Friday, December 19, 2014

#AMonthofFaves: Picking Favorites!

Favorites day is a great day! I love sharing the wonderful posts I've read throughout the week. Be sure to link up down below!

Let's start with Martha from Reading is Not the Challenge. She had some great ruminations on some of her favorite winter books including some recommendations of French authors in translation. Having read The Suicide Shop last year, I've been itching for some more French books!

Another fun post is from Carol's Notebook. Not only did she recommend some books that hadn't yet come to my attention, she recommended a kid's book called The Grumpy Shepherd! I think I have to have it for Greyson. 

As if my TBR wasn't huge enough already, Sharlene from Olduvai Reads is tempting me with several picks from her list including The Elegance of the Hedgehog and Last Night at the Lobster

And finally, Wesley at Library Educated is on the same wavelength as me! She recommends Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, by Mary Roach, and it happens to be one of my all-time favorites. Now I'm even more tempted to read another one of her recommendations, HHhH, by Laurent Binet. 

Tell me about all the great posts you read this week! 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

#AMonthofFaves: 5 Must-Haves for Winter Survival (Bookish or Not)!

Check out the schedule HERE!
Today we're linking up over at Traveling with T!

Ohhhh y'all! Today's post is about my winter survival must-haves. I'm playing fast and loose with "winter survival" since Texas usually has fairly mild winters. This year seems to be on the colder, drizzlier side already, though, so I've been exploring some more things to keep my bone-dry skin moisturized and glowing as well as plenty of other fun stuff.

I've been on a makeup kick, fueled at least in part by beauty YouTubers. I have a whole post coming up on beauty channels for grown-ass women, so watch for that! In the meantime, I find it VERY hard to commit to high-end beauty products. I love to browse in Ulta and Sephora, but actually dropping $40+ for a product almost makes me break into hives. I want to use products that really work, but who wouldn't prefer a drugstore duplicate, right?

I recently picked up a super tiny bottle of the Benefit POREfessional priming balm. I've seen this primer all over the YouTubes, and I've never really used a primer, but I've noticed lately, with a switch to a long-wear foundation (that I love), that my pores look GINORMOUS around my nose and cheeks. Since the .25 ounce POREfessional is only $10, I wasn't so nutty about trying it out. And you know what?  I LOVE IT!

It has an incredibly silky feel, and I can tell when I put it in my t-zone that it really smooths out the pores and other craggy bits around my nose and eyes. It's also really hydrating, so it keeps my foundation from drying out and looking flaky later in the day.

I have watched several videos that say Maybelline Baby Skin primer does almost as good a job. It's only $5.99 for a full-size bottle, as opposed to Benefit's $31 for a full-size. I will definitely give it a go before I commit to a full-sized POREfessional. 

Also on the cosmetic front, I'm loving Maybelline Color Tattoo 24 Hour cream shadow in "Barely Branded." I received this from an awesome secret Santa, and I can't get enough of it. While my skin is super dry, my eyelids are the only oily part of my body. They seriously eat the eyeshadow I use on my lids, so this 24 hour formula is THE BOMB. It is still totally on at night when I get home from work, and it takes a little scrubbing to get it off! I also love this shade because it's shiny but still subtle, and it's totally work appropriate. 
This may be a weird pick, but it's one of my new favorite things. This is the Emergen-C Immune+ Warmer in Apple Cider. I run an 8oz cup of hot water from my Keurig, add this baby, and I have hot apple cider with some health benefits! You may remember that I'm super anemic and consistently trying to "catch up" my iron count, and since vitamin C helps iron absorb, this is a perfect afternoon drink for me. 

This one is from Kohl's...just as an example!

I have the most awesome winter coat, and it was a totally freak accident purchase. I was jacketless one day, didn't really have a good lined coat waiting for me at home, and I popped into Walmart and snapped up a navy blue windbreaker (water resistant) that happens to be lined with fleecy, furry stuff. It's not full on long-haired, matted fur, but it is a synthetic short-haired soft bundle of warmth. Hood, nicely fitted, heavy-duty. I cannot believe it's turned out to be one of my faves, but diamonds in the rough do happen! 

Last but certainly not least are my fleece-lined Roxy slip-on sneakers! These are great for running errands or even for casual Friday at work. I picked them up at T.J.Maxx because I needed a substantially warmer pair of casual shoes. I tend to wear a lot of ballet flats, and those B's are COLD! These are still light and easy, with a subtle black and gray plaid pattern, but they definitely keep out the cold...even without socks. 

What can you not live without this winter! Bookish or otherwise!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

#AMonthofFaves: 5 Fave Winter Reads!

For today's #AMonthofFaves post we're picking our favorite winter reads from last year's favorites! Most of these books don't have a thing to do with winter, but they'll always be connected with winter in my mind because that's when I read them!

Link up down below!

Two books could not be more different! Empty Mansions is a fantastic non-fiction book about Huguette Clark, millionaire and recluse. I loved falling into this world of privilege and, potentially, madness! 

The Slynx,  by Tatyana Tolstaya, is a contemporary Russian novel in translation. It's about existence after "The Blast," and the ways in which Russian culture endures and morphs. This has post-apocalyptic notes and is packed with satire. While I had my doubts at first, it blew me away!

When you're brain fried from the holidays, The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories is a huge winner. The first volume remains my favorite. These are adorable, small, dainty books filled with whimsy. You really can't go wrong! 

If you haven't read Octavia Butler already, get thee to the bookstore! Kindred is about an African American woman who travels back in time in numerous instances, drawn to a young white man, while she's left to maneuver through the slave culture of the 1800s. Powerful, brutal, provocative. 

The Wife, by Meg Wolitzer, grabbed me in its first lines. A sharp examination of the literary life of privilege and the lengths people will go to in order to succeed. 

Now show us what you've got!