Book, Lifestyle, Reviews

December Read

Yes, you actually read that right. I was able to finish up a book in the month of December. I am still unsure of a blogging schedule for the new year, but I am thinking 2 posts a week at most. I just don’t have a ton of time to dedicate to it and I’m at the point that I also want to time to live my life. My blog has come a long way, since I first started it five years ago now. Might even be going on 6. The years just kinda blur together. But 2019 holds a big year of changes for me. I’m gonna be moving with March being the earliest, but I start really apartment hunting at the end of Jan/Feb. I’ll have saved enough by then. I’m gonna be on my own for the first time ever with my son, which is both thrilling and terrifying. I am so ready and excited though! I’m gonna start dating again and putting myself out there. I’m gonna start building a life for myself and my son. I can be myself whoever that is, again. So, I really can’t wait for 2019.

Runaway (Airhead, #3)Runaway by Meg Cabot

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was a solid end to the series, but I’m still a bit disappointed by it. The first book was great. The second book was still good, but not amazing. The third is just kinda meh to me. This trilogy could have just been a book and a sequel. Half the book was just sitting, hanging around her ex boyfriend’s house being a “hostage”. It could have been so much better. It was a bit of a letdown. I “read” this on audible and I have to say that the narrator was also pretty terrible. I am happy to finally close the door to this series. Maybe, I am just too old for YA books now that I am in my mid to late twenties with a child of my own. I still thought the book was okay, but nothing like the first one. I wish that I would have finished this in my younger years rather than getting around to it now. I probably would have enjoyed it more.
View all my reviews

Well, that is the book that I managed to finish reading in December. I think I can get through one or more books in January. I am going to start walking for my hour of lunch. It’s part of a New Years Resolution to get back to the best version of myself. I always felt the best about myself when I was exercising and keeping my body fit. I also loved myself with really long hair, so I’m also focused on growing it out and not bleaching it anymore. I’m only allowing myself to have highlights in the future. I think I’m finally at peace with my dark blonde hair. Plus, with highlights, I can still add fun colors now and again.

With Love,

Selena

Book, Lifestyle, Reviews

September Reads

Another month has passed and even though I have been exercising, I haven’t listened to my audiobook. I was too busy catching up on Youtube and I have this tendency if I’m near the end of something, I won’t finish it, so I won’t be done with it. It is a really bad habit and I am trying to get out of it. I will for sure be done with the last Airhead book this month for sure. No more putting it off. I’m not finding it that great anyway. I wanted to share some older reviews that I’m not sure if I have shared on this blog before. If so, it has been a really long time and I thought you guys might enjoy it on the months that I have no books to review. It is kinda like revisiting old favorites or hate its. Let me know if you like this or not. I am going through my Goodreads and sorting by oldest reviews first. I think this will be a lot of fun! Oh, btw, I have read 429 books since I started counting in February 2009. Apparently, there are a number of books that I never put the date that I read them on. We shall go through them first.

The Luxe (Luxe, #1)The Luxe by Anna Godbersen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book so much with all of its plot twists and drama.

City Girl (Yellow Rose, #3)City Girl by Lori Wick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Best book in the series

Pregnancy: For The First Time Moms, What They Don't Tell You (Pregnancy Today Book 1)Pregnancy: For The First Time Moms, What They Don’t Tell You by Darell Spice

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not very helpful if you know the basics.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So SHOCKING!!

A Countess Below StairsA Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It was the best book about Royalty that I have ever read.

I also apparently barely wrote about the books that I didn’t bother putting a read date for. It is a good sampling to see what kinds of books that I like and enjoy for better recommendations. I really loved The Luxe series and I am so sad that I read all of them. They were my guilty pleasure books in high school. I really love anything that has to do with ages of luxury like the Victorian age or the roaring 20s. I just love all that glitz and glamour. I think I was born into the wrong time era. I would have loved to live during that time and been courted.

With Love,

Selena

Book, Lifestyle

August Listening

Once again, I have nothing read in the month of August, but I have been reading. Going to school full time is really not leaving me with much me time, never mind reading time. I am hoping to take an hour to read every week and sticking to that plan. I have been listening to my audiobook when I exercise and I have listened to it at work as well when I am working on something boring and repetitive like writing procedures. I also like listening to my audiobook the last 30 minutes of work, since I’m just wrapping up and ending the day. I am enjoying Audible a ton, but I did put my subscription on hold for 3 months. I have purchased two other books that I would like to be done with before buying another audiobook.

I thought that I would share with you the two other books that I have bought from Audible and will be listening to next. Yes, both of these books are from authors that I already love and enjoy. These books were on my to-read shelf and I cannot believe that I forgot about them. I hope that I enjoy them, but I know Audible has a great return policy.

Insatiable (Insatiable, #1)

I have had this book on my to-read shelf since 2011. I believe it is a more adult Meg Cabot book and I love romance with a mix of supernatural elements. It is 16 and a half hours of Audio which the other book was only 7, so it is more than double in length. I am hoping it will be a good story from one of my favorite authors. I want to read all of her books. I think I will read this one next. I have been looking forward to it for so long. I still need to cut down my to-read shelf. I’m down to 663 from like 750. I am getting there. It is just super tedious. I make sure to only mark things that I want to read now. I only want to do this once. Maybe, by Christmas, I will have gone through all of my picks and can have the final count of the books that I want to read.

Can You Keep a Secret?

Danielle has turned me onto this author. I love her Sophaholic series and this seems like a cute stand alone. This one is 10 and a half hours. It will be a nice, humorous read and a break from dramatic stories. I have a vast taste in books and I love trying out different ones. I enjoy thrillers, but I don’t like gushy horror stories. I love chicklit and young adult books best. Danielle, if you haven’t read this one yet, you should, because it sounds amazing! I love stories that are a little racy. Keeps things adult and interesting.

If you have any recommendations on Audible, please leave them in a comment below. I’d love to check out what other people are reading. I have these two waiting in the wings, but my Audible account goes active again in November. I feel like two backups are a good number for me and will put Audible on hold again or cancel it temporarily. $14.99 is a good price, but not when I am stockpiling books every month. I have enough REAL books waiting….and my virtual kindle ones now that I think of it.

With Love,

Selena

Beauty, Children, Haul, Lifestyle, SALE

Marshalls Haul

I am super excited to bring you a very small and modest Marshalls Haul. I needed a refill on some pretty notebooks and I told myself that I could spend $20 ($10 for each class) as a treat. I am pretty sure that I got As in both of my classes. I am just waiting for the results of the finals to come out and I’ll have my transcript grades ready. I couldn’t believe what I found for $20. I got to buy two seriously expensive items that would have equaled $63 at Sephora. I am happy to only pay 1/3 of the price for both of these products. I haven’t done a haul in forever! I have been really good at using what I have and not buying anything I already have. I decided to replace my skincare with ELF products. ELF has been killing it lately and there is free shipping with a $25 order. If I can find what I need at Marshalls for less than ELF price, I will get it. Otherwise, I’ll be placing an order at ELF. Let’s get into the haul!

IMG_4309

I got this adorable book for Dean for $2.99. The book is originally marked at $9.99, which is insane! Dean sometimes literally eats books, so $3 is an easy buy for me and it’s no skin off my teeth if its ruined in a week. He loves to flip through the book and the poor spine can only take so many flip throughs. I am so happy to have such a great boy who loves to “read”. He takes after his mother for sure. This is a cute Easter book with tons of pages, so it is a lot of bang for your 3 bucks. Dean and I also bought my dad a soap that he promptly opened and complained about no scrubby pieces. LOL. I had to tell him all the benefits of Turmeric and he’s on-board with it now.

I got a two pack of notebooks for $4.99 for my next semester. They are super cute and I needed something bigger than last time. I couldn’t find any Kate Spade, but these have the same theme and I am really loving it. $2.49 isn’t a bad price for a quality notebook and I love the thickness of these pages. It beats buying a $1.50 notebook from Walmart where my PaperMate InkJoy Gel Pens bleed through the page. One of my notebooks from last semester still has a few pages left in it, so I’m using that for reviews.

Yes, I got the $25 Anastasia Stick Foundation in Fawn (a contour shade) for $9.99! I am super excited about this find! It wasn’t swatched and in pristine condition. The box wasn’t even opened! I didn’t realize it was a contour shade, but as you can see it disappears into nothing on me. I can for sure pull it off as a light foundation. The packaging is so heavy and luxe. I am in love and I plan on using this as an all over base. Maybe contour on the days that I can building it up. I also plan to use this to cover up spots. The color looked scary swatched, but like the tab on the outside of the package, it blended into my skin flawlessly. It is definitely matte and I am interested to see how long this lasts on me.

Hell yeah! I got a $38 Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme in Prosecco Pop for $9.99, the same as the foundation stick. This highlighter is PERFECTION and I love the golden sheen on my cheekbones. The dark spot on it isn’t from being swatched. It is from the thin plastic protector, but some of the highlighter came off on it. I’m going to use up the product on the protector sheet before swirling this around. There is no hard pan on this and no spray over. The protector just lifted up a deep layer of product, you get to see the deep base to this highlight. It still works for me though. It isn’t too deep. My Marshalls also had Rose Gold, but I thought that it would be too deep for my complexion compared to this taupe/gold highlight. Two of the bottom photos are with flash to really captured the golden sheen, otherwise it looks very taupe/pinky/yellow to me.

Well, that is my haul! I am going to enjoy my treats now. I know that I will be using the contour stick every day and comparing it to two other creams from Smashbox that I own. One cream is too orange and the other cream might be too brown. So, I might be decluttering both of them. I also have three Smashbox cream highlights that seem to be just glitter eye gloss. I think I will keep them for my eyes, but I don’t enjoy them as highlights with that slippery feel to them that never dries down. I hope you enjoyed what I picked up. There will be another mini haul in November and probably some Black Friday hauls as well.

With Love,

Selena

Book, Reviews, Uncategorized

July Reading

Runaway (Airhead, #3)

Runaway (Airhead, #3)
by Meg Cabot

I actually haven’t read any books this month. For those of you who may be unaware, I have started full time online college in July and I have been so busy with that it doesn’t leave a lot of free time to myself. I thought that I would share instead the book that I am currently reading on audible and my thoughts on it at this time. I have been enjoying listening to an audio book while walking on my manual treadmill. I downloaded the Audible app to my phone (which apparently my SOS will no longer be updated, so I need to buy a new phone) and I can hit on the app to listen to where I left off the last time I was exercising.

After combing through my to read shelf on goodreads, I remembered that I hadn’t finished reading this Meg Cabot series yet. I also downloaded two more books, before putting my Audible subscription on a 90 day hold. It is already August and I am still working on my first book. I knew that the other two were going to take me some time to read as well. I am halfway through this book and it is good. Not as good as when I was reading it in my teens, but decent. The narrator is SO annoying though. Her voice irks me and it is nothing like I imaged Em to sound like. Where is the NY accent?! Why is she southern?! Makes zero sense. I’m hoping to finish this by the end of August, so I can give you guys a proper review. I do highly recommend Audible though. I got two free books through my Amazon account. Most books are worth more than the 14.99, so it is well worth it.

With Love,

Selena

 

Beauty, Book, Evening skincare routine, Haul

Birthday Haul

My best friend in the whole world recently gave me my birthday present and I want to share what I got from her with all of you. She always knows just what to get me and it is so funny. She is the one person that I find hard to shop for. We are both into beauty and books and she has a ton of both. Most of the time, she already has what I am thinking of getting her. The past two years though, I had been giving her a book in a book series and she really loved that, but she bought the next book herself. lol. I always ask for hints every year, because I don’t want to be that person who gets them something they already have. Luckily for me, I have an idea of what to get her this year and she will be impressed. Impressed, I say!

Who doesn’t love some sheets masks? The best part? She got me a cruelty free brand. Yes, you heard that right! She has been listening to my recent beauty rants on my blog. I couldn’t be happier! The brand is The Sharing Co and they donate a small portion of their sales to animal shelters. The Hyaluronan Mask is to help Pit Bulls, which I would own one if I could. The Soothing Mask is to help out Dalmatians. The Elasticity Mask is designed to help the Tabby Cat. The Brightening Mask has no animal in mind, just that happy animals (like playing in the snow) give them a better chance of survival at a shelter. The backs of the packets are so educational and when I start to use these up, I will definitely share what they say in my reviews. I cannot wait to try these and I have been more into pampering myself lately. I have been masking a few times a week and try to do a sheet mask every two weeks or so.

And of course books! My two passions in life: books and skin care. LOL. All kidding aside, I am really excited to read all three of these. I have already cracked into the Sarah Dessen book, because I read an excerpt in the most recent one that I read Saint Anything and it made me hungry for another Sarah Dessen novel. I really like the more mature themes in her recent books. I have to say that she is back up there with my favorite authors. Dangerous Creatures is a spin off series to Beautiful Creatures. I am unsure if I should read it or read the other three books first in case this one contains spoilers for the other books in the other series. Since You’ve Been Gone seems like the perfect summer read to read by the pool, which I totally plan on reading it there.

Thank you so much D! I really love everything and it was so thoughtfully picked out. I am so grateful that God brought such a great friend into my life who has been my rock through all of my ups and downs. Living life with me is a roller coaster for me and I’m glad that you have my back and I get to spend my life growing up with you.

With Love,

Selena

Children, Haul, Lifestyle

Dean: The Story of a Spoiled Boy

My son is spoiled rotten with love and yes, things. He really deserved everything I got him though and I never got to do a nursery. So, I am getting that fantasy fulfilled through what I like to call a toddler room. It will be complete once I buy my own home and can paint his room a nice creamy orange. I cannot wait until next year when I can buy my own home. I have to find the dream home first. It will be a great project to work on though. And if my friend still works her cleaning gig, I will for sure be hiring her to help me before I move in to get the place looking clean.

Firs things first, I bought Dean his own laundry basket. I like to wash his soiled clothes separately and now he has his own bag to fill. I am trying to teach him to throw his dirty clothes in there, but he is convinced that it is a hideaway toy.

He also needed a toy box for his toys. I had been using laundry baskets, so it really was time for an upgrade. This is a soft, collapsible toy box. Translation: he cannot use it to climb up and try to get things. They have a plastic toy box too that I will get once he is out of the climbing on top of everything stage.

I had fun building this myself and Dean loves the toddler sized furniture. He needed more organization for his many toys. All of his toys fit into these two organizers. It makes me very happy to see a clean room at the end of the day before morning and he takes apart everything to play with all of his toys.

I thought that I would show you what it looks like when all of the bins are full as well. He can definitely use a bookshelf and a mini mounted unit as well for his baby books. I also want to get rid of my chunky dresser and get him a toddler sized one of his own for under $200. My old dresser looks so out of place in a boy’s room and it is about time that he gets his own. I went through all of his drawers and took out his too small clothes. HE is still left with 4 out of 6 drawers full of clothes. I use 1 drawer now for his linens and the other drawer has my dad’s junk in it.

IMG_3603

I bought him a projection lamp for those hard nights when he cries and can’t go to sleep. He stops crying with this one and it occupies him until he can fall asleep. Dean definitely has the sleep troubles common in children with autism with his constant dark circles. I try to let him take long naps when I am home to make up for what he losses during the night and week. He takes 2 hour naps when I am at home and he still gets tired for bed any where near 7 to 8 pm. He also gets up at 6 and wakes up in the middle of the night.

IMG_3621

So, technically a girl’s book, but Dean loves this talking book. I play it to him every night before he goes to bed since it is a bed time book. I like to keep Dean in his routine and have already replaced these batteries once. I bought this at Savers for a dollar. You cannot go wrong with their prices and I’m a member now and have tons of points!

I possibly have one or two more Dean hauls before I am all caught up with the purchases that I have made so far this year. I am hoping to buy a few more pieces for his room, but otherwise than that, it will probably be quiet until the Fall when he needs more clothes. By then, I will be Christmas/Birthday shopping as well. So, there are a lot of hauls to come at the end of the year.

With Love,

Selena

Book, Children, Entertainment, Haul, Lifestyle

Dean’s Hauling Again

I am back again with another Dean haul. He has just gotten so much stuff from new clothes to new toys. I have been shopping and buying here and there. It has all added up to a bunch of new hauls to share with all of you. Side note, I am working from home today and I have been trying to get Dean to eat Brussels sprouts. It is a no go this week, but I am sure he will like it eventually. I steamed them in a light butter sauce. Yes, it is a freezer pouch that I nuked in the microwave. No creativity or cooking skills required. I am so happy that there are so many gadgets and food that you can buy where cooking skills are not required. I am not skilled in that department.

Crayola Color Bath Dropz

bath

This is a repurchase, because Dean loves colorful baths and watching them fizz in the tub. If you have a child, you have to try these and if you are an adult and want a colorful bath, you have to try these. I don’t need Lush bath bombs to color my tub now that I have these. When the mood strikes, I just those these in the tub, add my Minion bubble bath, and I am good to go.

Fisher Price Star Stacker

I bought this star stacker at Savers for two dollars. It doesn’t have the last two pieces or light up or anything, but Dean still loves to use it. Jen has all the pieces with hers and Dean is happy to have one of his own. You can’t go wrong for the price that I bought it for.

I don’t know what brand this is from, but this is another toy bought from Saver’s. Dean loves the many activities on it and it keeps him occupied when he does play with it. He doesn’t really play with any of the activities on the side, but he does play with the beads on the top all of the time.

I also managed to find a couple of more books to occupy his time with. Both books are still alive with all of there pages intact. I swear Dean eats books, so I am very surprised to see how long they have lasted. Savers is a great place to buy books and I highly recommend it. I want to buy myself a few books, but stopped myself. I need to finish my whole pile at home before I buy any more to be dust collectors.

chewies

I also bought Dean the whole collection of sensory Chewy Tubes. His favorite is the yellow one. I need to buy a whole set of just the yellow to have around as extras. This is a stimulating chew toy for him to chew on instead of his toys during play or skill building. It gives his mouth something to focus on, while his mind focuses on a task. He has been teething lately and destroying his toys. The chewy tubes are not cutting it for him at this time. Hopefully, they cut through soon. He was doing so good with not putting things in his mouth that don’t belong in there.

I am hauling so much lately and they will just keep on coming. I have my birthday in May. I got a coupon from Sally’s and Victoria Secrets that I want to use. I need to get my Sephora birthday freebie and I want to go raid the beauty section at Marshalls again. It is also mother’s day on my birthday, so I get to have a nice lunch out. There will be hauls. So, all you haul lovers out there, get ready. I am not done yet.

With Love,

Selena

Book, Favorites, Reviews

April Reads

I do not believe that I will be reading anymore books this month, so I am going to be posting this a little bit early. I will probably have three books read next month, because of this. The one book that I managed to read this month was very long and I read it for an hour most nights in April. It is the first book that I gave 5 out of 5 stars in a long time. This was a book off of my own bookshelf. I am one book behind so far on how many books that I want to read this year off of my actual bookshelf. That is why I already have my May book picked out: both of which are from my book shelf. I am hoping to squeeze in another ebook in May as well.
Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know what to say. This has probably been the best book that I have read this year. I love the POV of a man. It is so original in a female dominating YA Romance voice. It is unique and I loved seeing the world in the eyes of a 16 or 17 year old boy. I love the pace of the book. It kept the plot moving forward at an even pace. At some points, we are picking daisies and I’m enjoying that pace. When the action starts, it really goes fast. This book hooked me in from the very first chapter. I am invested in the stories and the characters. I want to know what happens next. This author really knows how to build a world and give the reader something tangible to hold onto (the Civil War) while adding in mystical elements. I went into this book not really knowing what it was about. I never would have guessed witches! It was so unexpected to me as an unassuming reader who didn’t read any spoilers. There are so many surprises in this book to me. I highly enjoyed it and I recommend it. I might read the next book on Audible. I want to hear that Southern drawl.

View all my reviews

I am very happy to have read this book this month and I will be getting more books in this trilogy. I might “read” them on audible. Yes, I have decided to subscribe to Audible. I plan on signing up in May. $14.99 for an audio book isn’t that bad and I pay 10 to 12 on a paperback anyway. I figure that I deserve it, since I no longer subscribe to any beauty subscriptions. I am also hoping that it will motivate me to exercise for 15 minutes every night. I want to get fit and healthy again. I would only allow myself to “read” when I am exercising or doing laundry or cleaning or whatever. I want the book to last the whole month for that price.

With Love,

Selena

Book, Collection, Reviews

March Reads

Well, I am ahead on my goal for this year, which is a good thing. I didn’t realize that my first semester of online college is on July 2nd! So scary to be so close to starting it up again. I think I am currently a month ahead of my reading goal which is 24 books this year. I have to wait for my new degree audit to go through to see what classes I will be taking. As soon as I have more info, I will be sharing it with all of you.
Jem and the Holograms, Vol. 4: Enter the StingersJem and the Holograms, Vol. 4: Enter the Stingers by Kelly Thompson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t care for the weird art that popped up in this one, but the storyline was much better in this one. When I finished the book, I wanted to read the next one to see how things would turn out for the girls. This is a guilty pleasure read and a good break time book at work. I remember reading comics as a kid and a few graphic novels in high school, but this is the first time (not literally, this is the fourth installment after all.) that I have enjoyed a graphic novel series again. It is not my typical faire but I could see picking up others (not from this series) and reading them if I needed a break from reading traditional books. I recommend this series and specifically this one.

Saint AnythingSaint Anything by Sarah Dessen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It has been a hot minute since I last read of Sarah Dessen book. I was getting tired of her stories, which all seemed to be the same story rehashed over and over again. Saint Anything was different though. It rekindled my love for her writing style again. The theme of the book also struck home for me. Back when I was in a relationship, I felt invisible and that no one could see me and what was happening to me. All the wrongs that went unrighted. I could relate to the main character. It wasn’t a far out tale that happened to other people. It was so realistic to me and I related to most of the events that occurred in the book. I cannot wait to read more of Sarah Dessen’s books again. I am betting that the more recent books are better than her earlier works that I grew so tired of. She feels fresh again. It is funny how an author can be so outdated one minute and then current the next. She has redeemed herself in my eyes and I look forward to reading more.

Shattered Rose (Winsor, #1)Shattered Rose by T.L. Gray

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Eh. I didn’t care for it, but it was a good read. I wanted to finish it to know how the story ended, but I am glad that I didn’t pay for this. The religious streak running through the book didn’t blend with the story at all and was only brushed on at the very end. Left a bad taste in my mouth. I skipped through most of the book finding it very boring and not very exciting but for a few parts. I don’t recommend it. I would try another book by this author. I see potential. If you like character development stories, I think you might enjoy it more than me. I enjoy books that are more action filled less reflective.
View all my reviews

What have you been reading lately?

With Love,

Selena