Tag Archives: pretty good

Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask Review

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Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask Review

Hey! I had a fantastic little three dollar haul from Sephora so that I could get my Beauty Insider birthday gift. I made the most of their free shipping at the time and ordered a pack of makeup wipes and lots of freebies. For my birthday gift, I chose the Ilia makeup set and have been so pleased with everything in it. I’m obsessed with the tinted lip oil, I gave my sister the mascara, and I just started using the Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask:

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I love the idea of a lip mask but they never seem to love me. I have never been blown away by any of the ones that I have tried and always find that the chapstick that I normally put on before bed is more effective. I was expecting similar results of “fine but not impressed” by the Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask and was so happy that I was wrong! 😀

The packaging on the lip mask promises “fuller and softer lips” and it definitely delivered. Upon waking up after one use, my lips felt ultra hydrated and even looked more supple. My bottom lip is fuller than my top one and I noticed a huge difference in my top lip’s size which I was shocked by. It looked much better portioned in comparison to my bottom lip and I have never had results like that after one or several uses of a lip mask.

Although I did really like the Ilia Lip Wrap Hydrating Mask, I don’t know if I can justify its twenty-six dollar price tag from Sephora. I was also surprised by a lot of negative reviews for it, one of which being that it had a gritty texture. I noticed that too but it was overall very creamy with a little grit that I just wiped off.

If you can snag this product as a freebie, then I say go for it. I know that I will be doing the same. However, twenty-six dollars is steep for a little jar of lip mask and no matter how impressed I was by it, I would never spend that much!

What is your favorite lip product? Which birthday gift did you choose if you are a Beauty Insider? 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: Mrs. England By Stacey Halls Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Mrs. England By Stacey Halls Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing another book by Stacey Halls called Mrs. England – without giving any spoilers away, of course. This is the second book in a row that I have read by Halls and I enjoyed this one much better than The Familiars – it was really good! Before we begin our discussion of Mrs. England, I will be placing a trigger warning on it for disturbing content including psychological abuse and violence. Now, let’s get to it:

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Ruby May is a young woman in the early 1900s working as a children’s nurse (nanny) in London. She trained at a special academy just for this profession and works hard to support her family, which includes a younger sister with a spinal injury. Nurse May adores the family that she is currently caring for but, unfortunately, her time with them must come to an end. They need to move to America for the father’s profession and Ruby cannot be so far from her family.

Desperate for a new job, Ruby accepts anyone that she can get and becomes the nurse to four children in Yorkshire. The England family is obscenely wealthy and lives on a sprawling estate complete with a cotton mill, servants, and the best of everything that money can buy. Ruby makes the trip to Yorkshire to begin her new placement and is surprised to find Mr. Charles England waiting for her at the train station.

On the way back to the England estate, Ruby is charmed but a little surprised by Mr. England’s jovial nature. Even more so because picking her up would typically be a job for their chauffeur. It is nighttime when they make it back home and the children are already asleep. Ruby is ready to discuss her position with the mistress, Mrs. England. Strangely enough, the mistress didn’t realize Ruby’s arrival was that night and insists on her coming to Mr. England with any questions. This is all very unusual to Ruby because, typically, the mistress is in charge of all things relating to the care of the children.

The following day, Ruby meets her charges of Saul, Decca, Millie, and baby Charley and is pleased to be caring for such lovely children. She is also shocked to see Mr. England acting in the roles of both the father and mother around the house. It is not what she is used to but makes sense as Mrs. England is distant, withdrawn, and has a sickly disposition. She spends most of her time locked away in her bedroom and hardly seems to take pleasure in seeing her children.

Of course, as odd as the living situation at the England estate is, Ruby is in no position to judge as she is hiding dark secrets of her own. However, there is something strange happening there that she can’t quite put her finger on. It could be the uninviting servants, her disappearing mail, or maybe her own feelings of intimacy with Mr. England whom she must report to.

As her days drag into each other at the estate, Ruby quickly finds herself only caring for the two youngest children. Decca is going to school, which came as a shock because the girls were not to attend. And Saul is regaining his health at his great grandparent’s home after a severe asthma attack. The walls surrounding the England property begin to close in on itself and Ruby expects Mrs. England is to blame. But, is she really? Read Mrs. England to find out!

Much like The Familiars, Mrs. England was a slow burn of a read. I did like it a lot more, though, because something integral to the story happened in almost every chapter. This made for a much more pleasant reading experience and I found myself upset when I had to put it down. Although the reveals weren’t as jaw dropping as previous books that I’ve read, it was different than anything that I’ve read too.

I loved Ruby as a main character and it was a change of pace to know what she was thinking all of the time because I am so used to books with an unstable narrator. I liked her caring, curious nature and her interactions with the children always left me completely charmed. It was also interesting to read about her working through foreign feelings like longing for the man of the house.

I will be the first to say that this wasn’t exactly a nail biter of a read. It did have a haunting atmosphere, which added to the suspense. But, the major grand reveal was easy to figure out and I would have liked a bit more mystery to it. Stacey Halls’ books have such a unique, historical vibe to them. Mrs. England might not be a book that I’m going to simply rave about but I did like it – perhaps if only for the sake of switching things up.

Overall, I am going to rate Mrs. England with a six and a half out of ten stars. I would definitely read more by Stacey Halls. I will say, however, that if you are looking for fast paced reads with a lot of extra oomph, then she is not the author for you.

What 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

Lil Red’s Book Club: Twenty Years Later By Charlie Donlea Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Twenty Years Later By Charlie Donlea Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller by Charlie Donlea called Twenty Years Later – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on this book for general violence and crime scene related content. Now, let’s get to it:

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Avery Mason is the host of the wildly popular American Events, which discusses everything from true crime and safety tips to inspirational tales of bravery and every day heroes. She rose to fame quickly – mainly because no one knows her true identity of Claire Montgomery. She is the daughter to the infamous man who schemed a lot of people out of a lot of money by making investments in his company and he is still at large.

While on summer break from her show, Avery makes the cross country trek from California to New York to chase a story. She also has unfinished family business to tend to and knows her new lead will be the perfect cover up. And the story she’s investigating is a big one. Twenty years after 9/11, a positive ID has been found of one of the victims through new DNA testing and her name is Victoria Ford.

Originally, Avery thinks she hit the jackpot with this lead but it got even better when she dug deeper and found that Victoria was a suspect in a murder case. In fact, she was getting advice from her lawyer when the planes crashed as she would shortly be on trial for the murder of her lover, a married man named Cameron Young.

Avery wants to know everything about this case and seeks out the help of Walt Jenkins, who was the detective on this twenty year old case. Walt has been a recluse since he was asked to retire after a tragic incident on the job. When his old boss asks Walt to help Avery to see if he can learn more information about her father, Walt accepts. He is desperate to feel useful again and hops a plane to New York City.

As Avery and Walt delve back into the twenty year old murder case, new leads develop as well as feelings between the two of them. Walt, of course, is feeling very conflicted by now because he has to choose between doing his job or the new woman in his life. What will Walt’s decision be? And will they crack the case of Victoria Ford as a guilty or innocent woman? Read Twenty Years Later to find out!

Twenty Years Later was a pretty good read but it wasn’t my favorite. The writing of Charlie Donlea didn’t blow me away and at times it felt a bit amateur-ish but the story line did keep me hooked. My husband and I are both avid true crime fans so the idea of trying to solve a twenty year old case was an exciting one. I finished this book in about five sittings and, although I figured out a majority of the big twists, I still liked it well enough.

I enjoyed Avery as a main character because she was really smart and made a great life for herself despite who she has as a father. She was strong and brave and her back and forth with Walt worked really well too. Avery took the lead in all aspects of her life and she was a “take no shit” kind of gal, which I love!

My main qualm with Twenty Years Later was how repetitive it was. I swear, I must have read the same sentences or something similar in this book countless times and this got old super quickly. It was also fairly predictable, which is okay with me if the writing is excellent but that wasn’t the case.

I am going to rate Twenty Years Later with a six out of ten stars. The plot was interesting and I enjoyed reading about most of the characters. If it were written just a bit better, it probably would have gotten a higher rating but that was hard to look past. This is a book that you can take or leave. If you read it, you won’t hate it but if you don’t, you’re not missing out on much.

What 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

 

Pixi Beauty Peel & Polish Review

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Pixi Beauty Peel & Polish Review

Howdy everyone! This past week, my mom treated me to a couple of new products including a face mask and the Peel & Polish by Pixi Beauty. I absolutely loved the instanatural mask as per yesterday’s post and I was eager to try the Peel & Polish because I have never used any skin care products by Pixi before. Despite its not so pleasant scent, I would use it again! Let’s discuss:

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My first impression of the Peel & Polish was how it smelled because it was… interesting lol. It seriously smelled like vegetable broth and it was quite pungent. I have never used any product that had this aroma before and I can’t say that I was relishing the fact that I had to rub it on my face! Thankfully, the directions said that it only had to be left on for two minutes because I couldn’t imagine having it on for any longer than that.

I applied the Peel & Polish just before getting into the shower and I was interested in seeing the results because two minutes isn’t a very long time for it to sit. I was surprised by how well it worked after scrubbing it off because my skin looked noticeably brighter and it felt nice and smooth. This product was also so gentle, which made me even more impressed with it.

I could tell that it had made a difference when using it on Sunday morning because Saturday night is mine and Johnny’s game night. Saturday night is our standing date night in and we stay up late listening to music, playing board and video games, and talking until we’re practically falling asleep in the living room. Needless to say, my skin always looks dull and tired the following day!

I don’t know if I would go out of my way to order just the Peel & Polish from Pixi Beauty but if it were on promotion, I wouldn’t be opposed to it. According to the reviews on Pixi’s website, it is a product that its users can’t live without so maybe I’ll feel differently after finishing up the trial size bottle!

What is a beauty product you can’t live without? What is your favorite skin care brand? 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: Before She Disappeared By Lisa Gardner Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Before She Disappeared By Lisa Gardner Edition

Hi! This past month has been so busy, I feel like I barely had any time to read. However, after an afternoon reading marathon over the weekend, I finally finished the book I had been working on called Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner. I can’t say that I was overly impressed with the way the book ended but I really liked it as a whole due to the strong female lead, Frankie Elken. So, without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss:

Frankie Elken is a middle aged former alcoholic who drifts from place to place trying to solve missing person cases that have gone cold. She is not a professional and does her investigating without getting paid, so she picks up odd jobs in whatever city she ends up in. Due to Frankie’s own demons, she is highly passionate about what she does. But, unfortunately, she has never brought anyone home alive in the fourteen missing person cases she has worked on. This time, she desperately wants to get it right and heads to Mattapan in Boston to search for teen aged Angelique Badeau.

Angelique and her family are Haitian immigrants who came to America during the earthquakes. She is described as an incredibly gifted student with dreams of being a doctor and has a deep love for her family and Haiti. According to everyone who knows her, the last thing Angelique could be described as is a troublemaker and has never acted rashly before.

Eleven months ago, quiet and determined Angelique disappeared after school without a trace. After months of tracking evidence and following leads, the Boston Police Department came up with nothing and the case eventually goes cold. Cue Frankie Elken.

In a handful of days, Frankie uncovers secrets that the police weren’t even close to discovering on their own. As you can imagine, this leads to much tension between her and the professionals. In a missing person case, every minute is crucial and newly found intel leads Frankie to believe that Angelique is running out of time and fast. Can Frankie bring Angelique home? And just what in the heck happened to her? Read Before She Disappeared to find out!

Although I wasn’t particularly blown away with the way Before She Disappeared ended, I had a good time reading it. The entire book had such a sense of urgency to it and as I read, I felt like I was a detective right alongside Frankie. She is an unlikely heroine and her tenacity and street smarts blew the case wide open when she arrived in Boston. I found myself liking and rooting for her even more with every page.

The entire book felt like waiting for a bomb to blow because time was of the essence and, although the finale was a bit of a dud, I still recommend reading this book. I am going to rate it with a six out of ten star rating and it actually would have been a seven if there weren’t So. Many. Typos. in the book. It’s me being nit-picky, but it drove me nuts! Lisa Gardner has written a plethora of other books and I wouldn’t mind reading more of her work in the future.

What 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

 

 

 

Man Crush Monday: Larry David Edition

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Man Crush Monday: Larry David Edition

Hellooo everyone and welcome to the newest edition of Man Crush Monday – Larry David style! This one may be a head scratcher for some of you but there is nothing more attractive than a man with an award winning sense of humor! Enjoy this clip from one of my favorite shows, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and then let’s discuss:

Dear Larry David,

Oh Larry, you beautiful bald headed Jewish man, you. Thank you for creating the brilliance that is Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Television as we know it would be nothing today without you, NOTHING. You were the brains behind the literal best sitcom of all time and your sense of humor is completely unmatched by the comedians of 2015. Thank you for creating TV shows that I can sit down with my parents and enjoy. Thank you for creating TV shows that I can quote to my wits end with people who are in on the Seinfeld and Curb jokes. Because let’s be honest, people who haven’t seen the shows just wouldn’t get it. Your infamous tongue in cheek openness about subjects ranging from people parking outside of the lines to absolutely nothing at all have earned you the tip of my cap. Hubba hubba, sir. Do I find you hella attractive? Not at all…Openness, right? But do I find your amazing creativity enviable and incredible – Yes, I do. Larry David, you are a genius and I LOVE YOU!!!

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^^^ Lol, classic LD!! Prettayyy, pretayyy, prettayyy good! ❤

So there you have it, this week’s Man Crush Monday: Larry David Edition! Who is your #MCM this week? What is your all time favorite episode of Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah