Tag Archives: review

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Wife Upstairs By Rachel Hawkins Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Wife Upstairs By Rachel Hawkins 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 Rachel Hawkins called The Wife Upstairs – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, I will be putting a trigger warning on this book for general violence. Now, let’s get to it:

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Jane is on the run from her old life after a not so desirable experience in the foster care system and one major incident. Desperate to start fresh, she winds up in the apartment of a skeezy friend in the outskirts of Birmingham, Alabama. After a stint slinging coffees in a local cafe, she lands a gig as a dog walker in the posh Thornfield Estates, a gated community crawling with Stepford Wives, huge properties, and lots and lots of money.

Plain Jane has an eye for pretty things and is a chronic kleptomaniac. She feels right at home in the mansions she works in, although constantly feeling like she doesn’t belong from her lack of funds. This is all about to change drastically, though, after a chance encounter with a widower named Eddie.

Eddie is charming, handsome, filthy rich, and has been grieving the loss of his wife, Bea, and her best friend in a tragic boating accident. A whirlwind relationship between him and Jane begins and it is like a dream come true for her. In the blink of an eye, Jane has access to more money than she can imagine and can’t believe her good luck. What she doesn’t know is that Eddie is hiding a terrible secret in his own home.

While Jane is enjoying her newfound duties of live in girlfriend and fitting in with the neighborhood wives, a police investigation begins. The body of Bea’s best friend, Blanche, has been found and it appears that her death was no accident. This puts Eddie and Blanche’s husband at the forefront of the investigation and Jane begins to wonder if she ever knew Eddie at all. Will the body of Eddie’s wife be found? And is Jane next? Read The Wife Upstairs to find out!

When I first started reading this book, I admit that I wasn’t immediately sold on it. The first forty or so pages, I feared that The Wife Upstairs was a bit too cutesy for my liking but then the pace picked up drastically. I devoured this thriller in three days and my only regret is that it wasn’t longer. It. Was. SO. Good!

The Wife Upstairs is a far cry from the usual murder mysteries that I read and I think that’s why I liked it so much. With multiple narrators, there were twists and turns at every page and, for once, I didn’t see the final grand reveal coming at all. Believe you me, I’m just as surprised by that as all of you are.

This book is a true testament to the age old adage of “money can’t buy happiness” but, despite each character’s flaws, there were things that I liked about all of them. This made it difficult to determine whodoneit because my loyalty shifted each time there was a plot twist. I can’t give away some of these game changers without spoiling things right off the bat, but just know that this book is definitely worth the read.

I am going to award The Wife Upstairs with the coveted ten out of ten stars. I was so pleasantly surprised by it and loved being blindsided with every page. If, like me, you like to try and figure out the grand reveal of a book beforehand, I advise not making split decisions and viewing each character with a more discerning eye. I highly, highly recommend this book – especially if you are looking for a “lighter” thriller.

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: An Unwanted Guest By Shari Lapena Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: An Unwanted Guest By Shari Lapena Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a suspense novel by Shari Lapena called An Unwanted Guest – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on An Unwanted Guest for general violence. I devoured this book in less than a week and really enjoyed it so let’s get to it:

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Mitchell’s Inn is a quaint mountain lodge that boasts beautiful scenery, lush furnishings, and the piece de resistance of no WiFi. It is the place to be for a romantic getaway or to unwind with friends for a long weekend. With attentive staff, gourmet meals, and an abundance of activities the guests arriving don’t think that anything could possibly go wrong. But, we all know in a thriller that that is never the case!

An Unwanted Guest features a wide array of players all at Mitchell’s for the weekend. However, thanks to a massive snow storm, the inn is fairly empty and devoid of staff other than the owner and his son who live on site. We have Lauren and Ian, Dana and Matthew, best friends Gwen and Riley, Beverly and Henry, Candice, and David. Despite the snow, all of the guests are trying to make the most of their visit. But, things take a dark turn both literally and metaphorically when the power goes out, plunging them into bitter cold and darkness.

The guests wake the following morning disappointed that the power is still out but their troubles are just beginning as Dana’s body is discovered at the foot of the stairs with a nasty head wound. The suspicions point to her fiance, Matthew, as the culprit but the murderer could be any one of them. And, as more bodies are discovered throughout the weekend, it turns into the ultimate whodoneit. 

Tensions are high and dark secrets come to light as each guest tries to plead their case of not guilty. But is it one of them or is someone lurking about Mitchell’s Inn who most definitely isn’t on the guest list? Who is the murderer and who will be left standing? Read An Unwanted Guest to find out!

Upon starting this book, I wasn’t so sure about it. But I am genuinely unsure why because I was hooked about thirty pages in. An Unwanted Guest is a fast paced murder mystery and goes back and forth between each guest every page or so. What would be a somewhat tired plot felt brand new with the addition of the power outage. It added such a spooky vibe to this read because the killer could be right behind any of the guests at any time and they would be none the wiser.

I was very impressed with An Unwanted Guest because, given the amount of people that were narrating, there was bound to be a dud in there somewhere. However, all of the characters added their own unique touches and stories to the mix and I was excited to read each of their takes on the events. The grand reveal was also nothing to sneeze at, either. Although I did figure it out prior to, my jaw still dropped as to the reason why and I think yours will too.

I am going to award An Unwanted Guest with a nine out of ten stars. This is a book that I highly recommend and I plan on reading more from Shari Lapena in the future. If you are a fan of a good old fashioned whodoneit, then this is the book 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

 

 

Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush’s Golden Wonder Pt. 2 Edition

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Bath Bomb Blitz: Lush’s Golden Wonder Pt. 2 Edition

Howdy! When it comes to my self care, it is all about pampering myself. Whether it’s a face mask, bubble bath, or getting my hair or nails done, I always feel like a million bucks afterwards. This past Tuesday, I was very eager to return home from work because I had big plans for a hot bath featuring one of the Lush bath bombs that I was gifted with this Christmas.

I used a bath bomb called Golden Wonder, which is actually one that we have discussed before. However, this time around there are much better pictures involved thanks to my newish phone! Let’s get to it:

During my last review of the Golden Wonder bath bomb, I awarded it with eight out of ten stars. But, upon using it again, I am not so sure why because it was definitely not as good as I remember it being. When first using this bath bomb, I was surprised to see a ton of different colors emerge from the gift box like orange, yellow, dark blue, and pink. This time, only a small amount of hot pink came out with no other colors in sight.

This was a bit of a disappointment because bath bombs from Lush always put on the best shows that last several minutes. The Golden Wonder bath bomb missed the mark on this too and fizzed out pretty quickly, leaving the water a murky teal that did not look the most inviting against my ultra 70s mustard yellow bathtub.

Not only do I look forward to the display that a Lush bath bomb puts on but I am also excited for the way the water feels. I don’t know how to describe it other than the bath water feels velvety, leaving my skin feeling so moisturized and nourished. The extra dose of hydration wasn’t there, either, making this bath bomb experience a total dud. Ba dum chhhhh!

After using the Golden Wonder bath bomb again, I am going to give it a five out of ten stars. It was still nice to use, of course, but it just didn’t hold up to my original memory in the slightest. This is one that you can skip on during your next Lush haul.

What is your favorite bath bomb from Lush? Where is your favorite place to shop for bath and body care? 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: Confessions On The 7:45 By Lisa Unger Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Confessions On The 7:45 By Lisa Unger Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Last book club meeting, we discussed Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger and today we will be talking about another one of her books called Confessions On The 7:45 – without giving any spoilers away, of course! Before we begin, I’ll be placing a trigger warning on this book for general violence. Let’s get to it:

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Selena Murphy is a hard working mother and wife with two beloved sons and a husband trying to get back on his feet after he was laid off. Between her husband, Graham’s, job hunt and her long hours, Selena decides to hire a nanny to help tend to the boys while they’re away. On the outside, the Murphys appear to be the picture perfect family. But, we all know that that’s never the case in a thriller!

After an unfortunate discovery at work of her husband’s infidelity with the nanny, Geneva, (such a cliche!) Selena finds herself stuck on the train home deciding what to do next. While maintenance to the train is happening, a beautiful stranger notices Selena’s less than sunny disposition and offers her a mini bottle of vodka.

Over drinks, Selena and her new friend, Martha, share their dark secrets. Martha’s being that she is having an affair with her married boss and Selena confessing of her husband’s infidelity. The conversation takes a dark turn when Martha asks Selena if she wishes that all of her problems could go away – stating that bad things happen all of the time. Then, the train begins to move and their chat ends.

Selena thinks that she will never see Martha again after their meeting but she ends up getting a lot more than she bargained for with strange texts from her. And, oh yeah, the nanny is now missing. In the ultimate game of cat and mouse, it is up to Selena to pick up the pieces because her and Graham are at the forefront of the missing person investigation. Will Geneva be found dead or alive? And what did Martha have to do with it? Read Confessions On The 7:45 to find out!

Although I didn’t enjoy Confessions On The 7:45 as much as Last Girl Ghosted, it was still pretty good. Maybe it’s because I figured out the grand reveal way before it was going to happen! However, I definitely consider it a book worth reading if you are a fan of suspense novels, like me.

As always, I love a book with multiple narrators which this one had in spades. Confessions On The 7:45 went between Selena, past and present day Martha, Geneva, a private investigator, one of Selena’s sons, and her mother. This interwoven tale kept me reading “one more chapter” for hours on end and it all blended together seamlessly.

I will admit that I didn’t think that the story line was the most original but it made for a good read all the same. How often have we read plots of a less than honest husband, a mysterious stranger, and a police investigation added to the mix? There were some fresh spins in the book, though, that held my interest and Selena was a powerful main character who I was rooting for.

I am going to rate Confessions On The 7:45 with a six out of ten stars. Was it something that we have all heard before? Yes. But, there was enough unique plot points that kept me turning the page and is worth a read. Or not. That’s your call!

Who is one of your favorite authors? What are you currently reading? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Holler And Glow Hangover SOS Sheet Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Holler And Glow Hangover SOS Sheet Mask Edition

Helloooo everyone and welcome to the final Face Mask Festivities post from my Target Haul! I have so enjoyed pampering myself with the masks I purchased – both the good and the bad. And, I hope that the next time you make a Target run, these reviews will point you in the right direction of which face masks to buy and the ones that you can skip on.

Today, we will be discussing the Hangover SOS sheet mask by Holler And Glow. I admit, that I probably should have used this one this past Sunday lol! Let’s get to it:

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^^^ Lol

I will be completely honest with all of you… The only reason that I bought this mask in the first place was for the pattern! The donuts look like little frogs and I think that it is the cutest thing. Unfortunately, this sheet mask was one that I should have acknowledged was adorable and moved on because it was not the best.

In terms of staying in place, the Hangover SOS sheet mask was okay. The top half was fine but the bottom half gave me some grief and I had to adjust it a considerable amount of times in its fifteen minute sitting period. I actually couldn’t wait to take it off for that reason so while I waited I was literally just counting down the minutes. As you can imagine, it was not the most relaxing face mask session.

The results of this mask were also below average. My skin felt nice after using it but it didn’t feel any more hydrated or nourished than when I complete my regular skin care routine. The Holler And Glow sheet mask costed me four dollars and, although it was a cute novelty mask, the buck pretty much stopped there. This is one that you can most definitely pass on. WHOMP WHOMP!

Despite more duds than winners in my face mask haul, I still had fun creating this Face Mask Festivities series. Now, fingers crossed that I will get lots of face mask stocking stuffers so that the pampering can continue into the new year!

Have you used the Holler And Glow brand before? What did you think of it? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

 

 

Face Mask Festivities: Burt’s Bees Brightening Sheet Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Burt’s Bees Brightening Sheet Mask Edition

Howdy! We are nearing the end of the Face Mask Festivities posts from my Target Haul and I hope that they have proved useful to you as you purchase your last minute stocking stuffers for the holidays. I know that I have enjoyed the extra pampering! 😀

Today, we are going to be discussing the most expensive mask that I purchased – a brightening sheet mask by Burt’s Bees. I didn’t even know that this brand had face masks too and at five or so dollars, it felt like a splurge. I thought that this mask would work well considering its price but it ended up being one of my least favorite ones from my haul. Let’s discuss:

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^^^ Lol

While most of the masks that I bought were specifically for dry skin due to the cold, I never say no to some extra brightening and added the Burt’s Bees mask to my cart. I was really excited to try this mask because I had such high hopes for it and this probably left me even more disappointed with the results – or lack thereof.

I will start by saying that this mask stayed put on my face very well, which I was impressed by. It fit nice and snug and once it was on, there was minimal sliding off for the ten plus minutes of wearing it. Unfortunately, that’s about all that the Burt’s Bees Brightening mask had going for it. -_-

After removing the mask, I couldn’t wait to see how my skin looked and I noticed no visible differences. When it comes to judging the effectiveness of a mask, I hope to see my skin looking better than when I complete my normal skin care routine. While the mask did feel good, the results were pretty much nonexistent and is one that I wouldn’t buy again.

Five dollars is incredibly cheap for a face mask but the ones from Target that I was most impressed with were over a dollar less. You are not missing out by not buying this mask so five dollars saved is five dollars earned… You’re welcome! ❤ Haha, tune in tomorrow for the last face mask from my haul!

What are your thoughts on this mask if you have used it? What is your favorite drugstore brand? 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 Anti-Pollution Bubbling Sheet Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Yes To Tomatoes Anti-Pollution Bubbling Sheet Mask Edition

Howdy and welcome to a new edition of Face Mask Festivities! Today, we are going to be discussing an absolute delight of a sheet mask from my Target haul. The Yes To Tomatoes Anti-Pollution Bubbling Sheet Mask had it all and my only regret is that I didn’t buy five more of them! If you are a lover of charcoal skin care products, like myself, then have I got a face mask for you:

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If you have read my Face Mask Festivities posts before, then you will know that I am not incredibly partial to most sheet masks. I find it SO annoying how they never stay put on your face once you put them on! From the jump, I was impressed by this bubbling sheet mask because once I applied it, it didn’t budge on my face for the entire fifteen minutes I had it on. GREAT SUCCESS!

As soon as this mask was on, it began bubbling and fizzing as if I just opened a bottle of champagne. Within five minutes, the mask was full of bubbly bliss and I loved hearing the noises that it made. I have never used a bubbling sheet mask before and it was such a unique experience that I definitely want to have again.

While my face mask sat, I could literally feel it working to get all of the grime out of my skin. Recently, I began using an oil serum that I was gifted with. Now, normally, I shy away from oil based products but I figured that the extra hydration boost during the winter couldn’t hurt. Although my skin feels ultra nourished from it, the serum has clogged my pores and I was hoping that this mask would help.

And, help it did! The Yes To Tomatoes Bubbling Sheet Mask gave my skin the ultimate deep clean that was so invigorating and left my skin feeling tingly with an icy blast. My skin looked much more radiant and healthy and it was as if my pores were never even clogged in the first place. I couldn’t believe it!

This mask costed about four dollars and I have never been so pleased with a drugstore product before. For four bucks, I felt like I got a spa treatment and I cannot recommend it enough. Next time I am at Target, I will be buying several more of this mask because I am already chomping at the bit to use it again!

Have you ever used the Yes To products before? What did you think of them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Face Mask Festivities: Avatara Drink Up Sheet Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Avatara Drink Up Sheet Mask Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Face Mask Festivities! I have been diligently working through the face masks that I got during a recent Target haul and, today, we will be discussing the Drink Up sheet mask by Avatara. This sheet mask was about four dollars and it was pretty good – not the best but definitely not the worst. Take a look at some pics and let’s get to it:

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^^^ Lol, you guys know I love my sheet mask pictures! So silly smh. 😀

I decided to test this mask out after a long day at work for some much needed relaxation. I was exhausted and freaking freezing all day so I was very much looking forward to getting home, putting on my PJs, and slipping into the Avatara sheet mask. Like all sheet masks, this one was kind of a pain to put on. However, it stayed put much better than any that I have tried recently, which was nice.

As soon as I put a sheet mask on, Johnny and I are in hysterics because it just looks so funny. Then, we always end up quoting Silence Of The Lambs and laughing even more lol. For the twenty plus minutes that this sheet mask was on, we probably cracked up over ten times! It might not have been the most relaxing time while my mask sat but it certainly was one of the most humorous. 🙂

After my twenty minutes was up and the mask was off, I was pleased enough with the results. My skin felt invigorated and smooth but it was no Que Bella gel mask, that’s for sure. I can’t say that my face felt super hydrated, which was the whole point of the mask so, in that regard, it was a bit disappointing.

The Avatara Drink Up sheet mask is one that you should skip on during your next Target run. For its price, it wasn’t bad, but there are definitely better inexpensive face masks on the market to get more bang for your buck. Whomp whomppp!

How do you unwind after a day at work? What type of face mask do you prefer? 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: Last Girl Ghosted By Lisa Unger Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Last Girl Ghosted By Lisa Unger Edition

Hello! We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming of bonus pictures from my last OOTD for a new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club. Today, we are going to be discussing a thriller called Last Girl Ghosted by Lisa Unger – without giving any spoilers away, of course! Before beginning this review, I will be placing a trigger warning on this book for general violence and terror. Let’s get to it:

Wren Greenwood had lived a lifetime of trauma before she was even in the double digits. With lots of hard work, however, she has made a name for herself and a comfortable living as an advice columnist for “Dear Birdie”. Saying Wren is a workaholic is an understatement and her bestie, Jax, encourages her to sign up for the popular dating app called Torch to have some fun.

After a couple of Torch dates that Wren considered a bust, she decided to give it one more go before calling it quits. She matched with a man named Adam Harper who intrigued her through his panache for poetry and brooding image. After one date, Wren found herself head over heels and her and Adam were inseparable for the next three months. Until…

On the eve of Adam asking Wren a very important question, he disappears without a trace. Wren is completely heartbroken in the aftermath but things are about to get a lot more complicated than just a broken heart. Private Investigator, Bailey Kirk, knocks on Wren’s door to discuss Adam with her because he has been linked to the disappearance of three other young women.

In an ultimate game of cat and mouse, Bailey and Wren begin the search for Adam and his missing exes. Red herrings, possible sightings, and eerie text messages appear at every turn until, eventually, Wren and Bailey are led back to where it all began – her hometown. Will Wren and Bailey find the girls alive and well? And just who is Adam Harper? Read Last Girl Ghosted to find out!

Last Girl Ghosted is one of the best books that I have read in a while and I really enjoyed it. I read ravenously and finished this four hundred page thriller in about five sittings. I couldn’t put it down if you paid me! From multiple narrators, a back and forth timeline, and an urgent chase, Last Girl Ghosted incorporated everything I like and did it just right.

I will admit that at the beginning of this book, I found it to be a little cliche. But, as I continued to turn the pages, I was hooked. In fact, it kind of reminded me of You by Caroline Kepnes. I loved Wren’s strength and she was a character that I found myself rooting for because she truly deserved happiness. Her roots as a blogger also spoke to me!

Not only was Wren an exciting heroine but the supporting cast was just as likeable, as well. Her best friend, Jax, was someone that anyone would want in their corner and PI Bailey Kirk definitely fit that bill too. Even Adam Harper started out great until he did a one eighty really fast.

I am going to award Last Girl Ghosted with an eight out of ten stars. While I figured out the grand reveal fairly quickly, this was still an excellent thriller and I highly recommend it. I also have to say that this book would have earned an additional star from me, however, there was a considerable amount of typos in it which drove me nuts!

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

Face Mask Festivities: Que Bella Recharge & Restore Gel Mask Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: Que Bella Recharge & Restore Gel Mask Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a new edition of Face Mask Festivities! Today, we are going to be discussing a gel mask by Que Bella that I definitely plan on purchasing again. I so enjoyed using this mask for a multitude of reasons and consider it a steal for four dollars. Let’s get to it:

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This Que Bella Recharge & Restore gel mask had it all. First and foremost, it was pretty! I love, love, loved the glitter and the deep purple color and even if the mask didn’t work very well, it still would have earned brownie points for that reason alone. For fifteen minutes, I felt like the weirdest looking fairy princess ever with all that sparkle! 😀

Not only was this mask obviously really visually pleasing to me but it worked great too lol. I used it when I woke up in the morning and could tell that it had caffeine in it because I felt wide awake after washing it off! My skin looked and felt rejuvenated and also tingly in the best way possible. The charcoal powder also eliminated the blackheads near my piercings which is always nice.

I wasn’t expecting much out of this mask for its price and was so pleasantly surprised by it. I would happily use it again and plan on buying other Que Bella masks on my next Target run. I highly recommend it and the masks would also make great stocking stuffers! *Hint hint* 🙂

How do you like to relax? What is your favorite drugstore product? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah