Makeup Monday Review – Wander Glow Ahead Illuminating Face Oil

Marvelous Monday Makeup Friends,

I hope your weekend was wonderful. Mine was hot. Just really really hot! Anyone else ready for fall?

On to more fun topics! Today we are talking about this face oil. I have recently become a fan of face oils and this one is pretty good. It can be used as a moisturizing primer which is how I have used it. It has a rose oil scent to it. This product is not too thick but it is also not too thin and watery. The oil definitely absorbs into my skin quickly and leaves it feeling hydrated and not an oily icky feeling.

You can see from the above photos how it looks and get a good idea of the consistency. The smell is pleasant and not overbearing. As I was using this it reminded me of something I was already using Physicians Formula Rose’ All Day oil free face serum.

I bought the Rose’ All Day as a sample size to try. I heard serums were good for my skin type! This has the same consistency, same scent and honestly makes my face feel soft and moisturized.

Overall I have been very happy about the ๏ฟผGlow Ahead product. I will continue using for sure! As a full size product I anticipate this lasting at least a couple of months based on the amount I use each day.

I am going to give this oil ๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ’„๐Ÿ’„ out of 5. I will say though if a $15.99 price tag sounds more appealing than the $42.00 MSRP you might want to try the Rose’ All Day!

Love and ๐Ÿ’„,

Becky

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Interview – Olazzo Owner

Fantastic Friday Friends!

As promised, I wanted to share with you the amazing conversation I had with Roberto one of the owners of the Olazzo restaurants in Maryland. Do you ever go somewhere and just want to talk to the owner about what an awesome thing they have done? Sometimes, when I visit a store or a restaurant, I just want to know the story behind it. Do you ever feel that way? Well in this particular instance, I was so lucky to actually get to speak with the owner of Olazzo!

He was very kind to take the time to speak with me about his restaurant, his family and food/life in general.

RGR – To start with how did you and your brother get the idea for a restaurant?

Roberto – Me and my brother (Ricardo) were in the restaurant business working as servers for awhile ( me about 13 years and he about 5). So I was living in California at the time and wanted to open a restaurant. Originally I wanted to open up a sushi place because there was a lack of them in our area. This was in 2001. So I moved back and decided to go with Italian instead of sushi because I was more comfortable with it being a first generation Italian. So I found a location that was a small seafood restaurant name south beach. They were moving to a bigger location up the street and was selling it for $60,000. It was a 1000 square foot space. So our opening chef backed out about a month before we opened. My brother had never cooked before and became our opening chef. We new a lot of people in the area. The place became a hit pretty much right away. It was only 46 seats but became a hot spot in the area.

RGR – Who is the head chef at each location?

Roberto – My brother pretty much heads the kitchen in both places

RGR – Where did your recipes come from?

Roberto – Family grew up Italian so we pretty much had a lot of family stuff. My brother also trained at my best friends place in California.

RGR – What is your favorite food item (dish) on the menu?

Roberto – I would say that our tortellini with mushrooms, dates and spinach

RGR – Where is your family from?

Roberto – My family is from Alatri, Italy

RGR – I know that this is a family business, is it just you and your brother or are other family members involved?

Roberto – The restaurant is owned by me and my brother. But the others helped a lot with the buildouts. We are in the construction business.

RGR – What is your favorite non-Italian thing to make and/or eat?

Roberto – Well I love Octopus to eat. I love making crab cakes

RGR – Do you have a favorite cookbook/chef that is an inspiration?

Roberto – Well my grandmother was a phenomenal cook. She was well known back home as one of the best gnocchi makers in town.

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I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Roberto after he answered all of my interview questions. He told me the one thing he realized about the restaurant business that he thinks he likes the most is the buzz of the place and the ambiance that keeps people coming back. He said there are always clients that find a place and make it their regular hang-out but when there’s a couple that only go out once per month, you want to be the place they want to be. It’s work to be the choice of the customer, especially when there are so many restaurants that are competing for the clientele.

Roberto also told me that the first night they opened the restaurant, he was so nervous he didn’t want to turn on the open sign. Can you imagine? They are so very successful and they now have two locations of Olazzo, plus two other restaurants. Please check out the website for Olazzo. https://www.olazzo.com/

I would encourage you to visit any of their locations. Have a seat and ask some questions. You never know who you might talk to. Roberto is very in to travel right now and doing some very exciting things. I want to let you guys know, we might have to talk to our friend Roberto again to catch up with what he is doing.

Lots of Love,

Becky

Book Review – The Murder House James Patterson and David Ellis

The Murder House

Wonderful Wednesday Reader Friends,

So here is a little secret, I don’t always “read” these books. I have a decent commute every day (around 45 minutes each way) so I will often listen to audio books. I do not subscribe to Audible or anything like that, I use an app called OverDrive. This app is connected to my local library and I can “check-out” books to read through my Kindle or audio books to listen to through the OverDrive app on my cell phone, hands free of course people. I know this app is available via iTunes, not sure about other services like GooglePlay, etc.

Sometimes, I start to listen to a book and a stop for whatever reason. Maybe I didn’t get through it and the borrowing period ended, there is always a reason something didn’t get done. Anyway, as I started to listen to this story, it was very familiar. I was about a chapter in and realized I had started this before. I didn’t however, remember enough to make me want to stop listening and I am so glad that I didn’t. I never finished because the ending was a complete surprise to me.

The book I am talking about is of course The Murder House by James Patterson and David Ellis.

Summary (via James Patterson’s website)

Detective Jenna Murphy comes to the Hamptons to solve a murder-but what she finds is more deadly than she could ever imagine.

Trying to escape her troubled past and rehabilitate a career on the rocks, former New York City cop Jenna Murphy hardly expects her lush and wealthy surroundings to be a hotbed of grisly depravity. But when a Hollywood power broker and his mistress are found dead in the abandoned Murder House, the gruesome crime scene rivals anything Jenna experienced in Manhattan. And what at first seems like an open and shut case turns out to have as many shocking secrets as the Murder House itself, as Jenna quickly realizes that the mansionโ€™s history is much darker than even the townโ€™s most salacious gossips could have imagined.

As more bodies surface, and the secret that Jenna has tried desperately to escape closes in on her, she must risk her own life to expose the truth-before the Murder House claims another victim. Full of the twists and turns that have made James Patterson the worldโ€™s #1 bestselling writer,ย The Murder Houseย is a chilling, page-turning story of murder, money, and revenge.

My take:

This story starts off from the very first sentence with action. You are pulled along for the ride whether you want to be or not. If I were reading this book physically, I have no doubt it would be a page turner. I know that I struggled to stop the audio when I would get to the office each morning or when I got home each evening. The characters are all flawed enough to be very believable. One character that we are introduced to, rather quickly is Noah Walker. The ups and downs of this character are enough to be a novel in itself. Jenna is one of those characters that you feel for, but at the same time you have moments where you want to grab her by the shoulders and shake her.

I enjoyed this story from start to finish. The town in the Hamptons is as much a character as the people in the story. You learn about the area and how it affects the comings and goings of all of the characters. I think that with this one James Patterson has outdone himself. I was very impressed by the speed of the action as well. For a novel that is 451 pages, you truly get 451 pages of interest. There did not appear to be a lull to me. Also, while I will not give spoilers, I will say that the ending left me satisfied. There were no holes that were left to annoy me when Iย  finished. It was a good wrapped up story.

I am going to give this read ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅ๐Ÿฅย out of 5 croissants. This is a grab a cup of coffee with a croissant, that turns into a glass of tea with your lunch, and a glass of wine after dinner kind of read. You won’t be able to put it down.

Sadly, I don’t have an author interview to go along with this review. I do have some things in the works though, so please keep checking back with me friends!

Love and ๐Ÿ“š,

Becky

Makeup Monday โ€“ August BoxyCharm Box Review

Marvelous Monday my Make-up lovelies,

It is that time again. I have received my latest BoxyCharm box and I must reveal all of the goodies with you!

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The theme this month is Totally. This has a super 80’s vibe but the contents didn’t make me feel 80s. They made me feel more like some luxury was in my future!

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Here is just a little sneak peek. This was how it appeared (mostly) when I opened the box. Nice packaging. I was surprised that the face oil didn’t have it’s own box for some reason. Not disappointed per say just surprised.

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Now, for what I know you all really want to know. Exactly what these products are and what is the overall value of this month’s box.

Becca – Hydra-Mist & Refresh Powder – MSRP $39.00

Wander – Glow Ahead Illuminating Oil – MSRP $42.00

Tarte – Big Ego Mascara – MSRP $23.00

Ace Beaute – Glimmer Due Shadow – MSRP $25.00

Steve Laurant – Lip Liner – MSRP $15.00

Total value of the box – $144.00 total cost to me $21.00.

I am most excited about the Hydra-Mist & Refresh Powder. I recently ran out of a good setting powder and this seems to have amazing reviews.

I am least excited about the lip liner. Mainly because I don’t really use liners much but the shade does appear to be fairly neutral so it should work with some lip sticks I already have, so there’s that.

If you would like to sign up for your own box, here is the link. https://www.boxycharm.com/

Also, if you would like, please use my code. I think I get some points towards products or something. Not sure if you get anything using it but hey it’s worth a shot.

Becky-WWZCHHXT

As always, I can’t wait to report back and let you guys know how all of these products work. I have found that in order to get all of the products reviewed before the next box comes, I am going to have to start doubling up on the reviews. If you guys are opposed to this and would rather me do more posts per week related to make-up, please let me know. I am open to suggestions.

Love and ๐Ÿ’„,

Becky

Restaurant Review – Olazzo

On a recent business trip, I had the pleasure of visiting Baltimore, Maryland. I know that this area has been in the news recently and I can tell you that I had a great time. It was clean, I felt safe in all the areas that I visited.

I had never been to this area before and it was really fun to visit. One of the things I love most about traveling is getting to experience the restaurants that we don’t have at home. Especially those restaurants that are locally owned and operated.

Olazzo was just the ticket. We visited the Silver Springs, Maryland location on a week night looking for a good Italian dinner. They did not disappoint.

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I love this picture because it really gets the vibe of the rustic at home feeling that you get being in the restaurant. The low light and family style pictures on the walls made me feel like I was visiting a friend’s Italian grandmother’s home.

We started our meal with Arancini. If you have never tried these before they are risotto balls stuffed with mozzarella and served with marinara. I had never ordered them before because I had heard they were very difficult to make and were often not good at restaurants. We took a chance and I am so glad that we did. They were so very flavorful, this restaurant adds saffron to the balls, and the texture I can only say is unique but very very pleasant.

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They brought small squares of bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping and the cocktail was a Peach Bellini. it is always one of my favorites. It was just strong enough after a long hard day of travel and working!

I had a caprese salad that was phenomenal. I loved the fresh mozzarella and the tomato pieces were large tomatoes. There was no grape or cherry tomatoes to make it easier to serve. This was spot on and so very fresh. My main dish was the Gnocchi Duck Bolognese. This dish was amazing. The duck was so well cooked, there was no gamey taste that can often come from duck. The bolognese was not too acidic, it was a perfect blend of spice and tomato. We ordered dessert, a nice refreshing and simple vanilla gelato. I ate it too fast for a photo, sorry folks.

After leaving the restaurant, I learned it was owned by two brothers. They have the location we visited in Silver Springs, Maryland and another location (the original) in Bethesda. I was so fascinated by this family owned and operated business, that I reached out and asked for an interview. One of the family members obliged and you will see that exciting interview, right here next week. While you wait for the interview, here is a link to the restaurant’sย website.ย 

If you find yourself in Maryland, I would say you should make your way to Bethesda or Silver Springs and check out this wonderful restaurant.

Overall this restaurant receives ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿฝ out of 5. The food was outstanding and the atmosphere was perfect. I only wish we had one in Tennessee.

Love and Mangia,

Becky

Thursday Story Telling – Update

I want to thank you all that have taken the time to follow along with the story, The Intervention. I want you to know that it means a lot to me that you would take the time to read and care about this work. I wrote this story many many years ago and it was my first and to date only “finished” work. Perhaps I will start another story and reveal it/publish it here on this blog in a similar format. If this is something that you would be interested in, please let me know.

To make it easy for future readers to check out my story in it’s entirety, I am going to link to each chapter in order below. Thank you again everyone for supporting me through this weird journey of putting my own words out there for all of you to read, critique and hopefully enjoy.

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

I hope that if you are just finding this blog, you will take the time to check out the story chapter by chapter. It has been a scary and fun journey to reveal this personal work on this blog. For some reason, this work of fiction was more intimidating to publish here than all the times I have told about my personal life. I’m sure some psychologist would have a blast with an explanation for that weird part of me.

Thank you again my friends.

Lots of love,

Becky

Movie Review – Murder Mystery

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Wonderful Wednesday Movie Watchers,

Over the last couple of years, Netflix has really upped it’s game when it comes to original programming. An example of that, is this latest film Murder Mystery starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. The couple is ready for a vacation and they take off on a trip for Europe. They find themselves in the center of a murder mystery that not only tests them individually but will test their marriage and it is hilarious!

I would not have imagined Sandler and Aniston as a couple but the chemistry for this “couple” was perfect. I don’t know why Aniston’s funny side is not always what I think of when I think of her as an actress. I think of her as beautiful first but you guys she is a comedienne. She can go head to head with Sandler and often steals the screen in a surprising way.

You will be happy to know that this Sandler film includes a character with a fake hand, some very interesting accents, and twists and turns right up until the very end. This was a perfect date night movie. My husband and I laughed and thoroughly enjoyed the entire ride. As a big reader, I found it fun that they referred back to stereotypical mystery plots. It made the movie even more fun.

If you have not watched this movie yet, I highly recommend it. I would watch it again. That is really the test of a good movie right? Would you watch it again?

This movie gets ๐Ÿฟ ๐Ÿฟ ๐Ÿฟ ๐Ÿฟ ๐Ÿฟย  out of 5.

Love and ๐Ÿฟ,

Becky