Book Review – The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn

Wonderful Wednesday friends! I have been going non-stop for the last week it has been very rewarding though. Sometimes those busy times are the best times, am I right?

I want to tell you about the book I just finished listening to. Have I told you all how much I love audio books? They are truly amazing and make my commute not terrible. The latest book I listened to was The Woman in the Window by AJ Finn. This book brings to mind the old school Hitchcock thrillers we have all come to know and love.

Here is the summary from Amazon.

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors.

Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother, their teenaged son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble―and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one—and nothing—is what it seems.

Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock—an unforgettable thriller that Gillian Flynn calls “amazing.”

My review:

This story had so many twists. I loved the way the author revealed the story. It is clear as the story starts that Anna is not in a good place. The way that unfolds is a great ride.

I did not anticipate the ending at all. This was a surprise for me because usually I always guess the ending.

The general plot of the story was not new. This did not feel like anything new and exciting. It was told well but I couldn’t help feeling it had been told before.

Overall, I’m going to give this one a 📚📚📚 out of 5. If you are a super thriller fan go for it. If you are looking for something original perhaps you should pass.

What are you reading my friends?

Love and 📚,

Becky

Book Review – A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

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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

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

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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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?

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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

Makeup Monday – Steve Laurent Lip Pencil

Marvelous Monday all!

I am currently traveling for work so forgive me any typos in the blog this week! So much to do and never enough time. Am I right? I know, I know get to the makeup!

I think I mentioned when I got my Boxy Charm box that this was one of the items I was least excited about.

It’s not that I have anything against the brand. I have never actually tried the brand. I just moved away from lip pencils around 2000 unless I am wearing a red lip look and I’m worried about it bleeding through above my lips. So while I wasn’t excited, I did try it. Here’s proof:

Another funny story, I put my lips on after I get to work! What can I say, I like to kiss my husband so my look is never fully finished until I get to the office.

As you can see from the pic the pencils went on very smooth. The formula did not try out my lips. I’m not sure it really helped my lip look but it was ok to use.

The lip pencil is in my lip bag and it will stay there. I will continue to use it when I use nude shades.

I’m going to give this 💄💄💄💄💄 out of 5. It’s a good product I just don’t use it often. Sorry I couldn’t give a better review friends. Next week we are going to talk about some fun shadows!

Love and 💄,

Becky