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

Foodie Friday – Cucumber Salad

Fabulous Friday foodie friends! Are you looking for a refreshing salad that can be a wonderful side-dish or could be a whole meal on it’s own? Sometimes, for lunch I just like something simple. So I found a recipe for Cucumber Salad and thought, well I have to try it!

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This is so simple to put together:

1/2 of a red onion

2 cucumbers

4 Roma Tomatoes

Feta Cheese

Cucumber Dill Salad Dressing

I diced the onions fine, cut the cucumber and tomatoes into equal size chunks. You put it all in a bowl and sprinkle in the amount of feta that appeals to you, I used an entire container. I think it was 6 oz. Then I used a jar of cucumber dill salad dressing. It was not a large jar, but I did use the whole thing. That’s it stir it all together and put it in the fridge. If you are planning to eat it the same day, I would suggest letting it “marry flavors” in the fridge for at least 2 hours. I usually try to make it the day before.

This salad is fantastic on it’s own. You could also add Tuna or Chicken to this and it would be a fantastic full meal. There are many recipes out there for this type of salad and I hope you will give one a try. This is a very refreshing dish and it makes plenty to share, you can also make it for yourself and just eat on it all week long!

Give it a shot my friends!

This is a  🍽 🍽 🍽 🍽 🍽 out of 5 dish for sure!

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

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.

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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