Book Review: Stretched Too Thin by Jessica N. Turner

Turner’s latest book – Stretched Too Thin is definitely one to check out. The subtitle, ‘How WORKING MOMS Can LOSE the GUILT, WORK SMARTER, and THRIVE’ says it all. Find balance is the key to success in this area and Turner’s book helps reach this goal.

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According to Turner, “As a working mom you can often feel like you’re living stretched too thin. You want to thrive personally and professionally, but the day-to-day responsibilities and mental load can make that feel impossible. While periods of busyness are normal, if life feels overwhelming, it’s time for a reset.” Keeping this in mind, Turner discusses and gives suggestions to help you in areas such as:

  • Work and parent guilt-free
  • Set achievable goals
  • Discover more flexibility
  • Establish clear work boundaries
  • Develop home management solutions
  • Become more efficient and less stressed
  • Prioritize self-care
  • Invent in your marriage
  • Cultivate deeper friendships

The title of the book itself is what lured me into it. I’m sure many of us have been ‘stretched too thin’ during one part of of life. I feel like that could have been my slogan for the past year; between work and caring for a family member it just seemed like time was always escaping me.

It wasn’t until I received the book that I realized the subtitle, and that it was being advertised as a book for working Moms. Well you know what, I’m not a Mom and this book was something that definitely made me thing. Things such as ‘Prioritizing and Practicing Self-Care’ and reading about routines and organizing are things that can help each and every one of us.

Another great thing about this book was how everything was broken down into short, individual sentences. This is great for those who only have a few minutes to spare but still want to try to better their lives. At the end of each chapter there is a section for reflection, to allow you to reflect about the topic you just read by bringing in your real life.

This is definitely a book that everyone needs to read. The little tips and tricks Turner shares are something that everyone could use. I’m definitely going to give a few of these a try, especially with the holiday season on our tails. This is the perfect time for everyone to sit back and reflect. And hey, I may have just found you the perfect gift for that special someone in your life who may just need to take a moment to breathe!

** For those interested in learning more, check out the excerpt and study questions here! (The link will take you to the Nuts About Books page).

“This book, ‘Stretched Too Thin’ by Jessica N. Turner, has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.’

February 2018 Empties

Hey All!

Another month, another post about my garbage. I actually didn’t use up many products this month. Most of the ones I use are almost finished so I’m expecting so much more for the month of March.

Nonetheless, let’s get this show on the road! I’m going to do a little different format this time. Let me know how you like it!

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First of all, I used up a Bath and Body Works Gentle Foaming Hand Soap in the scent Gingerbread Latte. The scent of this soap is described as ‘Warm Gingerbread, Vanilla Latte & Whipped Cream’. I enjoyed the soap and scent at first but discovered that towards the end I just can’t wait to use it up. I have one more in stash but I’m not sure if I will repurchase next Fall if this scent is released again.

I also used up one of my favorite antiperspirants/deodorants – Secret Ooh La La Lavender. This is my go to deodorant brand and scent. I’ve already repurchased it and have a back up in my stash. It isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

I also used up a Bath and Body Works Home Wallflower Fragrance Refill in the scent Mango Dragonfruit. The fragrance notes included in this scent are ‘Island Mango, Pink Dragonfruit, and Bright Mandarin’. I enjoyed this scent and would probably repurchase if it i still available.

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I have also been cleaning out various areas of my home and found some products that were either expired or ones that I’ve had for a while and their time was up.

First of all, I have three different lip products. First was a Autumn Harvest Lip Balm from Avon in the scent Apple Cobbler. It still smells great but it seems to be drying up and I know I’ve had it since 2008 or earlier. It is just time to go.

The second is a Mint Lip Moisturizer that I received during my University days when I attended a career fair. It was used to promote a company trying to recruit people. This expired in 2009. I’m scared.

Finally I have an Aquafina FlavorSplash Lip Balm in the scent Wild Berry. Again I’ve had this for a while and the scent seems to be off. It is just time for it to go!

I also have a travel sized sunscreen that I found in a purse while cleaning out. I always have sunscreen with me during the Summer months so it was no surprise. This was the Hawaiian Tropic Sheer Touch Oil-Free Sunscreen with an SPF 30. The product worked well and I’d definitely purchase it again.

Finally I have a La Senza Body Kiss Anti-Bacteria Deep Cleansing Hand Gel in the scent Coconut Kiss. This is just a product that I don’t use so I’ll pass it on to someone who would!

And that’s it for my empties and the products I’m decluttering. It is not much but we all have months like this. The main thing is that I’m seeing a big difference in my stash and I’m enjoying using up some of the products!

Hope you all had a wonderful February. If you have an empties post for the month, leave a link in the comments. I’d love to hear about the products you’ve been using!

 

Spring 2018 FabFitFun Box

Hey all!

Over the past few years I’ve been seeing FabFitFun everywhere. I was pretty intrigued by it but would never give in to temptation and actually purchase a box…. until recently.

First of all, for those who don’t know what FabFitFun is… well you’re in for a treat.

As a FabFitFun Member, you’ll get a box of fabulous finds in beauty, wellness, fashion, and fitness, hand-picked by the FabFitFun team, delivered once per season. Four times a year, you will be sent a seasonal box! Each box is limited edition and contains $200+ in retail value. Boxes are shipped in March, June, September, and December.** – FabFitFun.com

The Spring 2018 box was the first seasonal box that I received. I was very excited for this box. Let’s see what I got!

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First of all, let’s start with my favorite item from the box – the Rachel Pally Reversible Clutch.

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Say hello to the cutest clutches around. From designer Rachel Pally, these patterned clutches are the perfect complement to any outfit. And the best part? They’re reversible. Yep, two clutches in one!

 I received the color yellow/mauve. I can’t wait for Spring to be able to use it more. It is such an universal product. It is great to grab for a night out on the town or for a day shopping with friends. It is definitely going in my suitcase for travel this Summer!
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Another product I was excited to receive was the Free People x Understated Leather Starry Eyed Travel Eye Mask. Now anyone who has been watching Youtube for years will know that Free People was one of the go-to brands.

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This vegan leather eye mask features a removable, non-toxic cooling insert to keep you feeling and looking refreshed. The adjustable elastic strap offers a perfect fit every time and a charming metallic patchwork keeps you dreaming amongst the stars.

 I received a grey mask with silver and gold stars… definitely a great choice for me. Well done, FabFitFun, well done! I’ve already got the cooling insert put in the freezer for a little extra coolness. After writing report card inserts and working on a course for the past few weeks, my eyes definitely need to be revitalized!
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The next item is one that has been pretty trendy over the past few months…. tassel earrings. These earring are from Ettika in Los Angelas, Califonia. These are 18k Gold Plated and nickel free. This was one of the choice items. You could either get these earrings in peach or black or we could have opted for a ‘love’ bracelet in silver or rose gold.

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Hello statement earrings of our dreams! Put these cascading tassel beauties on and watch them dazzle all season long.

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The fitness item in this box is a massage roller from Physique 57.  This item cam in four different colors. I was excited to see the grey on in my box. According the the label, we should “use this massage roller after an intense Physique 57 workout to give your muscles some sweet relief.” I also just noticed that we get a 2 month free trial for the Physique 57 website. I’m excited to give that a try!

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This massage roller does wonders for sore, achy muscles. Improve flexibility, break up scar tissue, and keep tender muscles at bay. Just five to 10 minutes with this tool will have your body feeling all the feels.

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There was one item in the box perfect for the home. The Anderson Lilley candle was a pretty neat addition. I received the scent ‘Super Bloom’, which  is described as a combination of “basil, tangerine leaf, anise, violet, geranium, lily of the valley, jasmine, rose, rosewood, cashmere musk.” This is a part of the sunset collection.
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Made with a hand-poured coconut wax blend and a cotton, lead-free wick, the candle delivers a clean, even-burning fragrance. Housed in a lovely copper-colored vessel, these candles will add as much style as they do fragrance in any room.

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There were four beauty products in the box. I’m excited for three of them. The fourth I will probably pass along to my niece who will enjoy it much more then me.
The first item is the Korres Body Butter in Guava. This was another choice item for seasonal subscribers. I chose this over the lip masks since I knew this was something I would use and I wanted to try some Korres products since I’ve heard good things about it.

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Slough away that winter-worn skin. This body butter is enriched with shea butter and quince extract to soften, moisturize, and rejuvenate the skin while sunflower, almond, and avocado oils work to nourish and improve skin’s elasticity and smoothness.

It is described as “a stimulating scent of tropical fruits. Smoothing and moisturizing cream for all over the body. Rich in Shea Butter and Avocado oil with softening, nourishing and moisturizing properties.”
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Next is a Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion in 3 – hydrate. This is a “lightweight, oil-free moisturizer provides shine-free hydration for blemish-prone skin with Honey Extract, a natural humectant. Queen of Meadow refines skin texture while Arnica soothes skin for a smoother, healthier-looking complexion.”

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This ultra-light, oil-free moisturizer helps blemish-prone skin stay smooth and healthy while also providing hydration. It also minimizes the appearance of pores, refines texture, and soothes redness and irritation.

To use: Massage evenly over face, neck and chest. Follow with a Murad sunscreen during the day.
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We also have the Dermelect Cosmeceuticals Makeover Concealing Ridge Filler. This is a professional lacquer formula that is Keratin Peptide Infused to help strengthen weak nails and make then more resistant to damage. It also has Pentavitin Moisture Magnet which is a crucial moisture binding agent that acts as a water magnet for dry, brittle
nails.

Keep your nails healthy, smooth, and glossy with this filler. It multitasks by concealing nail imperfections with a natural pink hue while treating them with protein, vitamins, and moisture.

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This is the 1st Peptide-Infused, Anti-Aging Nail Treatments. The “Dermelect Makeover Ridge Filler combines two extraordinary, anti-aging ingredients in one innovative treatment. Transform damaged nails into a makeover sensation to achieve beautiful, natural looking nails. It claims to: brilliantly conceal nail imperfections, successfully fill in ridges, strengthen weak, brittle, hard-to-grow nails, and treat acrylic or gel damaged nails.
Applications: Apply 1-2 coats on natural nails as a treatment or under polish as a base coat. Begin at the center of the nail, fan out for maximum coverage and brush out to the free edge.
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The final product is a beautiful ISH Lip Statement Palette. According to the package,  “with these nudes and pops of color, your lips will create a statement. These 11 intensely pigmented shades are enriched with rose extract, shea butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, and aloe vera for extra moisture and easy wear. Mix any shades to create infinite combinations of lip colors, customized by you! Add the tinted lop topper for a hint of sheen and a touch of added moisture.”
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Pucker up, ladies. This palette feature 11 intensely-pigmented shades and one balm that will give your lips a beautiful pop of color. Enriched with rose extract, shea butter, jojoba oil, olive oil, and aloe vera, you can mix and match for endless color combinations.

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Overall I really enjoyed the box. I am excited to use many of the products I received! I think this is one subscription I’ll keep!
If you are not already a part of FabFitFun and are interested in trying it out I have added a referral link for you. You are in no obligation to use it but I’d love it if you did!
Hope you all have an amazing day and I’ll be back again soon with another post!

Book Review: Deadly Proof – Rachel Dylan

“Deadly Proof is a legal thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night because you will have to know what happens next!”
Lynette Eason, award-winning, bestselling author of the Elite Guardians series

 

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This quote sums up the novel perfectly. It has a little something for everyone; mystery, suspense, romance, it is definitely a page turner. Deadly Proof follows the protagonist, Kate Sullivan, Lead Counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceuticals. She knows this is the case that could make or break her career, everything she has worked so hard for up to this point. On the opposing side is a former classmate and her friend, Ethan Black, using the argument that Mason Pharmaceuticals did nothing wrong. Will their friendship survive the trials and tribulations of this case? You have to read to find out.. No spoilers here!
The reader is also introduced to former Army Ranger turned private investigator, Landon Janes. Enlisted to help by Kate, he focuses on finding out information that will help Kate win her case, especially after Kate’s key informant is found dead in a parking garage. The pair becomes closer and closer, especially after Kate’s life becomes in jeopardy due to the case. As things begins to disappear and threats keeps coming in, it makes Kate wonder who she can trust. And there may be a little romance budding, oblivious to those struck by cupids arrow.
Dylan did an amazing job at making you feel like you were the one living in this daydream-nightmare combo. She leaves you on the edge of your seat, wondering what is going to happen next as you cannot put down the novel. She set out to capture the reader’s attention and she did just that. It seems as if she did her research to ensure that the reader was getting the authentic situations, feelings, etc. This only helped to solidity that Dylan had a hit on her hands. What can I say? I’m a sucker for suspense and romance with crime at the forefront. This book was definitely one made for me.

 

Book Synopsis

Standing For What’s Right Could Cost Her Everything

Tapped as lead counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical, Kate Sullivan knows this case could make her career. What really drives her, though, is getting justice for the victims whose lives were ruined by the company’s dangerous new drug. But when a whistleblower turns up dead, it paints a target on the back of everyone involved.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James steps in to handle security for Kate. He’s still haunted by mistakes in his past and is determined never to let something like that happen again. But it soon appears someone is willing to do anything–even commit murder–to keep the case from going to trial.

As danger closes in, Landon can’t help but admire Kate’s courage and resolve–but will her determination not to back down become too great of a risk?

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy.. CLICK HERE!
Interested in learning more about Rachel Dylan, check out her website at www.racheldylan.com

Disclaimer: Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.” I was not required to give a positive review.

Book Review: The Day the Angels Fell – Shawn Smucker #thedaytheangelsfell

Hey all!

For a while now I have been a part of the Nuts About Books Bloggers Program and I have discovered some pretty awesome books so far.

However, I have to say that The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker is my favorite so far.

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We are always told not to judge a book by its cover. This one is a simple silhouette of a cat in a tree. You will not notice this cat unless you inspect it closely. The font of the title signifies something mythical. It almost reminds me of peeling bark.

The brief synopsis of the book states:

It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer his mother died in a tragic accident–and young Samuel Chambers would have done anything to turn back time. Even today, he can hardly believe it all
happened . . .

Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Sam begins his search for the Tree of Life–the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back.

His quest to defeat death will entangle him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict, forcing Sam to grapple with an unwelcome question.

Could it be possible that death is a gift?

One of the first things I noticed about this novel was that it was broken into three separate sections as the narrator, an old man named Samuel Chambers, relives the Summer that changed his life forever.

Part One: The Storm begins with the reader being introduced to Samuel in ‘present day’. He entrances the audience by talking about still living on the farm where he grew up and how he his last living friend, Abra,  had just passed away. He reflects on how it is eerie now that the farm is exactly how it was the Summer he tragically lost his mother. He continues on by saying that he will never know if he got the story of that Summer right but there was no one left to ask. All this suspense from just one chapter. How can you not continue to read?

The first part of his tale begins with a storm, three strange carnival fortune-tellers and a tragedy. This brings us into Part Two: The Tree. In this part we learn the story of a mythical Tree of Life. After meeting his mysterious neighbour Mr. Jinn, Samuel is brainwashed with the idea that finding this tree will bring his mother back. Around this same time another mysterious man, Mr. Tennin entered the picture and began working for his father. Mr. Tennin recites a tale that may seem rather far-fetched to some. Little do we know that this story later becomes a part of Samuel’s realty.

This brings us to Part Three: The Sword. I won’t give too much away about this chapter but rest assured that this sword is an important artifact in the story. Part Four is entitled The Fire. It is during this part that we learn the significance of many earlier things in the novel; the carnival fortune tellers, Mr. Tennin, and Mr. Jinn. Finally we have Part Five: The Secret. Set completely in the present day, this ties up many loose ends that we’ve all been wondering about and also sets the reader up for another book, telling Abra (his friends) side of the story.

This book had it all; mystery and suspense that left you on the edge of your seat. I couldn’t put it down. I stayed up way too late the two nights I was reading it because I had to know what happened next. I was shocked to read that this was Shawn Smuckers first novel. I’m excited to see what creative genius he comes up with next. The Day the Angels fell is a page turner.. That’s for sure!

Haunting and hypnotic, The Day the Angels Fell is a story that explores the difficult questions of life in a voice that is fresh, friendly, and unafraid. With this powerful debut, Shawn Smucker has carved out a spot for himself in the tradition of the great authors of literature for young readers.

For any person who has struggled with why bad things happen, this mesmerizing book will be both a comfort and a challenge.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of the book, CLICK HERE! For more information about Shawn Smucker, visit his website at shawnsmucker.com.

Disclaimer: “Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.” I was not required to give this a positive review. All thoughts and comments about the novel are strictly my own opinion.

Book Review: With Love, From Me to You

Hey all!

I’ve loved reading for as long as I can remember. There is nothing better then getting lost in a good book. If you’re interested in seeing what I’m currently reading, check the blog for a future post.

However, today’s post is all about the book With Love, From Me to You. 

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This book is a creation between Mary Manz Simon, an award-winning author whose titles have been sold more than three million copies and are available in ten languages, and Corinna Ice, a renowned children’s book illustrator whose purpose is to make illustrations full of that by using her “heart and brush to paint the world.”

This little story follows a polar bear mail carrier who is using a train to travel around. He begins by showing that we can simply share a heart with someone to show that we care. As the story continues the bear shows other animals how the simplest of gestures can brighten someones day, whether they be shy, sad, or angry. The story continues by showing how we all feel God’s love inside of us and that we should share this love with others by showing them love and kindness.

“For love is more then flowers,
although they smell so sweet.
And love is more than candy,
although that is a treat.” – With Love, From Me to You

The first thing I noticed about this book was the images. Using soft colors, Ice created the picture of happiness, kindness, and love. She used symbols such as hearts to represent love, the birds seem to represent peace, and the happy faces on all the animals in a scene surrounded by blue skies and flowers definitely leave the feeling of calm and happiness. This can be seen all throughout the book as additional hearts are found decorating the train and happy faces placed on all the animals.

The little story itself as elements such as rhyming that are great to help little kids remember and learn.  This book aims to show kids how their actions and words affect things in their everyday life, along with how important their actions and words are in expression God’s love with each other.  It aids in teaching children that the simplest of gestures may bring joy and happiness to someone, such as the simple act of greeting someone by saying hi.

This is definitely a book I would recommend. It is best suited for younger kids around the ages of 1-5 years old as it is a board book. It is a great book to share with kids this age as this is when they are the most impressionable and teaching them the actions in this story will help shape their character in a positive way.

 

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary copy of this book through BookLook Bloggers. However, it should be noted that I was not required to give a positive review and all thoughts and opinions stated are my own.

 


I review for BookLook Bloggers

January 2018 Empties – Bath & Body Products

Hey all!

I’m back with part two of my empties for the month of January. Actually, some of these were probably used up before then because it has been a while since I’ve posted an empties. I took a little break from blogging because I was getting use to a new routine. Hopefully I’ll be able to add blogging into my routine again. I definitely do miss it.

But that’s not what you’re here for so let’s get into the empties!

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Continue reading “January 2018 Empties – Bath & Body Products”