Book Review – A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

412656NDUuL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

This Wednesday, we are talking about A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena. Here is the summary from Amazon.

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes.  Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

My review:

This story took me on twists and turns like I didn’t expect. As you start to sympathize with a character, you learn something new and no longer even like the character. Then, something else happens you are sympathetic to them again. I have to hand it to the author is so difficult to write characters that are likeable and unlikeable all at the same time. The flow of the story did feel very natural. As you are learning things along with Karen, there is some memory sequence but for the most part it is all unfolding in order for the reader along with the characters in the story.

You will enjoy the take on this one if you enjoy mystery novels that are pretty quick reads. I did feel like I just wanted to keep turning the page. This is one of those stories that makes me glad I like to read!

I am going to say that this one was a 📚📚📚📚📚 out of 5, for me! I enjoyed every twist and turn. I didn’t feel like the author took too many over the top liberties which I appreciate. I highly recommend this one!

Love and 📚,

Becky

Advertisements

Makeup Monday – Catch Up Review

Marvelous Monday my Makeup loving friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. I got my October BoxyCharm box this weekend and I can’t wait to share with you what I got. But first, I have to finish my reviews for the September box. This is going to be a bit of a long post and I apologize.

I’m going to start with the Violet Voss – Essentials Eyeshadow Palette. I was not super excited about this palette. I am a much more neutral kind of gal. I did attempt a look and wanted to share it with you though.

It was not bad but it was hard for me to work with the colors. I am going to continue to try. Now that fall is here I’m hoping the purple and the orange shades will come in handy. The colors were all very pigmented and long lasting on my eyes. The palette itself I would give 💄💄💄💄 out of 5 review but for me personally this is a 💄💄💄.

Since I just discussed eyeshadow I should mention my review for the MODA – 5-pc Brush Kit.

I really liked these brushes. I have not used them as much as I would like to. I will say though they are soft and fluffy. I have had some brushes that were scratchy on my eyelids lately and these definitely were not. I also am just getting used to using a fluffy brush for my crease and I really liked how this brush worked. They are all marked with what they should be used for and I like that. It helped me try new brushes in new areas. Do you ever get stuck in a routine for brushes and wonder if maybe there is a better tool out there you haven’t tried yet. I feel like these brushes were a better tool and I am glad I  tried. I plan to continue to use them and try to get some of their face brushes as well.

I am going to give these a 💄💄💄💄💄 of 5. Highly recommend giving them a try!

Next up we have MAC – Frost Lipstick CB96. Well folks, partly I am too old for frosty lipsticks and secondly this color was not meant for me.

I might try it again with a much more subtle makeup look and let this be the only pop of color. It is definitely a pretty shade. The pigment was very real. The color stayed on my lips all day but it also got on everything else along the way. My poor water bottle may never be the same. The lipstick was however the soft moisturizing feel that you will almost always find with MAC. I do wish it was a more flattering shade but like I said, perhaps if I get a tan or do a more subtle makeup I could make it better. As a product I’m giving this a 💄💄💄💄 out of 5 but for me and my skin tone, I am giving this a 💄💄💄 out of 5.

Finally, I am going to tell you all about the Laura Geller – Baked Gellato Swirl Illuminator.

This was probably my favorite item out of the box and with a $26 price tag, this makes the box a success in my book. The texture is very soft. Goes on powdery but does feel like a velvety cream. The glow is just so soft and perfect for an all the time use. I have used this every day since the first day I tried it and I can say this will be my go-to until I run out or until I get a new one I have to try through BoxyCharm! I love a little highlighter. This is also gentle enough you could use it all over to add just a little bit of glow to your face. I think you will agree if you give it a try. This product is definitely a 💄💄💄💄💄 out of 5 for me. Laura Geller has some great products and I hope I get some more in future boxes.

Overall, September’s box is going to be a 💄💄💄 and a half 💄 for me. I think I had some products that were not so great but I had some products that were great. Do you subscribe? Have you thought about subscribing? Are there other products you would be interested in me reviewing? Let me know!

Love and 💄,

Becky

Movie Review – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Wonderful Wednesday my amazing reader friends!!!

I hope your week is going awesome! Mine has been a little weird. I have not been feeling well but I’m pushing through! I have been reading and watching a lot of movies lately as I have been on the treadmill a lot and well that’s what I do, other than walk of course, on the treadmill.

One of the movies I watched recently was today’s review!

First, let me say isn’s Lily James just the best? I just think she is absolutely adorable and a wonderful actress. I reviewed the book a few weeks ago and you all know I really loved it! Here is the review in case you missed it!

The movie is different then the book. I will be honest and tell you up front I liked the book better. The movie jumps into the story so quickly and the book really develops the relationships between the characters. I prefer the more in-depth look at all the relationships.

As a book lover, I have to say the idea of the story and a book bringing people together makes my heart happy! I am also a big history buff so a movie based on this time in history is fascinating. One thing that was easier to recognize in the movie quicker than the book was the chemistry between the main characters. In the book I imagined Dawsey older as a fatherly figure until the end. With the movie, Dawsey is presented as a handsome potential love interest.

I’m going to give this a 🍿🍿🍿🍿 out of 5. Only 4 because I felt the character development was a little rushed in the movie. The story is still true to itself but definitely a little lacking. Lily James is worth watching alone but it’s a good movie if you need a heartwarming afternoon.

Love and 🍿,

Becky

Makeup Monday Review – Dr. Brandt Hidro Biotic

Marvelous Monday Makeup Fans,

I have been going and going lately. It’s been so busy. I have, however, been using this product for the week.

This was one of the products that I was most excited about from my September BoxyCharm box. The smell is very mild. To me this is a similar smell to other gel type moisturizers.

You only need to use a very small amount for your entire face. It feels very soft and refreshing when I apply it. I will say when I wake up in the morning my face feels slightly sticky which is not a real big deal.

After using this product for about a week and a half I will say it’s a good moisturizer but I don’t really see any major difference in my face. I can’t justify spending $52 for this product. I am going to continue using it and I will update this post when the bottle is gone. For now I’m going to give this a 💄💄💄💄 out of 5. It’s not bad but the cost is far too rich for me!

Love and 💄,

Becky

Friday Foodie Recipe Review – Taco Chicken

Fabulous Friday Foodie Friends,

Today I am going to share a recipe with you. This is something that I started doing for my family and well, I can tell you it’s on the regular rotation for a reason. We like to eat a lot of taco meat in our house. We make a large amount and we can eat it multiple days in a row without being boring after the first day or two.

To shake things up a little bit we decided to make some a crock pot recipe for taco chicken. I started with a recipe I found on pinterest and modified slightly. Check out my Food Reviews board here for the original recipe.

So you start with about 2 lbs of boneless skinless chicken. You can use breast, I prefer thigh. You add one packet of taco seasoning mix. I use the Taco Bell brand mix. If you are concerned about sodium or ingredients and make your own, use about 3 tablespoons. Then you use a jar of salsa. I use Pace medium. You can use any brand and any heat level you like. Spray your crock pot with non-stick cooking spray. Put your chicken in the bottom. Cover the chicken with the seasoning and then top that with the salsa. Put on the lid and cook the chicken on high for 2.5 hours or on low for approximately 4 hours. I have also done this in the crock pot with frozen chicken and the best method I have found for that is high setting for 4 hours.

IMG_2270

The above is how it looks cooking. It makes the house smell so good. You will want to eat this all the time. After the cooking is done, I like to pull the chicken out carefully (it will fall apart) and shred it.

IMG_2288

After it is all shredded, I put it in a container and add the sauce from the crock pot.

IMG_2289

You can use this in tacos like you would any taco meat. We love it over chips for nachos. The salsa keeps the chicken so moist and delicious. It adds a great spice to the meat and keeps taco night new and exciting all the time. I believe this recipe would also work very well with a pork tenderloin. You might have to adjust the cooking time in the crock pot but the ingredients would work great.

Overall, this recipe for my family is a 🍽🍽🍽🍽🍽 out of 5 every time! I hope that you will give it a try and if you do, please let me know what you think. How does your family do taco night?

Mangia my friends!

Love and 🍽,

Becky

Book Review – I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

Wonderful Wednesday friends,

I haven’t done a book review in a while, so I thought it was time. I have done a lot of traveling for work lately and this has resulted in many books being read as well as many books being listened to via audio book. One of those books that I have to tell you all about is today’s review – I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara.

51PcBJI6FcL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_

Here is a summary provided by Amazon:

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.

Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called “the Golden State Killer.” Michelle pored over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle’s dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.

My review:

This story completely sucked me in from the very first second. This was one of those stories that I chose to listen to, and I can tell you I couldn’t stop listening. I was listening on the way to and from work. I was listening as I was cooking dinner. I was listening as I mowed the lawn. Needless to say, this book was amazing. Some of my favorite things were the fact that Michelle shares all of the story. She takes us on the journey of her investigation from day one. She doesn’t miss anything about the story. I appreciate that she really wants us to understand her passion for the investigation.

The story in itself is very compelling. I won’t lie friends, serial killers are fascinating. There is just something about understanding the mind of someone that has the capacity to commit such crimes. I think that Michelle was very honest about her addiction to this case. She recognized the obsession and she didn’t deny it. The way that she gained the trust of former investigators and others, just shows that her commitment was real. People can recognize someone that just wants the story and someone that actually cares about the story. I don’t want to give any spoilers about the story or quote any favorite lines. I will tell you this, if you are interested in True Crime at all and have not read this book yet, you need to. I will also say that Michelle was a force to be reckoned with and I am sure that not only her family but the world is less bright without her.

Listening to the story and how she puts forth her heart into the story, made me wish I knew her. I would have wanted to be her friend. I am also certain that I am definitely not cool enough to have held her attention for more than a minute. Here is my wish for all of my readers, let your curiosity thrive. Go forth and get the answers my friends. Never stop trying and if you have a dream, fight with all you got for it.

This story and this author get a 📚📚📚📚📚 out of 5. Read it friends or listen to it. The voice actor that reads the story does an excellent job of injecting Michelle’s emotion into the words. You are sucked in to the story like she is telling you directly about her journey.

Love and 📚,

Becky

Makeup Monday – September BoxyCharm Box Review

It’s that time of the month. We have a new box. I do kind of hate that I get it towards the middle/end of the month instead of the beginning of the month but I’m still really glad I get the box at all.

IMG_2271

Seeing this is the mail just makes me happy! It makes my husband smile too because he knows he is not actually spending that much to make me happy and I get new makeup every month!

The theme this month is All Access:

IMG_2272

I couldn’t exactly figure out the theme. I think maybe exclusive products was what they were going for? I’m not really sure. Let’s get into what we really want to know!

What did I get and what is the value?

IMG_2273

In my box this month was the following:

Violet Voss – Essentials Eyeshadow Palette – MSRP $29.00

Dr Brandt – Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask – MSRP $52.00

MODA – 5 PC Brush Kit – $27.95

MAC – Frost Lipstick CB 96 – $18.50

Laura Geller – Baked Gellato Swirl Illuminator – $26.00

Total MSRP – $153.45

This month, I am most excited about the Dr. Brandt sleeping mask. It is more like a moisturizer than a mask. I can’t wait to try it and tell you all about it.

I am least excited about the eyeshadow palette. I have received a number of eyeshadow palettes from BoxyCharm and I was really hoping to receive a different face palette this month. I am also a very neutral kind of girl and Violet Voss is definitely not known for neutrals.

As always if you would like to sign up for BoxyCharm, you can use my link below. There are some new things coming to the company in the coming months. It is growing and honestly I think the value of this service is only going to continue to improve.

https://www.boxycharm.com/refer/Becky-WWZCHHXT

I’m going to give this box a first impression score of 💄💄💄💄out of 5.

Can’t wait to tell you guys how the products actually work!

Love and 💄,

Becky