Thursday, November 20, 2014

Skip To The Good Part - Release Day!


The all caps were so, so necessary.. BECAUSE.. Today is the release day launch of Skip To The Good Part. I really, really wanted to finish reading it so I could have a full review for you guys today, but busy month, so I just haven't gotten that done.. yet.

So here's some info you need, then my 2 cents below that, and thennnn a special present for you lovely people at the bottom.

Skip to the Good Part Synopsis:
Find your next red-hot read in this sizzling collection of sexy scenes
99¢ only through release week—regularly $2.99

Skip to the Good Part: 20 Authors Reveal Their Steamiest Scenes offers face-fanning romance and tie-me-up sizzle (and everything in between) from top authors including New York Times and USA Today bestsellers. 

The collection features a British alpha who wants to turn a good girl bad, a woman realizing her impetuous marriage to a stripper isn’t all bad, a bad boy boxer who could use a large dose of sexual healing, a carnie who has found new and inventive uses for fun house mirrors, and a rocker who wants to woo the girl who got away: his high school sweetheart.

Read 20 of the best steamy scenes in contemporary romance and erotic romance today. This 250-page collection will get your blood pumping, your heart racing, and your skin tingling—you’re sure to discover a new favorite. 
Due to the graphic nature of some content, this collection is recommended strictly for mature readers. 

New York Times best-selling authors:
Raine Miller 
Kendall Ryan 
K. Bromberg 
Carly Phillips 
Denise Grover Swank 
S.L. Scott 

USA Today best-selling authors: 
Christine Bell 
Rebecca Shea 
Andrea Smith 

Magan Vernon 
Kristie Cook 
Nevaeh Lee & Michelle Lynn 
Alessandra Thomas
Selena Laurence 
Heidi Joy Tretheway 
Elizabeth Briggs 
Meghan March 
Taylor Michaels 
K.B. Nelson 

Elise Covert

Buy Links:

So first of all you should know that I think this is one of the greatest ideas, ever. Jasper Ridge Press took all of the "good parts" of these amazing authors' new books and combined them into one. How freaking genius is that? Like I said, I haven't finished yet, so I don't want to give you a full review, but I will say I am LOVING being able to get a little taste of so many different authors and I've already added a few full books to my "To Read" list.

The only other side note I want to include is that CARLY freaking PHILLIPS is in this book. I own every single one of Carly's books and she was the very first "romance" book I ever read. So basically, Carly and I go way back and I am just over the moon excited about being able to get a glimpse of her new book. THIS IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA!

And now, for the good part.. (get it? lol, i'm so punny)

Jasper Ridge Press is hosting a giveaway and will be giving away print copies of some of the books featured in Skip To The Good Part. I know, a damn dream come true.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Top 3 Favorite Lip Balms

This is kind of a random post, but for some reason I was thinking about this over the weekend and I started mentally ranking my lip balms, because that's not weird at all. So once I was done with my mental list, I decided to share, because these are things the people of Blogland need to know.


Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue Medicated Lip Balm
This stuff is amazing. I do enjoy the original Maybelline Baby Lips, but the Dr. Rescue line is just fantastic. They also come in tints, which is fun, but I've only tried one tint, so I can't comment on that too much. It was nice, with just a subtle hint of color. I was kind of terrified that it'd be like lipstick. I have two of the Too Cool color, which is just plain, no tint. I'm in love. So good. I like that is FEELS hydrating unlike some of others I've tried.


Vaseline Lip Therapy Rosy Lips
This is my new love. I mentioned in yesterday's post that I've been watching a lot of beauty videos on YouTube, well this product was mentioned so many times and by so many different people! So I was like, ok, I'll try it out, but the whole time I was thinking "Vaseline? Isn't that kind of old school?". Well, old school works, folks. It's so good, it lasts on your lips for such a long time and oh my goodness, super hydrating! Also, it's so little!! It's like a little baby tub of vaseline! I can barely handle the cuteness! There are a few things that irk me a bit. For one, I don't like that I have to apply it with my finger. I wish it was in some kind of tube that I could squeeze up. Two, it actually has a faint smell of roses. I like the smell of real, actual roses, but I'm not a huge fan of rose scented things. Does that make sense? No one can get the smell just right and it bothers me, whatever, it's a weird quirk. I did discover that there are two other scents of the Lip Therapy, so I'm probably going to pick them up.


Mary Kay Satin Lips Lip Balm
I 100% do not want you to think this is because I'm technically a Mary Kay consultant. This is #1 on the list because I'm legitimately obsessed with it. It lasts so, so long on your lips and it makes them just absolutely silky smooth. Honestly, it is, in my humble opinion, the best product Mary Kay offers, no joke. Followed up closely by the Mary Kay Satin Lips Lip Mask. OBSESSED. Do the lip mask and follow it up with the lip balm? Heaven. I have a tube of this in my purse, one in my bathroom, one in my car, and one by my bed. I mean, that should speak for itself.

Honorable Mention

eos Lip Balms
I have to mention these because I do own two of them and my sister loves them. They are good, don't get me wrong, I just think the three I listed above are better. I really like to use the eos lip balms for some moisture right before I apply lip liner and a lip stick, because this lip balm tends to dry to an almost matte finish, so it's easy to apply things over it. I have the Sweet Mint scent, which is okay, but I also have the Coconut Milk scent, HOLY BANANAS! It's awesome. It's always out of stock, so if you see this one, snatch it up! My sister really like the Pomegranate Raspberry scent. Like I said these really are good, with a really cute packaging, but not that long lasting and sometimes the almost matte finish I was talking about bothers me. I know these are really, really popular, but they aren't all that. *hair flick*

There you have it!
I know this was kind of random, but I felt like sharing, so shut up and like it.
I love you.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November Update

Whoa hey.. Is this thing on?

I've been pretty checked out of Blogland this month and when I have stopped by, it's been just for a hot minute. So today I'm just gonna give you a little November update on my life.

:: Here's the thing about working in athletics - November sucks. November is the transition month. By that I mean that the fall sports aren't over yet, like football, soccer, and volleyball, but the winter sports have officially begun, such as basketball, swimming, and wrestling. This month I personally work football, men's soccer, volleyball, men's basketball, women's basketball, and a few stand-alone athletic events. This month alone I have 8 men's basketball games and 7 women's basketball games - and those are just the basketball events! It's just a lot. So I'm tired. This is also my excuse for not being around Blogland.

:: Today is also my oldest brother's birthday. Shout out and Happy Birthday to Michael! (family tree saga and explanation found here, there are diagrams)

Michael is the one choking his wife.. Christmas 2012. We're so normal.

:: So as most of you know, when I'm not running around playing athletic supervisor, I work in a CPA office. Well guess what, we're moving! December 1st we will be beginning the process of moving into a new, much needed (holy shit I can't even tell you how much needed) office building. So I mean, if I didn't have enough going on this holiday season, we decided to pack up an entire office and move it. We so smart.

:: When I'm not working, and in between my DVR watching, I've been watching YouTube makeup tutorials. Or makeup hauls. Or makeup reviews. etc. etc. It's turned into an obsession. Just so many beauty videos in general. The good news is that I've been learning so much and you know, if you're a long time reader, my goal in life is to know a little about a lot, just enough to make me dangerous. Boom.
PS. If you need some YouTube beauty blogger recommendations I suggest starting with Laura Vitale, Jaclyn Hill, Nicole Guerriero, or Casey Holmes. But really there are a ton of really good ones out there, so actually if you know of someone, send them to me!

:: I have a thing with smells. Actually, I just decided this entire bullet point could be a blog post, so look for that this week. Here's the quick version - I have a candle addiction and I would rather buy candles over just about anything else. Well currently I have a Buy 2, Get 2 FREE from Yankee Candle coupon in my email inbox and I'm trying really hard to ignore it…. *insert wide-eyed emoji here*

:: OH, Kate, who is one hilarious no-reply blogger, (yea, I'm calling you out, Kate) wrote a comment on my post about my marathon cooking day recently where I talked about how I screwed up my vegetable soup and I didn't know what I was going to do about it.

Well, to update everyone and to make a long story short, I had to throw it away. I tried putting a few whole potatoes in it to soak up some of the salt and them removing those potatoes, didn't work. So then I tried scooping out a ton of the juice and adding new fresh juice, still didn't work. When I say I royally screwed up this soup, I'm being serious. So in the trash it went. Whomp Whomp.

:: This happened yesterday. Running a few errands, came across an RV. I laughed and was all "OMG Breaking Bad, Walter White and Jesse Pinkman are in town, LOL, SO FUNNY, let me get a picture!" and then I took a picture.. And then zoomed in..

Because.. obviously.

That's all for this morning, folks! I have a huge list of things I need to accomplish today and no surprise here, but I have to work a men's basketball game tonight! Hopefully you'll see me again this week, because I have at least 2 post ideas in my head currently, so here's hoping they actually happen.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Swifty vs. Spotify

If you've been around this blog for any significant amount of time or if you know me and my sister in real life, then you know we are not Taylor Swift fans. It is not about her personally! She does great things for a lot of charities and from every single thing we've ever read she's absolutely fabulous to her fans. Great, wonderful, awesome. BUT we aren't fans. It's a combo of her dancing, her adolescent song lyrics, and her horrible live singing at every damn awards show. Honestly, I shouldn't have to defend my decision not to like her. #IDoWhatIWant

So, disclaimer - I'm not a TSwift fan, so I don't, at the moment, have a dog in this fight.

However, I did listen to her song Shake It Off, and damnit, I do like it. So when her album 1989 was about to be released, I was kind of interested to hear it because I thought just maybe she was finally growing into herself and finally writing for her age. Unfortunately, I still haven't heard any of her new album, because she pulled it from Spotify.

Spotify is my main device for listening to music. I pay the $9.99 a month so that I can have Spotify on my laptop and on my cell phone and I have an AUX cable so that I can listen to Spotify in my car. I definitely get my $9.99 a month from Spotify and it is more than worth it for me. I'm a huge Spotify supporter.

Taylor came forward after pulling all of her music from Spotify and gave her reasoning behind her decision to pull her music. I don't necessarily disagree with her basic argument, to be honest. Her music is an art and just like you'd pay for a painting, she should be compensated for the hard work she puts in. Cool, no arguments here.

Do I think Spotify is the problem? Do I think Spotify is to blame? No.

It's 2014 and I haven't bought a song on iTunes in over a year and I haven't purchased an actual CD is much, much longer. I took a quick poll from my friends and they all pretty much said the same thing. Then I read this must-read article from the Spotify CEO. I'm not going to sum it up or paraphrase it because I want you to read it. It is definitely worth your read.

I'm thinking a lot of thoughts right now. I'm wondering if Taylor realizes that Spotify does pay so much for every song they stream. I'm also wondering if she just isn't getting the payout. Recording companies are known for underpaying their artists. I'm also wondering why it feels like she's trying to take a stand against Spotify and against free music, BUT she's left her album on multiple other sites that do not pay her or anyone else. Also wondering how she thinks she's going to stop illegal downloads, because that is and has been a huge problem for a long time. I'm curious about her thought process in general.

Not to be totally metaphorical or anything, but she just hoped off the train, which is fine, but that doesn't mean the train is going to stop. She didn't even give the train a legitimate reason to stop and she didn't pull the emergency breaks. She just jumped off. Again, cool for her, but everyone else on that train is going to keep going into 2015 and now here she is on foot, walking back to 2008.

Or I could be wrong. It's a rare occurrence, but it has been known to happen occasionally.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Ugh, Muggles, AM I RIGHT?!

Below is a group text conversation between my mom, my sister, my stepdad, and myself from this morning.

The only back story you need is that my mom and I have read/seen Harry Potter and my sister and my stepdad have not. Also Ellettsville is a town and "46" is the main highway that runs through that town. Oh, and sometimes my stepdad calls me KDawg, because duh.
I can't make this shit up.

Further explanations - My mom and I responded with "speak for yourself" at the same time and "Cancel" is what my sister says when she's done with a conversation. Apparently she learned it in elementary school.

You're welcome and I'll actually see you back here tomorrow for a discussion on TSwift.
Luh yu, bruh.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

One Of The Lucky Ones

Yesterday morning I was up crazy early and decided it was the perfect time to get a few things done. I ended up gathering up two loads of laundry and took the over to my parents' house about an hour before I needed to be at work. Well, my mom was still home and was going to be home off and on throughout the day, so not only did I end up spending that hour before work talking to her about my salty vegetable soup that I messed up and our TV shows, but she also said she'd flip my laundry and put my other load in the washer so I would only have to make one more trip to their house during the day to flip the 2nd load.

Then I got to work and sent my dad a text asking him to call me at the office later so we could gossip and talk about the new IU basketball developments that happened the night before. In the text I said "I need to talk to someone I won't want to stab halfway through the conversation. You get me". And he does. My dad is awesome and we talk almost every day.

After that I sat a work a minute and decided to text my stepdad. Just a simple "I love you because you're awesome" text, because he is and I was feelin' it.

Honestly, I was sitting at work thinking about how damn lucky I am. I love my parents, all three of them. I am almost 25 now and I am friends with all of my parents. Not everyone I know can say things like that. One of my best friends has a family structure, with a stepdad and older stepbrothers, etc., that is so similar, almost identical, to mine. However, her relationship with her three parents is nothing like mine. I'm one of those lucky ones, and I get it now.

Growing up things were definitely not all rainbows and butterflies; there were absolutely times of struggle for all of us involved. But we made it through and here we are now. Even through those bad times, I've never ever, in my life, doubted for one second that I was loved. I knew it. That's something special too, because some kids don't know that.

Today, like I said, I'm friends with my parents. I would, and have, chosen to hang out with them just because I can. I speak with them consistently. My mom and my stepdad both read this blog daily. My dad and I can sometimes talk in a code that only the two of us understand. All three of them follow me on Twitter. I get my TV show and book addiction from my mom, my St. Louis Cardinals and grammar obsession from my stepdad, and my love of any and all sports and fear of severe weather from my dad. But mostly? They get me.

Love them.

Monday, November 3, 2014

25 Hours

I swear I say at least once a week that I wish there was an extra hour in the day. Well, yesterday was the one day a year that I do get that extra hour and boy, did I put it to use.

November is going to be crazy. Not only prepping for the holidays, which is something I love to do, but also work. So much work. On Saturday afternoon I started thinking about how much busier it could get depending on a few other moving pieces. When I get really busy, I also get lazy. When I'm busy I feel like I need all of my extra energy to just survive, so a lot of things get put on the back burner, including meals and cleaning.

So first, I got up early on Sunday and spent about an hour planning my month in meals. Nothing exact, but I did try to think ahead for the month and took into consideration what I already had, which actually wasn't much. Then I made a list and went to the store.

I deviated very little from the list. Some of the deviations were forced, because they either didn't have what I needed or didn't have the quantity I needed and some of the deviations had to do with sales, because I enjoy buying things on sale.

Then I came home and marathon cooked.

I made a lot, but I made quite a few recipes from my new found favorite Laura In The Kitchen. I plan on talking more about her later, but..

I love her, I love her, I love her! One of the things I love about her is that it is kind of like cooking with my mom. My mom loves to cook and gives me recipes all the time, but I know my mom and I know that to her a recipe is more of a guideline (except in baking). The older I've gotten and the more I've cooked and gotten familiar with cooking in general, the more I've used my mom's recipes as guidelines,  the way she does. I love Laura in the Kitchen because she cooks like my mom. If you watch several of her videos, and yea, I've watched pretty much all of them, then you'll notice she says over and over again "use whatever you have on hand" or "you can substitute this" or "I'm doing it this way today because this is what I have, but usually I do it this way" and I love that. She makes sure you know in every recipe that it's customizable to YOU.

She also has a Vlog channel and I've watched that channel a lot too, because my favorite thing is to see how she makes her own recipes in every day life. She will say things like "well I had this leftover from Monday, so I decided to use it to make ****, even though I'd usually use ****". I love watching the Food Network and stuff, but I've always wondered how often any of them use their own recipes in real life. With Laura, you can see her cooking her own things and you can see what she eats almost every day and how she prepares things. She's also a big supporter of cooking things ahead of time and freezing them.

Which brings me to yesterday. I made her chicken enchiladas with shredded chicken I had leftover from last week. I made two 9x13 pans and put them both in the freezer.

I made my grandma's meat sauce, which honestly, started as my grandma's recipe, but I've changed so many things and written so many notes all over the paper, that I can hardly call it her recipe now, but whatever. I love it and it makes a ton. I froze 4 quart sized bags of that.

I made Laura's basic marinara recipe. I will also be freezing this is some quart sized bags, but right now it's in a big thing in the fridge, because I'm actually going to be doubling it tonight and I'm just going to mix it all together. Don't try to understand my thought process.

I made my grandma's vegetable soup, which I plan on freezing some of too, BUT I screwed up because I wasn't paying attention to what I was doing and I over-salted it. So now it's so salty that it is inedible. Right now it's just in my fridge, because my aunt thinks she has some ideas to fix it. I'm hoping I don't have to throw the whole thing out, so we'll see. I might be remaking this sometime this week. Thank heavens it is so cheap!

I browned up 2 lbs of ground chuck with onions that I separated into bags and froze. I needed 1 lb of ground chuck for my grandma's meat sauce, but all they had left of the good kind were the 3 lb packages, so this was one of those deviations. BUT, I'm sure this month I'll find a use for them.

I also made Laura's granola muffins, mostly because I've really been wanting to try them, but also because if they were easy I was going to make them a regular thing. They are not only easy, but they're freaking delicious. Like amazingly delicious! Look at the pic, I took it after I already ate one. They're so good. I didn't use her homemade granola though, I went to a local bakery (scholar's inn bakehouse for you locals) and got their granola. It's the best.

As for the sauces, I made those because they're delicious, but also pasta and salads are like the quickest meals I can think of to make when I'm busy. Also, the marinara sauce is so versatile! I've already got a few things in mind for that.

In between cooking, because a lot of things had to simmer for several hours, I was cleaning. I got most of my cleaning done, but didn't get any laundry done. I don't have a washer and dryer, so I usually take my laundry to my parents' house, but I couldn't do that yesterday because I couldn't leave with things simmering on my stove. SO, I need to figure out a time to get my laundry taken care of, because it'd built up a little.

This ended up being long.
I guess this is what happens with you don't blog as much as you used to
You word vomit all over the place.

See you tomorrow, folks!

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