Tag Archives: not impressed

Fall Is In The Air

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Fall Is In The Air

Hi! I am not the biggest coffee drinker any more and prefer my morning Diet Coke to give me a caffeine jolt before my work day. However, when Starbucks introduces their fall flavors back on the menu, I always just have to treat myself to at least one of them per year! I can take or leave their Pumpkin Spice Latte because apple is my all time favorite fall flavor. So, when I learned that there was an Apple Crisp Iced Macchiato available I couldn’t wait to give it a shot:

Nothing feels more fall than a seasonal drink from Starbucks and I decided to have my yearly fall beverage during my break at work. I was ready for all things caramel apple but, unfortunately, I wasn’t too blown away by the Apple Crisp Macchiato. It was tasty, yes. Sadly, it just wasn’t apple-y enough! I think I talked it up so much in my head and with my sister that anything less than a super apple coffee drink just wouldn’t cut it. -_-

I will say, though, that the last few sips of the drink were magnificent because it tasted exactly like my favorite fall candy – the caramel apple suckers. It was just getting to that point that was the problem, lol! I am also going to be the first one to admit that I definitely could have done with getting a Grande sized drink rather than the Venti. All of that caffeine made me so jittery and HOT at work and I am normally freezing all of the time. Such a rookie mistake!

Was this my favorite drink ever? No. But it was pretty good. Now, I will just be eagerly awaiting my yearly Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks during the Christmas season. ๐Ÿ˜€

What is your favorite drink from Starbucks? What is your favorite seasonal flavor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: Such A Quiet Place By Megan Miranda Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Such A Quiet Place By Megan Miranda Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Without giving any spoilers away, of course, we are going to be discussing a thriller called Such A Quiet Place by Megan Miranda. Was it the best book I have ever read? No. Was it the worst? Still no. Now, let’s get to it:

Hollow’s Edge is a beautiful neighborhood where everyone knows everyone. The home owners consider themselves a family and you can often find them at each other’s places having coffee and barbecues or lounging together at the community pool. Not only is their free time spent with each other but their work lives also mingle as many of the neighbors are employed at the local college. It is a picture perfect place for thirty somethings to truly begin their adult lives with family or blossoming careers. However, if we know anything about thrillers, we know that Hollow’s Edge is anything but picture perfect.

A year and a half ago, the community was turned upside down by the murders of Brandon and Fiona Truett via carbon monoxide poisoning. With the utmost cooperation from the Hollow’s Edge residents, twenty-five year old Ruby Fletcher was convicted of murder and sent to prison. The neighborhood was completely shaken and everyone tried to move back to some sense of normality. That is, until Ruby’s charges were dropped after she served fourteen months thanks to an excellent lawyer and new evidence.

After being released from prison, Ruby waltzes back into Hollow’s Edge as if nothing happened. She invites herself back into the home she shared with her old roommate, Harper, and begins plotting her revenge for the wrongful conviction. Her erratic behavior frightens the community and they are sure that a murderer is walking freely around their tight knit neighborhood.

The people of Hollow’s Edge try their best to ignore Ruby but it is with much difficulty with every twist and turn she presents. And, when she is reported dead after a Fourth of July party, it becomes impossible. Are there two murderers in the neighborhood? Or was Ruby’s death just collateral for desperate community members trying to save face? Read Such A Quiet Place to find out!

Given the description, you would think that Such A Quiet Place would be right up Lil Red’s alley because I love a good thriller. And I did like this book. The story line was different than anything I had read before and that, in itself, is a huge plus. The grand reveal wasn’t the grandest ever, though, and I had figured it out well before the book was over despite all of the red herrings. While I do enjoy solving the major twist in thrillers, I like being completely blindsided better.

Megan Miranda’s writing style didn’t help the cause, either. This is not to say the book was poorly written because it wasn’t. However, I never got a deeper understanding of any of the characters because it was always skirted around with their outward cattiness. The book wasn’t boring, per se, but it’s not much fun to read about an entire neighborhood of people who are exactly the same.

I can’t say that I particularly cared for any of the characters in Such A Quiet Place. Although they were all pretty shitty people, it is nice to have someone to root for in a book and I just didn’t feel that connection to any of them. So, even when the plot twist finally revealed itself, I still felt underwhelmed.

Such A Quiet Place is a read that you could take or leave and I am going to award it with a five out of ten star rating. This thriller really didn’t do much for me but I did like the unique story line. Whomp whomp.

Which book are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Road Trip!

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Road Trip!

Hi! Because I’m self employed and Johnny has limited days off, weekend getaways are the way to go for us to break up the monotony of the work week. This past weekend, we made a trip to Conneaut, Ohio which is about an hour and a half away to see the reenactments of D-Day. My Johnny is a huge history buff so when I found out this was happening, I knew we had to go and surprised him with tickets. Tomorrow, I will fill you in on the actual day spent on the beach and today I will talk about our trip so far. Let’s get to it:

We left for Conneaut pretty much as soon as I returned home from work on Thursday and arrived at our hotel right at six o’clock. We stayed at the OYO Hotel and let’s just say it left a lot to be desired. The carpets of our room were so badly stained it honestly looked like a murder scene. There were mystery hairs all over the room and bathroom too, which is insanely nasty. It is apparent that the rooms at the OYO don’t get cleaned thoroughly once a guest leaves and that is unacceptable – especially considering the price that we paid.

Despite being super turned off by the hotel, we were starving and headed to Sparky’s Place for dinner once we dropped our bags off. I wish I took pictures of the delicious burgers and cheese curds that we ordered but our meal was gone as soon as I thought to do so! I didn’t have anything to drink at Sparky’s but Johnny went with their house specialty of “Monkey Punch” which is basically an alcoholic fruit punch. I had one sip to try it and it was really good and I wasn’t expecting that at all because the different liquors listed in it sounded disgusting mixed together!

The cool part about our arrival on Thursday evening, other than our yummy dinner, was driving around Anytown, USA in Conneaut. There were military jeeps and guys in their uniforms driving all over town, having dinner, and mingling with the locals. That was cool, yes. But, the best part was seeing how excited Johnny was anytime any of these vehicles or gentlemen passed by. I can’t wait to see his reaction to the actual reenactments today. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tune in tomorrow for more on our adventure in Conneaut. And, if ever you are in the area, do yourselves a huge favor and don’t stay at the OYO because it will have you saying “oh no” in a heartbeat! Whomp whompppppp.

Where is your favorite place to go for a weekend getaway? What was the best road trip you have ever been on? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: GlamGlow BrightMud Exfoliating Treatment Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: GlamGlow BrightMud Exfoliating Treatment Edition

Howdy and welcome to the last Face Mask Festivities post from my Sephora Haul! My online purchase provided me with fun new eyeshadow palettes to play with as well as lots of freebie products to try out too. Today, we are going to be discussing the BrightMud Exfoliating Treatment by GlamGlow which was free after spending twenty-five dollars. And, let’s be honest, that’s not hard to do at Sephora! Let’s get to it:

I have always been interested in GlamGlow products so I was very excited to have the opportunity to test the BrightMud Exfoliating Treatment out. It actually reminded me a lot of the Korres Pomegranate mask that was featured yesterday in terms of its texture and effectiveness. However, that mask was specifically for oily to combination skin and wouldn’t be something that I would use again.

What I liked about the GlamGlow treatment was that, even after twenty plus minutes of having it on, my skin didn’t feel tight like it did with the Korres mask – and that was only on for three minutes! The texture of the mask had a lot of grit to it so that was a pleasant surprise. To activate the Exfoliating Treatment, I applied it in circular motions as advised and did the same when washing it off. I was definitely eager to see the results because it was one of lengthiest amounts of time that I had a mask on.

My primary fear about the GlamGlow BrightMud mask was that it would leave my skin feeling really dry but that wasn’t the case at all. After removing it, my skin felt oh so clean and smooth and looked bright. This was very welcomed because I used it in a hotel room after a long drive to Indiana with my husband and mom and I was glad to see my skin didn’t look as tired as I felt!

Despite enjoying the BrightMud treatment, I can’t say that it would be one that I would purchase a full size tube of. When it comes to exfoliating, I am extremely partial to the St. Ives scrubs and just bought three different ones from TJMaxx. While it is so fun for me to test out new products, you just can’t beat the price of good ol’ St. Ives for the amount you get and how well they work. In fact, I think they are even better than the GlamGlow BrightMud Exfoliating Treatment. Sometimes you can get a lot more bang for way less buck with drugstore brands and this was the case for the GlamGlow treatment.

What is your favorite high end skin care brand? How about your favorite drugstore skin care brand? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask Edition

Hi! During my last Sephora Haul, I got a bunch of trial sized face masks to try out FO FREE. I have used and enjoyed both the Water Sleeping and lip mask by LANEIGE and tested out the Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask this morning. The clay mask was definitely not my favorite in the world and that’s fine by me since it was a freebie! Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

I was very excited to try this Innisfree mask because of the “Super Volcanic Clusters”. I thought that it would be similar to the huge pieces of charcoal in my favorite face mask from The Body Shop. The Himalayan Charcoal mask by TBS gives me a skin treatment and an exfoliater in one and it is ultra effective. When using the Innisfree mask for the first time, I was a little disappointed by the smooth texture. It also applied really thin for a clay mask and I never care for that. One positive first impression, though, was how good it smelled! This mask had a beachy scent and that was so refreshing in the morning.

I let the clay mask sit for eight or so minutes before washing it off and was still eager to see the results. Unfortunately, I wasn’t blown away once the mask was off. There were no instantly recognizable improvements to how my skin looked or felt. While I am not expecting miracles, it is nice to see a little something something after using a new mask!

Despite not being crazy about the Innisfree Pore Clearing Clay Mask, it is always fun to try out a new product. This mask just didn’t pack enough of a punch for my liking. As I mentioned before, I am glad that it was free because I do not recommend it. #whompwhomp

What is your favorite face mask? What is your favorite type of skin care to test out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask Edition

Hi! Recently, my mom surprised me with the Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask by Yes To Tomatoes to test out. She is the literal sweetest and knows how much I enjoy doing face masks so every so often when she sees one for a good deal, she will treat me to it. While it wasn’t the best face mask I have ever used, the sentiment behind it was a ten out of ten stars for me! Now, let’s get to it:

I am a huge fan of charcoal skin care products, especially my favorite face bar by Destiny Boutique. I am always eager to test new charcoal products out because they are so effective in clearing the blackheads on my nose. I was expecting two results when using this Yes To Tomatoes mask: Clearing up my problem area as well as giving a nice glow to my skin since my fave face mask by The Body Shop does both. While this mask did clear up a lot of blackheads, it really didn’t do too much else for my skin.

Although I wasn’t overly blown away by the Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask, it did apply very easily. This was nice because some mud masks can be so thick. I had this mask on for about twelve minutes while I did some housework but it dried in roughly ten. I would definitely recommend washing it off right at the ten minute mark because it started feeling uncomfortably tight on my skin after just two additional minutes.

The Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask by Yes To Tomatoes is one that you could take or leave. However, if you’re like me and enjoy testing face masks just for the sake of trying something new, then it wouldn’t hurt to give this one a try if you find it for a marked down price!

What was the best face mask that you have used? Do you have a favorite ingredient when it comes to skin care? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities Follow Up: The Body Shop’s Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities Follow Up: The Body Shop’s Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing Mask Edition

Howdy! When it comes to bath and body care as well as skin care too, I always find myself partial to products from The Body Shop. In my youth, we always had goodies from TBS handy like their bath beads, bar soap, and shower gel. Then, in my teenage years, my mom took me there for one of my very first skin care and makeup hauls.

The Body Shop always hits right in the nostalgia for me and for good reason! So you could imagine how disappointing it was when all of their storefronts in my area closed several years ago. TJMaxx definitely saved the day when they started carrying TBS products in their beauty department and my mom and I were ecstatic to get our favorite lotions and skin care for a fraction of the cost.

A few months ago, my mom surprised me with The Body Shop’s Japanese Matcha Tea Pollution Clearing mask which she found at TJMaxx. It had been a long while since I tested out a new face mask and if you read my original review, you will remember that I felt the mask left a lot to be desired.

While I always enjoy using a new face mask, good or bad, I did find myself a bit disappointed with the Pollution Clearing mask. Yes, my skin felt slightly softer and looked a tad brighter but that was about it and I was very surprised to see so many five star reviews for it on Google. The reviews made me feel like I was missing something and I also refused to believe that The Body Shop could have made such a dud (For a lack of a better word!) of a mask. So, I began using it bi-weekly for about a month and, I have to say, I still don’t get it lol.

There is no denying that using this mask is a pleasurable experience, however, I still don’t see or feel any groundbreaking results after regular usage. Then again, what’s my one negative review among a sea of five star ones?! I still stand by my lackluster opinions but learned from reading user reviews that this mask proves to be highly effective for acne prone skin. My skin type has always been normal so it makes sense that I might not have seen such obvious improvements but it still would have been nice!

Acne prone skin or not, I still wouldn’t recommend paying the full twenty-eight dollar price tag for this mask. But, it is worth a try if you find it at a discount store like TJMaxx. I’m happy that I continued to try this face mask despite little to no results and plan on finishing my jar of it. But I think I will stick to my Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow mask from The Body Shop from now on.

Which products have you been unimpressed with recently? What is your favorite product from The Body Shop? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Buyer Beware!

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Buyer Beware!

Hi! Whether it’s a good or bad review, I like to be completely honest about my opinions or experiences with my readers. You might remember a previous post of mine gabbing about Wildly Untamed Boutique and how pleased I was with their customer service as I ordered heels from there for my wedding. While I still stand by that, I have to retract a statement I made saying that I would order from there again because that has been proven false since my last post.

Unfortunately, the heels I ordered were too big so I contacted Wildly Untamed Boutique’s customer service and asked to exchange them for a smaller pair. Knowing that it takes about three or so days to hear back from them, I ordered the size down so that the heels would arrive in ample time for my wedding. Customer service acknowledged that and I waited patiently for an update after the distributor was contacted.

I was instructed to ship the too large pair back and a shipping label to China was sent to me. I live in Ohio in the USA and my naive self thought “it can’t costย that much to ship back”. So, you could imagine my surprise when an employee from the UPS Store told me that it would cost several hundred dollars to ship the one hundred fifteen dollar pair of shoes back. Either way in this scenario, I would be losing money.

As soon as I returned home, I emailed customer service again and asked if there was any other location that I could ship to because of exorbitant shipping fees. I also recalled that the shoes arrived with a printed shipping address in the USA, not in China (which I have saved). I was told that they had no other locations in the email back, so now I am essentially out two hundred thirty dollars.

Two hundred thirty? Yes. Because not only did I not have the option to return the too big pair of shoes, they did not have my size in the color that I wanted. I ordered a lesser loved color because I needed something that fit. However, that didn’t stop me from searching for the heels in the color that I wanted elsewhere online a few days later. And guess what? I found them on the actual brand’s website for FORTY BUCKS. That’s a marked up price on Wildly Untamed Boutique of seventy-five dollars!!!!!!

If this review doesn’t turn you off completely from shopping with Wildly Untamed Boutique, then I would recommend using caution when purchasing with them. If your order needs returned, chances are, the shipping fees will be more expensive than what you originally spent. They also, obviously, mark up their selection A LOT so you could almost certainly find what you want for cheaper elsewhere. Very disappointing.

Have you ever had a similar situation with online shopping? What did you do to remedy it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Formula 10.0.6 Turn Up The Heat Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Formula 10.0.6 Turn Up The Heat Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Face Mask Festivities. Today, we are going to be talking about one of the masks that I received in my Holiday Haul by Formula 10.0.6 and, I have to say, I am very glad that this is a mask that I didn’t buy on my own because it was a massive dud. But, hey, they can’t all be winners and it’s still always nice to try something new. Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

D436819E-1F09-489A-8BCE-19ADC1E91C4A4494573C-4DFE-4A01-BF88-BD457244FF330A808C6C-3E9F-4424-A710-3B7AD858FD8DCD435D72-055D-4D07-AE95-A87E829C297C

My first qualm with the Turn Up The Heat face mask was the pump bottle that it came in. If you held it with the pump on top, nothing came out and if you held it with the pump on the bottom, it was still really difficult to get anything out. Also, the amount of face mask that pumped out was minuscule so it took some time to get enough to cover my face and, even then, it was a thin coating at best. A squeeze bottle would have worked so much better!

Despite the issues with simply getting the product out of the bottle, I was still excited to try it because I love a good self-warming mask. But, unfortunately, the mask never heated up on my face. Rather, it got warm in my hands and by the time I applied it to my face, the effect was already gone and that was definitely a disappointment since the self-warming was the whole point of the mask.

Up until I finished washing the mask off, I was still holding on to a slight benefit of the doubt but that quickly dissipated once I realized how tight my skin was afterwards. It felt so dehydrated and I couldn’t get my moisturizer on fast enough. I also noticed no positive changes in my complexion, either. WHOMP WHOMP.

I would not recommend this mask at all as it was lackluster on all fronts. The highly inconvenient packaging was one thing but the Turn Up The Heat mask did not work as described and did nothing for my skin. Don’t bother with this one!

Is there a self-warming mask that you recommend? Have you used any products that were duds lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Sleeping Nymph By Ilaria Tuti Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Sleeping Nymph By Ilaria Tuti Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Without giving any spoilers away, we are going to be discussing the sequel to Flowers Over The Inferno by Ilaria Tuti called The Sleeping Nymph. Ever since finishing Flowers Over The Inferno in August, I was eagerly awaiting to get my hands on the sequel to see what happens next to Italian police superintendent, Teresa Battaglia, and her team. Despite The Sleeping Nymph not being as good as its predecessor, I still enjoyed it well enough so let’s get to the review:

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In Flowers Over The Inferno, we learned that aging Teresa Battaglia has began suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s and the disease has done nothing but progress. Teresa wears a bracelet reminding her of her name, religiously writes notes in her diary so she doesn’t forget, and has a hard time recognizing people as well as coming up with the names of common objects. Somehow, she still manages to get up every day to help crack cases that are twisted, dark, and to some “unsolvable”. And, in the case of The Sleeping Nymph, Teresa is going to need all of her wits about her more so than ever before.

Our story begins with the discovery of a “missing” portrait in an art gallery painted by Alessio Andrian seventy years ago. The painting it called The Sleeping Nymph and it showcases the great beauty of a young woman – enchanting all who merely glimpse at it. Despite the portrait being so beautiful, it holds a dark secret because, upon testing the red paint that was used, we learn that it is actually blood. What’s more, the tests showed traces of cardiac tissue, meaning it came straight from the heart.

Since painting The Sleeping Nymph, Alessio Andrian never spoke a single word again. He is still alive but, clearly, will be of no help to the case so it is up to Teresa and her partner, Massimo Marini, to find out about the origins of the painting on their own. Through their diligent work, they wind up in the Resian Valley where The Sleeping Nymph originated. However, they get a lot more than they bargained for in the Valley when a human heart is found nailed to a tree, thus fast forwarding their case into the present.

Could the killer of the Nymph still be alive and has come back to tie up loose ends? Or is there foul play going on in the Valley? There is even an inkling that these murders might be tied to occult practices. Who murdered The Sleeping Nymph and who is killing now? Read the book to find out!

Now, I didn’t love The Sleeping Nymph but I also didn’t hate it, either. Despite the portrait painted in blood being an “oh my gosh” discovery, it also happened seventy years ago making the immediate sense of urgency you feel about the present day crimes in Flowers Over The Inferno nonexistent. The Sleeping Nymph kind of dragged on while the focus was in the past but promptly picked up about halfway through when they discovered the heart on the tree in modern time.

My other qualm with this book is just how wordy it is. Flowers Over The Inferno was like that too but I suppose I didn’t notice because it was one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. Because The Sleeping Nymph didn’t immediately captivate me, the vivid and highly detailed descriptions came off as boring and I felt ready for the book to be done about fifty pages in. I have never not finished a book that I started, though, and the four hundred and forty page read felt more like a chore than something I really wanted to do.

The Teresa Battaglia novels are meant to be a trilogy and my only hope is that the third book will be better than the second. I genuinely have no idea how Teresa will be able to solve another case with the progression of her Alzheimer’s but I am very ready to find out!

Overall, I am going to rate The Sleeping Nymph with six out of ten stars. I think it paled in comparison to Flowers Over The Inferno but I still enjoyed portions of the story line as well as the grand reveal. I would still recommend reading the Teresa Battaglia novels and I can’t wait to see how the trilogy ends.

What is the last book that you read? What do you recommend for me to read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah