New Year, New Me

I have never really gotten caught up in the whole New Years Resolution thing, but this year I have decided to give it a try. My resolution is to be healthier. And while that seems like an easy thing to do it actually has so many things involved that I have been putting off for one reason or another. Being healthier is not just working out, loosing weight or changing my eating habits (which are all things I do actually need to do) but also my mental and emotional health. >>I’ll touch on those another time<<
Now I’ve had a rough start to the new year with a month long sinus infection which I admit has already dampened my spirits a little. But after 3 rounds of antibiotics, steroids, LOTS of Sudafed and plenty of Tylenol & Ibuprofen I am finally starting to feel better! And praying that the virus my son now has does not decide to pay me a visit as well. But we have escaped the flu so far this season so I am thankful for that.
Now that I can function again it’s time to start cooking and eating better again. Now this is a daunting task to me. I am not a good meal planner and I hate eating the same thing over and over so cooking once or twice a week doesn’t really work for me. I have to rely on crock-pot recipes, thank you Pinterest, since I don’t get home from work and picking up the Little until almost 6 and at that point dinner is not happening if it isn’t already almost done and just needing finishing touches. I think it’s time to try something like Wildtree meal planning for freezer meals that I can just throw in the crock-pot before work in the morning. My only reservations about cooking like this is the money up front for the initial shopping trip. I know it’s really not that much per meal when it comes down to it but it’s a lot at once. If you have any recipes or ideas let me know! (We do not eat Pork)
Can I be honest for a minute and tell you that we have been eating a least 5 meals a week from fast food or a restaurant for the last 2ish months and I can feel it. This seems like a easy fix. Stop doing it! And hopefully the meal planning from above should put a stop to most of it. I mean we will still go out to eat but it just can’t be any every night kind of thing because we didn’t plan ahead or at all. For me eating out also means drinking soda. We don’t normally keep soda in the house and if we do it’s usually diet and well… gross. I hope that by cutting soda out of my diet again, because I used to reserve soda for a treat at some restaurants and for when I need a caffeine boost for headaches or migraines.
Once my body can handle it (and the Little isn’t running a fever) it’s time to start the gym adventure. Okay let me be honest, I HATE going to the gym. It is a complete chore and I whine every time. But it is something that I have to start doing for myself and my family. I need to be healthier to kept well and loose the weight I gained while pregnant and never lost (he will be 2 in April). I want to have more energy and feel like running around after this hyper toddler all day on the weekends. Right now, I can’t keep up and I know it’s only going to get harder if I don’t do something about this now.
I am very lucky in that my boyfriend is completely supportive of this and I’m actually the one having rein him back in. He would have us go the gym 5 days a week and be vegan. It works for him and I will not stop him from being vegan if that is what he wants to do but it does not work for me and the Little one. We have added some vegan recipes in the mix but it’s not something I can commit to or want to force my son to follow. But overall we agree that it’s time for both of us to get back in shape and take charge of our lives! He is also calling for NO sweets and I think he’s funny. But we can definitely do with way less sweets. I say this knowing Easter, the Little’s birthday and mine are all in April. Oh well, hello cheat month?!


**Also I promise to figure out the best flow for the blog and get reacquainted with adding gifs and images…


Bella VoxBox

The good, the bad and the tasty. This is what came inside my Bella VoxBox and my thoughts…


EcoTools Complexion Collection Mattifying Finish Brush

DOVE Fruit:

I got the blueberries and loved them so much that I purchased the cherry and pomegranate. I was lucky enough to have a cartwheel for them at Target and received 10% off my tasty treats! While all 3 were good, I preferred the cherry and blueberry the most. They are great added to just about everything. Try them with your yogurt and cereal for a healthy and chocolaty addition.

Rimmel London Scandaleyes Mascara created by Kate Moss:

After opening I was a bit intimidated by the curved wand but found it wasn’t to difficult to use after a moment of complete concentration. The black was very bold which I liked. You didn’t have to use much in order to have dark lashed! So I was pleased with the mascara after application but… several hours later I noticed that the mascara had already smeared under my eyes leaving my looking very tired. It wiped off pretty easily with a tissue but I was paranoid the rest of the evening that I had dark circles from the mascara. I might give it another try in the fall when the humidity isn’t so high but it will not be in my summer bag. **NOT Waterproof**

Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate:

Very creamy and smooth with great color. BUT it comes off on everything that your lips touch. The only time I would even attempt to wear this would be a party where no food or drink was being offered.

Not Your Mother’s Deja Vu Do Style Extender:

Honestly I wasn’t sure that this would do much for my hair. But OMG is it a god send. With my new hair style it actually has to be done. Like who knew?! I most definitely do not have the time or patience to do my hair every single day… After every wash I use the Deja Vo Do style extender before brushing and letting my hair dry. With that alone it keeps the crazy waves/curls from poofing out my hair. Once dry you run a straight iron over it and you’re good to go for that day AND the next! This is actually a product that I will continue to purchase and would like to try the other items from that line.

Club W:

I have not actually used the code for the FREE bottle of wine with purchase of two additional bottles. As soon as I have some extra cash I will get those 3 bottles. There is a real good selection of wine on the website and it has a cool taste preference test to help you find wines that will fit with you pallet.

Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs:

This was the wrong color for my skin tone… about 2-3 shades darker. So I did not try this product.


I do love getting to try new things from Influenster, sometimes there are just not the right fit. But that is okay, you won’t know until you try something new! So head on over to Influenster and start getting your free trials now! All you have to do is provide and honest review.


I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Challenge Updates

I’ve been so bad at reviewing books and posting on the blog. We are 5 months into the year and this is how it’s going so far…

All year I have been reading spurts. I read for like a week straight and devour books but this never seems to last. Life always seems to get in the way. If only there were more hours in the day that I could just dedicate to reading.  Alas there is not, so I will continue my quest to conquer my never-ending and always growing TBR pile.

Challenge Update! I have read 16 of the 52 books I hope to get in for the year. According to Goodreads I am 5 books behind schedule and not at all worried. In the past week I have finished 4 books! But here is the break down on the mini challenges for the year.
Of the Re-Read Challenge I have only read 1 of 12 books. The Queen of the Tearling.
I’ve only done slightly better in the Finish the Series Challenge with 2 of 13 but not successfully finishing any of the 3 series yet. The Iron Knight. Iron Kissed.
As always the Flights of Fantasy Challenge is going strong with 6 of 12 books. The Hunter’s MoonHalf Bad. Half Wild. Talon. Rogue. Undertow.
I have only managed to read 2 of 12 books in the Fairytale Challenge but the next 3 books I plan to read come from here. Ensnared. Tiger Lily.
You may have noticed that I have read 16 books but only 9 were mentioned… not all of the books have fallen into one of these mini challenges.

With summer FINALLY here I hope and plan to get several books read towards finishing the Mercy Thompson series. These are great beach and pool reads! I love that they are all mass markets so I won’t feel awful if I was to say accidentally get these wet… cheap to replace makes them perfect for this time of year.


What is in your beach bag?


Here is a little extra for you!

I started a post back in January… here is a super late peek at a post that will never see the light of day. ‘I had the hardest time finishing a book this month. It was timing and exhaustion all combined and maybe I picked the wrong book to start the month with… I should have waited until Ensnared came out and started that one right away but I picked up a re-read, Hood, that I love but was constantly distracted by the beautiful cover of Ensnared. Once I gave in Feb first I was able to read Ensnared in 24 hours!’

Top Ten Tuesday


As always hosted by  The Broke and The Bookish

Top Ten Books You Would Classify As ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS from the past 5 years. 

Of course these are in no particular order! Turns out a lot of these are from a series but not necessarily the first in the series. 

-Daughter of the Forest (Sevenwaters Series) -Juliet Marillier: I just have to say that the whole series is wonderful. I was beyond ecstatic when the trilogy became a series. These books stick with the same family but each book is told from the point of view of another family member. 

-Forest of Hands and Teeth -Carrie Ryan

-Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors series) -Susan Beth Pfeffer

-Hood (King Raven Trilogy) -Stephen Lawhead

-Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – JK Rowling: The movie does not begin to do this book justice! A lot of people don’t care for this movie but I think it is the best Harry Potter BOOK.

-Queen of the Tearling -Erika Johansen

-Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy) -Mira Grant

-Fire (Gracling Realm Series) -Kristen Cashore

-The Demon King (Seven Realms series) -Cinda Williams Chima

-Heart’s Blood -Juliet Marillier

daughter of the forest feed fire forest of hands and teeth hearts blood hood life as we knew it queen of the tearling the deon kinggoblet of fire


Are any of these your favorites too?

Take Control of Your TBR Pile

TBR Challenge March 2015Take Control of Your TBR Pile hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer

A challenge for the month of March to help you get through your TBR pile! I need this to happen so bad. I just added a new bookshelf to hold the random books I have piled all over my room and it still wasn’t enough. Officially on a book ban until May/June.

Rules Recap (See full list HERE):

  • ALL books must have been published before March 1, 2015. Any format is acceptable.
  • No novellas for this one peeps. Books should be a min of 100 pages.
  • You can combine events, challenges etc.
  • Use hashtag #TakeControlTBR
  • Twitter Party March 15th at 7 pm Eastern. #TakeControlTBR Attend and earn an extra point
  • TBR Read-a-thon March 13th to the 16th

I hope to get through a shelf of books since I will only be reading ones that I currently own. I am going to be combining this challenge with some of my others especially the Finishing the Series Challenge and Flights of Fantasy. I have been behind on my reading goals but hey, life happens. I think this will give me the kick in butt I need to get back on track. I will post my updates right here on this post! No need for a new post every time.

And here is my TBR pile for March!


Top Ten Tuesday


Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Ten Book Related Problems I Have

◊Alice in Wonderland. There I’ve said it! I have a problem, I know it, I admit… I don’t care! I LOVE Alice in Wonderland and collect as many version I can get my hands on (I currently have 8). And little knick knacks related to it. I have a lovely display right now and I look forward to growing my collection.
◊Money is my biggest problem when it comes to books. I want to buy them ALL! Like all of them. Some from recommendations, reviews, to complete a series or just because of the lovely covers.
◊The hard cover verses paperback debate. If I start a series in hard cover all subsequent books must be in the same format. No matter how difficult they may be to find.
◊Beauty & the Beast gave me an unrealistic image of a home library that I’ll never have but always want. Although I am well on my way…
◊I just do not have enough room for my books. I ran out of bookshelves years ago and no matter how many more I buy it’s never enough.
◊Moving. Do you know how heavy books are? I mean seriously it’s ridiculous! Shhh don’t tell anyone but my boxes of books may actually weigh more than all my furniture combined.
◊I do not have enough time to read as much as I would like. I could spend days just reading but being an adult gets in the way with work and errands.
◊The stack of books I ‘needed’ but just sit on my shelves and will probably never get read. I have an entire bookshelf devoted to these. I was so sure I would read them at one point in time but over time my tastes have changed they just sit there collecting dust. Before you ask.. No I cannot give them away or sell them… I NEED them.
◊Writing reviews. Why is it so hard?! I know I should write them as soon as I’m done reading a book but I always procrastinate for days and sometimes weeks. I can never figure out what to write without giving too much away.
◊Waiting for the next book in a series to come out is the worst. When you fall in love with a book and then you have to wait a WHOLE year for the next to come out. I believe this is a form of curl and unusual punishment.

Mini Book Reviews

fables 19Fables, Vol. 19: Snow White

By Bill Willingham

Series: Fables (Collected)

Publisher: Vertigo

on December 24th, 201

Genres: Graphic Novel



Overview: With Castle Dark now back in the hands of the Fables, mysteries both young and old begin to challenge the residents of Fabletown.  Bigby and Stinky set off from Fabletown in Rose Red’s blood-fueled sports car to track down the two abducted cubs.  Unfortunately for Snow White, besides suffering the trauma of having two of her cubs go missing, a long forgotten secret uncovered in Castle Dark threatens to sabotage her and Bigby’s marriage.
This volume also collects the backup adventures of Bufkin and Lily from issues #114-121, as well as their full length adventures found in issue #124.

Review: I was hopeful when I started the book but quickly became confused. I have read several of the Fables graphic novels before and enjoyed them. I didn’t like how the whole beginning was about the rebellion in Oz, it didn’t seem to relate to anything going on with the Snow White tale. I ended up scanning most of the book and reading where it looked interesting. The ending was unexpected and I think it could have ended better. Aren’t fairy tales supposed to have happy endings?

alice in tumblr-landAlice in Tumblr-land

By Tim Manley

Series: None

Publisher: Penguin Books

on November 5th, 2013

Genres: Humor, Fantasy, Short Stories, Fairy Tales



Overview: The Ugly Duckling still feels gross compared to everyone else, but now she’s got Instagram, and there’s this one filter that makes her look awesome. Cinderella swaps her glass slippers for Crocs. The Tortoise and the Hare Facebook stalk each other. Goldilocks goes gluten free. And Peter Pan finally has to grow up and get a job, or at least start paying rent.
Here are more than one hundred fairy tales, illustrated and re-imagined for today. Instead of fairy godmothers, there’s Siri. And rather than big bad wolves, there are creepy dudes on OkCupid. In our brave new world of social networking, YouTube, and texting, fairy tales can once again lead us to “happily ever after” — and have us laughing all the way.

Review:Love the idea of the book I just don’t think it was well executed. I love the classic fairy tales but the way the characters were portrayed was sad and unfamiliar. I would recommend it to a young teenager but not a lover of classic Disney.

les miserablesManga Classics: Les Misérables

By SunNeko Lee

Series: Manga Classics

Publisher: Udon Entertainment

on August 19th, 2014

Genres: Manga, Graphic Novels, Historical Fiction



Overview: Adapted for stage and screen, loved by millions, Victor Hugo’s classic novel of love and tragedy set in 19th century France is reborn in this fantastic new manga edition!
Gorgeous and expressive art brigns to life the unforgettable stories of Jean Valjean, Inspector Javert, and the tragic Fantine in this epic adaptation of Les Misérables!

Review: I was confused at first. Even though this is a manga I did not expect to have to read from page 345 back to 1 because it was an e-book. It’s only a little inconvenient but you get used to it quickly. I love Les Miserables. I own several edition of the book and have seen it performed twice live! This was a fun version of the story and would be great for teens who don’t have the patience to read the book.