Archive for August, 2012
I’ve decided to partake in another giveaway blog hop! This time I will be giving away the winner’s choice of either a $5 Amazon gift card or one book (up to $5) from The Book Depository! And this time there are well over 200 other awesome bloggers doing the same. That is a LOT of chances to potentially win a prize! All you have to do is fill out the very easy to use Rafflecopter widget located below. I will notify the winner by email and they will have 72 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Blog hops are fun all around and if are interested in sponsoring a blog hop prize or other giveaway please go ahead and get in touch with me via the Contact Me form on the right. You can also check out my policies about reviews and giveaways under the Media Kit tab. I’ll also include the massive linky list under the Rafflecopter widget so that you can easily visit more of the bloggers hosting giveaways.
I hope you and your family have a fabulous Labor Day weekend!
I’ve decided that I am going to try to stick to writing and posting new articles three times a week and then may add another post or two if/when something comes up. Like last week, I’m planning on my posts being about my life on Monday, book review/book related on Wednesday, and beauty related on Friday. Since I hadn’t written much about my life in quite a while, I’m going to work on catching you up on things over the next few weeks.
A few weeks before my surgery a very close family friend (who might as well be my uncle and who I’ll call uncle M) who happens to not only be a pilot, but has his own small plane asked if we wanted to fly up to San Francisco to visit family. I had been wanting to go flying again for several years, but I hadn’t been mobile enough. Of course I said, “YES!” immediately and began working on preparations.
After a few weeks of back and forth planning of trying to work around everyone’s various schedules it ended up working out that the best time would be the weekend immediately proceeding my surgery. While a commercial airplane takes approximately an hour and a quarter to go from Southern to Northern California, a small private plane takes double that. Since we wanted to maximize the amount of time we’d have to spend with family, we got up and left on the early side.
The last time I had been up to visit family in Northern California was over four years earlier since my limited mobility has severely restricted traveling. While I of course wish we could have spent more time up north, I very much appreciate the generosity of uncle M in giving us the gift of time with family. It was so great to get to spend the day with my aunt R and cousin S!
My aunt R had the entire afternoon including lovely picnic all planned out for us. She took us through the city over the Golden Gate Bridge through the windy roads of the Marin Headlands. While I had been on a tour of the bay as a teenager which included going underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, I didn’t remember going over the bridge. Unfortunately, it was quite foggy on the bridge so not all of my pictures came out very well. On the other hand, since it was foggy, that kept the temperate down which made me very happy!
I don’t think I had been to the Marin Headlands before, so that was definitely a new experience. After our fantastic picnic we wondered around the Headlands a bit more stopping as several places along the way. Once we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge back into the city we stopped at a couple of places in the gorgeous, yet massive Golden Gate park where we found a gopher to be much more entertaining than the Bison we actually stopped to see.
We then headed back to my Aunt’s flat to relax and chat. My cousin R was able to join us for dinner which was fabulous as I don’t get to see nearly enough of her anymore. When we were teens, I used to spend a month or so of each summer in Northern California. Cousin R and I used to spend quite a bit of time together, but sort of lost touch when we went to college. So it was so wonderful that she was able to join us for dinner! And she mentioned that she thought she’d be visiting friends not too far away from here later in the summer.
Cousin S is by far my youngest cousin and is only 10 years old. I had a LOT of fun going shopping and picking out a whole bunch of items as that isn’t something that I really get to do because of the geographical distance between us. In fact I’ve only met my super cute little cousin S (although she is quickly approaching my height and has already surpassed my younger sister’s height) a handful of times. Although I plan on changing that once I’m back to being mobile. I really enjoyed getting to pick out quite a few items to spoil her with. I mean, what else are older cousins for?
After a wonderful dinner fabulous company, my uncle T was finally able to return home from work. I just wished it would have been possible to a bit more time all together. I can hardly wait until this time next year when I should be able to visit again, but for a longer period of time. We stayed up fairly late since it was our only night all together. The time went by way too quickly. I really loved every minute we were able to spend in San Francisco!
We all had such a fantastic time on our mini-vacation trip! I can hardly wait until I am mobile again and able to do some traveling on my own. I love my family very much! And I love how unique my family is as it is a blend of biological, married into, and family friends so close they (and their extended family) have essentially ‘adopted’ us. It may not be the most traditional of extended families, but that is just fine by me. These are people who truly care about my dad, sister, and me. And that is the definition of a family to me!
Author Elle Strauss has been generous enough to sponsor this giveaway which means one lucky fan will win ALL three books in the Clockwise series! I’ve been fortunate enough to have been able to read and review all three of these books. If you are interested in reading my reviews you can find by clicking HERE for my review on Clockwise, HERE for my review on ClockwiseR, and HERE for my review on Like Clockwork. All you have to do is fill out the easy to use Rafflecopter entry form below. And don’t forget to visit the over 100 other blogs participating in this event co-hosted by I’m a Reader, Not a Writer and Books: A True Story.
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of each of these books from the author or book tour company for the purpose of writing an honest reviewing. Please see my disclaimer policy for more information.
Review: Like Clockwork by Elle Strauss
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
I was first introduced to this amazing series back in May when I participated in a book tour for the first book, Clockwise. So when I received an email from the author, I immediately jumped at the chance to read the second book Clockwiser. After loving the first two books I very much wanted to read the third book, Like Clockwork.
What I didn’t realize was that unlike the first two books, this third one wasn’t about Casey Donovan. I couldn’t help but be a little bit disappointed, because I really wanted to know what Casey adventures Casey was up to now. However, once I got a couple chapters in, I found myself just as enthralled in the life and adventures of Adeline Savoy as i was with Casey Donovan. Adeline like Casey is a time traveler, but unlike Casey who travels back to the 1860′s, Adeline travels back to the 1950′s.
Adeline and her father recently moved from Cambridge, Mass. to Hollywood, Ca. Adeline is not only getting used to new surroundings and a new school, but now when she travels back in time, she travels to old Hollywood. And that means coming up with a new plan for survival for when she does travel. For Adeline that means trying to always dress in clothes that are as appropriate for the 1950′s as possible since she doesn’t get any advance notice for when she travels. I did find several similarities in personality between protagonists Adeline and Casey. For one both end up taking someone unintended back to the past and/or to their present.
I gave Like Clockwork a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars because I felt that the story had become a bit predictable. One of the things that I loved about the first two books were the twists each had. But felt that after reading and very much loving the first two that it was fairly easy to figure out what would happen. And I thought that Casey was a bit easier to relate to than Adeline. I also would have loved for there to have been more of connection between Adeline and Casey.
That said, I still very much enjoyed reading Like Clockwork and can hardly wait until the next in the series is available. Of all the books I have read in the past year as a direct or indirect part of my blog, I’d have to say that the Clockwise series by Elle Strauss are my most favorite! I would love for the next book in the Clockwise series to be either about Casey Donovan or somehow about both Adeline and Casey.
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author for the purpose of writing an honest reviewing. Please see my disclaimer policy for more information.
Review: June Glossybox
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
While Glossybox isn’t a new monthly subscription service it IS new in the United States. Their first U.S. box was in May so the June box was only their second monthly box. I had been hearing very good things about the service in other countries and so wanted to include them in my series of articles on beauty subscription services.
The June Glossybox contained 7 items including 2 full size products. I was pretty pleased with the selection of items included especially because there was a lot of variety. Glossybox included a makeup item, bath & body item, a body creme, a facial item, a hair item, and a perfume. So without further ado, here is what my box contained.
The presentation of the box is very lovely. The items are all packaged carefully inside a pale pink box with polka dots on the inside. The box is the largest and sturdiest of any of the subscription services and will most definitely be useful for storage of various items later on. Inside there was a postcard with the details of the items on one side and a descriptions of the box along with contact info on the other.
Also included was a mini magazine called Glossy Mag for the month of July. Since their boxes deliberately ship late (compared to other services that ship at the beginning of the month) it was already July by the time I received my June Glossybox. The mini mag is cute and is something different that sets Glossybox apart from the others.
The first item I pulled out was the Perfume Organic in Urban Organic scent. I am very sensitive to perfume and nearly always prefer body mist or spray to actual perfume. My little sister on the other hand loves perfume and wears it quite often. I personally didn’t care for the scent, but I rarely like any actual perfume scents. This was the only item that I couldn’t figure out the sample size price because I couldn’t figure out how many milliliters were in the small vial. The full size bottle contains 0.41 ounces and costs $65.
The next item is the Wella Professionals Enrich Moisturizing Treatment for hair. Since I received this after my surgery I haven’t been able to use it as I can’t get in a regular shower until my leg is healed and strong enough. But I look forward to using it on my much shorter hair since I had it cut substantially before my surgery. The longest part of my hair reached my tushie and now it is just below shoulder length. The full size hair treatment contains 5.07 ounces and costs $12 making the value of this sample equal approximately $2.01.
The first full sized item was the First Aid Beauty Smooth Shave Cream which the description says is a “gentle, non-irritating formula”. I cannot wait until I am allowed to shave the leg I had surgery on and will most definitely be saving this to be able to use then.
The most expensive item included was the Kinerase Restructure Firming Cream. I don’t feel like I really need any sort of anti-aging product just yet. While I did try this, I am not at all sure it did very much for me. And even if it did this is a very cost prohibitive item. The full size one contains just 1.7 ounces for a whopping $98!
Also included was a very cute little jar containing Shea Terra Organics Ultimate Moisturizing Body Creme in Bourbon Vanilla. Oh this body creme smells sooo yummy! I also love the when I took the lid off that there was a seal on it which not only make sure to keep the lotion in the container during shipping, but also said it hadn’t been opened previously. The label on the little jar is very cute and matches the jar and lid perfectly. When I tried this delicious smelling lotion it felt so rich and creamy and not at all greasy. The full size jar is 9 ounces for $18 which makes this sample have a value of $2.
And last but not least is my favorite item in this box, BeautyAddicts Show Off Mascara. I am always on the look out for mascaras that build up ones lashes either by itself or layered over my mascara base. I have very short and sparse lashes on the top and literally a dozen on each of my bottom lashes. And the lashes on my right eye are longer than on the left which really bothers me. i don’t think anyone else would notice that, but it is very obvious to me especially when I am putting on mascara. This Show Off Mascara does a pretty good job at being build-able and doesn’t seem to clump much. This is the second full size item and it retails for $20.
If you’d like to try Glossybox for yourself you can by clicking on the link below. Glossybox costs $21 a month unless you live in CA, then you are also charged tax which makes the total approximately $23. If you purchase a multi-month package you’ll end up getting each month for a bit less. If you do sign up I’d love to hear what you think!
Also I just posted a new following widget on my sidebar for Linky followers. i would very much appreciate it if you could PLEASE follow me via Linky followers. I’ve been trying to find another following widget ever since GFC (google friend connect) was discontinued from ALL non blogger blogs.
*Disclaimer The link to Glossybox is an affiliate link. Please see my disclaimer policy for more information.