Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Wanted by Sara Shepard (KEERT)

Book Title: Wanted
Author: Sara Shepard
Series: Pretty Little Liars #8
Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction, Romance, Mystery, YA
Date Read: 7/15/2017
Rating: 5 Stars

This is the PLL book I've been waiting for. This is the five star installment I went through 8 books to get to and boy, was it worth the wait!

This book was just incredible. It had everything you could want in a Sara Shepard book and more.

The creepy level was so high, though. It actually took me awhile to get to sleep. But if you've read this book, you couldn't blame me because you literally fall into this world.

Wanted had much of the same feel as the PLL prequel novel Ali's Pretty Little Lies as well as normal PLL book elements which made for the perfect blend of awesomeness.

This 8th book in the series was supposed to be the last, then more got added. I'm not complaining. That's why we got so many answers and it was simply just intense and thrilling the whole entire length of the book.

This is by far my fav PLL book so far and I cannot wait to read the rest!

Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Favorite Essie Colors (NEENA)

Essie is probably up there as my all time favorite nail polish brand. There's just so much to choose from and they're one of the longest lasting nail colors on my nails. Usually nail colors will literally chip by me just looking at them but Essie always seems to be a little more hard-wearing. Over the past few years, I've been steadily adding to my Essie collection. I mean after all they are $8.50 a bottle so you can’t be too spendy these days.

However, I sorted through my collection the other week and thought I'd make a post all about my faves so in case you're thinking of having a little treat soon, then I've got you covered!

Also I just have to put in a little side note but Fiji is also up there in my fave Essie nail polishes. It's just that I've run out of it and need to get a new bottle soon but if you want an opaque white/pink then that is your ticket!

Minimalistic: This is probably my fave Essie polish right now. It's a thick baby pink color which looks amazing on your nails.

Blossom Dandy: This was part of the Spring Collection in 2015 and it was at the top of my list of what to buy when I went to Calgary last summer. It's an aqua blue/mint color which is one of my faves for Spring/Summer.

Cocktail Bling: I love this cool toned blue grey. I think it's a little different to many other colors I own. It's quite sophisticated and is nice with a silver glitter in the Christmas/winter time. I'm pretty sure it's part of the main collection and it doesn't really look much in the bottle but it's definitely one of my favorite winter Essie colors.

Muchi Muchi: Oh look another pale baby pink! I like this one as it's a slightly more sheer and gives you a really nice manicured finish to your nails. It's got a wide brush which I always find makes painting your nails a bit easier. It's also not as thick as Fiji so it's a bit easier to apply. You could apply one coat to just have a swash of color or build it up to two or three coats for a more opaque color.

Mint Candy Apple: I had to include this color as it was the first Essie I ever bought. It's very similar to Blossom Dandy but not as bright. MCA is a little more pastel-y. This is probably one of the most cult Essie colors so it should always be within the core line up. It's absolutely perfect for Springtime and looks amazing with a tan!

Thanks for reading!



Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Things You can do Before Bed to Have a Better Tomorrow (RUBY)

I'm just going to hold my hands up right now and tell you that I am not a morning person. I hate waking up so any extra time I have in the morning is a winner for me. I've recently found that being more organized in the evening means that my morning are less stressful. I'm not running around and then forgetting something important like putting on a bra or deodorant.

It may seem a bit of a smug Pinterest yoga loving life thing to be all organized in the evening but at least you'll get a bit more time in the morning and well it's not really worth the risk of forgetting to put pants on is it?

Having a Timed Tidy:
I've been seeing this idea a lot recently online and I think it's a pretty good idea of getting some stuff done in the evening but only for like 20 minutes or so. I keep saying to Neena, 'shall we play this game where we spend 20 minutes cleaning the house and see who can get the most done' and he looks at me like 'I wasn't born yesterday Ruby.' So I tend to take 20/30 mins to either clean the kitchen or my room and try and make the place look a little tidier. I'd rather do bits of housework every night then a huge two hour clean at the weekend when I could be doing much better stuff!

Prepare Your Lunch the Evening Before:
If you take lunch with you to work or school, then I always think getting it all ready the night before is always a winner. The amount of times that I didn't have time to make my lunch in the morning which then would lead me to spending a fortune on a meal deal or eating really unhealthy is a number I don't really want to count. So getting everything ready the night before just helps me out in the morning. It's definitely a little bit boring and Mom like but there we go.

Choose Your Outfit the Night Before:
I hate it when you can't decide what to wear and just stand looking at the wardrobe in a tired state proclaiming 'I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!' I always try to plan what I want to wear the next day so it's ready to go, I put it on the end of the bed and then it's ready to slip into the next morning. Pinterest is my fave place for outfit inspiration and will have a little look at my fashion board to get outfit inspo for the next day.

Make a To Do List:
I always find that doing a To Do list for the next day just helps me sleep a little better. Rather than lying in bed thinking 'right I need to do this and this tomorrow' I just write it all down on my notes app on my phone and then in the morning I know exactly what I need to do the next day.

Take the Time for Skincare/Pamper:
I sometimes feel too tired to do a proper skincare routine or fake tan sometimes and then I regret it in the morning when my skin looks crap and I'm like Caspar the Ghost. So taking that extra 5-10 mins to add serum/oil/moisturiser will make a difference and if you're like 'do I fake tan or just leave it?' Always do it, you'll feel so much better for it in the morning!

Have Some Me Time:
Whether it's watching your favorite show or reading a book in bed, then go for it. The weekday evenings can be so shattering but you'll feel better for taking time to do something for yourself. Oh and totally don't worry if you can't be bothered to do this stuff every night. I know I sometimes just want to slob on the sofa sometimes but usually when I do, get up off my butt, and get stuff done, the next day is usually a bit better :)

Thanks for reading!


Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: First Comes Love by Emily Griffin (KEERT)

First Comes Love.jpg
Book Title: First Comes Love
Author: Emily Griffin
Series: None
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Date Read: 7/15/2017
Rating: 5 Stars

The day after Daniel’s twenty-fifth birthday and three days before Christmas:
He was halfway through his third year of medical school at Yale and had just returned home to Atlanta, for the holidays bringing with him his girlfriend, Sophie, a beautiful upper crust Brit whom Daniel once called the most charming woman he had ever met. The two had been dating for more than a year. However, this was her first visit to Atlanta, as well as meeting his parents and sisters.

Daniel was the golden child:
The firstborn. The older brother. A perfectionist. Sensitive and sentimental, quirky and kind. A tragic accident. A sliding on a patch of ice at the intersection of Moores Mill and Northside Drive in Atlanta, less than two miles from their home. A truck hit his car at the corner.

Where was he going the night of the accident which took his life? Out for a burger or more? Everyone has guilt. An accident which rocked their family and indirectly caused their parents to divorce.

The devastating aftermath:
They discovered years later there was more to the story the night Daniel died. More than one memory from Five Paces Buckhead. That night changed all their lives in ways they had never imagined.

Fifteen years later:
The guilt and regrets begin to surface for the entire family. The what ifs. Choices made, their pain never ceased. Still reeling, regretting, wondering, what if. A family torn apart.

If Daniel had lived, he would have been saving lives, practicing medicine, happily married to Sophie, father of two or three children, turning forty. He understood nothing was as important as family. Love comes first. Everyone had pictured perfection in his future, now shattered.

Elaine and Rob:
Attorneys, parents, residing in Atlanta. A broken marriage since the death of their son. A dad who started drinking. Two broken remaining daughters – total opposites. They never got along before their brother’s death and now it seems the tension is intensified.

The mother is planning a 15 year anniversary in memory of Daniel. Something which occurred in the past. Good or bad, a date to remember. Tensions are high. Stirring up old emotions. Will they invite their father, who has a new girlfriend, Marcia? She wants to include Sophie. The woman they have not seen since Daniel’s death. Closure. What is her life now? Did she move on?

Alternating voices:
Readers hear from both sisters. They both despise one another and are keeping Secrets.

A lawyer in Atlanta married to Daniel’s childhood best friend, Nolan for almost seven years. Mother to daughter, Harper. She was hardworking, persistent, and more of a loner. She is very unhappy. An introvert. She loved arts. She wanted to stay in New York. She is judgmental and miserable.

She thinks her sister, Josie, is self-centered and a drama queen. She loves her daughter, Harper. However, she is really not all that maternal. Nolan is a constant source of both comfort and sadness to her dad. What really drew the couple together in the beginning?

Meredith feels she is the child who has not screwed up. The strong one. She is even unsure of her marriage and how they were thrown together due to the death of her brother. Nolan was her brother’s best friend. A fixture in the family. Love? Now she is second guessing her entire life. What about her plays, Broadway, the theater? Lost dreams. She is bitter. She put her plans on hold.

She kept thinking Will and Josie would get married and have the grandchildren. She could follow her heart. But it did not happen. She had married Nolan who worked at his family’s business in Atlanta. Her future turned into what she had imaged for her sister. No New York.

Was she really selfless and noble putting her parents first or was she spineless? She had been determined to be their parent’s stable- the successful child; the salve, on their still open wounds. She wanted their family to be normal again. Meredith views Josie as the extrovert, party gal, and in some ways she is jealous of her down deep. She does what she wants. Meredith and Nolan bought the family house from her mother in Atlanta. Everything to make the family seem perfect. Is she the real coward?

Classic Josie, calling shots, making demands, creating drama. Why couldn’t she be happy for her sister wanting to have a baby, even though in an untraditional way?

Josephine (Josie):
A first grade teacher in Atlanta and grad of University of Georgia--wants more than anything to be a mother. She is more free-spirited. At age 37, she has no prospects for marriage or even dating so she is seriously thinking of going the donor route. She is now going through profiles to pick the perfect one. She also has a roommate hipster, Gabe (they are best friends) and a big support for her. They click. It is time for a new school year. New children. Excitement. Fourteen years of teaching, she loves it. She is fun, energetic, and creative. She thinks her sister is uptight and judgmental.

To make matters more stressful, her old boyfriend and the man she was to marry, Will’s daughter is in her class at school. He is married to the perfect wife and has the perfect daughter and younger son. Edie Carlisle, the firstborn of her most significant ex, Will Carlisle. They broke up eight years ago (long story behind this), and she is still not over him, completely. He shattered her world. He dumped her right before he married Andrea. The woman she has stalked. She hated herself for being mesmerized with her every move and shame at the same time.

Now she has to see the perfect family and the daughter every day; as a reminder of what she could have had. However, she likes the little girl. Now, Mrs. Will Carlisle volunteers to be room mom. Why does she have to be so nice?

From to a physical therapist named Pete, sperm donor decisions, and a strong desire to be a mom, Josie carefully makes decisions. Shop. Look. Research. Instead of her being the flighty one there is a role reversal when Meredith starts second guessing herself, her life, marriage and career.

A drunken night so long ago. Survivor’s guilt. Everything had come back to Daniel. The fairy tale life. Especially in the South. People fake things so much. Josie was definitely a better communicator than her sister Meredith.

A great read, mixed with wit and emotion! Josie was my favorite character.

Thanks for reading!



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Things To Do To Unwind In The Evening (NEENA)

So can someone please tell me where the weekend went please? One minute it was Friday and now here I am writing this up on Sunday watching Bride Wars.

Usually if I've been feeling particularly stressed, I will try to go to a fitness class in the evening as this is one way that I find is so good for destressing. I always feel so much better after getting out of the house and dancing around for an hour.

If I can't be bothered to exercise or when I come back and I still don't feel destressed, I find that having a bath always helps. I do say that a bath can pretty much solve anything. I have a basket of Lush bath bombs that I use and I always feel this makes me feel a little better. Recently, my fave has been the Twilight Bath Bomb which has ingredients such as lavender which is great for relaxing and unwinding.

I have trouble switching off so I have to watch something in the bath or I’ll literally just be stressing in a bath so I usually catch up with TV or Youtube. I'll also maybe use a face mask, wash my hair, and of course shave my legs so I feel like a silky dolphin when I get out.

After I’ve finished in the shower, I will pop on some PJS. I'm currently obsessed with some coffee ones from Forever 21 which are so me.

I love spending an evening catching up with missed TV shows or dedicating a few hours to Netflix. Wednesday nights used to be my fave since that's when I'd catch up with PLL but now that's finished I tend to watch reality TV such as Made in Chelsea. Mainly because they don't require a lot of thinking and means I can totally switch off. If the day has been really, really awful, I'll dig out one of my fave films and put my phone on airplane mode. If that happens though, you know that it's just best to not cross me.

I find that doing things such as painting my nails or maybe putting on a fake tan helps me feel so much better the next morning and like I have my life together. I also do things such as tinting my eyebrows, too.  I use the Ulta Brow Tint in Deep which you can get from Ulta obviously. The tint just helps to make my brows look a little more polished than normal and saves me having to fill them in every day!

I will also sometimes wax my upper lip which isn’t really glamorous or relaxing if I'm honest but if we're talking pamper routines then this is what I do sometimes.

Then before bed, I'll sit in bed and read which is really good to do if you have trouble switching off. I find it helps to take my mind off things that I'd been wound up about during the day and makes me feel more tired. Then fingers crossed, I head to bed feeling relaxed, chilled out, and ready for a good night’s sleep!

I think that having some time for yourself is so beneficial for you and your mental health. Sometimes you need some chill time and to just take time for you. There's no shame in that.

Thanks for reading!



Thursday, July 13, 2017

Favorite Makeup Products Right Now (RUBY)

I must admit that there are a few items right now in my makeup bag that I am completely loving. I thought I'd write about some of my fave products right now. I've stopped doing orderly favorites every month because I would sometimes find the pressure of finding favorites a bit much. I want to rave about products that I genuinely love and would shout out about from a rooftop. Also seeing as I never want to spend too much money on myself, makeup and clothes, new favorites don't really appear that often so here are some current faves from this year so far.

Maybelline The Nudes Palette: I love this palette because it's affordable, pigmented, and has a mixture of matte and shimmer shades. A new daily must have for me and if you're a fan of smokey brown eye looks then you'll love this.

L'oreal Infalliable Foundation: I love this because it's long lasting (lasts all day, battles against sweat, rain, tears, dog licks). It's quite matte but not super matte so you look like you're wearing a mask. It's medium coverage and well I just like the fact it lasts so long on your face.

NYX Liquid Illuminator: Pure Gold: You guys know that I love a liquid highlighter. I'd been dying to try this for ages and then one Sunday afternoon, I was in one of those moods where I ordered a huge collection of products from Ulta and this was one of the things that I'd put in my basket. It's a goldish brown color. It's very similar to Nars Cocabana. It's perfect for highlighting cheeks or putting in with foundation. It doesn't go cakey or powdery and it doesn't make you look like a disco ball. I'm a big fan.

NYX Liquid Suede Lipstick: Tea & Cookies You know me. A matte nude lipstick and I'm in. I think this color is also kinda similar to Dolce K from Kylie Jenner's Lip Kits (I'll try get a dupe post your way soon) and it's matte, pretty long lasting, doesn't feel sticky or dry, and is under $10. I love the soft lip matte creams from NYX and I now have my eye on the NYX Lip Lingerie lipsticks so if you've tried any of those let me know!

NYX Dewy Finish Setting Spray: Okay so this favorites is quite NYX heavy and well that's because you know that big Ulta order I made that I spoke about earlier? Yeah a lot of that was NYX stuff. I've been needing a new setting spray lately and this one took my eye.This spray is really good, stops your make up going cakey, makes your skin a little more refreshed, and I just really like it.

Soap & Glory Mother Pucker Gloss in Nudestar: This gloss has been my all time fave this past month. I've been getting dry skin so a matte lipstick seemed to make things just all very dry so a gloss has been my preferred lip product of choice. This S&G one plumps your lips slightly. It makes you feel like you have teeny pins and needles in your lips and I just like the pale nude color. I tend to wear it over the top of nude matte shades such as Charlotte Tilbury's Nude Kate lipstick. I wouldn't say it makes my lips look like Kylie Jenner's or something but it does give them a little plump.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Review: Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson (KEERT)

Scarlett Fever.jpg
Book Title: Scarlett Fever
Author: Maureen Johnson
Series: Scarlett #2
Genres: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction
Date Read: 7/9/17
Rating: 2 stars


Big, huge piles of meh.

I wish I liked this. I do. It's light and fluffy. But every single character is unlikeable. Even the characters I genuinely enjoyed in the first book are unlikeable. And that's a problem.

I don't even know where to begin with this. How about having someone deeply obnoxious and irritating as the completely obvious love interest? How about the horrible way Lola is treated by her family when she gets married? ("We can fix this. You can get it undone. I don't care, just fix it!") How about the first book's most unlikeable character, Marlene, just being 100 times worse in this one? Mrs Amberson still being an obnoxious twit?

Spencer's storyline started out great, and continued to get great, but even he couldn't save this train wreck.

And for a book I wasn't entirely invested in, that ending was deeply unsatisfying, and just plain confusing. What a weird spot to end a book on. If it weren't for the "end of disc" music that occurs with these audiobooks, I would think my copy was missing chapters.

Deeply unsatisfying, and annoying.



Saturday, July 8, 2017

My Desk Essentials (NEENA)

I would like to blame Pinterest for my obsession with having a perfect desk setup. In fact I'd like to blame Pinterest for my unrealistic expectations in life when it comes to: outfits, home decor, and everything really. It's okay though. Pinterest, I still love you.

But I swear that before I started spending all my spare time pinning like a crazy mofo, I didn't really know the importance of having a desk that would make everyone say “goals”.

Anyway, I find that having a desk or a dedicated space for blogging/work is so helpful. I find it helps me to be more productive. (Though sometimes like right now I will escape my desk to sit on the sofa under a blanket) but having a dedicated space to work does help me with my productivity.

So today, I thought I'd show you around my desk and some of my recent faves that have found themselves plonked next to me whilst I type away.

I always love getting new stationery and recently I have been obsessed with a few new additions. This Ohh Deer journal is so cute. I think it looks so pretty on my desk and it's so thick. It's almost too nice to write down my daily thoughts in but I think that's when you know you really love a stationery item because you're scared to ruin it. I also recently got some little notepads from Etsy. The marble notepad I have on my desk is so cute and great for putting in your handbag as it's quite thin and little.

I splurged on my West Elm Love sign over Christmas. I'd been eyeing it up for a couple of months and then when I got some Christmas money. It was straight in my basket! I love it so much and I think it's such a great touch to my desk. I do feel like lots of bloggers also have this now too but I guess it's cause it's so pretty. I have been eyeing up a couple more of the gold statues such as the Hello and XOXO sign which definitely reminds me of Gossip Girl.

My blog weekly planner is a recent addition to my desk. It's from Paper Chic Co on Etsy and it's a cute pad to use to plan your blog posts and videos. I tend to jot down ideas and notes on this pad as it makes me feel a little more productive for some reason!

Also I have a clear tray on my desk that I find great for putting magazines and stationery on. The tray is from Amara Living. It's so handy!

Places like Etsy are my faves for prettifying my desk. I'm really pleased with my set up at the moment. It's a place that I want to work from and enjoy working from.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, July 7, 2017

Summer Beauty Rountine (RUBY)

Can you believe that we are pretty in July already? Time flies when you're having fun right? Well enough of me talking like I'm a grandma, let's talk about today's post.

I, for one, am loving the lighter evenings and mornings. With that little bit of sun peeking out here and there, we've had bare legs weather at least a handful of times. I've also been changing up my beauty routine. All winter I was very much into heavy, full coverage foundations but now the warmer weather has arrived. I've found myself feeling they're just too heavy for everyday wear.

My skin has also been breaking out a bit recently. I don't know if it's due to the fact of everything that’s going on or the warmer weather but my skin has been feeling uncomfortable and the last thing I want is a heavy foundation. I wanted a lighter base which still had good coverage. I've also been changing up my skincare a little to try and help my skin out.

So the first thing I do once I’ve gotten out of bed is hit the shower. I’ve been using the Neutrogena Correct and Perfect range recently. The Correct & Perfect Scrub has been great for using in the shower first thing since it really awakens my skin. The scrub contains a combination of ingredients including Salicylic acid which is amazing for pimples. It helps to unclog your pores taking away dirt and dead skin cells. My skin has been feeling very congested so this scrub has been helping to make it feel cleaner, clearer, and fresher. It also helps to even the skin’s complexion by stimulating the skin's natural renewal process. I really enjoy using it every morning and my nose, especially, is looking less congested and smoother!

This always makes me feel a little more awake. I then tend to go grab some breakfast. My current favourite is granola with yoghurt and fruit. I’ll then go to my office to get ready for the day.

As I've been looking to use a lighter fresher base, I thought it might be a good idea to try a tinted moisturiser/bb/cc cream. The Neutrogena Visibly Clear Correct & Perfect CC Cream is recommended to use after the Correct & Perfect Scrub. The CC cream actually has pretty good coverage. You can build it up to cover imperfections such as pimples and marks. It's oil free so perfect for oily skin types and also helps to correct skin marks over time too. I haven't been using it long enough to notice a difference in this but I will keep using the CC cream to see if it does have a long term effect on my skin. The CC cream feels really lightweight and gives a fresh dewy look to the skin. I like the fact that it covers up spots and blemishes really well but also works to fight them too at the same time which you obviously don't get with a normal foundation.

I'll then use a little concealer under the eyes and on any really stubborn pimples. Then I set with a translucent powder and I'm pretty happy with my base. I still love my Charlotte Tilbury FilmStar and Sculpt Bronze and Highlight Palette for both bronzer and highlighter. I've also been using a Barry M Blush Stick in a peachy color to give my cheeks a peachy glow. Eyes wise, I've been laying off the smokey eye day to day and instead opting for a cream shimmery eye from my Smashbox Palette and then using a taupe color in the crease. I'll then finish with some liquid liner. Usually the L'Oreal Superliner along my lash line and then add some mascara. I will sometimes add half a set of false lashes to the outside of my eye just to make my eyes look a little more awake.

For lips I am obsessed with the new sexy balm lip glosses from L'Oreal, the color “Gossip” is the perfect peachy coral color and it's so perfect for spring! I am obsessed with this makeup look as it's so fresh and glowy and barely takes any time at all!

Outfit wise, the weather is always sunny and warm in California. So I tend to go for blue jeans such as these ones from Forever 21, a white tee like this one from New Look, sneakers such as these from Converse. This is my current every day go to summer look. A lighter fresher base with minimal eyeshadow and trying to brighten up my wardrobe.

Thanks for reading!