekend!!! It will be Zoe’s first time, and she is stoked! I don’t think she fully understands what it is, but all she has to hear is Disney princesses and she is there for it. Chris wanted to make it extra special, we have front row seats so we wont miss a thing! We are taking one of my nephews with us too, so I am looking forward to spending some time with him as well.

I just love their Dream Big campaign!

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Weekend Shenanigans

Does anyone else look at the calendar from November through the end of December and think….whoa. How do we cram so much in to two months?? But, it is also my favorite time of year, so I don’t really mind one bit! It is just a little overwhelming at the start of it.

This weekend was a full one, and kicked it off Saturday when we met Laura and her crew at Ferus Ales for lunch. We enjoyed some delicious appetizers of pork belly, cuban egg rolls, fries and wings. For the main course, I had a burger that had beer cheese and onion rings. DELICIOUS!!!! I tried a Key Lime Gose from Westbrook and blueberry sour that was wonderful as well.

Trying to take pictures of the kids is quite hilarious. This is the best we could do. How sweet are they holding hands???

And Laura reminded me that we haven’t taken a picture together in almost three years. That is unacceptable! So that happened too!

Saturday evening we watched Auburn squeak by Old Miss, and I got some stuff done around the house. Zoe and I took a cold walk outside to see our neighbors Christmas display. Their blow up Monster went down the same day the Santa went up. Zoe is obsessed with going down there every night to say hi, not matter how dark or cold it is. I think we are going to have to decorate outside this year to keep her happy!

Sunday morning, I met my sister at Aldi to do some grocery shopping. We also made a trip to Lowe’s, Target and TJ Maxx. I love that all the Christmas stuff is getting put out! It is my favorite section of the store to walk through. I know some people bitch about rushing the holidays, but honestly, Thanksgiving and Christmas are one BIG holiday for me. They both bring so much togetherness and joy…why delay that? If it isn’t your thing, don’t look at it and let the rest of us be happy!

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Foundation Empties

I have been meaning to get my empties posts done, I have had these pictures sitting since August. So you know that empties bag is full again! I grouped them up for a few different posts, and today I wanted to focus on foundations!

IT CC Cream – This one I have a love/hate relationship with. I really want to love it, it does give full coverage for a CC cream. It is more like a foundation to me. But, it never settles into my skin, it rubs off on everything. And I hate the lemon-y smell that it has. I used it all up, but I wont be repurchasing. I like the Lancome Skin Feels Good so much more.

Lancome Tient Idole Ultra Wear – I really love this foundation, have been a fan for a long time. This is great for those who are looking for full coverage and want something that is a little bit of a lighter feeling on the skin. I usually rotate between this and Estee Lauder Double Wear.

Estee Lauder Double Wear – This is my ultimate holy grail foundation. I absolutely love it! This is true full coverage, and it looks best when applied with a beauty blender. (I always use the Real Techniques one.) It holds up to the Alabama heat and humidity all summer long. This is my favorite, with the Lancome one closely behind. When my skin is really dry in the winter, sometimes the Lancome one is a little more forgiving.

Tatcha Eye Serum I had a deluxe sample of this, and it was alright. Nothing really to write home about. I don’t think it is worth the price and will not purchase.

Elf Lip Scrub – This is $4, and it works like it is $4. I didn’t really care for it, and will not purchase again.

Avene Eye Cream– This stuff was alright, but again, nothing to write home about. This is less than $30, so it isn’t a terrible price for eye cream. I just don’t really think it is worth it, I wont be purchasing it.

Bobby Brown Long Wear Cream Eye Shadow – I really liked this eye cream. I had it in the color stone and repurchased it. I will say, I like the Charlotte Tilbury Cream Shadow in Marie Antoinette more. It has more depth and gives you a whole “look” over a solid color of the Bobby Brown stick.

Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair – I have used this on and off over the years. I really like it, but it is a bit pricey. I tend to really only use it now when I get a sample in a free gift pack when I buy the foundation.

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray – This is the best setting spray I have used, and have gone through multiple bottles. Love it!

Have you used any of these? What is your holy grail foundation and eye cream??

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Lately

This month has been in overdrive, flying down the road like it is driving something stolen. Time, time is what was stolen! I seriously cannot believe it is Halloween week! It is insanity!

Things have been busy at work, and around the house, and at school and dance and everything else. When that happens, I have a lot of empty intentions. I mean to get posts done, and then two weeks go by and I have a ton of pictures in email that haven’t gone anywhere. And the house isn’t so clean. The laundry piles up. I am trying to play catch up this week on all the things, before it gets even crazier!

Anyways, about two weeks ago, Chris and I were invited to the soft opening of a new brewery! Ferus officially opened last week, so anyone can go taste the delicious sour beers and have a tasty item off the menu now! They were tapped out of the peach apricot sour, but I enjoyed the blackberry gose! It was so delicious! And so pretty!!!

We ordered off the appetizer menu, because snacks are life. We got fried deviled eggs, cuban egg rolls, cheese curds and wings. (I am not a fan of wings, just the boneless variety, so I left those up to Chris.) Everything was delicious! It was really cool inside too, but I failed to take any pictures of the building. Next time!

That weekend, we also took the front bar off Zoe’s crib to turn it into a toddler “big girl” bed. I cried removing those screws and taking the rail down to the garage. Such a big milestone! Zoe has been potty trained for the past month now, and we need to be able to let her get out of bed at night if needed now. So exciting, but also, makes me so sad how fast time is going!

And we painted our pumpkin that we got from the pumpkin patch! Zoe turned it into a girl monster.

This past weekend, I got my hair done and we went to the fall festival. It was a lot of fun!!! Zoe was so excited to get to wear her Belle costume out. I love that we found a Mrs Potts purse, Beast mirror and Belle shoes to go with it! We had the perfect bow to match the dress too!

This morning, Zoe had a dentist appointment, so we leisurely got ready this morning and strolled around Target after before taking her to school. She did well and has some pretty shiny teeth!

We have one more Halloween party at school on Thursday, and then it will be time to focus on Thanksgiving and Christmas! And Zoe’s birthday!!! She wants to have a princess party this year, so I have been gathering up allllll the princess things. I can’t believe we are planning her third birthday!!!