4/28/17

Friday Finds: My Current Reading List + Favorite Podcasts

Jacket, Jeans, Shoes, Bag, Bedroom furniture linked here
My reading obsession is back and I thought I would share with you the books I have recently finished. I love to read but oddly enough I tend to read in spurts. I will hear about a great book, decide to read it, not want it to end and then immediately download another book to begin reading. And thus my reading spree begins. Ha! Typically it will end for a bit when I run into a terrible book which I joke kills my reading mojo. But thankfully I only had one bad book out of this bunch so I will definitely be checking more off my list in the next few months.

1. Find Her - This was by far one of my favorite books that I read but it's not for the faint of heart. It's the story of a girl who was kidnapped and tortured while on spring break and manages to escape after more than a year in captivity. She decides to become a vigilante of sorts for men that are known predators. There are tons of twists and turns and it's a true page turner.

2. A Man Called Ove - My thoughts through the first half of this book - snoozefest. But I am glad I stuck it out because this delightful story of a grumpy older gentleman that has lost his wife (and his way somewhat) takes a heartwarming turn. You will laugh, you will cry and finish the book wishing there were just a few more chapters.

3. What Alice Forgot - I wasn't even a single chapter in and I immediately loved this book. Alice falls and hits her head at the gym and wakes up having forgotten the past 10 years of her life. The story chronicles her journey to find her way back to the present while coming to terms with what has happened over the past decade. I would definitely consider reading this one again!

4. The Widower's Wife - An easy read that's very predictable but nonetheless a fun mystery/thriller. It's a perfect book to read at the beach or pool.

5. The Luckiest Girl Alive - Ugh. Where to begin with this one. It was touted as the next Gone Girl or Girl on the Train (which I assume seems to be the gold standard of thrillers currently), but it couldn't be farther from that. Both of those were complex and well-written, while this book was awful in my opinion. It was written by a former magazine editor and it goes to show you what having a great publicist can do for a badly written book. It's all who you know even in the literary world. Quick synopsis - the story is about a magazine editor living in the big city with a flashy job (just like the author) who must confront a horrible event that happened in her past. There were a few good chapters, but for the most part I was not a fan.

6. The Best Friend - Another mystery/thriller easy read. A woman is befriended by the mother of her son's friend. This mother turns out to be a nut case and tries to run the woman's life. Very predictable but I got so involved with the characters that I would yell out loud at the book during certain chapters. Ha! It was great.

7. The Girl Before - This bestseller is currently being made into a motion picture if that gives you any indication of its draw. This one will definitely get you thinking and keep you stumped until the end. It's a psychological thriller that tells the story of two different woman who lived at the same address years apart from each other. The woman from the present day tries to uncover the story of the former tenant though there are people that don't want her to know the truth. Apart from the main characters, the actual house itself plays a huge role in the book and contributes to the mystery of the entire story. A must read for sure.

8. All the Missing Girls - I included this last book because I am currently in the middle of reading it. It's another mystery though this one is a bit slower than I would prefer. A young woman goes back home to the small town she is from where the disappearance of her best friend has never been solved. Additionally, a new woman vanishes years later and her friends and family seem to either know something about the disappearance or are involved. I still haven't figured that out yet. Also, the story is told in reverse which I can't decide if I enjoy.

Now that I have covered books, here are my current favorite podcasts

1. Missing Richard Simmons - This one only lasted a few episodes but was fascinating to listen to. Richard Simmons lived an incredible life and learning more about him in this podcast made me have an entirely new respect and admiration for him.

2. Up and Vanished - Yes, I am still loving this one though I believe it is nearing the end. Amazingly the cold case that is the focus of the podcast (and has not had any new leads in over 10 years) was just closed a few months ago! Two suspects were arrested and charged for the murder of Tara Grinstead. While it has never been confirmed that the podcast was the reason for finally catching the killers, I believe that it's huge success definitely contributed to it and put the story back on everyone's radar.

3. In the Dark - Another true crime podcast that documents the abduction of Jacob Wetterling, a young boy kidnapped nearly 27 years ago. The case has been solved however the podcast is focused more on the errors of law enforcement during the investigation and seeks to shed light on this as a broader issue. Great news is that there is a season 2 coming soon!

4. Casefile True Crime - These are all either unsolved or solved crimes from around the world. Some are very interesting and some are quite tedious. There are a ton of episodes so I just hunt through until I find one that grabs my attention.

5. S-Town - This is not actually a podcast I have listened to yet, but it's currently next on my list!

I'm always looking for more book, podcast or show recommendations. Please leave me a comment below with yours!

4/27/17

2 New Sunscreens To Try This Spring

Since sunscreen is a non-negotiable for me every single day, I am constantly looking to test new formulas. Especially ones that have a high SPF. There are so many great ones in my collection but not that many which go as high as SPF 50. I recently was sent a few different sunscreens to test out and 2 really impressed me! Both the Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF 50 spray and the Murad City Skin Age Defense SPF 50 were an instant hit. Keep reading for my review on each.
1. Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF 50 - A makeup setting spray AND an SPF product in one? I almost fell over when this product arrived because it's as if Kate Somerville answered my prayers. I wear SPF everyday but sometimes I want to reapply during the day if I plan to be out for a long time and it's not possible to add sunscreen over top of my makeup. This mist is absolutely brilliant. It won't replace my traditional SPF that I wear under my makeup, but I love the extra layer on top and the ability to touch up throughout the day. And the best part of this mist is that it gives my skin a matte finish and slightly blurs imperfections. I am already anticipating buying a backup because I think this will become a year round staple for me!
2. Murad City Skin Age Defense SPF 50 - The first thing that appealed to me about this sunscreen upon squeezing it onto the back of my hand was the slightly peachy tint. Even though I am fair, some sunscreens (especially ones with a high SPF) can leave a whitish cast on my skin. This Murad SPF immediately blends in and even helps to slightly reduce any redness and even out my skin tone. It has a medium texture that is not too thick but not too runny and wears beautifully under makeup. And for those that may be looking for one, this is a 100% mineral sunscreen that helps prevent from multiple environmental aggressors such as UVA and UVB rays, pollution, blue light from devices and infared radiation. 
*pr samples included

Shop more of my favorite sunscreens:

4/26/17

A Spring Night Out

I wore this outfit last week on my way to grab dinner with Stan. One of my favorite looks for nights out is a feminine top and a great pair of jeans (much like this look and this one). It's seems like such a cliche combo, but I will never tire of this look! While I have some jeans with tons of distressing, I like minimal amounts for looks like this. I fell in love with these jeans because they were such a classic color and the distressed knees were much more understated which look great when I want to dress them up in a look like this. The jeans initially had a staggered hem, but as with almost all my jeans the inseam was way too long for me so I had to cut off a few inches. I ended up liking the look better this way since it contributed to the more classic look of them. Typically when fraying my jeans, I use a simple pair of scissors (though I have heard garment shears are better - I probably need to pick some up) and then throw them in the dryer a few times to get the fabric to fray. 

This J. Crew top is the cutest style for spring and summer, though I do advise sizing down since it runs quite large as I find with most of their clothes. Their vanity sizing has really gotten out of control these past few years - anyone else think so? I started to laugh when I saw 00 and 000 sizes popping up - how far down can they go? LOL While much of their stuff can be hit or miss for  me, I still like to shop their on occasion for fun pieces (like this look, this trench and this bright top).

Top - J.Crew | Jeans - Paige | Shoes - Schutz (love these too) | Bag - Cult Gaia (more colors here) | Cuff - Alexis Bittar

Shop more pieces I'm loving from J.Crew:

4/25/17

My Sephora VIB Sale Haul

My Sephora VIB sale haul came in and I have been testing everything for the past couple days. Here are my thoughts on all my new purchases! Enjoy and don't forget to subscribe! 

The products mentioned in the video:









4/24/17

Colorful Spring + The Best Neutral Sandals to Buy This Season

Spring is in full effect now and I simply cannot get enough of all the trees, flowers, greenery, etc! This top felt especially festive for all the new blooms that are out now, even though it will transition perfectly into summer with some cut-offs and flats. Even though I want to wear so much color for the warmer weather, I have been on a neutral shoe kick lately. I am drawn to sandals in varying shades of tan, beige, brown or white and find them so much easier to pair with outfits than a specific color. These Steve Madden ones I bought last year are one of my favorites to wear mainly because of the simple shape and color which make them suitable for almost any look. I thought I would pull together some of my favorite neutral sandal styles from around the web which vary from casual and low-key to something for a more dressy evening out. Scroll through the widget below for all my picks (click on the arrow to the right of the widget to see more options).

Top - Buckely K c/o | Jeans - Levi's | Sandals - Steve Madden (also loving these) | Bag - Sophie Hulme | Sunglasses - Illesteva | Bracelet - Giles & Brother

Shop a ton of great neutral sandals for spring:

4/21/17

Friday Finds

I am already beginning to stock up on cute sunglasses for summer. While I love to splurge on classic ones here and there, I love less expensive ones for trendier styles. That way if they break or I stop loving them, it's not a huge loss. Here are links to all the ones I picked up - 1, 2, 3, 4.

1. If you are total beauty junkie like myself, you know it is the Sephora VIB sale and are desperately trying to keep yourself from making multiple purchases throughout the sale. But they had to make it even harder by adding some new arrivals that I haven't seen before! I want this moisturizer because it looks pretty, this concentrate because I am already in love with the line and this loose powder.

2. J.Crew new arrivals still get me excited! I was eyeing this classic denim skirt, this dress which seems so gorgeous for an evening out, this peplum top, this cover up and these pjs which I just purchased.

3. If you don't want to invest in the mules/slides trend just yet, I find these cute yet inexpensive pair that don't require a huge commitment. I am tempted to get them in the gold.

4. I was cruising around Asos the other day and came across some great spring dresses. Most are so inexpensive and great to fill in gaps in one's closet. This one is similar to one I wore last year, this one looks so comfy for the hot weather and this one seems so fun for a beach vacation!

5. I'm back on a reading frenzy so I will share my recent reading list in an upcoming post, but currently halfway through this one and can't put it down!

6. Next up on my binge-watching list is 13 Reasons Why on Netflix. Any other suggestions of new shows to check out?

7. I am always drawn to rawhide rugs and found this one for under $200! I haven't bought it yet because I have to figure out where I want it to go first. :)

8. Nude sandals have been on my radar recently and I keep pinning any that I find which catch my eye. These are quite simple but I love the gold detailing, as well as these which are such a classic pair.

4/20/17

Review: Lancome Teint Idole Stick Foundation

I am already a fan of the Lancome Teint Idole foundation, so I was excited to test out the stick formulation. Hope you enjoy the review and don't forget to subscribe!

The products mentioned in the video:


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